Sunday, October 1, 2023

Picking Through the Ashes


Malifaux has been burning and going mad, now I suppose it’s time to start picking through the ashes. Or asses. Depending on your source, that is. 

Coming later this fall, the next expansion to the Malifaux game, Ashes of Malifaux, will be launching. We’ve had previews of several of the things that are coming, though they’re a bit scattered through Waldo’s Weekly updates. I thought it might be useful to round them up in one place, so that’s what I did. Ta da! Instant content!


We’ve probably had the most intel for models coming out to the Bayou, weirdly. There’s a pair of models that interact with each other, Jebediah and the Haber-Dashers (which would be a fine band name), that are looking to lend their services to the Big Hat and Tricksy keywords. The former is an 8 cost Enforcer with a 12” stat 6 gun, Armor 2, and Ride with Me. Solid. Additionally, it has a tactical action to kick pit traps markers (or other markers, I suppose) around on the board or potentially summon the little hat robots with a ram trigger (at the cost of removing the marker). Not something you would want to rely on, but probably nice when it happens. The Haber-Dashers themselves are essentially mobile scheme markers, as they can sacrifice themselves to turn into one and/or can be treated as scheme markers by Big Hat and Tricksy models. I don’t know that I’m entirely sold on the utility at this time, as they’re fairly easily killed (though that will net you a card and force the opponent to discard a pass token.) 


And it’s the bayou, so there must be silliness of course. I don’t know what a Hoochdini is per say, though he does look like he fits well with the other Jockey models. The two orange resin models are both from the Hog Wild expansion to the Bayou Bash board game, so one assumes they’re likely more Jockeys like the ones from the Bayou starter box. Hoochdini, however, is I believe something new that we haven’t seen before. And also a gremlin on a frog, I guess? He’ll probably have leap, and I’m guessing given the name maybe a Whizz-Bang model? I guess Jebediah’s riding on something too. Must be an overall theme of the Bayou. 



Continuing with our theme of “alternative modes of transportation,” here’s some more concept art for some Resurrectionist models. The latter two originally premiered in a Through the Breach one-shot adventure named The Ferryman, wherein the at-the-time still living Kari was using the undead monster to menace the people along Malifaux’s riverfront. Her current status as a ghost could be considered a bit of a spoiler for how that worked out for her. The first model is obviously a reference to the similarly named train conductor who crashed a train and became the subject of a Grateful Dead song. They’re all concept art, and the Ferryman and Cayce are both animated transportation modes. Maybe this is the theme for the upcoming Rezzer starter box? Maybe not, given what I’ve got coming up next, but who’s to say? They look sweet, though. 


The next model up is Batsch and Amalie, a Versatile Undead Henchman (wouldn’t it be henchmen?) with the previously not seen Fungal keyword. So, if Kari and co. aren’t the starter box, maybe it’ll be something to do with these fungi undead? Somebody was watching The Last of Us for inspiration, it seems. I like the theming of the models for sure, and Endless Waltz is a fun way of showing the movement of the dance. I’m not immediately seeing a lot of power from this model at first blush, though you can shuffle some markers around. Given that they make corpse and scheme markers count as Severe Terrain and their Mushroom Cloud attack gets a bonus when the opponent is in severe terrain, maybe that’s something? Also it can hand out Distracted, which doesn’t usually rate much overall. There’s a trigger on the bonus action to give them and a friendly Oskar model Shielded+1. So, I guess there’s a model called Oskar coming too. Given the recent history of starter boxes, this model will either be an afterthought that never sees play, or a super broken thing that has to be erratad sometime next fall. Place your bets now. 


Next up, we have a Versatile beater for the Explorer’s Society. At first glimpse, I thought this felt like it was pretty vanilla. Then I remembered this is a model in the ES, which are not exactly renowned for having beaters, so this fills a hole fairly well in the faction. Min 3 reach 2 attacks are always a crowd pleaser, especially when they have decent triggers on most suits (naturally, any time I use this model it will only flip Rams.) The Seeking Bolts with the Ram trigger may be potentially more dangerous, as Moderate 4 with a blast and no concealing is nothing to turn up your nose at. The Field Repairs being Construct Only limits the utility, but the ability to semi-mulligan a bad hand once per game may be potentially useful when your deck betrays you during the critical turn. Decent model. It would be fun to pair it with the Intrepid Emissary for some stompy bot fun. Tiri might be the crew that gets the most use out of it, but for a faction that doesn’t tend to hit all that hard he’ll potentially find a home in some other crews as well. 


Finally, we have potentially the leader in the Guild starter box. Commander Bura is cheap as versatile henchmen go, with the again previously unknown Vanguard keyword. Bura puts Shielded on all Vanguard models during the start phase, and another +1 shielded on herself and two other nearby friendly models when she activates, which is solid. Her Shields Up! ability also lets her apply however many points of shielded to reduce an attack’s damage as she wants (instead of one at a time). I don’t think she’s any kind of powerhouse with her attacks, but Remember the Mission is always a good tactical action (though it will cost you an 8 to pull it off). And, finally, her Overload Bonus action is interesting, as it makes an opponent pass a simple duel or suffer damage equal to the shielded value of one of your models that is in base to base with it. There’s a trigger if they’re in B2B with presumably one of her minions, called Bracers, that pushes the TN up. I don’t think you’re going to want to rely on it, though, because obviously it’s a simple duel that they will most likely pass. If it costs them a card in exchange for your bonus action, that’s not too bad, especially as she draws you a card. Overall, she seems like a decent utility player that might have some synergy in the other crews with Shielded, but not a world changer. In other words, probably a good model for a starter box.