Saturday, 30 April 2011

Stargazer's Painting/Malifaux Corner - Introduction to the Masters of Malifaux

Sorry for the day lateness but today I'm looking at the different factions and masters in Malifaux and will give a brief overview on each one. I'm doing it because Wyrd miniatures' website is to be frank shocking with absolutely no information about malifaux at all. I will also include henchman in the list who can be taken as masters but individually are slightly less good however their special forces make up for it.
So here we go:

The Guild

These guys are the law within malifaux carrying out the will of the governer (who is slightly unhinged and power crazy) They are basically the police force and play as such. They are very flexible and are really jack of all trades bu
t masters of none. Most of their basic minions are good at both shooting and melee but not amazing at either although there are specialists within the faction to cover this. If you want to be able to outshoot the enemy guild is the place to be looking.

Perdita Ortega

Perdita is the head of the Ortega family. They are both cowboys/girls and Neverborn hunters. Perditas creww is very shooty with a few tricks such as being able to activate your whole crew at once! I would consider her as one of the best masters in the game as she has a very high defense along with a high damage output.

Sonnia Criid

Sonnia is the head of the witchhunter branch of the guild and her philosophy is to fight fire with fire literally! She uses a large amount of spells and she can also put up pillars of flame to block enemy movement. She is good at forcing the enemy to play how you want them to or for protecting your own objectives with the pillars. Still mainly a ranged master so similar to Perdita.

Lady Justice

Lady J is the Undead hunter in the guild she has lots of abilities that can really fuck up the undead. She is a melee master and if she gets stuck in she can really put a hurt on almost anything. Oh and did I mention she's blindfolded carrying a massive sword and wearing a corset? What's not to love?

C. Hoffman

C.Hoffman had Polio but when he crossed the Breach (the entrance to malifaux from the real world) He undertook a transformation awaking his magical abilities and giving him great affinity with constructs. He is mainly a buffing master and his crews usually consist of giant mechanical robots. Yeah pretty awesome.

Lucius - Henchman

Lucius is the head of the Governors secret service and his right hand man. His crew consists of elite troops and is very flexible and requires a bit of finesse to play properly but once you get it right it can be devastating
The Ressurectionists

These are my favourite faction. Think of the comic book bad guys they weren't scary as such and always seemed to comically fail that's how I see these guys. Very characterful and generally mad. They play by starting with small things and summoning bigger things. There is next to no shooting so melee is where you want to be and although none of your minions are that hard hitting weight of numbers and a battle of attrition will mean you can win.

Dr Douglas McMourning

Doug is the head of the guild morgue and all that time around dead people has warped him. He is completely mad and talks to himself. In game he's a melee beast being able to take on most non masters and kill them in one activation. He's also a bit of a tank as if you make sure you activate last any wounds done by you in melee you gain back. So that shot that took of 6 wounds earlier in the turn. No worries either cut up the enemy or one of your own models if necessary and grab them back. He's an ok summoner but much better when he's getting stuck in.

Nicodem the Undertaker

As the name suggests Nicodem is the Undertaker in malifaux and has taken a shine to resurrecting the people he should be burying. He has two playstyles. Either using a horde of zombies to overwhelm the opponent or summoning large pointed models as his small pointed models die. Meaning the crew gets stronger as the game progresses. Combined with his bolstering abilities he's a great support master.

Seamus the Mad Hatter

Seamus really is mad. A pimp with his harem of undead hookers. He has quite a large amount of synergy with his belles making his crew choice quite narrow but he is the centre of the crew with the belles luring things into range of his .50 cal flintlock. A flexible crew in playstyle but not in selection a good one to start with as the model count is low.

Kirai Ankoku

Kirai's lover was killed by the guild and she wants her revenge on the governor. Instead of using conventional undead she uses Japanese styled spirits of vengeance. A hard crew to master but almost impossible for the opponent to get to grips with. It is hard hitting and brilliant for just assassinating models one at a time. Be warned though if they catch kirai then it's game over.

Molly Squidpidge - Hechman

I can't really comment much on molly as there isn't a model for her yet neither does she have her special forces released so I'll leave her for now.
The Arcanists

The Arcanists are the inhabitants of malifaux under the guise of the Miners & Steamfitters Union they carry out smuggling of soulstones out of malifaux for sale on the black market. A very magic heavy crew their minons tend to be melee based but with a few shooting options you can make very balanced crews just be warned you wont out shoot the guild.

Marcus the Beastmaster

Marcus as his name suggests is best played with lots of beasts. They tend to be good in melee and reasonably fast. Marcus is also fast and is able to give himself different abilities each turn he's also pretty good in melee with a magical weapon which will really put the hurt on spirits. He can also take control his and the enemies beasts out of activation. He's definitely not the best Arcanist master but can still be good fun.


Ramos is the head of the Miners and Steamfitters Union. A technical genius his constructs are the best made in malifaux. His crew consists of mechanical spiders which can combine into larger spider swarms. The spiders are good in melee whereas Ramos is slow moving and best suited to being at the back summoning more spiders or electrical creations. If a melee master can get into melee with him he'll die pretty quickly.

Rasputina the Ice Witch

Rasputina is the most spell heavy Arcanist master. She can throw out Ice Pillars similar to Sonnias flame pillars. She also has a large amount of tough minions. She herself is slow and again if caught in melee will die fast. But she can stay hidden and use her Ice Mirror ability to cast spells through her own minions. Offensively she is probably the best spellcaster in the game.

Collette Du Bois

Collette is a Magician and leads her crew of burlesque performers into battle with the mannequin assistants. Collettes crew is extremely fast with lots of movement trick. She uses alot of soulstones as she can generate them (which no other master can do.) Her crew is relatively fragile if you can get to grips with it although her assistant cassandra and the corphyree which are mannequins with blades coming out of their forearms are absolutely devastating in melee.

Kaeris - Henchman

Like molly Kaeris is lacking in models and special forces so I can't really comment she's a fire heavy master with decent ranged spells.

The Neverborn are the natives of malifaux. Twisted and deformed they are a very fast crew with lots of tricks often they are best when not used in a head on assault but can still definitely get the job done.

Lilith Mother of Monsters

Lilith is a combat beast. She's fast and when she gets into melee can seriously dish out the hurt. She has a greatsword like Lady J and a high defense making her a bit of a tank. Again one of the best masters in the game. Here crew consists of Nephilim at varying stages of growth and using blood tokens they can grow midgame to get even nastier scarier monsters.


Pandora focuses on Willpower. She is a master at making the opponent run away dealing small amounts of wounds as she does so. Using the thousand tiny cuts philosophy she can decimate opposing crews causing disarray. Again one of the best masters in the game her crew selection is pretty irrelevant as she on her own will do the job for you. I would discourage new players starting with her though as she has a steep learning curve. But when mastered she really is horrific to face.

Zoraida the Hag

I can't say I know a lot about Zoraida she's a fortune teller and Voodoo practitioner her crew tends to be melee based and using her voodoo doll totem she can do damage to you. She also can make her models and your models do actions out of activation which seems to be her main trick. She's mainly a support model who acts through others to deal damage.

The Dreamer and Lord Chompy Bits

The Dreamer and LCB are an interesting combination. The Dreamer is a boy who comes to malifaux in his dreams and causes chaos. LCB is his big nasty monster friend. In game he has the ability to take lots of teddys and other nightmare models. He swaps between LCB and himself freely during an activation and he is able to remove his models from the board and them bring them back elsewhere making him probably the fastest crew in the game. LCB gives him a large damage output potential and his minions are all melee focussed.

Collodi - Henchman

Collodi is the puppet master again I haven't looked at him in that much depth due to a lack of models but he seems to have a fast tricky crew with a focus on melee and other tricks.
The Outcasts

The Outcasts are, as the name suggests, models that don't really fit into any of the other factions. They range from undead monsters to hordes of gremlins. They can be very fun to play and you can make pretty much any playstyle from within this faction.

Leviticus Steampunk Necromancer

The goal with Leviticus is to kill him. Yes you heard me right. When he dies you can then draw a new control hand otherwise there is no way to replenish your hand. However it's not all doom and gloom when he dies he simply comes back to his hollow waifs and isn't actually killed. He is also a beast in melee. Using his "pimp hand" he can kill any model in the game if he gets lucky. He is also able to as the name suggests summon undead constructs which can be useful.

Somer Teeth Jones

Somer is the big daddy of Gremlins. His crew consists of as many gremlins and pigs you can squeeze in. The gremlins are a lot of fun and can be good if the person playing them knows what they are doing. With Gremlins riding pigs Pigapults and gremlins with guns which they have no idea how to use means there is no end of fun or chaos. Due to the horde nature of his crew you can normally out activate the enemy then get stuck in with what really matters when your opponent cant react.

The Victorias
The Victorias are a pair of Bounty Hunting twins with magical samurai swords. Yeah I know.. They are pretty damn cool and have lots of synergy with each other. The main advantage is that there are two of them to dish out the pain and also you can pull to the other one. They have a high level of mobility and in melee are pretty dangerous. While not the most deadly in melee they are still enough to scare most minions and their defense is good enough to keep them alive against non melee focussed minions or masters.

Hamelin the Plagued

Hamelin isn't actually a man. He's a shell of a man infested with parasites and disease. His crew is tough and not the fastest but the main mechanic he uses is that when things die near him he summons rats. This means he can win in a war of attrition as when his rats die they just keep coming back. Also when he dies he can come back by sacrificing one of his stolen meaning he's damn hard to put down. He's a bit of a one trick pony but it's a damn good trick!

Von Schill - Henchman

Von Schill and his Freikorps are a valid crew on their own. They are flexible with a tool to deal with most jobs as well as being pretty tough with their armour. Yeah not much else to say flexible and generally a good option.

Ophelia LaCroix

Ophelia is a Gremlin version of Perdita and her crew has a gremlin which is the equivalent of each of the other Ortegas. They are a lot of fun and although they aren't quite as good as the Ortegas they can still be extremely potent if used well and give a decent shooting option to the outcast faction.

So that was my overview of the Masters of Malifaux. Any more specific info that you want to know just ask and I'll try to give you an answer.

That's it for this post.

Stargazer out.


  1. Awesome post,

    Atreides and I really wanted/needed something like this, as we had absolutely no idea about what was what.

    Quite like Lilith Mother of Monsters, The Victoria's and Kirai Ankoku. Think my decision will on what models look best tbh!

  2. lol, I have run all of those...great minds think alike... Kirai is a fantastic crew and so so different from 40k... the Vik's I ran in a game last week as I haven't for soooo long...I have a fantastic Seven Samurai/all-girl themed list with them and it is damn fun to play!

    Lilith is a sexy bad ass. She is great to play with, although I used her in a weird combat crew, never tried out the 'finer' points to her list potential...

    Glad this has helped..its a great post Stargazer, thanks.

  3. good one. i know all the background having read the books cover to cover a few times, but its interesting to hear how they play.

    initially, my main choices were Rasputina, Collette, the Viktorias and Zoraida and the Freikorps. I have narrowed this down to the Voktorias and Collette, because i love the models so much, but i really dont know which to go for. i'm actually really annoyed that Molly doesnt have a model or crew yet because she would easily be my first choice.

    I do have a few questions actually.
    1) can any master from a crew hire any other model from the same crew or are they restricted to those that are obviously intended to go with that master. for example, could Hamelin hire Hans the Sniper. they are both outcasts, but really should have little to do with each other.
    2) can any master hire Outcasts, or just Outcast masters?

    anyway, thanks again for the post, it was very helpful!

  4. I'll snag that book of you tomorrow Andy if we do get a game in (I won't be using GK's! I actually have a test Dark Angels list I am leaning towards).

    Looking at the models now though, I remember seeing the little cherub dudes, they look really cool.

    My biggest thing, as well as playstyle (I want something I might not usually do) is painting challenges, use this to really diversify my wheelhouse of colours and techniques.

  5. Ok Atreides.

    Any resser master can hire any resser model. Same with all the other factions. However some masters have hiring restrictions such as Hamelin who can only hire I think Ht1 Insignificant and Soulless? I dont have the book in front of me atm. Although you can do this some masters have obvious synergy with certain minions.

    Anyone can hire the outcasts as long as the model being hired has the Mercenary characteristic although you still have to pay +1 SS due to hiring out of faction. So for example anyone outside of the Outcasts can hire the Convict Gunslinger for 6SS but couldn't hire the Gremlins as they aren't mercenaries.

    Hope that helps bud ;)

  6. Sure does! Don't know if it says that in the rulebook anywhere but I could not find it xD. Incidentally, do you get reference cards with the models as standard or do you have to get them separately?

  7. Yeh the models come with them as standard just check with the shop when they got the models in though because if they came in before marchish they might have V1 cards instead of the updated V2 cards. Do u have the Rules Manual? Because that is the fully up to date and current ruleset

  8. no, only the sourcebooks. to be honest, i cant imagine getting a game in for a good while anyway (nowhere to play). just going to buy the models and paint them first.