Sunday, 23 December 2012

Malifaux On A Budget: Part 1 - Straight Out The Box

So for my first one of these articles I thought I'd take a look at which masters can be used straight out the box or with the addition of only one blister to hit the 25 or 35 Soul stone standard game size. Now by no means am I saying these builds are going to be definite game winners or broken, but each will have nice synergy and get you into the game fast and most importantly for a relatively low cost. I've chosen one master from each faction to show a little of Malifaux variety as well.

So first up - The Death Marshals

THE DEATH MARSHALS - Lady Justice Box Set

The Box
Price - £21/$35
Soul Stone amount - 19

Lady Justice is some what the poster girl for Malifax, in the background she leads an elite cadre of undead hunters, with her right hand man known only as judge. So the box is a little points light but come in at the mid range for the crew boxes, all the models work really well together for a hard hitting close to mid range force. I've seen this box used alone in a 25 SS game and still wipe the floor with the opponent through sheer brutality in combat.


The death marshals have limited synergy compared to a lot of gangs but their ability finish the job allows a few to gang together for a coup de grĂ¢ce, so adding in more death marshals is a great way to complete the box.
My recommendation is this fella.

Price - £6.35/$10
Soul Stone amount - 7

While a little pricey this guy continues the anti undead theme that runs through the crew in addition to being another death marshal. He also rounds the crew off at a nice 25 SS perfect for a starting player.
Total cost - £27.53/ $45

So on to our second choice - The Mercenaries

MERCENARIES - Viktorias Box Set

The Box
Price - £23.75/$40
Soul Stone amount - 24

Viktoria is a consummate mercenary and when she reached Malifaux she soon attracted the attention of a doppelganger who took her image. The two now right as one linked by more than just the physical, at the head of a mercenary army. As befits their back ground every model in the Viktorias box set is a named character. This bumps up their points cost but makes for a very strong hard hitting close combat army that with some planning can force a turn one charge.


The Viktorias are a great first box though they are a little point click at first. However they have two small flaws. One, the low model count and two a lack of range.
So my recommendation are these lovely ladies...


Price - £11/$18
Soul Stone amount -5 each

The ronin are mobile, good in combat and better than average at range, they also allow a friendly Viktoria to summon a fallen Viktoria, an ability never to be sniffed at. With the addition of these three you can play games at up to 40 SS which gives you a little more flexibility when choosing a crew.
Total cost - £34.75/ $58

Next up - The Legion of Sorrows

The Box
Price - £20/$33
Soul Stone amount - 23

Pandora is Malifaux's mistress of manipulation undermining other models and making them hurt them selves. As such her box is filled with models that lower opponents will power or make them hurt them selves to perform actions. The box focuses round the three named characters manipulating others while the sorrows take wounds for them and keep them alive.


Pandora's box does its job very well but its very fragile and lacks the muscles a lot of other gangs take for granted.
So my recommendation is ....


Price - £11/$18
Soul Stone amount - 9 
This guy (in addition to looking terrifying) is the Neverborn's beat stick. Very survivable and a combat monster Teddy will keep your more fragile manipulators alive to to their thing, especially as he can switch places with Baby Kade to bring him where he's really needed. He also takes the box to a good 32 SS which allows Pandora a few bonus soul stones which she can really do with. 

Total cost - £31/ $41

Our Arcanist Selection is - Miners & Steamfitters Union


The Box
Price - £22/$40
Soul Stone amount - 28

Ramos is the secret leader of the Arcanists, Head of the M&SU and pretty damn handy with a construct. Most of these giant machines you see in Malifaux and the smaller ones too are created by him, as should be evident by his box. The box has a high SS cost but when you consider that Ramos can summon steampunk arachnids (SPA) you realise you won't be starting with it all on the table. I made my SPA magnetised between 30mm individual bases and 40mm swarm bases for less than £3 which already increases the box's range. The box is a fast paced combat deck with a few magical surprises from the man him self.


Ramos excels with constructs of all shapes and sizes as well as a few special bits of kit that are great to add later, but for me there's only one choice for a first expansion.
So my recommendation is ....

Injun Joss - Steampunk Warrior
Injun Joss
Price - £5.45/$9.50
Soul Stone amount - 9
This guy is a rare thing in Malifaux, an Arcanist that not only is good in combat but is actively better in combat. He benefits from Ramos's ability to heal constructs while ignoring negatives others may give them. He makes a great partner for the Steamborg or a perfect body guard for your master. He is a little points heavy but used well he's worth his weight is soul stone.

Total cost - £27.45/ $49.50

Our final crew for this instalment - The Redchapel Gang

The Box
Price - £19/$31.50
Soul Stone amount -18

Seamus is Malifaux answer to "Jack the ripper" a charming and charismatic fellow with a penchant for brutally killing ladies of the night. The gang centres round their master as his "belles" do as their told once resurrected. While light on soul stones GMort (a consummate Seamus player) pointed out to me that Seamus needs a lot of spare soul stones to pull of his abilities. He is best kept just back from the fray letting his ladies get stuck in on his behalf.


With this is mind my pick for expanding his gang is...

Dead Doxies

Price - £10/$16.50
Soul Stone amount -5 each
These ladies benefit their sisters of the night by moving the enemy where they're needed and lowering their ability to resist the rest of Seamus's harem. If anything should happen to them Seamus is also able to bring them back to life once more. They also bring the gang in at 28SS a little light for a 35SS game but giving you some summoning options at 25SS

Total cost - £29/ $48

Well I hope this first instalment has been useful, whether your starting Malifaux from scratch or looking for a cheap new gang to expand. 

Of course you will need a few other things to start Malifaux a deck of 54 cards , a rulebook (though there is a free pdf) and a tape measure.

See you all next time when we'll be looking at the new plastic box sets.


  1. The Dead Doxies are useful to have to use as summons later on in the game so having a few available for that purpose is good. However as a personal preference I take a Convict Gunslinger for ranged support (I have the limited edition 'Miss Terious' Female version but the normal guy model is fine). The Grave Spirit 'Totem' also helps with the survivability of Madame Sybelle with it's ability to give a linked undead model +2 armour.

  2. As we talked about earlier, how about Sonia Criid and a withling handler, Mei Feng and a rail golem, Ten Thunders and the archers, Dreamer and a teddy, and Von Schill and a sense of decency!

  3. lol TT will be hopefully up today then i'm moving on to my next core box +

    but all v good suggestions :D