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MarkHudson
30 September 2004, 11:16 PM
I thought I'd toss out my .02 credits regarding the miniatures game. I should say first that I'm approaching the game as roleplayer, not a wargamer or miniatures game player.

I picked up a starter and went a little wild getting 15 boosters. I did a smidge better than average with 6 Very Rares to show for my money.

First off, the game is a little pricey. I definitely suggest looking for bargains online or buying the figures on Ebay or at a comic book/scifi convention if you're on a budget.

Overall the figures are very nice. The sculpting is good, and the painting is okay considering the figures are mass produced. Paint jobs can vary from figure to figure, even of the same character. The maps in particular are swanky and the card are okay, if a little spare. I do wish the character cards were on a heavier stock. The rulebook was simple to get through with plenty of diagrams to explain things.

I was able to breeze through the rulebook and start playing immediately. The rules are simple, quick and keep things going; and that's a good thing. Since the concept behind these miniatures games seems to be army-men-with-rules, the game dispenses with all that pesky roleplaying and character development stuff. That's fine if you just want to run around and shoot stuff, but it may be limiting to roleplayers who want some story with their action.

The first thing that jumped out at me after a couple of games is that winning Initiative is very important. Almost too important. I've had games turn on what is essentially the coin toss of an initiative role. I'm not sure an arbitrary roll should so affect the outcome of game. What's more the Probot tilts this critical role in the Imperial favor. If there is a Rebel character with the Recon ability, I didn't get it.

Not all characters are created equal. The Vader that comes in the starter set is a very, very tough dude. I couldn't come close to giving him a good fight until I got Obi-Wan. I don't have Jedi Luke, so I don't know he could stand up to Darth (I should hope so!). I've found that Obi-Wan, Han and Chewie have a decent chance to handle Vader.

By comparison, Luke from the starter set and Senator Leia are both kinda weenies. From a design stand point, I would think main characters from the movies should be more desirable than stage dressing like IG88 or 4LOM. Greedo isn't that much worse than Leia. That ain't right. Greedo can't hit a target across a table, and Leia aces more Stormtroopers than anyone else in the trilogy.

And some characters are worse than useless. The Ewok is a joke. If you don't like Ewoks fine, but if the game is to model the movies, then Ewoks should be credible characters to have in a squad.

My main justification for trying out the minis game was to use the figures in the roleplaying game. And if you do use minis then these can be very useful, especially if you're a GM looking for cannon fodder and villains. If this game is anything like HeroClix or the D&D minis game, then dealers will literally have tubs of figures for sale on the cheap. I imagine that for just a few bucks, you'll be able to deploy enough Stormtroopers to make even the most jaded scoundrel blanch.

Finding figures for PCs might present something of a compromise. The figures are probably either too specific or too generic for a lot of PCs. To use Han or Lando for that jaded scoundrel may not fit that character, but a Rebel Trooper won't do it either. Still they'll do in a pinch.

Maybe WOTC will put out some archetypal Player Character minis in the future. Otherwise, I suggest customizing the figures or seeking out some metal minis. In all honesty, learning to paint a decent mini is not that hard. With a little practice you can do better than the paint jobs on these figures. Yes, it takes an investment in time and paints, but anyone can do it. A friend I know doesn't have an artistic bone in his body, but does a very good job on his characters. On the web, reapermini.com and games-workshop.com have good tutorials. Just think of it as a three dimensional coloring book, and you'll do fine.

From personal experience, I can say it's super-cool having a specific mini that was picked out and painted to be your character.

As far as finding appropriate figures goes WEG of WOTC both put out SW minis that should be findable with varying degrees of effort. I'm sure the figures from the miniatures game could easily be customized with at least new paint jobs, and figures from other scifi games like Shadowrun and Battletech got a lot of play in my old campaign. The poor Kurita Machine Gun Platoon got mowed down more times than I can remember!

In conclusion, I've had fun with the game and getting some of the cooler figures has been neat. Having Chewbacca lead an all-fur squad of Wookiees, Ewoks and my one Bothan was a blast (if not tactically sound.) As far as game play goes, the initiative thing is my only significant problem with the rules. If you run a Star Wars RPG and use minis, I do recommend checking out the game and picking up some figures.

Cheers,

Mark H

farr0095
1 October 2004, 01:57 AM
I'd like to say this is a great review. You carefully consider pros and cons, game balance, and do so from the perspective of a person just getting into the game, which takes into consideration the randomization.

I would like to hear how you feel you fared in the collector's realm for the randomization, in buying the packs that you did, and if you felt there is a true mixture or not.

Also, did you have any problems with "bent Wookiees"? I know that several of my characters (the worse has been the Ithorian Scout, with his weak spear) have come and needed to be reshaped. Of course, I've only picked up a starter and I think five boosters now.

Anyway, I wanted to commend you on your review.

Ghengis Ska
1 October 2004, 08:24 AM
Good review and it seems it is doing just what it is suppossed to be doing, appealing to part of the crowd, meaning you as an RPG player while trying to hit multiple audiences.

Yes there is a marked difference in some character strenghts but from an RPG stand point that shouldn't matter becuase you can just level the character of leia and use the Post EIV version or what not. while some are pretty close to the RPG counterparts (Chewie is darn close to the RCR version if you add VP+WP=HP, the attack is dead on (but only one no itenerant to make simple game play), and i think Defense is dead on too. Han same way, and his Force point represnets better lucky than good from the RPG.

I think it can do a good job of supporting both RPG players, who as you say can pick up loads of the commons and uncommons in the secondary market (ebay + other places) which are what a lot of the good RPG figures are. And the people who want the quick skirmish.

The Ewok can be wuite good with the swarm ability and is how they beat the Imps on Endor, you get 8 around one and each is running at +8 to hit and since they do 10 damage that will kill a stormtroope, and likely hit, which is how they worked on the movies mass of them on the Imps... can they take on vader no... but should they really be able to?

MarkHudson
2 October 2004, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by farr0095
I'd like to say this is a great review. You carefully consider pros and cons, game balance, and do so from the perspective of a person just getting into the game, which takes into consideration the randomization.

Thanks! I dropped a small pie of cash on this game and figure it at least gives me the right to mouth off a bit.


I would like to hear how you feel you fared in the collector's realm for the randomization, in buying the packs that you did, and if you felt there is a true mixture or not.

I can't complain at all. I bought 15 boosters and only got one duplicate rare, and a nice selection of Very Rares (both Speeder Bikes, Jabba, Captive Leia, Obi-Wan, and the Probot.) However, I suspect that I'm at the point of diminishing returns. If there are any more figures I want, I'm certain to be better off getting them from the secondary market. As far as the mix of other figures goes, I can't really tell. While I've got a chorus line of Twilik Bodyguards, I don't have a single Stormtrooper Officer; I do have enough Elite troops, to fill out a squad, but only one Duros. I'm not sure I've got a large enough sampling to call it anything other than the luck of the draw.

Looking at the question from the point of view of getting popular characters, I think I did all right. Counting Darth and Luke in the starter set, I was able to get all the major characters from the first movie with the exception of Threepio. Setting up Han, Chewie, Luke and Leia together is pretty neat, by the way.


Also, did you have any problems with "bent Wookiees"? I know that several of my characters (the worse has been the Ithorian Scout, with his weak spear) have come and needed to be reshaped. Of course, I've only picked up a starter and I think five boosters now.

Oh, sure. The Ithorian's spear and the Royal Guard's staff are the big bendies in my tub of minis. On another thread, it was suggested to carefully use a hair dryer to soften the plastic before bending the offending weapon back into shape, then cool the figure in water to make it set. I haven't tried this trick yet, but it seems easy enough.

I hope this helps!

MarkHudson
2 October 2004, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Ghengis Ska
The Ewok can be wuite good with the swarm ability and is how they beat the Imps on Endor, you get 8 around one and each is running at +8 to hit and since they do 10 damage that will kill a stormtroope, and likely hit, which is how they worked on the movies mass of them on the Imps... can they take on vader no... but should they really be able to?

The Ewoks in Return of the Jedi were effective troops, the Ewoks in this game are not. To get the +8 attack bonus, you need 9 Ewoks, or 27 squad points against a 5 point foe. 27 points gets you a decent unique character. Or 3 Gamorreans, or 4 Ithorians or nearly 7 Tusken Raiders. Those are all more versatile and effective options, as I see it.

I don't want to harp this relatively minor point. I sometimes find myself defending the cute and fuzzies of the Star Wars universe more than I ever thought I would. I do wish the Starter Set Luke were a better character. If you're using his special power a lot, you're probably in deep trouble.

Anyway, it's good to know that the stats on the cards match up with the d20 stats. Hopefully, it will mean the minis game and the RPG can coexist. I play d6 Star Wars, so I've got my own set of issues.