Quoted from the back of the Malifaux rulebook: “Based in an alternate Earth, Malifaux uses gothic, steampunk, victorian horror with a dose of the wild west to inject fun and depth into the magical lawlessness of a world rife with monsters, necropunks, man-machine hybrids, gunslingers, and power-hungry politicos. Actively using character-driven stories to define the world of Malifaux, seek your fortune in this fast paced and brutal 32mm tabletop miniature skirmish game. Assemble your crew and stake your claim!”
In Malifaux, there is no law above Guild Law. Although these laws do bring some protection to the citizens, order is prized above mercy; because ultimately it is order that keeps the gears of the soulstone trade turning. A world without order is a world without profit, and The Guild always turn a profit.
The Guild doesn’t mess around with subtlety – they favor direct confrontation and physical damage, often at range with many, many guns. Their straightforward playstyle makes them a decent faction for learning the game, but with enough depth for veteran players to enjoy.
The Guild favor buffing their own crews and prefer quality to quantity. They tend to lack both summoners and cheap minions, and are generally the slowest of the factions – compensating for their lack of speed and numbers with a notable abundance of firepower and strong individual models. Most Guild Masters are equipped to fight certain foes, though this doesn’t make them useless when fighting outside their specialties.
There is a certain poetry in death that few can read, but for those with the ability and the willingness, eternity is the reward. Eternity and perhaps their own personal bodyguard of undead slaves; but what good could those temporary husks of life have been to their owners anyway, if they did not have the vision to embrace the grave?
The Resurrectionists are about all things undead, and tend to favor summoning new models and raining debilitating effects (particularly Poison) upon their opponents. Their summoning abilities, combined with having lots of wounds and a lot of damage-mitigating abilities, make them very resilient (the majority of their minions are either Incorporeal or have Hard to Wound). However, with some key exceptions, they don’t have a lot of options for dealing death from a distance.
The boiling contents of the Guild’s pressure cooker. The people always have a voice, and the harsher the means to eradicate it, the louder it speaks. A rag-tag collection of spellcasters and deviants, the Arcanists seek to undermine and defy the Guild. But it is always a matter of time before the oppressed rise up to become the oppressors, and those voices who speak loudest for the people are also speaking the loudest for themselves.
A faction of fragile spellcasters, backed by lots of constructs and beasts. Magical attacks, whether in melee or at range, are a common sight in these crews, with a wide variety of elemental spells (fire, ice, electricity) dealing death from a distance. The huge variety of constructs provide melee power and durability. Beasts are also commonly found in this faction, though they tend to be ‘glass cannons’ – high speed and damage with low resilience.
You fear the dark, and we will give you cause. We are the shadows of Malifaux, its children, its master. You have taught us hate, and we will teach you fear. Tread lightly, human, for this is not your domain; it is, forever, Ours…
The Neverborn are the monsters of Old Malifaux, having inhuman creatures at their disposal and insidious means of dealing death to the invaders of their plane. They are often tricky to learn when compared to some of the simpler crews in the game and take more time to master, but this extra time and effort pays off in the form of skill and tricks.
The Neverborn focus on speed, deception, and a lot of Willpower-based abilities. They have many tricks and a great deal of melee power, having some of the most damaging melee minions in the game. However, this is offset by their relative fragility. Resilience is definitely not their forte and they tend to lack a straightforward style of play.
In a world of desperate convicts, power mad sorcerers, and blood-thirsty Neverborn, these are the outsiders. The misfits of misfits, they are the shady characters waiting in the back of the bar to be offered a job from a nondescript man in a black cloak.
They are the cutthroats and mercenaries, loners and forgotten. They are the Outcasts.
The Outcasts are not really defined by anything specific, aside from the fact that they live on the fringes, pursuing their own agenda and generally answer to no one but themselves.
Many Outcasts have the Mercenary trait, which allows them to be hired by other factions at an additional cost.
Hardly more intelligent than the hogs they raise, the Gremlins of Malifaux’s bayou know one thing, if it ain’t Gremlin it’s dinner.
As dangerous to themselves as as they are to anyone else, they pursue their prey with a reckless glee even if it results in their own death.
To those unfortunate enough to get lost in the swamp, a squealing pig is the last sound they hear.
Having extended its reach across the Breach, the Katakana Clan is no longer content to skulk in the shadows as it did in the Three Kingdoms. It craves power, the kind of real power that has eluded the Clan since its dishonor hundreds of years ago. As the shadows gather, the Ten Thunders has its agents in places of power and influence throughout Malifaux.
The Ten Thunders have infiltrated every faction in game, making most of their Masters Dual Faction and allowing them access to a wider breadth of models than normal.