One of the hardest things to do when starting Malifaux is to figure out who you want to begin with. With 38 unique Masters, and unique 49 Henchmen (minor Leaders) there is a lot to choose from, but things can get easy if you keep things simple.
Choose your Faction Edit
First you need to choose your faction and stick with it. This is important since you declare your faction at the start of any game, but not your leader or crew. Thus while your opponent will know which force you'll be using, they won't know what Master, Henchmen or minions you'll bring until you simultaneously reveal your forces.
Each faction leans towards a certain playstyle with supportive themes.
The forces are almost an even share of living and constructs; indeed they have the most constructs of any faction. Additionally they have the least number of non-creatures (second to the Gremlins who have none) meaning that the death of any of their members will result in the field being littered with corpses of scrap.
The Glass-Cannon Swarm. A reckless group who use their own health as a resource to deal incredible amounts of damage. Their forces are inevitably made up of living creatures, and are the only faction that (currently) has no non-creatures.
The Military Arm. A fairly straight forward faction who uses predominantely conventional tactics, while still having an arsenal of surprises. Their forces are predominantely Living, though these brave soldiers are often supported by Constructs (indeed, they are second only to the Aracanists in their construct choices).
The Glass-Blades utilize unconventional tactics to deal with their enemies - relying on guerrilla warfare, unique powers and tricks, and intelligent use of terrain to compensate for their lack of durability and means to re-enforce their losses from summoning.
Their forces are often living creatures (second only to the Gremlin's in Living troops), though they also have the highest number of non-creatures which supports their 'anti-summoner' theme (supported further by having no undead forces).
The 'Factionless'. While there is some degree of synergy in crew sharing, each Outcastes Master leads what could almost be considered a 'micro-faction'.
The Ressurectionists Edit
The Undead tanks. Their crews possess the least amount of Living, and approximately 70% of their forces are Undead. Almost each of their Masters is a summoner with a high survival rate (due to the fact that, should they fall, their crew often crumbles soon afterwards).
The Ten Thunders Edit