Malifaux premiered at Gen Con 2009 and introduced the world to a new world, a new minis game, and generally a lot of character driven fun. At Gen Con 2010, the ambitious people at Wyrd released Malifaux – Rising Powers, the first expansion to the game.
Malifaux – Rising powers does not fundamentally change the game. Instead it adds more options, not necessarily better options, simply more. The biggest new things coming out of Rising Powers are new strategies and schemes, new masters, and new minions.
The Strength of New Stuff
It goes without saying that everyone is most excited about the new models that are detailed in Rising Powers. However, the best thing about them is the lack of power creep. Thus far, I have played a couple of games versus the new guys using the old guys and had fantastic games. I looked at all of the minions in the new book, and basically said “Well, my standard list still does fine.” True, there are a couple of minions in there that seem like must haves for your old crews, but generally those lists were perceived as underpowered and the new help is a nice balancing addition as opposed to an insta-win.
The Depth of New Stuff
There are only a couple of units in there that duplicate abilities previously seen in the game. Largely, these were faction specific before, but now new factions get an equivalent unit. The options here are now enormous, but as stated above not strictly better.
Strategies and Schemes
There is a list of the standard 5, but they have expanded the number of strategies available to pick from to 13. They provide very different tactics when you play. More variety is always better in my opinion.
New Encounter Spaces
Tired of fighting in the Quarantine Zone? How about fighting in McMourning’s hidden laboratory number 6? Or inside a classic wild west tavern? There are many more places to fight now which means many more specialized terrain pieces that complicate things even more. More decisions to be made.
If you were a fan of Malifaux’s fluff, you will not be let down. The new masters are introduced in delicious fashions and some earth-shattering events happen. Everything written with that Malifaux charm.
If this is a sticking point for you, you will be frustrated. Mere hours after the release of the book, rules questions started cropping up. Now that the book has wider distribution, more and more questions are cropping up. Timing issues generally seem to be the main theme, but there are many to be had.
Evil Marketing Ploy?
The book introduces a new concept called henchmen, basically minion run crews that are limited in choice but can field more a larger quantity of units. The problem is, only one henchmen is fully supported in the book. The rest of the henchmen have somewhere between 2-4 different types of minis compared to Ophelia’s 5 with options to use the non-henchmen specific and book 1 stuff for a total of 8 minis to choose from. Compared to Molly the rezzer henchman, who can hire (including stuff from the original book) 4 models. Previous to the release of book 2, the designers said that they had cut many of the special forces for this book due to time and size considerations. Which means, the inevitable book 3 is coming and we many see some special forces ignored until then.
If you liked the game before, you are already stalking your FLGS for book 2. If you did not look into the game before, I really encourage you to do so with the addition of book 2. More play styles are incorporated and there is just a lot of fun stuff going on in the game. The core mechanics of the game are still as robust as ever and now you can be a hyperactive little boy….who has a pet demon….or….a maggot infested pied piper who is the embodiment of Plague. Excuse me, while I go paint some minis and flop some cards.
First published in Boardsgame Geek by pigi314159