Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Star Wars Miniatures: a mini-review and map resources

Ah! Sorry folks, haven't posted anything for a while now, but been working on several new posts!
-Lady Gaga's Disco stick build
-Arcane Legions
-New cooking recipe, Banana Ice cream!
-miniature gaming
My problem is always wanted to collect more info so i have a more complete post, but maybe that's not the point of blogging, eh? Read on for a mini-review of Star wars Minis, which in my opinion is a great game.

This past weekend, I had a great miniature gaming session. And I have to say, out of all the tabletop miniature game systems I've tried, Star Wars Miniatures (by Wizards of the Coast, of Magic the Gathering fame) is very, very good. At least for my purposes. See, I usually invite friends over to play with my collection of SW Minis. They don't have their own, so they also don't know the rules as well. SW Minis strikes that magical balance where the rules are easy enough to quickly pick up for a first-timer but with enough tactical depth that keeps repeat players playing. Usually, the deeper the tactical depth, the more complex the game system, and hence harder to learn how to play the game. For example, Mechwarrior Clix units all have stats for movement and weapon range, typical for any war game. SW Minis simplifies this, movement is always 6 and range is infinite (makes sense, skirmish level game with laser guns). Yet even with the simplification there is plenty of tactical depth in deciding the order of activating units and positioning on a map for maximal advantage.

blasters don't scare a wookie
I think the key here is having good maps. WoTC has done a better job providing nice maps in the starter sets and extra map-packs. Also, since it's a 1" square grid, there are plenty of other systems out there with compatible maps. Mechwarrior suffers here, extra maps are found in "action packs" with more mechs, but their variety and design are not that good (too symmetrical). Also with a 2" hex grid, you need a much larger map to have an equivalent variety of terrain elements as a 1" grid map.

resources for 1" square grid sci-fi skirmish level maps:
any SW Mini starter sets, different starter sets had different maps, and these are usually pretty cheap. I have two starters.
SW Minis Clone Wars Map Pack 1 through 3 - $3/map on clearance at Miniature Market! You can't beat that price! Plus these are well-designed maps. I have them.
SW Minis Attack on Endor Scenario Pack - has 2 double-sided maps, 3 i think are really good and it comes with an AT-ST figure! I particularly like the Rancor pit map.
SW Minis Ultimate Missions books - these are a little bit hard to get (and expensive) as most are now out of print. Comes with scenarios and map! Grab it if you can get a good deal on them.
Armored Cartographers Map Pack 3: Desert City Invasion - 4 double-sided maps for $15 at Miniature Market! DEAL! Not too fond of the desert theme tho, i prefer more colorful locals.
Armored Cartographers Map Pack 4: Strongholds & Fortresses - 4 double-sided maps for $30, pricier but the maps looks excellent!
Maps of Mastery - this guy designed a lot of the official maps for WoTC, and the ones they didn't want he sells on his website! the Forsaken Lands map looks beautiful and won an award! I'm waiting for his Forsaken Lands II map to become available then i'm getting both. - Maps you can download (free) and print yourself or buy printed. Nice looking though i haven't tried any yet.
The Holocron Official Map Guide - has pictures and evaluations of every official WoTC SW Minis map there is.  Very nice to see what you are getting before buying. 

Seriously, maps are like the life-blood of the game. I'm sure there are more out there on forums and whatnot! If you guys have any leads please let me know in the comments!

No comments: