[Top X] Xacting Sweet Vengeance On Those Left Behind
Title brought to you by too many Aaron Dembski-Bowden novels and a state of general malaise.
Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight have gone their separate ways. Leaving aside the Cold-War-style speculation, overanalysis, conspiracy theorising and other spod-nonsense, this means that a whole bunch of board games and RPGs will be flushed down the corporate memory hole at the end of February 2017. Fire Broadside! is on hand with a neat reference list of Stuff Fantasy Flight Made Which You Should Consider Buying. Personally, I’m on the lookout for Black Crusade and/or a third edition WFRP box.
3Tequilas at Sagas of Ice and Ceramite is clearly a man after my own heart. Look at all those Oldhammer Orks! Look at those rough-n-ready Space Wolves! It’s an inspiration.
Hendybadger informs me there’s a fancy new boxed set from Knight Models. Something to do with a popular comic-book-movie property of the day…
Nice buildings. I’m not too familiar with the Batman Miniatures Game, although my compadres at Dice and Decks are slathering over it and have just wrapped up a round robin league. Maybe I should get in on this nonsense: they can’t object to having a Scarecrow gang running around…
Painting and Modelling
This exercise in hiding an unfinished paintjob is brought to you by Tactical Suicide. I like a good cloak. I also like a good classical insult-to-the-eyes purple, and that Joker delivers.
I don’t quite grasp the relationship between Hondas, Greggles Tabletop and Feed Your Nerd – good heavens, I’m out of the loop – but I know what I like, and I like what I see.
That’s a pretty sweet-looking Wraithknight: a clear and powerful transition from reference image to three-dimensional tabletop fun. Eldar walkers in fencing poses are something of an easy sell as far as I’m concerned, although this is certainly the heftiest I’ve seen for a while.
Dr. Willett’s Workshop features a nice olde-worlde forge for your fantasy tables. A piece like this is basically a big old non-interactive obstacle, occupying a space and blocking some lines of sight, but there’s nowt wrong with that. At least you don’t have the constant shuffle of discrete parts on roughly-defined base and the constant swearing at true lines of sight. I’d be a bit weirded out to sight a smithery in the middle of nowhere, apropos of nothing, but a cluster of four or five buildings between which the battle weaves? That’s sauce.
Gemana, meanwhile, features some accessible terrain for the sci-fi gamers – with an emphasis on gamers. Despite holding Mantic in a state of contempt, I admire what they’ve achieved with the Deadzone scenery. No frills, no fuss, yet with a certain character, and you can slap your figures all over it. Gemana’s post pleases me ’cause I like to see terrain in situ, weathered without the weathering taking over, and feeling like there’s a planned, placemade environment.
The Bottom Line
Terrain is all too often the last thing we think of, as Hobbyists. Terrain’s less exciting than new toys for our armies, more work than a handful of miniatures, and we often force it to pull double or triple duty. One board often has to serve as backdrop for a dozen games in half a dozen genres. The result is a depressingly generic surface with a collection of half-hearted objects standing around. We select items because we need something that blocks line of sight or free movement. We do the best we can with what we have, while spectacle and context go hang.
The gaming club has to settle for this sort of thing. Space is not infinite. Fashions change. Last week’s Warmachine tournament has to serve for this week’s mishmash of Bolt Action, Age of Sigmar and Batman, and next month’s promise of a Kill Team campaign. For the gamer at home, however, there’s always the possibility of specialising. If you’re playing something like 40K which has a density of background aesthetic and, let’s face it, involves too much stuff to be an ‘away game’, why not pull out your finger and build a specific collection? If you’re evangelising for Freebooter’s Fate, Deadzone or Malifaux, slap together a table that visually reinforces your message that this game is awesome, and drag your mates around to play on it.
More and more games seem to be bundling a bare-bones tabletop in their starter sets. Hawk’s DropNoun Commander efforts spring to mind, as does Deadzone (does anyone actually play Deadzone?) and the Batman game. That may have to be the wave of the future. It certainly beats seeing grimdark scifi buildings, dusty sand-coloured stone and water features the size of a fat baby’s face all clustered together on offensively plain green chipboard.