Sorry for the Hellraiser reference in the title, I have been on a bit of a Hellraiser kick the last few days! =P
Malifaux has finally really started to pick up at my LGS, and after following the game for a number of months now; I have decided to take the plunge into the game as well. I settled on the Neverborn faction (Zoraida and Pandora primarily). My LGS seems to have a good spread in regards to which crews are being played, as the only ones not being ran at the moment are Zoraida, Pandra, and McMourning. Usually when I pick up a new game or models I eagerly tear into the box and start assembling right away, but seeing as this was to be my 1st look inside a Malifaux crew box I decided to take the rare opportunity to slow and down and smell the pewter so to speak.
Like I said, I ended going for Zoraida. She is this crazy Voodoo, swamp dwelling, witch type character, and I just couldn't resist the whole "swamp thing, dark creatures from the forest" theme that I have planned for her crew as well. One of the interesting aspects of the game is the fact that it doesn't use dice, and instead uses a "fate deck" similar to playing cards to determine whether actions are successful or how much damage an attack will do. Each faction has a distinct color (Neverborn's being purple) and likewise the fate decks come in the matching colors, there is no gameplay value in this, just purely aesthetics. More on the fate deck and cards coming up later...
The box opens from the top (or bottom too I guess) and everything is packed in little bags and sandwhiched between 2 pieces of foam. Everything is nice a secure. On a side note, if you do not already do so, save the little pieces of foam you get in blister packs and boxes like these. They make great little spacers and extra padding for when you transport your figs, you can even use them for certain "sponge effects" in your painting or also use them to keep the tips on my glue nice and clean.
A closer look at the unboxed contents. You have your minis in their own little bags, as well as all the unit rules/stat cards in their own little package as well. More on these in a bit...
A closer look at the individual minis. As you can see, there are not a ton of parts to them, 2-3 parts at best. Assembly should be rather straightforward, although pinning would be a good idea on some parts as normal. The only downside is that a few of the pieces may be hard to pin due to being so small (Zoraida's arms for example) so the "greenstuff technique" may be required.
The Cards themselves feature all the necessary stats on the front, and have a large picture of the models on the back. The cards open up like a book to reveal specific rules and such for the models themselves. (See bottom right)
The one downside to the stat cards is that they are slightly smaller than the standard CCG card sleeve. It's a minor complaint, and mainly an aesthetic one. Keep in mind if you use sleeves, that you will be taking them in and out of the sleeve during the game to view the inside special rules.
Now, on the Fate Deck...
The cards themselves are really nice. They have the feel of a standard playing card in regards to texture and weight. As you can see, the game uses a "number and suite" mechanic, and uses some of the symbolism all the factions as the suites. Remember how I said I bought a "purple Fate Deck" so that it would match the Neverborn faction? Well, I was a little bummed to see that the fate deck's color only affects the stripe behind the Malifaux logo on the back, I was hoping the color purple would have had more of an impact on the artwork to make the fate deck more of a match... oh well. the artwork itself is rather creepy, which fits the game well, and its interesting as the higher the number of the card the creepier the image!
Luckily, the Fate Deck cards fit perfectly into the standard sized CCG sleeve!
And there you have it! Overall, everything seems packaged really well, and when you consider the average game size at my LGS 25-30 Soulstones (or points) and Zoraida's crew comes with 30ss worth of models you can see how easy the game is to get into as Crews run between $30-$40! All in all, I'm stoked to start modeling and painting these guys up and getting them on the tabletop... Look for pics incoming in a week or so!