2007 - A Look Back at the Year of Miniature Warfare...

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Here are some stats about the Army Showcase from 2007.

The Top 5 Content Pages
5)Tau Forest Tigers
4)Eldar Patrol
3)Stirland Army of the Empire
2)40K Apocalypse Story Time
1)Forest Tigers Patrol

How about Podcast Episodes:

5)Episode 6 The review of Heroscape, Star Wars Miniatures, and Babylon 5
4)Episode 2 Building the Lizardmen Temple
3)Episode 1 The Future of Mechwarrior
2)Episode 10 Chaos and Tau Armies(I am really still sorry about the audio on this one)
1)Episode 3 Patrol Armies for Tau, Chaos, and Tyranids

How about the various game companies. What were they up to this year?

Wizkids has a reputation for trying out slightly new ideas from time to time. They were the first to mass produce the click bases. Unfortunately, Wizkids seems to jump from idea to idea, often leaving a game which did not immediately succeed to die. Coming from a background of complex miniature gaming, I feel that some of Wizkids games do not live up to their full potential. In reality though, Wizkids is just targeting a demographic that I am not in. With that out of the way, this year showcased all of those things in Wizkids' new games Star Wars Pocket Model, Halo Action Clix, and Mechwarrior Solaris VII.
With SWPM, Wizkids took elements of miniature games and CCGs and merged them to create a game of fast playing abstract combat. While the game mechanics could produce a fun game, the lack of attention paid to detail is just a killer for me. I still cannot get out the image of the AT-AT galloping through space out of my head.
I have wanted a Halo themed game for a long time, so I was naturally excited about the announcement of Halo Action Clix. Wizkids produced another simple fast playing game. From my experience, there is nothing really wrong with what the game provides, except for the huge disproportion between the number of Human and Covenant units. But, HAC just falls short of its full potential. I saw the Advertisements for Halo 3 which showed the museum of Humanity, and that is what I wanted from the game(http://halo3.com/believe/shell.html). Instead, we got something a lot smaller. Oh well, it may a find an audience. I will be curious, to see how Wizkids expands on this game since they have already exhausted a lot of the weapon combos.
MechWarrior : Solaris VII is probably the best rule set that Wizkids has had since Crimson Skies. By bringing in elements of Classic Battletech(My most favorite game ever), they fixed a number of problems with the Age of Destruction rules. I have to ask, where is the content? Ok, so every Mech from the history of the game is usable, but there are only five maps. This assumes that all four of the boxes were purchased. If not, then a player will only have one or two maps and the small maps just do not work for more then six Mechs. This is a game which needs lot of units in a match to be fun. One on One battles are just lame. Also, the coolest part about the original unofficial Solaris rules were the campaign rules. It was so much fun to keep the same character from week to week. S7 is a good start, but if more content is not produced soon, then it will die. I saw some info on stable rules coming out early this year, but I could not find a press release for it. We will just have to wait and see with this one.

Let's jump on over to Games Workshop. This year saw one major release as well as the usual amount of small releases. The big one was 40K Apocalypse which some people see as a scam to buy more figures. I am going to disagree with those people. I love large scale combat(see my comment about Halo Action Clix) and if the guidelines in the book are followed, a enjoyable experience should follow. Graham has had a chance to play a game with the new Chaos Codex and he was quite thrilled, but I will leave the details for him to fill in. Even though I didn't participate in it, I just like the fact that GW runs massive campaigns like the Nemesis Crown. I miss the days when Wizkids would run multi-week campaigns for MechWarrior, even if the first three weeks meant nothing. All in all it was a solid year for Games Workshop and I look forward to what they have in store for 2008.

For the first time since the game's initial release, Hasbro pushed out a new master set for Heroscape. While I think Rise of the Valkyrie is the better set, Swarm of the Marro is still an excellent value in the world of miniature games and is a worthy starter for Heroscape. In addition, they backed the game up with some nice support pieces(The Knight's Templar are so cool!). I see nothing bad coming in 2008. A while back, Heroscapers.com posted some pictures of what appeared to be new factions. If that is the case, I am looking forward to it.

I just need to mention that Mongoose publishing refreshed their Babylon 5 rules late last year and that is something I will be covering later this year. In case you didn't catch Episode 5 of the Tabletop Battlefield, I loved B5:ACTA.

Now onto Fantasy Flight Games. Prior to this year, I have never played much Fantasy Flight because they have primarily stuck to the realm of board games. Being a long time fan of Starcraft, I had to try the game out and I am glad that I did. Of the new games I played this year, It was by far the best one and I look forward to many more games to come. Next year may be the interesting one for FFG as they now distribute Rackham's miniature games in the United States. I just saw the trailer for Confrontation and it looks fantastic. I think I will add this one to the list of reviews for 2008.

Thats not all that happened this year, but those are the events I found to be the most interesting. My hobby of miniature gaming is not going away any time soon so hopefully 2008 brings some nice releases.

xxx,yyy
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