Marryfaux [Mar-ee-foh] – noun – the act of playing Malifaux with one’s spouse.
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On Sunday, my wife and I played another game of Malifaux (her second one after the intro game last week). This time, I thought we could increase it and get a bit closer to a full game – going for 30ss each, and introducing schemes as well. Usually when demoing I’ll include schemes in the first game since they’re such an integral part of Malifaux, but since this is the first wargame Kathryn’s played I knew it’d be easier for her to introduce things slowly rather than flooding the first game with everything!
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After the Judge’s encounter with the fiendish undead in the mining town of Little Prospect, Lady Justice herself led a force of Death Marshals out to investigate, certain that the undead presence indicated a greater threat. As the group of lawmen approached the town, movement caught their eyes and weapons were readied. A small group seemed to be heading in from the west and, while the evening sun prevented them seeing the identity of their foes, the shambling gait of the undead was clear to see. Loosening her sword in its sheath, Justice turned to her men. ‘Fan out. I’ll take the right, the Judge will go left, and you three take the centre. Keep eyes on your fellow man, and shoot to kill.’
Dr Douglas McMourning cursed his luck. It had been a successful day spent in his laboratory in the quarantine zone – until he’d found that a freak cave-in had blocked the secret tunnel back to his lab, forcing him to take a far riskier route above ground. Making tracks through Little Prospect seemed the safest bet – the sleepy mining town never had any excitement – but up ahead he could see figures in the characteristic long coats of the Death Marshals. Lit by the evening sun, he could make out a lithe figure with fiery long red hair and swore under his breath. Clearly their stoic leader was with the marshals. Crushing a soulstone in his hand and calling on his undead constructions, he turned to Sebastian with a wolfish smile. ‘Follow my lead’…
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The strategy was Squatter’s Rights, one I don’t seem to have played in a while, and we both had Entourage (McMourning for me, the Judge for Kathryn) and Protect Territory for our schemes. The game started quickly, with Justice moving down one flank onto a Claim marker, only to be lured off the marker by the Rotten Belle Seamus had lent McMourning. Quick to take advantage before she could identify him, McMourning directed his undead towards her, the chihuahua and Sebastian infecting her with his latest concoction. Meanwhile the Nurse shot up the Flesh Construct with some dubious medicine, the shambling creature gaining speed as its legs powered it forwards. The Judge moved up to meet it, while the Marshals fanned out in the centre of the board.
Justice quickly finished off the yapping undead dog, before backing off to claim a Squat marker. Keen to ensure control over the left flank, McMourning and a Canine Remains followed her, the mortician’s unnatural skills expunging the poison from her body and leaving her lifeless on the ground. However, the lawmen were undeterred on the other flank, claiming three of the Squat markers. The Flesh Construct loomed over one of the Marshals, but before it could act he leapt forward, effortlessly hurling his enchanted pine box in mid-air. The magical coffin enclosed the creature as the Marshal landed on the lid, slamming it shut and locking the monster away. His companion followed his lead, vaulting over a stack of barrels to engage the Nurse. She attempted to back away, but the Marshal was faster – disarming her of the syringe before kicking her into his pine box.
Things were looking bleak, McMourning mused, as despite her best efforts to take him down a Death Marshal survived the Rotten Belle’s attacks, before wrestling her into his enchanted pine box. With half of his crew now locked away, McMourning made a desperate effort to regain some of his numbers, charging the Marshal. Yet despite his skill with a scalpel, fate conspired against McMourning as he failed to kill the Marshal (yes, thanks to some very good high cards on Kathryn’s part and the Black Joker on mine, the Death Marshal survived all three attacks!). Finally, seeing his master’s luck, Sebastian ran to join in, his bonesaw finally finishing off the troublesome lawman and freeing Seamus’s girl.
The Judge made a break for the board edge, determined to pick up the tracks and find out where McMourning had come from. But before he could reach my deployment zone the Belle Lured him back, where he was quickly poisoned to a fatal dose by McMourning. But it was to no avail as the remaining Marshals dropped down a couple of scheme markers, their pine coffins remaining staunchly shut despite the best efforts of the Flesh Construct and the Nurse to break out. And so the game ended in a 7-6 victory for the Guild!
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With the Judge and Lady Justice badly wounded and comatose, McMourning and Lucius’s lawyers were easily able to convince the Guild that he was captured by the undead, and the Death Marshalls were able to rescue him.
‘Their testimony that he was leading the undead is clearly some confusion brought about by the dark necromantic arts used against them, and if anything they should be investigated by the Exorcists. After all, these men have willingly given themselves to necromancy in order to protect us – a noble and brave sacrifice, to be sure, but can we be certain that the very powers they fight against aren’t starting to corrupt them? While I thank them for rescuing our valued mortician, these men should definitely be evaluated again and treated as a serious risk to the Guild!’
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This was the first time I’ve gotten around to using McMourning in M2E, and he was rather fun – setting up poison with Sebastian’s Induction and Catalyst abilities to cause often terrifying amounts of wounds. I think things took a turn for the worse when the Death Marshals were able to pine box the Flesh Construct and the Nurse in quick succession. Still, it was a fun game and I’m keen to run McMourning again soon. This is also turning into a bit of a narrative for my wife and I, and we’re keen to see where Justice’s hunt will take her next – I’d imagine that she’d want to look very closely into McMourning now, since despite the lawyer’s assertions that her memories of the incident are false and her mind was affected by the poisons and necromantic magics, I’m sure she suspects something…
I also had my first play of C. Hoffman last week (making headway on the masters resolution this month!), which was such fun. I’m sure it was helped by the strategy being Turf War, but he was such fun to play I can’t wait to use him again. That game ended far better, with a 7-1 victory for Hoffman and his constructs. Man of the match award is shared between Hoffman, for continually bringing my constructs back from their last wound, and the newly-deputized(!) Howard Langston, who took out Coppelius, a Teddy and Lord Chompy Bits. I’ll get a post up soon with photos of the crew now they’re all painted.