This week, we found Waldo square dancing by himself behind some boxes in the warehouse. In his hand was a crumbled up ball of paper with some of the movement rules for Malifaux Third Edition. When confronted, he tried to hide under some alt models and refused to come out unless we were willing to talk about some of the changes to movement in M3E. So here we are!
Please remember, M3E is still in beta testing, so things might change between now and release. With that in mind, on to movement!
The most important change from M2E is perhaps one of the most intuitive: all movements count as movement. In retrospect, that seems obvious, but in M2E, certain types of movement didn’t count as moving, which tended to be just as confusing as it seems.
In M3E, all forms of movement – such as Place and Push – count as movement.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these movement types.
Place work more or less in the same way as M2E. When a model is placed somewhere, you just pick it up and put it in the appropriate space.
It’s also worth noting that “completely within” has been removed from the rulebook as a game term (save for during deployment, when models have to deploy completely within their Deployment Zones), which means that players will have one less term to remember during the game.
The most common source of Place effects in M3E is the Flight Ability:
Flight: When this model declares the Walk or Charge Action, instead of moving normally, this model may Place itself within X", where X is equal to this model's Mv. This model does not suffer Falling damage.
Flight gives models a great deal of maneuverability, as they can just shoot up into the sky and come back down somewhere nearby, bypassing any models and terrain that might be between those two points. This also allows flying models to easily move to and from elevated terrain, which makes them especially useful on boards that utilize a large number of buildings.
Pushes are nothing more than movement that must be in a straight line. The biggest change that Pushes underwent is that they are now slowed by Severe Terrain, as opposed to ignoring terrain in M2E. This made Pushes extremely valuable on models and revalued the importance of both Severe Terrain and the Unimpeded Ability, which lets models ignore Severe Terrain. By making Pushes affected by Severe Terrain, we lowered their strength, which in turn allowed us to make better use of them.
Another important change with Pushes is that models cannot Push up vertical surfaces. This means that while models can still be Pushed off the edges of buildings, they can’t be Pushed up them.
This is especially important since Charge movements are Pushes. This means that models standing atop a building can’t be Charged by models on the ground below… though that model could still climb up the building using a Walk Action and attack them normally.
This also means that barriers with Height – such as walls and fences – now prevent models from Charging over them, which makes them useful as roadblocks for ranged models.
Burying is back in M3E, albeit with its prickly, annoying corners sanded down to smoothness. Perhaps most importantly, Buried models still Activate, which means that they process things like the Poison Condition normally. This also means that models can have Abilities that trigger if they Activate while Buried. To get a glimpse into how this works, let’s take a look at a pair of Abilities on everyone’s favorite magician, Colette du Bois:
Fade Away: After this model is targeted by an enemy Attack Action, if this model is not Buried, it may discard a card and suffer 1 damage. If it does so, this model is Buried and the Action fails.
Showstopper: At the start of this model's Activation, if it is Buried, Unbury it within 3" of a friendly model or friendly Scheme Marker. After this model Unburies for any reason, every enemy model within Pulse 4 gains Distracted +1.
Needless to say, this makes her quite difficult to pin down (or to keep Buried)!
The second biggest change to Buried is a “safety latch.” If a model is subject to a Bury effect but can’t be placed (for instance, if there’s no room within 3” of a friendly model or friendly Scheme Marker for Colette to Unbury), then the owner of the model instead places it anywhere inside their Deployment Zone.
These changes to the Bury mechanic have let us really nudge some models into fun places, such as Tara’s ability to summon models that just enter play Buried (much like one of Karina’s Upgrades allowed her to do in M2E).
Finally, we come to Incorporeal, which has changed quite a bit since M2E:
Incorporeal: Reduce all damage this model suffers from Attack Actions by 1, to a minimum of 0. This model ignores Terrain while moving and ignores the Hazardous Terrain Trait. This model may move through other models and vice versa.
The old “half damage” version of Incorporeal was more than a little bit awkward, and it made designing models awkward as well, as it could be entirely bypassed by Ca Actions… which are some of the best Actions in the game anyway, due to their general lack of the projectile icon.
Since M3E does away with Ca Actions, it only seemed natural to give Incorporeal a facelift. Now, its damage reduction is very useful, as it protects ghostly models from most every attack without forcing us to give them greatly reduced Health to compensate. Most importantly, it still allows models to float through walls and other models just like you’d expect from a ghost.
So that’s it for movement! As you can see, a lot of M3E’s movement has been streamlined without sacrificing its flavor.
Next week, we’ll take a look at a flavor of another type.
How do you folks feel about pumpkin spice?