I have a love/hate relationship with them.
When I was playing Earthdawn I started painting minis because I really liked some of their minis and, after paying someone to paint a few of them, I decided to do it myself.
I then picked up some of the old Warhammer Fantasy halberdiers to use as generic city guard and got bit by the minis game bug. But I never got involved to be a modeler. I did it to play the game. Being painted didn’t matter, having fun did. I didn’t mind modeling figures when it was something I wanted to do, but when a figure required a lot of modeling I got quickly frustrated.
A few years later, after being ripped off and disappointed my Games Workshop’s insane price increases and their killing their best games to keep their money-makers in print, I was intrigued by Warmachine. It was then that I swore off miniatures and figured I was cured. Then I opened the Devil Dogs box and was completely put off by the number of pieces the troops were in. That, combined with having a heck of a time getting one of the merc warjacks assembled had me swearing off minis for good.
Falling off the wagon
A couple of years ago my FLGS started carrying Malifaux. My friend Mike, who was still playing all kinds of miniatures game said he heard good things about it and you only needed a few figures to play.
Well all right! This is something I could get into. I like the free-flowing skirmish games. Limited figures meant I only need to spend a little time building anything, and there would not be that much painting involved. Painting had become a chore. I was never happy with the results and could never get them as good as I wanted. Plus there was "new" technique called dipping.
I finished a few Malifaux figures and bought a whole lot more. We stopped playing in part because the rules were errataed to death, reprinted, and generally not well thought out at times. It’s a good system that seems to need editorial control. Plus the figures have so many special rules that it can be hard to keep track of which character can do what.
It’s still fun, but we weren’t playing much. I hope to play some more in the near future since I just paid someone to paint some figures for me.
Now I am really into playing Warmachine and Hordes, even though I have only played a few games. I also jumped into the Kickstarter for Relic Knights because it looks really fun. Mike and I kind of talked each other into it, and he has a friend who also jumped in so I will likely play some next year when it is released.
C’mon, man! Get to the point!
Okay, okay! I’m getting there.
I also Kickstarted DreadBall. Yes, I’m talking about that game again!
Because I was so excited about the game I wanted to see some of the Mantic figures up close, and Mike owns and has been a fan of their other board games. He's talked up the Dwarf King's Hold games. I asked him to show me either Dwarf King’s Hold or Project Pandora: Grim Cargo. We played Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace and I really liked the figures in that one and the others, which he showed me. They are not oversized like the Games Workshop current standard and were still nicely detailed without being too crammed full of extraneous, pain-in-the-butt-to-paint little details.
I even started looking at their mass combat games, Kings of War and Warpath and wondered if I might enjoy playing those. Maybe I was woozy from excitement because I traded away those Devil Dog figures last weekend?
I picked up Dwarf King's Hold: Dead Rising this weekend. I opened the box knowing I would have to do some figure assembly. Half way through putting together the seven dwarves and their dog I was cured of any desire to ever get into one of the mass combat games. I was bored and done with the task after just a few dwarves, there is no way I could put together another 100+ figures for Kings of War of even half that for Warpath.
I’m not sure I will even want to get the other Dwarf King's Hold games or Project Pandora: Grim Cargo, which is a shame because it is a really good system. I bet that if they were repackaged with slightly bigger tiles with brighter art and one-piece figures that these games would be hits among the fans of dungeon crawlers and Space Hulk.
Some parting thoughts
I need to stick to games that have fewer figures with fewer parts. The DreadBall figures are going to be mostly one-part and will be playable with minimal work. I also want to play it NOW!
Mantic makes some nice figures at a really good price. If you are looking for some affordable figures for your RPG gaming, check them out. They require some modeling, but it isn’t hard. They go together pretty well.
I recently learned the second edition of Descent and believe if you like this you might like Dwarf King's Hold, and vice-versa.
Never pick the Cardinals, or against them, in a survival football league.
I love my new iMac. I am already getting retrained in the Mac way and am trying to do things the Mac way on my work PC. Soon I will be a total Mac zombie.
Dominion: Dark Ages is now sleeved. I think I may be done with getting expansions for the game because we just don’t play any of them that often. It could have reached critical mass for me.
Check out Bravey's blog to look at the Malifaux figures he painted for me. And also Michael Jordal's Painting for Profit and Pleasure for some Hordes figures he painted for me. I've come full circle, paying people to paint for me.
One of these days I need to rant against tournament players, but I'm off to check the DreadBall Kickstarter to see if we've got access to pre-order the insect Z'zor before heading off to bed.