Monday, November 18, 2013

Arsenal Boxes - what are they?

So as I mentioned, I'm new to the world of Malifaux, and one of the things I'm slightly confused over are the "Arsenal Decks". I seem to be getting conflicting information too, which doesn't help. But this is what I've been able to piece together over the past couple of days.

I was initially told that inside of the starter box, there are no "upgrade cards" and that the only way to get these "upgrade cards" is via the arsenal decks. Turns out that's not entirely true.
Inside of the starter box that I just bought called the "Shadows of Redchapel" there are in fact Upgrade Cards. There are 6 upgrade cards: 1) Bag o' tools 2) Mad Haberdasher 3) Sinister Reputation 4) Red Chapel Killer 5) Bleeding Tongue 6) Not too banged up. Note: #5 is specific to Sybelle and #6 can be used with Seamus or Sybelle.

Inside of the Resurrectionists Arsenal Box are a total of 27 Upgrade Cards (including the ones I mentioned above). At this point, I think, there are some additional Upgrade Cards that are ONLY available in the Arsenal Deck - I'm not quite sure on this point.

One other point about the Arsenal Deck that I think is an important one for new players... You don't need this deck to start playing your games with the starter boxes. BUT... if you choose to purchase any of the additional 1.x models, then you will need the new deck, because the cards are different in the 2nd Edition. Example: If I bought a "Punk Zombie" from the old 1.x model, I would need the new "punk zombie" 2.0 card that is available ONLY in the arsenal deck.

If you're lucky enough to have the new 2.0 rulebook, the cards are in the book - well not the cards actual, but images of the cards on the pages. Some are complaining on the web that the type/font is too small on the cards. Some are photocopying the pages of the book and enlarging them, the laminating them to make their own cards. From what I've seen the type is about 6 point, and is readable when you hold the card up close. If you expect to read the card while standing and the card is on the game table, chances are you might have problems reading it.

Lastly... On the front of the Arsenal Boxes are the words: Wave 1. Using my awesome powers of deduction, I assume at some point there will be a "Wave 2". Wave 1 covers the first set of models to be updated for the 2.0 rules. There are more models that are NOT in the Wave 1 Box, that will be updated at a later time. These models are currently under "Beta rules" and not "officially" supported for things like tournaments. For example, the Resurrectionists have a model called "The Drowned" - there is NO card in the wave 1 box for this model. So while you can still purchase the (metal) model, it's still considered a 1.x model and does not have "official" 2.0 stats. Confusing isn't it.

If you see that I've made a mistake or can offer additional information on these Arsenal Decks please leave a comment. Thanks!

Oh, one other point... when I first unwrapped the deck, the outside box was packed extremely tight. Had I not slipped a flat sculpting tool under the flap to open it, I probably would have ripped the box - which is what's happening to other people. Use caution when opening for the first time. I'm also seeing recommendations on the web, to use card protector sleeves on these cards. They do have a nice gloss coating (which you're supposed to be able to use the dry erase markers directly on the cards), but I think I will get the card protectors for myself - they will have to be clear on both sides, since the cards have writing on them on both sides.


  1. You have it pretty much. Malifaux v1 spanned four books. Wyrd is releasing M2e stat cards for all those models in two waves to allow for longer and better play testing. The beta testing going on now is the wave 2 models which should catch up everything except Avatars and they should come out soon after that. While buying the arsenal decks is not "necessary", it is helpful as it does help one plan out future purchases and it is difficult to find single cards anywhere. I assume that will eventually change though.

  2. Thanks Shadowopal for the clarification! If you should happen to check back... How does one go about finding the "beta" cards for the wave 2 models? Thanks again.


    It is stickied below the faction sections.