Welcome to “Play it like beatdown” – a snazzy new blog about gaming. Most of this blog will be very Malifaux-centric, as that’s my current game of choice, but that’s not to say I’ll only be talking about Malifaux. You can also expect some Puppet Wars content on here, and maybe some other games, depending on what I’m playing at the time… but it’ll mostly be Malifaux. This is for 2 main reasons: 1) Sadly I don’t have much time to get to grips with lots of different gaming systems, and 2) I thoroughly enjoy Malifaux.
So why am I starting a blog? Well I’ve been considering it for a good few months now, but always felt I wasn’t really qualified to be writing about Malifaux because I was one of the new guys on the block. There are a few very good blogs, written by folks who are up at (or at least heading towards) the very top of the UK Malifaux scene, such as Musings of a Malifaux Noob, MythicFox’s blog, and The Philosophy of Uncertainty, and frankly I could never give the quality content which they provide. However, with the release of Malifaux 2nd edition (M2e), everyone is back to square one (sort of), so it seemed like an ideal time to start writing about my experiences and findings within the game… even if they are somewhat… unevolved, compared with those folks. In this blog you will find all sorts of Malifaux related content, from why I don’t take many passive abilities for my upgrades, to why Razorspine Rattlers are the best characters/units/models/pieces in the whole of Malifaux, and much more besides.
For the moment you will most probably find a lot of Marcus related content in the blog (or general topics from a Marcus player’s point of view), because he’s the master I’m using at the moment, and frankly, I’m slightly addicted. Later on it’s likely to move into other Arcanist masters (I own Mei, Ramos, and Kaeris too). I might also touch on masters or models from elsewhere in Malifaux, but usually from the point of view of opposing them, rather than using them. That being said, I’m more than happy to host some guest bloggers from time to time (or maybe even for a regular segment) to talk about other Malifaux stuff.
For my first proper blog entry, I thought I’d chat about why I decided to use Marcus as my main master in Malifaux. Choosing masters (or armies in other systems) always seems to be a bit of a complicated decision; you want to pick someone who has a theme you like, models you like, will be fun to use, and will fit your play style. Based on these criteria, I narrowed my options down to a few masters (Marcus, Perdita, Lady J, and the Victoria’s), then a Marcus crew turned up on eBay pretty cheap… so I impulse bought it.
Unfortunately, in first edition Malifaux, Marcus was a complicated master to get right (I maintain that he wasn’t “utter rubbish” but just very challenging), and I drifted into using Mei Feng instead. That’s where “Play it like beatdown” comes from, as I took the approach of killing everything and picking up points later, regardless of the strategy and schemes… shockingly, I’m currently ranked 55th in the UK (I maintain that this is A. because I seem to have a 14th place glass ceiling, and B. because whenever I might do alright at a tournament, Mike3838 and his Perdita crew are there to make sure I don’t).
However, with the new edition of Malifaux came a new edition of Marcus, and I was eager to get the big man back on the table. His speedy and adaptable play style is something which really appeals to me, and between editions Marcus seems to have been eating his vitamins. One minute he’s running around grabbing objectives, the next minute he’s helping his allies out, then finally danger rears it’s ugly head, and he’s bashing it’s face in with a big stick. Marcus is like the Swiss army pen-knife of Malifaux – he always has the right tool for the job.
Then there’s the backup – Marcus’ crew. While everyone else was messing around with zombies, cowboys, and monsters, Marcus went to the zoo… and improved it.
His crew ranges from his trusty pet rabbit the (accidentally indestructible) Jackalope, all the way to massive beasts such as the sabertooth Cerberus and the mighty Razorspine Rattler (yes, “the mighty” was necessary). Everything about Marcus’ crew screams out “savage fury”, and that’s exactly how it plays. The crew is often referred to as a hit-and-run crew. I think this is best shown using the Cerberus as an example. It’s fast, has a high Ml and high damage, but if it gets hit it generally doesn’t survive too long. Of course the squishyness of the Cerberus isn’t too big a concern, because usually things are dead before they can attack it.
However, Marcus isn’t ONLY about breaking people’s faces. I find the crew offers as many sneaky tricks as anyone might want. For instance I used Cojo (a large and somewhat irrate gorilla) for the first time this week. Almost all of his abilities allow you to move models around. In a game where positioning is often crucial, these abilities are fantastically useful. So then you start to think “ah, so Cojo is for moving models around the board…” and then SMACK! MONKEYPUNCH TO THE FACE! You discover that he can hit as hard (if not harder) as most beatsticks (damage dealers) in Malifaux.
So in summary, Marcus gives a very diverse and adaptable style of play. This means your opponent can never quite relax, as you always have a way to sneak out of a tricky situation and get back in control of the game. Similarly it means you have loads of different play styles to try. Getting a bit bored of pummelling your opponents with big beasties? (of course not, just play it like beatdown…. but let’s say “yes”, for the sake of the paragraph) Just move to a more manipulative play style, using silurids, molemen, and an angry gorilla. You can even totally switch play style mid-game. This is a brilliant way to put your opponent on the back foot. I’ll often start out with a firm attack to reduce the opponent’s numbers, then around turn 4 switch up to chuck out markers and grab the points available at the end of the game.
Argh! Just writing about it makes me want to play more games. Long story short: Marcus is great, because Marcus is great… FACT
Here ends the first post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope it has given you a bit of insight into the blog author (aka me). Next time I’ll be going a little more “technical” and looking at my usual model pool, what I use, when, and why.
Feel free to comment below, and/or follow me on twitter at iamsssk.
Until next time.
P.S. Please note: the title of this blog post has nothing to do with Larry Blotter… Or whatever his name is. I’ve never seen/read any of those films/books. This title is purely based on the fantastic ability which the mighty Razorspine Rattler possesses.
P.P.S. My thanks go to the Twitterfaux community for suggested blog names, and particularly Ben Halford for coming up with the winning suggestion. As a prize, I am willing to give Ben the privilege of painting up one of my Razorspine Rattlers for me… something tells me Ben may decline this fantastic prize.