Wyrd Miniatures' third edition of their eldritch, Weird-West skirmisher Malifaux is a game very unlike most other tabletop wargames. Instead of dice players use playing cards to determine randomization. Models are dynamic to build and paint, and quite breathtaking to behold when finished. And, perhaps most importantly to many, the characters in the game are compelling and just plain cool. This is why, when we got ahold of the core box of leader English Ivan, a shadowy enigma of a person, we were thrilled to put in some words about the shadow-slinging gentleman.
According to the lore written by Wyrd Games, English Ivan isn't English, isn't named Ivan, and often masquerades as a part of different factions as an infiltrator. After accepting an explicit and surprisingly knowing invitation into the Explorer's Society, Ivan was brought onboard into an assignment with the Society's "Department of Ungentlemanly Affairs" to retrieve an artifact that generates shadows and darkness. However, he was sucked into the realm of the artifact… but somehow survived the encounter. Now, it is said that English Ivan straddles the line between his own realm and the world of shadows that he encountered.
Ivan's core box, as part of the Explorer's Society faction of the game, contains Ivan, his "totem" Mr. Mordrake (a shade of himself!), two underlings from the Department of Ungentlemanly Affairs (Eva Havenhand, an enforcer, and Gibson DeWalt, a henchman), and three Daeva minions. It also contains seven 30-milimeter bases – just enough for these miniatures – and the stat cards for these minis. Additionally, the box also comes with five upgrades to attach to models that Ivan can summon into play throughout the course of the game.
At a glance, these models appear, as is often the case with Wyrd's miniatures, daunting to put together. However, in the context of experience with Wyrd Games minis, there doesn't look to be that much of a problem here. Yan Lo's beard was not too difficult for me in the second edition (insert groans here), so these should be a breeze to assemble, honestly. The biggest concern might be Eva's whip, but if Wyrd Games has learned anything from Lucas McCabe's sculpt in the earlier edition, it's that these sorts of components just need to be reinforced enough. I write with confidence that I have that faith in Wyrd.
Another really interesting thing noticed here is that these bits are categorized and numbered on the sprues where applicable! This will surely help in assembly; even though the assembly instructions are not out for this box yet, it is likely that the organization of bits will feature in those instructions. One can hope, at least!
If you have any interest in getting into a wargame after the pandemic subsides (at long last), consider Malifaux. Do you already play it? Let us know what you think of the third edition in the comments below!