Malifaux: “Welcome to Malifaux!”, The Demo Experience

“Welcome to Malifaux!” Phrase most heard before Taelor smashes something with her relic hammer.

I feel the strength of my demos are the play area.

As a Henchman for the area, part of my responsibility is to promote Malifaux so that the community will grow. This is a task I take seriously because all it takes is a good first impression to turn an intrigued player into an active player. I laid out a demo for two game shop regulars recently after they expressed interest in the game during a separate event. The hooks are in! Having a presence regardless of the event or time at the location will increase the likelihood of people being interested in your hobby.



I use a marked playmat from Mats by Mars so that there is an ambiance and texture but the convenience of markings for deployment, strategies, and schemes.
The terrain I currently use is the Undead Attack bundle from Angry Mojo Games. It is easy to construct and transport while still being unique and providing interesting layouts. I could always save money and run demos with coffee tins and soda bottles, but I wouldn’t recommend being frugal with terrain. Unlike most wargames where battles are fought with platoons of troops marching across open fields, Malifaux is a skirmish game. Each player only controls a handful of characters, usually 6-10, and there is a lot of terrain in the conflict; at least 50% of the table being definable terrain is recommended. The benefit of playing a skirmish battle with lots of terrain is that the table helps tell the story of the conflict. Are the forces of the Guild and Neverborn clashing in an abandoned mining town, or are the Arcanists and Ressurectionists seeking to control hidden relics in the city streets at night? This narrative experience is also a hook for new players, as even your personal objectives, called schemes, can be different for each game with even the same pool.




For my demo scenarios, I used the models and rules provided by the Malifaux Starter Set. The starter set oozes with theme as asylum workers try to contain patients that are manifesting semi-demonic powers and escape. They aren’t as innocent as they seem, though, since they usually staff from “rehabilitated” individuals.

Due to time restraints, I ran both of the interested individuals through Scenario 2 and 3 which teach basic mechanics, attacks, damage, and objective play. Later that week, I heard from the owner of the store that they both came back and purchased a starter set and a crew box! A tremendous success on my part and for Malifaux in the area.


Henchman for Wyrd Games, parent company of Malifaux and The Other Side.

2 Responses

  1. Mirko says:

    I am not a Henchmen or shopowner but have been blown away by the Malifaux models, world and gameplay.
    The starter set was my first purchase and can confirm that it is absolutely awesome to show off the game. I used it at the club with a cobblestone mat from and buildings from (You can fing pictures of my table on urbanmatz actually)

    I did 6 Demos in the last month and 5 people have already ordered a crew box.

    With a nice table and the starter box to give some demos, the game practically sells itself.

    • midwestwargaming says:

      IMO, great models and a cool table go a long way. The only other nudge a person needs is a dedicated and friendly proponent of the game willing to teach them the rules.

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