Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

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Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Jonasty » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:53 am

Well we've officially played through our first campaign at the Eagles. The final week is upon us and after this it becomes fond memories of crazy shenanigans, Ed and Matt needlessly murdering their crews with injuries, and Ian rage quitting after week 2.

So what are people's thoughts/reactions now that the campaign has gone from Beta and speculation to actual play time?

I didn't get to enjoy as many games as I was hoping with work and other shit coming up. The games I did play were fun though and I really enjoyed the continuity between games and the leveling of characters, etc. I was ok starting small and working my way up but on the flip side I think the system would be equally enjoyable if we started with Masters rather than henchmen which I know was a bit of a negative for some folks.

What do other people think? Will anyone be interested in doing this again in the future or was this our one and done? Any thoughts on ways to improve it for our group so that people would like it more? I'm looking forward to some normal faux again but I could definitely enjoy another campaign.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Zombie » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:04 am

I think it was fun diversion from normal malifaux. I think it would have been better if we all got in more games.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Drool_bucket » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:12 am

I would love to see a nice long all day campaign play out. Say 10 hours of gaming in which we get six or seven "weeks compeleted" or even a crazy two day one. I was left wanting more Malifaux after each campaign game and was very unhappily with it being my "weekly" game.

The only other complaint is it felt stupid powerful. Even a couple half decent flips and you were having game breaking skills and effects, which I didn't particularly care for.

I will happily try it again in another format but compared to a game like BB, campaign Malifaux was found lacking
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby afeinman » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:29 am

I'm liking it a lot, but I don't feel like we reached critical mass with players. We really need more like 10-12 folks showing up regularly (cough unlike me cough).

The injuries and abilities are huge, bigger than their points cost for sure. I feel like in a longer campaign this would even out, but at this point Ed and Matt's crews are so far ahead of everyone else in a way that isn't well-represented by SS. (Some of this may be the luck of injuries--none of theirs seem particularly harmful, whereas one injury on my MLR cost me perhaps 2 VP last game.)

I feel like aiming for 2 campaign games in a Thursday night is the right approach, focusing on smaller games--30ss or so. This forces you to think about using a subset of your arsenal, rather than just pretending it's the same old "bring everyone" as 50ss 'faux. It also makes more sense for Henchmen-led crews. It's hard to get two games in for some folks, but for others it's not too hard to show up at 5:30 or so. Or play faster (cough me cough).

The every-week schedule was absolutely no good for me. I can't play every week, in general, and with these campaign rules, that means getting behind the power curve and staying there. The catch-up regulations don't cut it.

I think as something that you don't take TOO seriously it was good fun. Winning a particular game isn't as crucial, just like in BB, where long-term team building is often more important. With only a few games, we didn't have time to really do that, and losses meant feeling like a loser and having no resources to spend on the fun stuff.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Thunderjaw » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:25 am

My thoughts on the Campaign I didn't play in...

1. Something was off about the timing of this thing for me... It's hard to explain, but I'll try and explain it. Basically the weeks went from Thur to Thur... which is fine, except the weekend is kind of "catch up" time... i.e. I wasn't able to get a game in on Thursday so I'll "catch up on it" over the weekend... but somehow the very fist week didn't work like that for me... The Thursday that ended week one I did a demo game on... I was thinking no big deal, I'll catch up Saturday, except I couldn't as the week was "over" and it was a new week... I couldn't do the next week due to family in town... and couldn't catch that week up either because the weekend for that was already gone... So I felt perpetually behind in this campaign and never felt like I could get started as I always felt like I was missing something... I'm probably not explaining it clearly, but the gist is that I eventually said "fuck it".

2. This is probably the Blood Bowler in me speaking, but to me a Campaign week is one game... So people playing 5-6 games in a week made my feeling of being behind and never able to catch up even more severe. Yes, I grasp the theory that they face more risk of injury and such, but they also gain more skills and more scrip, and eventually dudes getting 10-16 scrip a week are going to be way more advanced than people getting 2-3 scrip a week because the one game they got in basically got their face smashed in... Though it's also true that that condition is basically "life" and happens in every game...

3. Like Ian, I'm not a fan of "Forced Thursdays" where I feel like I have to play a particular thing, and I especially hate that my game time gets co-opted by this smaller format that, while it might be fun, isn't as fulfilling as a "real game".

4. The Campaign format is murder on anything else that wants to happen... To be effective you need people to play. By locking them into basically having to play this and only this for X weeks then that means they can't do anything else. Jon and Marc can't play X-wing. Fred can't play 40k, Again, it's true of every lock style game, but what happens is that people don't play and so you're left with minimal participation and it snowballs. You're quickly left with Alex's statement of needing more active participation. During this campaign, if you wanted a "normal" game of Malifaux you basically got the "go fuck yourself" silence response if you posted up. (though in fairness it was much friendlier than that).




So now that I'm done with that, here's what I'd love to see happen...

I've love for the campaign to be more open ended... maybe make the weeks longer (2, 3, more?) or eliminate them completely and just rely on the crew ratings for balance... make it more playable long term and make it less spastic short term... That would mean you'd probably have to make some additional house rules... Maybe introduce the concept of "hiring mercenaries" (ala Blood Bowl) to fill out crews to bring them more in line. Maybe change the master acquisition rules. Dunno...

I'd love to see the Campaign crews treated more like BBowl teams with longer development, which again would take some adjustment...
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby anumberone » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:16 am

I think it was a fun detour that left me wanting to play more regular games. There were some really powerful abilities but this is a game full of powerful combinations, some difficult to overcome even when you have a grasp of how it works

Matt and I got at least one game every week, no more than two, but that made a difference considering the people that missed weeks. Injuries weren't that difficult to either prevent, cheat or remove going to the doctor. If anything, I would say eliminate the doctor option and make injuries a more serious prospect.

It was interesting to play without a master to do all the heavy lifting. Maybe people would find it more enjoyable starting off with masters, who knows? If we do it again it should be shorter and maybe be limited to one game a week.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Zombie » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:20 am

I think if we did it again we may want to make it longer. As in have every week be 2-3 weeks and set a max games per week at like 2. This way you can play the league but it doesn't dominate what you have to play on Thursdays. I also see what brad was getting at with the thursday to thursday thing. This made the weekends the administrative period so you really couldn't play then.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby PeregrineFalcon » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:33 am

So I'd like to chime in here even though I didn't participate in your guys campaign. I have now run 1 1/2 Shifting Loyalties campaigns up in NH. Sadly, we are cancelling the second run thru as it just isn't balanced to the point of we are asking ourselves, "Why play Shifting Loyalties Campaign Games".

The system is ok, but requires too many 'house rules' or special rules to make it even begin to feel balanced. To fill you in on some of our experiences I'll first explain what I ran here.

The first campaign was meant to be a slow 4 Campaign Week League (with 2-week rounds). So we played thru 8 weeks and took a 2 week break for some TtB RPG-ing and pick-up 50ss games. This gave everyone involved time to try some things out, learn the system, and prepare for the more 'serious' competitive league we were going to start next. People walked away with some great ideas, and good knowledge. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, because now people were ready to make super elite starting arsenals....flash forward to new campaign...

So second campaign was planned to be a 8 Campaign Week League (with 1-week rounds). We just concluded week 2 and it became so clear after the games last night that it was almost a waste of time to play games. Games were pretty much done by turn 2 and if the losing player continued there was little to no incentive to continue playing because it just meant they'd have to have models take injuries most likely. At that point its no fun to just sit there and take attack after attack (mostly because activations get out of wack so quickly). The majority of players feel they'd rather spend their Tuesday night gaming playing a well-rounded balanced game of 50ss and build their crews for the mission rather than have to always use the arsenal.

The plan at the end of the Campaign was to run a tournament with your arsenal as your pool of models for the tourney. We'll have to modify that now.

So with that said, we are done running the campaign. We are going to revert to a semi-grow league format and just play our normal games. What I'm going to start doing is just have weekly strats and schemes announced that everyone plays.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Drool_bucket » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:40 pm

I am really tempted to take the campaign rules and really monkey a bit with them into a real monster of a rule set. With the goal of making it more interesting by adding "theme" and meta-options while taking away from the unease of the crazy imbalance and scheduling issues that both groups encountered.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby PeregrineFalcon » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:54 pm

Yeah they'd need a fair bit of monkey-ing IMO. Sure you can play with the special rules outlined in the book, and some of those help. Besides some of the issues mentioned, another is that people don't want to play the same core models OVER and OVER and OVER.

Not building a crew for scheme/strats just feels too much like things get static. A house rule would be to do something where you can play with an entire faction of stuff that you has access to. But maybe you get bonuses or incentives to stick with the same models from previous weeks.

Oh and another issue, and I think this was a big oversight during beta/alpha of Shifting loyalties is the idea that 0ss upgrades (i.e. Jack Daw, or many of the new 'freebie' upgrades) cost 2ss to get into your arsenal. That is just absurd. Basically makes it REALLY tough to start with an arsenal and build to Jack Daw.

Also, hiring Viktoria of Blood....like why would you?

The campaign just takes all of the cost/balance of models and throws it out the window a little too much it seems.

Is the campaign fun for a 1-day thing, sure. Is it great for a multi-week league....I'd going to say no. Give me 50ss Regular games instead.
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Re: Malifaux Campaign, educated (and not so much) thoughts

Postby Drool_bucket » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:42 pm

I agree 100% that certain master's themes get hosed. Look at Hamelin stuff and how it all sacrifices as how it works but your shit gets more and more injured?

Yeah, my core thoughts would be to add in a "Nythera" esque feel (same as Necromunda or the old 40K Vogen campaign) in which territories play a larger part in resource management, less of a you have it or don't have it the current system uses.
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