My friend David (Coin and Carnage blog), has been playing Malifaux; for about 6 months now. He recently gave me a demo, which was the worst thing to do. Initially I liked the visual aspect of the game, the models are some of the most twisted characterisations; I have seen in wargaming.
Having had the demo, I can see small similarities with Warmachine/Hordes; but a lot of differences. It’s those differences, that make this game so appealing. First major difference, is that there are no dice; period. Anyone who has played Deadlands RPG, will be familiar with using a deck of cards; to determine results. Malifaux is the same, from initiative to casting spells to combat; everything is done using a standard 52 deck of cards.
Second difference, is alternate activations. Each player, activates only one model; then their opponent activates one and so on. This can serious mess up, if things don’t go the way you hope. Personally I think activation sequence is even more important with Malifaux; than it is with WM/H.
Do I like Malifaux? It’s an enjoyable game, the models are fantastic; but I am not sure it has the same lure as Warmachine/Hordes. Worlds at War have started stocking it, where I have picked up the Kirai boxset. While I love the twisted nature of the Neverborn, the Japanese imagery of Kirai; just won me over again.