Grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair, and gather round. It’s storytime once again. If you don’t like stories then just skip down to the next main heading.
A little while ago, high pitched Chris (of Chasing Bacon podcast fame, @Lemonconstruct on twitter) and I were having a chat about making blogs a bit more beginner friendly. If you have a look around an average blog (this one for instance) you’ll notice that there are a few beginner level posts hidden away in the depths of the blog, but generally, a beginner will see the blog, think “who cares about ways to use Alpha, I just want to find out how to get a foot in the door with this game”, and wander off to have their mind tainted by the Wyrd forums (significantly better than other gaming forums, but that’s a topic for another day).
After much chatting we came to the conclusion that folks who’re starting out in Malifaux would probably like to know how they get from buying a box of plastic stuff, to using half a faction’s worth of fully painted models. How do you decide what to get next? What if you’re a poor student, and can only afford to buy 1 model every decade (possible exaggeration there)? What if you paint at the speed of a depressed tortoise? What if you just don’t know where the weaknesses in your crew are? How do you get the most out of the few bits you’ve got? What if you just want to buy the pretty models, will they be even vaguely useful on the table?… and many other questions.
This sent me into a reverie, harking back to my young days as a gamer (unfortunately, this also made me realise that I’ve been playing tabletop games on and off for 15 years), when I used to read White Dwarf. Every now and then they would have a series of articles called “A Tale of 4 Gamers”. These would follow 4 people from the magazine’s team over the course of 6 months or so, as they bought, built, painted, and played a new army. I thought they were fantastic. It gave me a chance to see how to get from the few units I had, all the way to a fully painted, “full sized” army ( ie army for the “standard” game size), in chunks which my pocket money might be able to stretch to (OK, they were actually pretty big chunks, but I could do it over the course of a year or so).
Back to the topic at hand then. Wouldn’t it be good if we could get a bunch of people who play Malifaux to pick up a new master, or even a new master in a new faction, and follow them as they progress from a starter box through to a dynamic set of models, able to achieve any schemes and any strategies, painted to perfection (er… OK, let’s go with “painted”) and ready for everything the world might throw at them?… “Yes”, is the answer I’m looking for.
But where could we find a bunch of gamers, willing to buy new models, paint them up, play with them, and report back their findings each month in a semi-coherent manner?
and thus was born…
A Tale of Malifaux Bloggers (#ToMB aka #SecretStuff)
Yup, a bunch of fine upstanding Malifaux bloggers have got together to bring you a month by month account, starting with some money, and adding a bit more money each month, they’ll be building a crew (or crews) from total bare bones beginning, through to something you might expect to see in the highest level tournaments. Each month you’ll be hearing how they’ve got on with building, painting, and playing their crews, what they’re adding and why.
The tale will begin properly on the 17th of February (it’s not a total coincidence that the 17th is a week after the wave 2 official stat cards will be released), when each of our bloggers will release their first posts (and all of the bloggers will have links to the other bloggers, so if you’re reading this, just look here and you can find everyone else too).
OK, it starts in a few week’s time, so why am I telling you this now? Well, we thought maybe you’d like to play along at home, so here’s a few week’s notice. You might even want to join in by starting a shiny new blog on the shiny new blogs section of the Wyrd website
We need to keep this under control though, and therefore sadly there have to be rules… they look a bit like this (note, there are FAQs below too):
- In month 1, we’re allowed to spend up to $60 on stuff.
- In every month after that, we’re allowed to spend an additional $25 on new stuff.
- Each month (near as possible the 17th) we post pics and any thoughts we fancy sharing (what works, what’s missing etc etc).
- We keep doing that for 6 months, and by the end, everyone’s a winner… kind of.
So the rules are fairly straight forward, you buy what you want, you paint it, you play with it, you blog what you want, you buy more of what you want etc. We’re aiming for maximum flexibility here, so that no one is excluded if they want to be included. If you’re lacking money, or slow at painting, or don’t have much time to play games, we can fiddle the rules a bit to fit you in (for instance my wallet is looking thin at the moment).
Here’s a few FAQs you should have a read of if the idea tickles your fancy.
What’s with the cost in dollars?
To make sure everyone is singing from the same songsheet, prices for models will be determined from the Wyrd site. Example 1 – I buy some death marshalls from OutpostWargames in Sheffield, where I get 20% discount, and the price is in £s… it still counts as whatever full price for a box of Death Marshalls is on the Wyrd website. Example 2 – I get a lovely proxy which costs 50p… it still counts as whatever full price for a box of Death Marshalls is on the Wyrd website. Example 3 – I have a box of death marshalls lying around, I’ll use them… it still counts as whatever full price for a box of Death Marshalls is on the Wyrd website. This is purely to prevent people from steaming off and buying a full faction from a friend for $10, and skewing the tale.
But I can’t afford that kind of money?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend all of the money which is available to you. Perhaps in month 1 you just buy a starter crew box. You can paint them up, and you have money in the bank (so to speak), but it doesn’t need spending. Hypothetically, you could even get a starter box at the start, and just play 30-40ss games with them throughout (though that’s kinda missing the point), and report back on how they’re doing etc (though not buying shiny new models requires a TN:83 wp duel… and you’re on negative flips). Flexibility is king. If you want to be involved, then get involved.
But I paint really slowly?
The aim is to get what you bought this month, painted this month. However if you can’t get it done due to time constraints etc, you’re hardly gonna get shot for it. Indeed you could combine having no money and being a slow painter and just skip a month’s purchases to get the other stuff finished. Like the pirate’s code, it’s more like “guidelines”.
The Tale of Malifaux Bloggers started last month (or the month before, or the month before that…etc), can I still be involved? How do I catch up?
In an ideal world, everyone would start at the same time. However, if you’ve only just heard of Malifaux, and you’re wanting to get stuck in, then come and join. Just treat this month as month 1. That being said, the tale ends when the tale ends. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it rolling in your own blog, it just means there won’t be a unified movement…as it were. That’s also not to say there won’t be another Tale sometime in the future (if this one goes well, and if some idiot decides to organise it).
When does the Tale end?
The tale will end on the 17th of August (6 months from the 17th of Feb), by which time you will hopefully have a bunch of nicely painted models. Simple really.
So there you go, now that you know about it, you have a few weeks to consider whether it’s the right choice for you, and then the fun starts in February. I hope a few folks will give it a bash. Remember, the idea is to build a crew from scratch, month by month, so see what the crew is missing, and then add something to solve the problem next month. Also please remember that the tale is all about being supportive and seeing how different people develop their crews. It’s all about friendly support, and being useful for newer folks.
Until next time