I’ve done a cursory look at the Games Workshop Games (or at least 40k), X-Wing and Attack Wing. These are generally the games I’ve played up to now, but I thought I’d take a look at some of the other miniature games and give my initial thoughts on them.
I hear a lot about this game on the various miniature websites. It doesn’t really appeal to me aesthetically, but one of the big selling features is smaller games with rules that are made for the tournament gamer- clear and concise. Or at least that’s what they’re supposed to be. I’m skeptical that a miniatures game that takes place on a tabletop with representative terrain can be “easy to play”, but that’s supposedly the sales pitch of this game. Looking at the game being played, it’s easy to see why those disaffected with 40k/Fantasy flock to this game, as it’s not long before the typical Games Workshop player has everything they need and get dissatisfied with the rules state. If that’s where you are, maybe give Warmachine a try!
I’m putting these games together because I understand them to be skirmish style games. That simply means that they are small squad based games where you probably only have to get 10ish figures to be able to play a game- NOT BAD RIGHT? Well, I’ve looked at the figures and they’re a bit on the smallish side, so maybe it’s not the best choice for someone starting out. Additionally, with these two games, if you’re the kind of person that wants to head to the local game store and get a game, I’d imagine that unless you’re there on a dedicated night you can probably kiss that dream goodbye. My advice is generally to start these games with a friend- or else you’ll probably end up playing maybe once every 6 months. The WORST would be to finally have everything painted up, head to the store, and see that the only other person willing to play the game smells like farts. Go and scope out the scene before you buy into something with a smaller base of players.
This is a game where your miniatures represent giant space ships, you paint up a fleet of them and do battle across a table top. This kind of game was made for me, so I checked out the rules, which looked fine- 2d board is perfectly fine for space based games as trying to represent 3d space would be a nightmare. The problem for me is the aesthetics- these space ships look drab and don’t capture my imagination. If you’re looking for something more space based, this should be your go to.
Star Wars: Armada
A game that is coming out soonish and by Fantasy Flight Games? MY GOODNESS. You take on either the Rebellion or the Imperials and get to play Space Ships with Corellian Corvettes, Nebulon B Frigates and STAR DESTROYERS. It’s going to be about $100.00, so you should probably find a friend to split the box with and if you’re at all interested, you should probably pre-order so that you don’t get lost in the Fantasy Flight Perpetual Production Vortex that plagues all of their new releases. There are going to be expansions (inevitable) and the ships look AMAZING. The rules look pretty decent as well, representing the inertia of large capital ships and their terrible ability to maneuver. You even get small miniatures to represent fighters. This is a game that I’m definitely interested in, and may pre-order.
Go to Kickstarter and take a look at the myriad games that involve miniatures- it’s jam packed with them! It seems like every day there’s a new miniatures game with drop dead gorgeous models. Most of the time, from what I’ve read, the rules are a mess, but if you’re already playing a system, you can sometimes use some of these miniatures as proxies. I haven’t supported one of these things yet, as I think I’m not buying anything I have to paint until I finish up my High Elves Fantasy Army- which with rules releases will be completely obliterated anyway.
Are miniatures games a good investment? No. Your painting usually will lower the value of the miniatures themselves, so there’s very little collectibility in buying a miniatures game. If you’re going to start one up, you should be really into the idea of getting into the hobby, a hobby that is slowly dying out. From my cursory understanding, the stuff that you need to paint yourself is selling less well than the stuff that comes pre-painted, like X-Wing. So unless you have a few friends willing to take the plunge with you, you’re kind of at the mercy of the game store squad. I’ve played around Toronto and the people are usually fantastic- so really no worries there- but with the exception of Warmachine, I haven’t really seen people playing non-Games Workshop Miniatures games. Except X-Wing and Attack Wing. Those games are popular in a number of stores and have fairly good turnouts at their designated nights.
My Recommendation? Start with X-Wing and if you’re in Canada, order them from http://www.meeplemart.com/ which is pretty much the cheapest place in Toronto to get the stuff. They have good rates on shipping as well!