Sunday, December 3, 2017

Star Wars Miniatures

In the late 80's and 90's, West End Games had a very successful game called the Star Wars Roleplaying Game.  Grenadier produced a line of miniatures for it, and West End eventually produced rulebooks for Star Wars Miniature Battles in 1991.  Here's an article you can read on, because we're not talking about that today.

Back in 2004, the first set of Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Miniatures game dropped, and I almost didn't notice at all.  I really wasn't very happy with prepaints at the time, as I've expressed before.  The game would run several years, with many releases.  You can peruse these and a great many other miniature sets at the Pre-Painted Plastic Minis Gallery.

Rebel Tech-Saboteurs
"Quickly, look like you're doing something!"
I'm a relative newcomer to Star Wars minis.  I've explained how in the last few years my view on prepaints has changed from nearly a decade and a half ago, and I'm surprised this line is still readily available.  After the Star Wars hype of 2015, X-Wing and Star Wars RPG ruled the game I started hunting these down to integrate into my existing figure collection.  A few years later and I've grown to love these ugly little critters.

Star Wars Imperial Hunter Troops
"We will now fire wildly in all directions!"
Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games has revitalized the Star Wars miniatures "collection game" for me.  The new miniatures are very high quality, as FFG has already received praise for.  I haven't quite gotten around to painting mine, but I wanted to show they work quite nicely alongside their predecessors from Wizards of the Coast.

WotC vs FFG Mini Comparison
Wookiees and Imperial Royal Guard.  FFG (unpainted) vs. Wizards of the Coast (Pre-painted).
Unfortunately, the old Grenadier models for West End are closer to 25mm...maybe even smaller a bit.  I had a handful of the Grenadier Stormtroopers but they don't look very nice next to the newer models.  I looked for them, but they seem lost forever in the vault.

WotC vs FFG Mini Comparison
Bothan Commandos and Imperial Stormtroopers, (WotC vs FFG).
Now, what concerns me is Legion.  The next Star Wars game from FFG will be a proper miniatures battle game.  Fine right?  In fact that sounds great!

However, FFG has decided to use 32mm scale for the game.  While that might not sound like such a big deal (because it's not in most cases), we've actually seen what the new miniatures look like right next to FFG's other Star Wars line, Imperial Assault.

Star Wars Legion vs Imperial Assault Miniatures Scale Comparison
Picture by TallTonyB on the FFG Community Forum.
The discussion has been rolling on this for a while, and you can read about it on the FFG Community Forum where I found that picture.  I do not like this at all.  It's not that I don't like the miniatures, but the fact it will look jarring on the table to use any of the stuff I already have...which is a light investment. 

Part of the appeal of Imperial Assault was the fact it came with 28mm miniatures.  I understand FFG's drive to do this, to discourage use of WotC's old line with their new game...but that's a business decision.  Business decisions like that ruin games by chopping off momentum.

With the amount of other rulesets that are available to me, such as Rogue Stars, Rogue Planet, Tomorrow's War, etc...I don't feel compelled to buy into another Fantasy Flight excursion...and I was really looking forward to it until I saw this comparison shot.  I haven't counted Legion out yet...but I'm also not really as jazzed about it.

I've already got an investment in Star Wars miniatures - and there's more than enough to fill out my universe.  Changing the established scale on us is like asking us to change all our bases from 25mm round to 30mm rounds and all squares to equivalent rounds.  Especially considering FFG already sold me 28mm Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and whatnot.

Now, that's not to knock people looking forward to this - I understand.  Great for the newcomers.  However,  space is always a premium and Legion would have to take up space I could use for something else.  28mm to 32mm is not ENOUGH of a scale change to warrant investment, for me personally. 

Now, FFG - there's your challenge from the Iron Seer!  Give us a 6mm, 10mm or 15mm land battle game set in the Star Wars universe.  I'll be the first guy to buy a whole army of droid battle tanks.

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