Monday, 24 December 2012

2012 - the Best Bits (part 3)

In this final part of my look back at the year, I am going to be rambling on about the minis and games that I have spent many an hour gazing at longingly on my laptop screen. If I had unlimited cash and time, I would be writing reviews of the actual products. But such is life, I don't have unlimited amounts of either, so think of this as my letter to Santa.

Dystopian Legions by Spartan Games has sucked away a lot of my web browsing time over the past few months. The sculpts look top notch, the free quickstart ruleset seems decent, but it's the whole concept that really grabs me. It's a 32mm game set in a Victorian era, with a steampunk/historical feel to it.

This picture from their website illustrates why it has me drooling over my keyboard so much. There's a Britannian trooper with the famous red jacket and stylised pith helmet of the Zulu Wars era, hefting a flame thrower. There's a couple of Prussian infantry with the characteristic pickelhaube helmet of World War 1, one is armed with a tesla rifle complete with electrified bayonet, the officer has a mechanical arm. The American trooper wears a cap reminiscent of the Civil war period, while holding a machine gun. And striding out in front is some kind of power armoured robot! And that's just a small selection from the four initial factions' infantry. Add in steam powered bikes, jump packs, armoured vehicles and dozens of other units, it really does look like a superb range of minis.

It's the blend of historical detail and steampunk imagery that has gripped me. I have always liked historical gaming, but truth be told the minis have never been too exciting. With a few notable exceptions, many historical figures were sculpted a couple of decades ago, times and technology have moved on, so they look (ahem) dated. These Dystopian Legions figures tick so many boxes for me, they are lovely sculpts. Another attraction is that the game is skirmish level, so there are lower numbers of high quality figures to paint. I can't believe I have resisted this game for so long, I think I keep telling myself that I will wait and see what the next release is before I plunge in. If you feel inspired to investigate further, head on over to the Spartan games website, there's a special offer on starter sets for the holiday season.

It will be no surprise to regular readers to see Avatars of War here in the review of the best of 2012. I have a number of their metal figures leading my dwarf, chaos and orc and goblin armies, there's even a regiment of their first plastic set, the dwarf berserkers in my collection. If I had continued to play fantasy games at the same rate as previous years, then I am sure I would have bought some of the new warcast sets - the chaos corrupters and the harpies being my particular favourites. It's only a switch from playing Warhammer to Saga that has meant me not buying from this fine range. The recent release of dwarfs has had me considering if I should start a dwarf army from scratch! I won't of course, I have put too much time and effort into my GW collection of dwarfs, but they are starting to look a bit tired and, well, redundant, next to the new kids on the block. I am only human and will surely be unable to resist for too much longer.

Finally, I have recently discovered a little gem that perhaps deserves more attention. Relics by Tor Gaming is a fantasy skirmish game with a slightly lighter touch than all the grim dark stuff around. If the idea of ragdoll puppets fighting evil dwarfs encased in mechanical armoured suits is appealing, then you should investigate further. The sculpts have a certain whimsical appeal that you will either love or hate. There is a decent range of minis covering four factions, while the free to download rules appear to be reasonably straight forward but with some very nice ideas. I looked at them as an ideal way to introduce beginners to wargaming, but with something of interest for even a crusty old gamer like myself.

That's just about it for my highlights of the year, from a gaming perspective at any rate. If you read this Santa,  remember me on your travels.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Oh those dystopian minis look fantastic! Merry Christmas my friend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...