Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Anyway, this is not an article to talk about me, but instead some of the other news and discoveries that came back from Gencon. Let's start by talking about Malifaux Terrain. There was a fair amount of talk about the "increase" in terrain requirement in M2E from Malifaux over the past couple months. Most people felt this was a good move, although there has been some concern from and about LGS's having enough appropriate terrain for the new requirements. Malifaux has always been a fairly terrain intensive game, especially when compared to the "typical" tournament set-ups for WM/H and some of the GW games. Terrain plays an important role in the game and as a TO for a variety of large events I have been on the recieving end of "Not enough Terrain" complaints.
I was very excited when I heard that this year Wyrd had tasked Mack and Justin with building the boards that would be used at the Gencon events. I am confident that it was the whole office who spent time building out the boards, as even 16 boards is a lot for 2 people to build in a couple weeks. This was great news because the Malifaux Community could be confident that the boards would be built to specifications for the appropriate amount of terrain on a tournament board, as viewed by the developers of M2E. Even more exciting for event organizers, there would be some definitive answers for what the appropriate amount of terrain would be for future tournaments. The past 2 years Gencon has always been a scramble to build out as much scatter terrain as possible from Terraclips sets provided to volunteers and employees the day before the convention.
On comparison to previous years Gencon boards, I think this strikes somewhere in the middle of what was built in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 the Gencon boards were pretty sparse in coverage overall, which drew some fairly critical comments from the players and the spectators of the events. I grabbed one of my pictures from 2011 for comparison, this being a board I actually played on during the Masters of Malifaux tournament. You can see that some effort was put into creating interesting terrain from the terraclips but there was no where near enough to really meet the requirements for Malifaux.
Overall, I expect that this change in the expected terrain will impact the game in a couple ways. First, I expect that overall players will just ignore the Gencon 2013 set-ups and continue to set-up the boards they want to play on. The second impact is a bit more insubstantial overall, as it will impact the development and balance of the game going forward. I think the most important aspect for future Malifaux players is that we (the community) now have a glimpse into how the developers feel the tables should be set-up, so we can gain some more understanding on how that terrain should/will impact the game and model balance. The board I see above has distinct advantages for ranged crews while minimizing some of the impact of both "swarm" crews and melee centric crews.