29 March 2012

A Newbie Guide: Malifaux – The Guild

“Make no mistake, the Guild exists for one reason and one reason only. There is talk of justice and peace, but these are secondary concerns, byproducts of their primary interest. The Guild exists to maintain the production of Malifaux Soulstone above all other things. The citizens abide by Guild law because it offers some amount of protection, but no one is confused about the way this force exerts its hold over the City and its resources.”
Malifaux Official Website

Yes, I'm going back to The Guild faction after my foray into Resurrectionist territory with my recent Kirai crew. Given that upcoming posts on the blog are likely to be Guild-orientated, I thought it might be wise to give an overview of The Guild troops for the uninitiated.

My first Malifaux master was Lady Justice and her Death Marshals. It was simply a case of how in love I was with the models – they blew me away and drew me into the world of Malifaux.

From a fluff perspective she is the calm authority of the Governor General, lethal in combat with her Greatsword. Her Death Marshals are trained in necromancy but forbidden to use it, and this knowledge twists and corrupts their appearance. They use their enchanted pine coffins to imprison enemies and expose them to horrific visions.

Game-wise Lady J is a melee monster, capable of taking down (almost) any model in a single round of combat. Her abilities are quite straightforward and buff the crew around her, making her an ideal master with which to learn the game.

The other miniature that drew me towards Malifaux was Perdita Ortega (it's not a boob thing, honestly). The rest of the models in this set I could take or leave, but she oozes attitude.

As the teenage head of the family, Perdita is something of a celebrity. She is a fast, gunslinging specialist and the family support this ranged theme. Every one of the family members can shoot well – even old Papa Loco throwing his sticks of dynamite as he goes.

In-game Perdita is another easy master to learn, and can seem overpowered in smaller games. She doesn't have much synergy with the rest of the crew and tends to work a lot in isolation, mainly due to how fast she can move – the others just can't keep up. She is not indestructible though, and if not supported will suffer.

The next crew in my Malifaux journey was Sonnia Criid and the Witchlings (sounds like a rock band). On this occasion it was her in-game abilities that interested me rather than the models in her set, though I've always felt that the Witchlings looked like Victorian Sith Jedi.

Sonnia heads up the Witch Hunter division of The Guild and she walks that fine line familiar between Light side and Dark side, straying a little too often for her superiors. The Witchlings are former witches who have been brainwashed and reprogrammed to hunt the very people they used to be.

Potentially the strongest all-round master The Guild has to offer, Sonnia is deadly against magic users – even having line of sight through terrain when facing the strongest casters. She has decent synergy with the crew around her, capable of turning wounded friends or foes into fresh Witchlings – very useful if you're running low on troops.

The C. Hoffman box set was a recent Christmas present from my friend Bull. I have to confess that I have only built and undercoated The Guardian so far for use in a Perdita crew, but the rest of the constructs set will be seeing the light of day – I look forward to test driving this crew first hand.

The background story speaks of a frail man stricken with polio, who travels through the breach to Malifaux with his heroic brother Ryle. The transition to the 'otherworld' had terrible effects on the brothers, stimulating Hoffman and giving him terrific synergy with machines. Ryle on the other hand had a complete meltdown and became something of a monster.

This crew seems to play as a real unit, with Hoffman in the middle pulling all the strings. More then any other crew, he is the heart and soul. He is able to use abilities from nearby constructs as well as buff them. He can also sacrifice constructs to suit his needs.

The final character to look at is Lucius Matheson. He is the Governor General's secretary, and quite a nasty piece of work by all accounts. Lucius is a henchman rather than a fully fledged master, with more of a lieutenant status than someone who leads outright. Having said that you can take him in place of a master, giving you additional soulstones to spend on your crew – however, he is not as powerful as a master and that is where the balance is struck. This box set has been gathering dust for some time, but I'm looking forward to painting some of these quite unique models.

From what I can glean from book and web, Lucius works best with Guild Guard, the footsloggers of the faction – he buffs them and vice versa. His starting crew also contains C. Hoffman's brother Ryle, now a minigun-toting psycho.

The starter boxes are, of course, interchangeable and there are a host of additional Guild troops that you can bring in to boost your crew. I will go through some of these options in a future post when I talk about selecting a crew for a game. I just have to wait until my next game!

For anyone wanting to learn more do visit the Official Malifaux website, or alternatively the Malifaux wiki Pull My Finger is a great source of information.

To be continued…


  1. I liked this and I'm even more tempted!

  2. If you guys ever want a demo I'm only in Folkestone – I can bring my gear up to you.

  3. A really nice introduction. Great stuff for people who are new to Malifayx (myself included).
    In fact, I also started with LJ :)
    I'm really looking forward to reading more!

  4. I'm definitely buying these next go round. Hopefully I'll have extra money next week and can buy at least 3 figures (one will definitely be a gunslinger). It helps that you put this up because it gives background on the attributes of the figures. I also need to buy a much wider spectrum of paints. Thank you!!