Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Malifaux Board for Beginners - Part 1 - Design

After a busy couple of weeks building my crystal canyon boards and helping to run a Fantasy tournament for KRAGS, I should be taking it easy. I should be getting stuck into painting Izamu. I should definitely be earning some brownie points with the Misses, but instead I'm getting excited about my next Malifaux board, and specifically about how to pimp it out and make the game more accessible to beginners.

I'd seen this board a couple of times when searching the web for inspiration, but when I saw it again last night, I resolved that the two 4x4 urban boards I'd done for 40k, that had been sat doing nothing for almost a year, needed to be repurposed for Malifaux.

If you look beyond the actual game surface area in the above picture you see clearly defined deployment areas, a turn counter and a few other embellishments. It's true that Faux is played on a 3x3, but when you get down to it, between crew cards, soulstones, counters and the whole kit and caboodle, you probably need a 4x4.

I think particularly when training new players, having sectionalised areas for crews, decks and a highly visible soulstone and victory point tracks makes all the difference. Therefore I've resolved that my next two boards should be based on my 4x4's and should, at the very least, have the following features:

Extra foot of length divided into two deck and crew management zones, two deck areas for your deck and discards and control hands.

Extra foot of width divided:
Side 1:
- Into soulstone and victory point trackers
- upto 10ss and distinguish scrap from brawl
- upto 10vp's to cover brawls
- separate tracks per player
- track points should be the size of a glass bead to allow beads
to be used as counters
- Turn counter
Side 2
- Section for individual or shared strategy cards
- Section for scheme cards per player
- location for crew specific counters and reserve/dead crew

The centre point on the board should be subtly marked for a 30mm counter, making placement of centre counter quick and simple.

And because a picture is worth a thousand words, here's my crude mockup.

I was tempted to mark out deployment zones but I think that might prohibit these boards being used in a normal game or tournament environment. On the whole, I think this will open up the accessibility to newer players, but there is nothing here that would give an experienced player an edge. Hopefully it'll be a enjoyable experience for anyone using them.

As to what the actual play area may look like, well that my dear readers is a subject for another blog entry. All I will say is it will be an Arcanist themed affair and that I can't wait for my scenery from the Impudent Mortal Kickstarter to arrive.

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