Learnin’ Malifaux Part 3, Movement, Damage and Misc

We’re back from the portal with our pockets full of soulstones to continue the Learnin’ Malifaux series (Part 1, Part 2). We’ve covered a good deal of the game. The basic rules are relatively straight forward. It’s the schemes, strategies and encounters that really mix things up and keep this game fresh and evolving.

Models may move via  walk or charge actions and they don’t need to be in a straight line as long as they don’t exceed the movement value. Models may also move less than their allotted distance if desired. When players discuss terrain at the beginning of the game some may have the severe trait which requires double movement to get through. Other pieces may have the impassabel terrain trait which models may not enter. Terrain with the climbable trait may be scaled vertically this movement costs double like severe terrain. Models falling from elevation suffer no dmage if the ht of the fall was 2″ or less, if the fall was greater than 2″ then the model suffers 1 damage per inch fallen.

The other movement effect to cover is Push. Push moves a model in a straight line the abilities that callfor a push will state the distance and effects of it. The controller of the pushing effect may choose how far the model is pushed if the text says ‘up to’ x distance. The pushed model may not pas through impassable objects or climbable terrain. The model just stops when it comes into contact with other models or impassable terrain.


Models cannot move through or over another models base and a model in range of one or more enemies melee attack action is considered engaged. Alll models have an ‘engagement range’ where they can make close attack actions. There are four effects engagements have on models. Using a walk action to leave engagement range triggers disengaging strikes. Firing at engaged models requires the attacker to randomize between them, flipping a card for each model engaged and selecting the lowest as the target (friend or foe). Models may not take charge actions while engages nor may they take ranged attack actions.

The aforementioned disengaging strike is a close attack action that if successful will halt the model in its tracks wasting the attempted walk action and dealing no damage. It’s important to note that models who can ignore other models while moving may still be caught in a disengage strike. As the strike happens before the model moves (Flight, incorporeal are some examples). When firing into engagement the attacker flips one card for every model within 2″ using the lowest as the target.

In malifaux your models will take all sorts of damage and its represented by the Dg value of whatever they’re facing. Some damage is inflicted in a static amount like 2 damage. Other damage is in a variable amount based on a fate deck flip like Dg 1/3/5 means 1 damage for weak, 3 for moderate and 5 for severe. The flip to determine damage is.. You guessed it the damage flip.


There is an accuracy modifier that’s applied to the damage flip based on the difference in the opposed duel that lead to the damage flip. If the duel was tied then the damage flip has two negatives, if the duel difference was 1-5 then only 1 negative flip of the difference was 6-10 then no modified to the flip (which means you could and should cheat to do more damage If needed) and if the difference in total is 11 or more then you get a + flip on the damage and you may cheat it if desired.

If you flip a black joker you’re going to have a bad time. As it must be selected even if the red joker is present and the black joker deals no damage and cannot start off any triggers relying on damage. The red joker can always be chosen on a flip even with negative mods on it as long as the black joker is not present.

Models of the Master and Henchmen type are not powerless in preventing incoming damage. They may spend a soulstone before applying damage to make a prevention flip reducing the number of dg by the value in the chart.


Healing can be done to bring models back up to their original wounds but no further. Healing flips are just like damage flips in regards to jokers and such except they heal man! One nasty effect of some spells and abilities is Buried. When a model is buried it’s removed from play and cannot activate. A model that becomes buried during activation ends it’s activation and loses all AP. There are (luckily) a few effects to unbury models. When this happen place the model back into play according to the effect text that originally buried it. If a model dies while buried (it’s possible with some effects like burning) it doesn’t trigger abilities that happen on the models death. Models buried at the end of the game count as killed for victory condition purposes.


There are many frightening things in malifaux, this is represented by the Horror trait. This requires models to succeed on a horror duel to act. Models use their Wp stat to make the horror duel. Failing it means the model gains the paralyzed condition. Passing the horror duel means the model can act normally. The horror duel is triggered by models having the Terrifying trait and will be denoted like so: ‘Terrifying (living) 10’.

Markers are placed during encounters for various game purposes. Marker’s size is 30mm unless otherwise noted. They don’t count as terrain and are effectively ignored for LoS, movement and cover. Their placement effect will detail any rules on moving or destroying them. Corpse Markers are a common marker. When a model Living or undead is killed the models controller places a corpse marker in base contact with the model. Several crews have no means of interacting with corpse markers in which case there is no need to place them.

Scrap markers are similar but only trigger when construct models are killed. Scheme markers may be placed for a (1) interact action by any non-peon model. They play a role in determining victory conditions. Each crew should have a few of these to place down. They can be all fancy and themed or just a counter that is clearly different from the others. They can be taken up for a (1) interact action as well.


There are a few special rules to touch on like Auras represented with a little dude in a black circle. An ability or action that has an aura means it affects everything within that range including the model it is centered on. Note, action text may say otherwise. There are also blasts denoted by little mushroom clouds next to damage values. The blast template is a 50mm marker that is placed touching the models base but not overlapping. Some effects have multiple blast markers which means they may be placed touching but not overlapping each other to really cover some space.  The damage dealt by the blast of a damage flip is one less in severity than the damage flip. So if you flip moderate damage with a single blast the target will take moderate damage and anything under the templates will take weak. Pulses are represented by a little man in parenthesis. It’s an instant effect that radiates out to models like an aura but excludes the model at the center of it. Models may not be affected by aura, pulse or blasts whose original target is out of LoS.

Some effects will call for sacrificing models when this happens the model is removed from play and does not drop any markers. Summoned models are a thing in Malifaux and depending on which faction you play or play against they may be a good thing. Summoned models still adhere to crew restrictions and must be placed within LoS of the summoner. Models that are summon gain the Slow condition and may not take interact actions the turn they are summoned. Slow means one less AP is generated on the models next activation. If an effect calls for a model to be placed the model does not count as having moved, it’s just placed there in a ‘poof’. There are a few conditions that effect model stat lines. Conditions can stack if they have the same name. For example Burning, Defensive, Fast, Focused, Paralyzed, Poisoned and Reactivate.

When hiring a crew you can hire two mercenary models from a faction other than its own but must pay one additional soulstone over the mercenaries normal in faction cost. Rare models are rare and can be taken up to the number following it. For example a model that is Rare 2 may only be taken twice in a crew. Totems are little manifestations of the masters power, each crew may only hire one and some are specific to certain masters. There are 5 stations of models in the game detailed below, the station determine the size of crew, # of AP and whether or not soulstones can be used.


That’s all she wrote. The bits we haven’t covered are the encounters which are scenarios for each game. There are some standard encounters but most folks use what’s called the Gaining Grounds encounters. These are updated every year and used through local tournaments and up on into the masters tournaments. We’ll touch on those as they become applicable. Like I mentioned before this is my favorite miniatures game at the time and I’m awful at it. I’ll be adding some battle reports to show how the game works and get insight from the pros out there. Cheers everybody, head over to @vorgames and follow me for more Miniature Gaming news and reviews.

May all thy damage flips be severe.


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