Saturday, 12 July 2014

Playing 2 vs 2 Malifaux

The first time I ever played Malifaux was in a doubles game at the UK Doubles GT in 2012.  Needless to say we lost (every game) but the whole weekend instilled in me a love of playing Malifaux doubles.

Now interestingly there are two commonly accepted ways of playing a doubles game of Malifaux and they seem to be split on country lines as the US plays one way and here in Europe we tend to play the other.  Both have strengths and weaknesses and both are great fun :)

In general each player will pick a Master and then a crew of between 25 and 35 stones depending on the time allowed for the game.  Personally I like 30ss and 2 hour games.  Most tournaments are mixed master though crews can be picked as normal and the masters have to be compatible with each other, which these days means both must be from the same faction.  If you are feeling brave though you can do what I did at Smogcon and do random doubles where you make up the pairs on the day.  Other general rule that is normally used is that all models in a pair are friendly to each other but may NOT use Companion or Accomplice on models from the other players crew.

The big difference between the two formats is the number of fate decks / control hands used and activation order.

In European Doubles each pair uses a single fate deck and has a single control hand.  Any model on the team can be activated at any time.  This makes the game play far closer to a singles game of Malifaux and can led to some interesting decisions between the two players when to use the big cards (or suits)

Is US doubles each player has a fatedeck and control hand but activation order is fixed.  The team that win the initiative are players 1 and 3 whilst the other team are players 2 and 4.  This order is fixed for the turn and models are activated in strict player order.  This leads to more thinking about activation order but makes fate deck control much easier.

Now I have heard arguments than European format means that a strong player can effectively play the game as if it was singles but in practice I have seen this happen in the US format as well so its not a big concern IMO.

As I said above both versions are really good fun (if I am honest doubles is probably my favourite format) so go ahead and give it a try.