Inside Pulse 12

Tabletop Review: Crossroads Seven Story Encounter(Malifaux/Through the Breach)

Crossroads Seven Story Encounter(Malifaux/Through the Breach)
Publisher: Wyrd Games
Cost: $60
Page Count: 41 (and seven models)
Release Date: 07/30/2015 (GenCon attendees)/TBD (Everyone Else)
Get it Here: Wyrd Games’ Store (Eventually)

I’m relatively new to Malifaux and Through the Breach have just started to pick up odds and ends this Easter with the War Wabbits. With all of GenCon’s crazy pre-releases and the fact Wyrd will have such a large presence at this year’s NOVA Open, I decided to take a plunge and pick up a minis game other than Warhammer and Batman Miniatures Game. In additions to two Gremlin crews and the Collette boxed set, I picked up the Crossroads Seven. This was the set that really made me decide to invest in Malifaux because I wanted to past this freaky looking band. I was happy to find that in addition to the models, there was a forty-one page booklet containing three scenarios for Malifaux and a full adventure for Through the Breach. This made purchasing the Crossroads Seven box a pretty good deal. Of course it didn’t come in the box as Wyrd ran out of them, but to make up for it they included a pink translucent Malifaux Child figure. That’s some fantastic customer service. Now, today we will ONLY be looking at the book. I’ll review some/all of the miniatures in their own post as after all, reviewing the gluing, painting and quality of a sculpt is completely different from talking about adventures. So if you clicked in for model commentary, that will have to wait for another day. Sorry.

The booklet starts off with a quick look at the fluff behind the pieces. Each of the Crossroads Seven works as a mercenary but also is keyed to one of seven specific Malfiaux crews. This means you can field the Crossroads Seven as a full group or just a few of the band members if you choose. The story behind the band itself though is nebulous, but purposely so. The authors give a few rumours as to the origins of the Crossroads Seven, but it’s up to you and your fellow players to decide the truth of this group. What is definitely know though is that the band is trouble. Each member corresponds to a specific sin. Indeed they are the anthropomorphic personification of that sin. Generally one of the Crossroads Seven on their own is bad enough, but when coupled together as band, the result is pure catastrophe will madness, riots, and madcap violence engulfing entire groups…or even towns. These are not nice folk. I enjoyed the brief fluff and when I play/paint, it is generally around a theme, which is one thing I really love about this crew. It’s going to be fantastic fleshing out the stories and deciding what sort of paint scheme I would like to use with each piece.

Next up are three different Malifaux scenarios. They all play very different from each other with the first being geared for two players, the second for three and the third for four plays in a Lucha Libre tag team sort of format. “Temptation” is first and here each player will have an army. You play as normal except that five of the Crossroads Seven pieces are in the middle of the board acting as a neutral crew. If you have a figure within 2″ of the Crossroads Seven piece, you can make a (1) Interact Action to target a Crossroads Seven piece. Anytime you target two or more Crossroads Seven models with Interrupt Actions in a turn, you get 1VP. Pretty straightforward. It’s a nice regular battle but with another way to get VP and something to kill other than your opponent.

“Blood at the Crossroads” has each player hire a 30 Soulstone Crew. The leader of each crew must be a henchmen and once you are done, you divvy up the Crossroads Seven pieces with one piece left over (two to each player). The leftover piece goes in the middle and acts as a neutral party (rules for neutral figure A.I. are included in the book). Then you play as normal but you’ll lose a VP (up to 4 VP) for each one of your crew is taken down by a Crossroads Seven model. It’s an interesting scenario and a fun way to try out all the figures in this set. You could also probably do this scenario with two players, giving three Crossroads Seven figures to each player.

Finally we have “Rush the Stage,” which is the four player scenario. Player one chooses the Crossroads Seven as his or her crew. Player two picks a 32 Soulstone crew led by a Henchmen to act as their bodyguards. Players Three and Four are the opposing side and each picks a 40 Soulstone Crew (Only a single Rare 1 model per crew). There are some pretty unique rules for this piece which each side sharing a Fate Deck, combining their Soulstone pool at the start of the battle and any the P3/P4 side can have some of their models come back at the end of the turn. It’s pretty intense and interesting.

Finally we have the Through the Breach adventure which takes up the majority of the books pages (25). It’s an odd inclusion as you only encounter two of the seven band members and you never learn either characters name, so unless you use the miniatures with your tabletop gaming (which I tend not to. I keep my P&P RPG’ing and wargaming separate), you would never know this is the Crossroads Seven Story Encounter for Through the Breach. It’s quite weird. So while the Malifaux pieces were quite good, this was a rather disappointing adventure as it could easily have been done without the Crossroads Seven lip service. Especially since the adventure is mediocre at best and the weakest part of this collection.

“Landslide” is the name of the adventure and it really feels haphazardly thrown together. Players are in Contract Town #77 for no reason (the authors leave it up to the GM to decide, so the adventure isn’t even fully fleshed out). The PCs end up involved in a game of Poker that goes awry and the winner asks you to recover something that the loser stole from him in the ensuing chaos. In order to get that item back, they have to do some convoluted stuff that culminates in playing carnival games. That’s the whole adventure. It’s not only a disappointing inclusion for the Crossroads Seven boxed set, but it’s also the weakest adventure I’ve encountered for Through the Breach so far. It’s not bad, but I could not call it good by any means either.

So overall, the Crossroads Seven Story Encounter book is a mixed bag. The Malifaux side is pretty good while the Through the Breach side is not. I appreciated the fluff at the beginning. It’s really going to come down to whether you prefer the skirmish game or the P&P side of Wyrd’s franchise. More precise, it will come down to whether you want the figures in this boxed set or not. You shouldn’t shell out $60 for just this book in any case. For me personally, I loved the models (Putting them together might change my mind though…) and so the content in the book was just an added bonus. As I prefer Malifaux to Through The Breach, I’ll almost certainly make use of that side of the book as I learn the game. Now let’s see how I do with the models in this set. For now, wait and see what you think of other people’s reactions to the building of the models and how they fare in Malifaux. Since the Crossroads Seven aren’t out for general release yet, your best bet is simply to learn more about them before you make a purchase.

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