Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Malifaux - Guild Outpost/Jail

As I mentioned in an earlier post, several weeks ago I wandered into Giga-Bites Cafe. Besides discovering a great gaming shop, I became interested in a game called Malifaux.

I had long admired the style of the figures, but I knew nothing at all about the game. Well, I went back to Giga-Bites on a subsequent Saturday, and managed to watch a couple of games of Malifaux in action. I was totally unfamiliar with the rules, and the fact that it is a card-driven game rather than based on rolling dice meant that I did not understand much of the mechanics. However, one of the guys who was at the shop works for Wyrd, and hooked me up with a copy of the rules (thanks Drew!).

Now that I have read them through (twice) I understand some of what is meant by "cheating" and "triggers." I am eager to get a crew together and find some time to head back to Giga-Bites and get a game in to make sure I actually do have an idea as to how the game mechanics work. At first glance, they are very elegant, and seem to reflect a more "cinematic" approach to gaming, rather than a more "realistic" one. Players can replace cards they draw with higher-valued ones from their hand to change the outcome of combats and spell-casting and such. But, you can also run out of luck and get stuck with a bad result. The only part I am still not 100% sure of is the "trigger" mechanic, by which some actions/events result in other actions automatically. I am sure that a game or two will help me make better sense of it.

But in the meantime, I am inspired to create some terrain for the game. I love the background mixture of Victorian horror, steampunk and spaghetti western! It is very evocative and you can go in so many different directions. There is room for pretty much anything you can think up. Besides, it's been a while since I built anything terrain-wise and I have the itch!

I checked out some of the posts on the Malifaux forums that pertain to terrain, and I was blown away by two in particular. First, Kaine is creating magnificent scenery for Malifaux. His terrain boards (complete 3x3 setups of various types of terrain) are amazing, and in my opinion they very much have the "feel" of Malifaux. My favorite is his ruined Miners & Steamfitters Union pumping station, although his sewer boards are a close second. The other terrain that is very inspiring to me is being created by the keeper and yazza. Their contract-town 27 is shaping up to be awesome. Their use of blocks from Hirst Arts and wood in their structures looks great, and it is a look I hope to copy, err, "borrow," for mine. Thanks to all of them for the inspiration.

My first building will be a medium-sized outpost/jail for the Guild faction. I sketched some ideas, before settling on a mixture of wood and stone construction. The jail cell will be stone, while the rest of the structure will be wood, and definitely in a western style, with a false front and porch.

I happened to have a bunch of blocks I cast a while back using one of Hirst Arts castle molds, so began by laying out the foundation for the building and attached jail to get a measurement for the building's footprint. I found a scrap piece of fiberboard that was almost exactly the right size for the base of the building, and began gluing down the bricks for the foundation. You can see the jail cell (on the left) has a stone floor, while the rest of the office will be a wooden floor over a stone foundation.

After that, I continued to build up the walls for the cell, including some small windows. I made sure to glue everything down securely and left it to dry.

My next step will be to begin the next phase of construction by framing out the wooden structure. I'll also build up the wall of bars that will complete the cells.

'Til next time.
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