Malifaux 2nd Edition Announced

After the last set of releases from Wyrd, which pretty much completed the current range of models, I posed the question of what do you do once you've filled out the game line.

The answer it seems is to release a revised edition. Below is a copy of Wyrd's press release, with my thoughts tagged on at the end.

You may have heard the rumors ... and now we’re excited to announce that Malifaux 2nd Edition (M2E) is coming!

Malifaux 2nd Edition will be pre-released August 15 (during Gen Con 2013) with a general release by October. In the mean time we plan to tease you with new art, new models, new characters, and the ... Public Beta for Malifaux 2E. 

Malifaux 2nd Edition

Malifaux 2nd edition is coming! If you want to be one of the first to play it and provide input, we’ll be having a public Beta for your shuffling pleasure. (More details on the Beta below.)
What are some of the features of 2nd edition to look forward to?
  • Streamlined, Updated Ruleset.
    Clarified rules interactions and Model Actions.
  • Upgrade Your Models / Customize Your Crew.
    That’s right, keep your favorite model fresh and competitive for years to come.
  • New Masters.
    From the current Henchmen getting promoted, to fresh faces like Tara, the Herald of Obliteration!
  • Gremlins a Faction?
    You bet!
  • Easier to Read Card Format.
    Every model updated to a new, easier to read format. No more searching through the books. The cards are standard sized as well, making them easy to sleeve for dry erasing.
  • Story Moves Forward.
    Find out what happens to your favorite characters, see the new alliances formed, and discover new Tyrants!
  • FAQ.
    For those of you who never got enough of the rules-love, we’ll be moving to an FAQ system updated on a set schedule! No more searching the forums for rulings.
We’ll keep you updated with more details over the next few months.

Public Beta Information

  • What
    Play Malifaux with your friends! See the new rules online as soon as they’re available. This will be your chance to give feedback.
  • Who
    Anyone! No previous Malifaux experience required.
  • When
    Starting May 31
  • How
    Watch the new Public Beta section in our forums. Access the rules, ask questions, give feedback, and interact with other Malifaux enthusiasts.
To head off a question that's already been raised on the Wyrd site, the forum will open on when the Beta goes live.

I think this is a great move by Wyrd in many ways, but not without its potential issues.

 The Good.
  • Advanced official warning of a  new edition, which feels very novel.
  • Give the community what they want. The list of what to expect certainly looks promising, adding polishing tweaks to the game, and promising to expand the world. 
  • Consolidation of rules. Wyrd's rules stretch over 4 big books, (or the mini rules) which is a potential barrier to entry for new players. Bringing everything together in one place is good, although there's a negative to this I'll get to below. 
  • Bookends with Through The Breach. With the RPG due to come out at the end of this year, the core game was in danger of being left behind, or TTB would need to be more restrained to fit with Malifaux as it stands. 
  • Open Beta. This should really provide the fine honing of the rules, and hopefully eliminate loopholes, phrasing errors, and all the other little things that can mar a ruleset. 
  • No miniature left behind. You all know the model. The one that gets left on the shelf because it doesn't perform of the tabletop.  Hopefully these can be bought up to scratch in the new edition.
  • Not a Kickstarter. 
The Bad
  •  The update of stat cards for models either thanks to the new format or rules tweaks is going to leave a lot of people with out of date cards on their hands. While Wyrd does have the option to order cards through their site, it would be expensive to update a whole collection (not to mention shipping costs outside the US). I hope we see collections come out in the style of Warmachine, allowing players to easily bring their collections in line with the new rules. 
  • I mentioned consolidation in the good section, but there's no mention of the background sections present in the older books being included or being made avaliable elsewhere, and it seems unfair on new players to make them go back and pick these books up just for the background sections. 
  • Size. This is going to have to be a big book to include all the above, which will likely mean you'll want a "Full" version to have all the information and a "Lite" version to take to a game night. Maybe we ought to go back to the old GW style of bundling books together, so you get a background book, a forces book, and a rule book as separate pieces?
  • New vs Old. Wyrd's move to plastic has seen there models go from strength to strength, but has left the old models feeling dated. The most obvious thing is that the new figures are smaller and more delicate than their metal predecessors. A fresh influx of models is only going to exacerbate this. The obvious solution of redoing the current metal range is fraught with issues, although it'd be nice to see the range of alternate figures steadily grow. 
For anyone wanting more on Malifaux 2nd Ed, then The Æthervox have an interview with Justin Gibbs and Mack Martin.
That's all I can think of off the bat. I'll be watching (and no doubt posting) on the Beta Forum when  it opens up, and I can't wait to see the finished product.