Review: Wyrd Chronicles 18 (June 2015)

The latest issue of Wyrd Chronicles came out a few days ago and there are loads of goodies contained therein.

June 2015 Chronicles Cover

The Great Debate

A fun article that poses a number of questions to two tactics writers. The highlights here are definitely the ‘best faction’ and ‘best master’ questions which, as you can imagine, spark up a lot of discussion. I really like comparing masters in Malifaux because not only are all masters fundamentally viable, but they are all so different from one another. They have personality that comes across not only in their model and their background, but in their rules as well. You can see why certain masters develop dedicated followings.

The Dark Carnival

This short story introduces Mr. Cooper and his Dark Carnival to the world of Malifaux and really does well in establishing a truly creepy vibe to the whole thing.

Welcome, dear friends!” he boomed, as a viciouslooking ape swung down from the elephant’s neck and landed at his feet, dressed in short stripy pants and a fez. “Welcome to each and every one of you! What a show we have in store for you tonight! What a spectacle!

The story is intended to set up the reader for the new Dark Carnival box set to be made available at GenCon.

Dark Carnival

This is quite different to previous Nightmare Edition sets which give an alternate version of existing or soon to be released models. What sets it apart is that whilst it is an alternate version of the Colette set, it gives not just an alternate sculpt, but an entirely different set of models and characters. I hope Wyrd do more of these re-themes in the future.

Cosplay Deathmatch

A new scenario themed around GenCon and the rush for the limited edition Miss Anne Thrope model, an alternative to the Wastrel models. The whole thing is a bit of a shameless plug, but it does have the potential to be fun, with each player choosing a single henchman and pitting them against one another in competition for one of the coveted models. It’s actually not a bad way to do a multi-player, single model deathmatch type game. I could see myself using a slightly modified version of this in the future.

A Night at the Star

This is a one-shot adventure for the Malifaux RPG, Through the Breach. I don’t know enough about Through the Breach to comment comprehensively on this scenario, but it does make for a fun read. What I will comment on, however, is Wyrd’s advertising synergy. They have based this adventure on the Star Theatre, the establishment owned and operated by the Malifaux master, Colette Du Bois. In creating new content for their RPG, Wyrd are also promoting Colette herself and her new box that will be available in July. I like this approach of advertising through quality content, rather than just pasting in pictures of the models and a puff piece about how brilliant they will be in the game.

The Errand

This short story focuses on Sebastian, the henchman of Dr. McMourning. What I really like about this story is the acknowledgement of the cross-faction nature of McMourning and Sebastian and the latter’s apprehension of being caught doing something he should not by his Guild employers. It also gives a nice insight into the relationship between Sebastian and the good doctor.

All Work, Cosplay

A detailed article on cosplay that focuses on Lady Justice and gives a tutorial on making her sword. Cosplay has never really been my thing and I admit that I merely skimmed most of this article. I did read the tutorial though, and it seems quite good, giving clear step-by-step instructions and practical advice.

Iron Painter

This section includes images of some of the most notable entries into Wyrd’s Iron Painter contest. There are a lot of really impressive models here, but the real highlights are the dioramas. It’s amazing, the stories that can be told with just a handful of models, well painted and positioned. I particularly like Omnicarbivore’s beautiful Dreamer diorama, ‘Where the Breach Ends’:

Where the Breach Ends

Previews

Throughout the issue, there are a number of exciting preview of upcoming releases. I am particularly looking forward to the Riders and Effigies, as these models really appeal to me:

Effigies

Riders

GenCon Releases

My Thoughts

This is actually the first issue of Wyrd Chronicles that I have read, and I must say that I am quite impressed. I use to be a huge fan of Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine and used to look forward to it every month. I loved the discussion articles, the scenarios, the new rules, short stories, and army lists and some of the quirkier articles that would occasionally appear. I particularly loved the articles written by Mike Walker, a dedicated Warhammer fan who wrote with a wonderful, funny style that always made me laugh.

The Wyrd Chronicles seems to recapture that feel, the feel that this was more than merely advertising and that the content actually mattered. Don’t get me wrong, I know that even back then, White Dwarf was, first and foremost, an advert, but it was presented in a very different way. Looking through Chronicles, the advertising strategy is clear, but I don’t mind it. It isn’t pushy or overbearing, nudging you in the right direction rather than marching you there.

The first short story and the new content for Through the Breach ties directly into upcoming releases for Malifaux. The Malifaux scenario and cosplay article help to promote Wyrd’s presence at GenCon, which is also reinforced by the previews throughout the issue. Simply put, this is advertising done right. It is entertaining and useful content that also acts to promote the products and events that the company wants to push.

Wyrd have earned themselves a dedicated reader.