Malifaux – Hindsight Learning 1

Welcome to the first post of hindsight learning. In these articles I’ll be taking a look back at a recent game of Malifaux I’ve played and together we can learn from my mistakes. So for today’s article we have Ironsides vs Misaki (Outcast).

The setup for our 50ss game was as follows.
Corner Deployment
Turf War
Convict Labor, Exhaust Their Forces, Hunting Party, Catch and Release, Detonate the Charges

Ironside’s Crew (opponent)
Ironsides (Arcane Reservior, Challenge the Crowd, Warding Runes) – 6ss cache
Mouse – 4ss
Gunsmith – 7ss
Johan (Imbued Energies) – 7ss
Oxfordian Mage (Blood Ward) – 6ss
The Captain (Patron’s Blessing) – 10ss
The Firestarter (Imbued Energies) – 7ss

Misaki’s Crew (mine)
Misaki (Oathkeeper, Stalking Bisento, Tally Sheet) – 2ss cache
Freikorps Librarian – 7ss
Hodgepodge Effigy – 4ss
Hodgepodge Emissary (Conflux of Thunder) – 10ss
Jorogumo – 9ss
Ronin – 6ss
Strongarm Suit – 10ss


My Choices (Misaki):
While I admit the scheme pool wasn’t an ideal match to the Misaki crew, I’ve wanted to get more playtime with her so I decided to try out the convict labor/detonate the charges combination. The idea is to drop markers for convict labor quickly and score it round 2, then on round 3 when they try to deny it by moving models close to the markers, you use the markers for detonate the charge. The game plan was to use the emissary to do most of the scheme marker dropping while the rest of the crew tried to clear out the Turf War area (but not before detonating the charge). As for the model by model breakdown….

  • Low Cache – I purposefully took a low cache with Misaki so I could benefit from her bonuses when she has no soulstones (gaining plus flips to Df and a built in crow to her attacks allowing her to do the assassination trigger).
  • H.Effigy – Most people know that Misaki can burn her last stone (for a crow) to get the assassination trigger on her attacks without needing a crow in hand. Well, with the Loyalty to the Coin buff (gain a soulstone when killing an enemy model) she can do this repeatedly if she keeps killing her targets. This model is primarily there for the buff, but it has the added benefit of being a tougher minion to kill for hunting party.
  • H.Emissary – Two 0 AP pushes (one that drops a scheme marker) make this model fast and perfect for dropping a lot of scheme markers. Combine this with the bonus attack action it gives Misaki when she kills something near him and it makes for a solid choice.
  • Jorogumo – He is another tough minion to help deny hunting party. He also can hit quite hard as well.
  • Ronin – My opponent declared arcanists so I wanted something to get around armor in case he took a lot of it.
  • Strongarm Suit – A tough model with Armor +2 and he can get around defensive triggers which many arcanist masters rely on to survive.
  • F.Librarian – Since this crew has several hard to kill models and an armor +2 Strongarm Suit, healing is going to synergize nicely with these sturdy models.


I won the deployment flip so I choose to take the corner that was less boxed in and devoid of hazardous terrain. Also, in corner deployments, deploying second doesn’t matter nearly as much unless they are running from the shadows models and/or snipers.

I saw the bottom left of the board was going to be the safest place to place my markers for Convict Labor and decided to send the Emissary that way (perhaps a mistake as I’ll get to later) while the rest of my crew moved towards the middle.



Turn 1 (Ironsides activated first)
The mistakes began here with poor planning on my part. I forgot to use my Emissary to give out an upgrade or two before launching it off to the corner. Misaki downbursted my crew forward, but I didn’t realize it hits all models within 3” and could’ve pushed models backwards. Thankfully my flips worked out favorably and nothing got pushed backwards. What didn’t work out so well was my decision to have my Strongarm Suit shoot at the Gunsmith. I should have moved him into cover, but I took a shot at a minus flip, which of course missed, and this allowed the Gunsmith to hit its defensive trigger, giving it fast.



Turn 2 (Ironsides activated first):
This round ended up going well for the Ironside player as his cards were really working in his favor. He started by going with his fast Gunsmith and killed my Strongarm Suit because of a red joker damage flip, while ignoring armor. If I had kept him in cover, this could’ve been avoided. More mistakes were made this round as I goofed up my Emissaries action order and only dropped two scheme markers when I could’ve placed all three down in the corner. Then when my Effigy activated I could’ve moved and dropped another marker down, but instead just gave Misaki the Loyalty to The Coin buff and wasted his 2 ap. Finally, I foolishly moved my Jorogumo within charging range of Johan, forgetting he could go fast by discarding imbued energies, who then left my spider with 2 remaining wounds. My Ronin dropped my 3rd marker down for Convict Labor, which was denied by The Firestarter, and Misaki burnt Oathkeeper to charge in and kill the Oxfordian Mage. Killing the mage was helpful, but it took way more effort than it should have because he kept flipping high for the mage’s defense. The last activation he had was The Firestarter who discarded imbued energies for fast, went reckless, and flew across the board to drop a scheme marker to score 3 for detonate the charges, I forgot which model dropped the other marker for it.

Ironsides 4 VP; Turf War 1, Detonate the Charges 3, Exhaust Their Forces 0

Misaki 1 VP; Turf War 1, Detonate the Charges 0, Convict Labor 0


Turn 3 (Misaki activated first)
After two rounds of mediocre cheat hands, I finally drew a good one for turn 3 and started to swing the game back around. My Effigy went first to buff Misaki with Loyalty to The Coin and it moved into the Turf War zone. Misaki then chain activated to kill Johan and put the Gunsmith down to 2 wounds. At this point, I think he activated the wrong model here because he should’ve used the captain to kill my Jorogumo, but instead I think he shot with the Gunsmith and missed the attacks. This allowed my Jorogumo to take advantage of his mistake by killing Mouse so the Jorogumo could heal back to full health due to the ability Eat Your Fill. The rest of the turn was primarily models missing attacks or only doing little damage. My Emissary did drop the last scheme marker for Convict Labor and started to head towards the Turf War zone.

Ironsides 6 VP; Turf War 2, Detonate the Charges 3, Exhaust Their Forces 1

Misaki 3 VP; Turf War 2, Detonate the Charges 0, Convict Labor 1



Turn 4 (Misaki activated first)
The fourth turn began with the Effigy buffing Misaki with Loyalty to The Coin and chain activating into Misaki. She then quickly killed off the Gunsmith, but failed to kill anything else. My opponent, determined to not make the same mistake twice, brought down my Jorogumo this round with The Firestarter and The Captain. Ironsides missed her initial attack and just ended up exhausting Misaki. The only other key moment was the last activation of the turn when my Emissary finally pushed into the fight and dropped a marker in the middle of his crew. Unfortunately, this put me in an awkward spot since I could only score 2VP from Detonate The Charges if I did it this round and I needed to kill 2 models next round to stop him from scoring Turf War which meant that I would likely only score 1VP from Detonate The Charges if I waited till next turn. In the end I decided to  score only 2VP and start playing for the tie.

Ironsides 8 VP; Turf War 3, Detonate the Charges 3, Exhaust Their Forces 2

Misaki 7 VP; Turf War 3, Detonate the Charges 2, Convict Labor 2

(Forgot to take a picture at the end of this round)
Turn 5 (Ironsides activated first)
So I incorrectly positioned my models on turn 4 and Ironsides activated gaining 4 adrenaline for the turn. This combined with my atrocious hand and bad flips allowed Ironsides to kill my Ronin and nearly full health Misaki. At this point I thought the game was over because I needed Misaki to kill the Captain, but I toughed it out to see if my models left could kill The Captain at 8 wounds and the Firestarter at 2 wounds. In the following activations I did managed to kill The Firestarter, but I was unable to hurt The Captain. Thankfully poor decisions were made by my opponent and I didn’t even need to kill The Captain because he forgot to move him into the Turf Zone area this round, leaving him with only one model in the zone which isn’t enough to score it. The game ended in a 9-9 tie after all.

Ironsides 9 VP; Turf War 3, Detonate the Charges 3, Exhaust Their Forces 3

Misaki 9 VP; Turf War 4, Detonate the Charges 2, Convict Labor 3



Closing Remarks:
I tied the game because my opponent misplayed 1 activation. I can’t complain about the results considering the sheer volume of mistakes I made over the course of the game. I think my biggest mistakes were the combination of my scheme selection and my decision on how to score it. I really needed my Emissary in the middle of the board for Detonate the Charges, but he was too busy in the corner setting up Convict Labor. I needed another scheme runner to assist him or I should’ve gave my Effigy the Emissary’s upgrade to give it Don’t Mind Me. I also need to spend Misaki’s 0 AP action more to stalk enemy models for plus flips to attacking and damage. I kept trying to save my 0 action for an extra attack, but without plus flips it was often only a 2 damage attack. That aside, I do really like this crew build for Misaki and it feels like a competitive list once I fine-tune my playing of it.

As for my opponents crew, Ironsides still feels a bit underwhelming, but her Hand-Picked Men ability which gives MS&U models plus flips to attack and damage can be a powerful offensive tool. The only problem is the MS&U models that benefit from this buff are easy to kill and when they die quickly her crew starts to fall apart. The crew also feels like it needs good flips to really work well and I think this game really showcased that fact. The couple turns where he was flipping well he was killing my models, but the rounds his flips weren’t hot, it felt like his models weren’t doing much to me.

I hope you enjoyed the first Hindsight Learning article, but if you didn’t let me know what didn’t work for you. If you loved it, then let me know that as well.

2 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Another point, Misaki only got 12 wounds not 14. Nice article!

    • Khyodee says:

      Yea, I set her wounds incorrect at the start of the game, but we caught it when she was first damaged and corrected it.

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