Monday, 17 June 2013

A different take on "The Many Puzzles of M2E".

Good Monday everyone!

It's been a while now since my last post and as much as I hate to admit it, it's not going to be a happy one.

So I've been reading more and more about Malifaux v2 and I've read and heard a lot of people talking about the new puzzles that the game brings to the table, and yet more discussions about hidden synergies and the many abilities designed around using skill and greater use of ability combos etc.

Now I'm sure to most people this sounds like a great thing, the icing on the cake and like all your Christmas presents come at once, but let me tell you what I think of when I hear this.

Work, effort, frustration.

I play the new version, I read the new cards and I listen to the new chats and my head begins to hurt.

I can't explain it, but when I played v1, the rules made perfect sense to me, everything about them fell into place and I understood it, but I try and play v2 and nothing makes sense, the changes that have been made literally is really confusing for my brain.

This to me seems like a game for people who enjoy solving Maths Equasions, where as me, I like playing games with minimal thought that allows me to smash heads.

It's strange, one of my favourite games ever was GW's GorkaMorka, now this game is infamous for being one of the most silly, simple and childish games ever made by GW, and it's true it was all of that, but in being so simple it became something more.

As silly as it sounds, this was Malifaux v1 to me. There was something about the game that I just can't put my finger on it, but it was simple.

Once you got your head around cheats and stones there was nothing else that wasn't on the cards and based on your crew selection and choice of strategy your game could be as complicated or as simple as you wanted, and if you wanted a simple game then you could do, because even if the opponent wanted complicated, they could as their complexities rarely extended beyond their own crews and actions.

Now it feels like I need to be aware of every possible action and combination of my own crew and the oponents just to play the game, never mind compete.

And that's the thing, when I play, I like to shut my brain off. I like to kick back and just let my gut play the game with zero thought behind it. You see every day my brain is in over drive, it's absorbing every bit of information and using that its trying to calculate every possible outcome of that information, it's how I deal with my real life paranoia that at any point at any time we could all be killed by something, anything!

So when I play a game, I don't want to think. I want to shut my brain down and have fun!

This is why I was quietly against upgrades from the outset, I know a lot disagree with me but I see them as like W40K 2ndEd Wargear, giving you access to abilities and equipment not normally used by the base character. I look at those cards and I just see numbers, nothing means anything and I really struggle to see which one is better for me in my situation, so what happened? I never took them. Ever. Seriously, I never once took any Wargear, same with the WFB equivalent, it was on the base character or nothing at all.

As you can imagine, I got smashed, and I knew that in order to play better i needed to use the Wargear cards, but being unable to get past the selection process, I instead just stopped playing, because it wasnt fun for me.


So there we have it. Sure to some the changes are great, all those new puzzles, combos and potential synergies available, it's fantastic. But for me it's hell on earth.

Sorry :'(

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley


  1. No need to apologise for a well thought out and described opinion.

    M2E clearly isn't for you so I guess it's time to stop punishing yourself with it?

    Why not have a stab at making 1.5 stats for something like the whiskey golem or Brewmaster? Take the new and make it work in the game that works for you?

  2. I found v1 saw me spend a lot of time poring over my cards every time I wanted to do something that wasn't my routine actions. Currently v2 has exactly that same feel to it for everything, but once I've got my regular combos down it'll settle down to the same as v1 for me.

    V1 zoraida
    Summon doll (2 poison), casting expert obey (with stone) to charge/attack players own crew. There's a base 3 action points of my master. Later on it may well be cast a spell (often repulse) and then raven before flying 20" away.

    V2 - range limitations prevents that approach from the get go (but LoS often did in V1 anyway) but now raven (upgrade card) allows a cast after moving, so it's a case of move to place, cast and hopefully in later turns summon doll, smack for as much damage as possible, if still alive heal back up and do it again! Or summon doll, walk doll off the top of a cliff, laugh at opponent taking lots of damage!

    But there will doubtless be other better combos out there, exactly as I found from v1, but I'd slowly add those as I went and I expect the same to come for v2. Basically I'm not going to stress about it, I've read the rules a couple of times, basics are still dead easy, the complexity is still on the cards.

    But if you're not digging it, there's no point in forcing it, give it a break and if you start to miss it, you can always come back for another shot in a while, if you don't miss it or find something else then that's all good too.

    I only see upgrades as a way of balancing the fact that masters don't have a cost, so you make some of the more important abilities cost something now and you have another tool for balance. It's a mechanic for that and otherwise it doens't effect me, I'll take what I need and not worry about what I don't have. Just pick 2-3 that sound closest to the old model you played with and ignore the existance of any others.

    So for my Zoraida example that is:
    Tarot reading - to allow a voodoo doll to be healed up to hurt it again once it's on the table, so it now works just like v1 where the hurt basically all goes on the opponent and I don't suffer. Also has another ability that I'll ignore for now, can add that once I'm better at schemes and all that.

    I virtually never used the old hex and other spell that stopped cheating (mainly due to range) and have put the nex hex in that same bracket so will ignore for now as too complex and situational.

    Raven - definite take, was one of my favourites with Z before to swoop around the board, shorter range now but she can cast after moving so more flexible.

    Crystal ball - 3 really simple abilities, normally I'll draw an extra card as everyone says that having a hand is king in v2, might occassionally make opponent discard if I have a great hand anyway. and another ability that I'll seldom use.

    So there you go, 3 cards I'll always take and it'll make Z do pretty much what I did with her in v1. In v1 I seldom used half of the stuff on her card until I was proficient with my set moves so v2 really feels like more of the same learning for me.

    I've not checked out many of the other masters as currently not playing any games, just working through it with a few test situations against myself due to real life being how it is right now.

  3. "Once you got your head around cheats and stones there was nothing else that wasn't on the cards,"

    This is why I bought some Malifaux models... just a simple Lady J crew and a Lucius thrown in. The concepts of cheats and stones seemed completely random at first but, thankfully, everything you need for each model is on its card. It reminded me of Epic 40k (when it was still just called 'Epic') when you had a card for every unit, titan, character, etc.

    Very simple (once the couple of gimmicks fall into place), very easy and a great game to play.

    From what I've read of it I'll never want to pick up and play M2E, which leaves me wondering what the hell to do with a half-painted Guild crew!