Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gaming Update: Notes From Demo Night

Nothing helps cement your understanding of the rules like explaining them to someone else. Not only do you get a fresh set of eyes looking at the mechanics, but as a third party you get to hang back and get a birds' eye view of the game as it unfolds. Here are a few of the things I learned or rediscovered tonight while running Demo games at X Planet.

Malifaux's Card Mechanic Is A Show Stopper

The local store has a lot of Warmachine players, a lot of Magic players and an assortment of Infinity, Flames of War and Games Workshop enthusiasts. There are also a lot of players who hobby in more than one system.  After playing Malifaux nearly exclusively for the last year it was easy to forget how unique the Malifaux rules really are.  The sight of gamers standing over a table covered in terrain and miniatures is familiar, but replace dice with hands of cards and people want to come over and have a look-see.

The card mechanic is instinctive, but with so much depth.  Most anyone I've shown it to has understood it almost immediately, but it is still best described in layers.  The cards replace dice, but with a whole separate dimension brought into it with the suits.  Add in the jokers at the top and bottom of the curve and new players get the sense of the mechanic. By when you explain how the hand works, how cheating works, and finally how Soulstones work, you can see the new players' eyes light up as they grok the full scope of the game. 

Flay Is Better Than I Thought

Flay is a common Neverborn Trigger, found on a large number of their models.  Sure, it lets you cheat when you're on negatives, I already knew that was very good.  I guess I also knew that it would be just as good regardless of how many negatives were in play.  What I wasn't prepared for was seeing a Death Marshal get Flayed by an Illuminated on a tied duel.   That's a triple negative, using the worst of four cards for damage, and the Illuminated didn't care, he just cheated in a Severe and cut the poor Marshal in half. 

Bad Things Happen, Even To Good People

Lady Justice was the central model in the game, taking an early charge opportunity to one-shot an Illuminated (I got to explain to the new players what glorious things happen when you flip that pretty Red Joker on a damage flip).  She finished the turn in a good position to have her pick of targets the following activation.

On turn two Justice won initiative and threw another charge at the second Illuminated, ready to notch up another easy kill.  With a full hand of cards and a Wp of 6 she flipped into the Terror 10 test fearlessly and... Black Joker.  Lady Justice was stuck in the middle of the field all by herself with a full enemy Crew yet to activate.  Predictably, she did not survive much longer.

Thanks for reading.

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