Earlier this week, our Wyrd overlords deigned to inform us that June 28th is the date upon which we shall be receiving our M3E goodness. The message included a number of interesting details for store owners, including their intention to put together packets of the new stat cards which can be inserted into the boxes along with a sticker on the outside to indicate that the box has been updated. This should cut down on the need for retailers to clear out old stock and replace it with new cards, and hopefully cut down on the recent Wyrd product firesales that most stores have been employing. Additionally, Wyrd is intending to start lumping some of the individual model boxed sets together to try and cut down on the number of SKUs that stores have to stock for Malifaux product, which is also a good thing. One of the concerning things going into the relaunch was going to be the situation with boxed sets that are having new models added to them. As a way of addressing this, Wyrd will be offering the ability to special order individual models through store owners for the first year after M3E’s release. This way, if you already own the whole Marcus boxed set but need one model that has been added to it (just a random example, I don’t actually know if there will be anything new in Marcus’ boxed set) you can get it special without having to fork over cash for a whole new box. I think these are good steps taken by the company, as their reputation, particularly in terms of customer service and relationships with retailers, has taken a bit of a ding over the last year. Hopefully this is a sign of them pulling out of that tailspin.
But what about the new stuff! Well, ok, calm down. Obviously, I’m going to talk about that too. For those of you like me (and, let’s be honest, everybody reading this blog probably falls into the same category) that won’t necessarily be in a huge rush to go replace all their models with new stuff come launch day, all of the rules and stat cards for M3E will be available for free on Wyrd’s website day one. If you have access to a printer or a tablet, you can play M3E when the game launches June 28th without spending a dime (other than printer ink, of course, which I think is made from soulstone dust gauging by the price. /oldmanrant.) Most folks will want physical cards, of course, and the stat cards and upgrades for each M2E model will be available for purchase in Faction Packs that will be sold essentially as long as demand lasts. Gauging how M1E to M2E went that’ll be about a year so you won't want to wait too long. It’s a good way to get shiny new cards for all of your old models all in one go, barring dual-faction complications. Interestingly, Wyrd has also decided to create Faction books that will be released over the months following release that will include new stories, lore, and information on the factions themselves. I assume stat blocks will be in there also, but at first blush these fall into the category of “luxury item” for people who want to just play some Malifaux. I’m curious to see what’s in them, and as a lore nerd I’ll probably need to pick them up at some point to get all the current juicy fluff content, but I don’t feel like I’ll need to buy all of them on day one necessarily.
As for the models themselves, as mentioned above the plan is to lump some boxed sets together. This helps store owners out for the above reasons as well as by helping the sales staff to guide new players (“Oh, you like Seamus? Cool, to get all of the models from his keyword, you just have to pick up these three boxes that say they include the Redchapel keyword on the outside.”) and potentially make it less of a wallet hit for new people to join the game as well. Ok, probably not that last one, but at least it’ll keep new players from getting overwhelmed by letting them focusing on the keyword models rather than having the daunting task of buying the whole faction in front of them. I included some preview art of the new boxed sets above. I preferred M2E’s green and black boxes to this new scheme, and this new sculpt of Lady Justice isn’t my favorite, but the new judge looks rad and I really like the idea of lumping some models in theme together in the same box. As for the new release schedule itself, why don’t I just go ahead and throw it into the post here so you can check it out.
It looks like there’s roughly one master’s boxed set per faction getting a resculpt, except for the Ten Thunders. That’s a little disappointing, as I would argue they are the most in need of new plastics, since they were first after Wyrd switched away from pewter and their quality is well behind the others. I thought that all of the alternate art for them in Broken Promises might have indicated the future, but for now I’m a little confused. I assume a new Sonnia will be coming at some point as well, since she doesn’t wear the mask anymore.
|I'm sure she's hard at work "motivating" the sculptors as we speak.|
Lastly, Wyrd mentions that they’ll be releasing a Gaining Grounds Season One document at some point within the first year of the game’s life to reignite the competitive scene (some of which has already started to come back, based on the M3E beta tournaments I’ve seen recently.) I hope they’re working with Craig at Third Floor Wars so they can tie this in with his Third Floor Wars’ attempt to get a national Masters tournament put together. And, of course, they bring up the mysterious new faction coming (likely) in the next wave of M3E. For those not in the know, McCabe and the new Guild master Basse are dual-faction with them, and some overheard rumor and scuttlebutt has it that 1) there will be a model in the faction for which you can use the former Mounted Guard alternate sculpts from the Nightmare McCabe boxed set and 2) the name of this new faction has been mentioned somewhere in the already existing fluff. More details will doubtless come from the upcoming M3E fluff, but I’d say that the themes of frontier, wild west-type models will probably be involved. Maybe an Explorer’s Society pushing out into the boundaries of settled Malifaux to explore the wider world? I don’t know, but I’m in love with them already. I wish Perdita was going with them as well so I could just quit the Guild entirely and play these new people, but c’est la vi. I’m told by unnamed sources that Perdita and Basse don’t really get along, as Perdita will happily burn down a village to get the Neverborn she thinks is hiding inside while Basse is much more law and order focused. The obvious rebuttal, of course, is “yeah, but McCabe is a lawless scoundrel who is literally responsible for breaking the Earth,” but nobody asked for my opinion on the matter. I like ‘em. ‘Nuff said.
All things considered I’m looking forward to the coming M3E goodness. I think this community post by Wyrd was a good step in the right direction, and they seems to be conscious of the need to make the transition between editions as painless as possible, which is a good thing. Every day I get more hyped for M3E, which hopefully will translate into more regular Malifaux Musings. If you’re in the mid-west United States, I’ll be attending my first M3E tournament in Des Moines May 25th and 26th at Museon Con. If you make the trip, hopefully we’ll see each other there! I’ll be the one who looks befuddled while trying to remember how all these newfangled models work.