More than a year back I ran through all of the miniature games I was looking into and trying to find time to play. Well, a lot of those candidates fizzled out given our limited time and my reluctance to dive too deeply in unless at least one of the Apprentices was excited about it. As far as that 2016 list goes:
- Bolt Action - they went to a second edition and my interest cooled because it seemed like everything else was going to new editions too and there's only so much money to spend. I really should have a decent set of WW2 miniatures by now given my interests but it just hasn't happened. Maybe next year.
- Dropzone Commander - it seemed like a great replacement for Epic but the Apprentices were not super excited and then the creators seemed to get really caught up in their Dropship Commander Kickstarter and development and now they've sold their company off to another company ... call me when you get around to releasing second edition.
- Frostgrave - we've played a few games of this and we like it so it will likely get played a few times this year too. It's an easy game to have "on the list" without buying a bunch of expensive books and huge armies.
- Flames of War - looked at the new edition, decided to skip it since their own fans seem to hate it.
- Kings of War - we liked it, played it quite a bit for a while, then once 40K 8th edition came out it's been gathering dust. I think we may be giving it another try soon though.
- X-Wing - I bought the kids (and myself) a bunch of ships for Xmas 2016 and ... no one wanted to play it. As teenagers I know my friends and I would have killed for a game like this but for whatever reason it's just not anything they really care about. I haven't bought a ship for it since, nor have we played it in more than a year now.
The latecomer: Armada. I talked about it here and while we haven't played it a ton it's the one Star Wars game that Blaster at least is interested in playing again. I picked up some more ships for it not too long ago and we're trying to find a place to give it the first run of this year.
Lately thought I was feeling a lack of fantasy gaming and I kept hearing good things about Shadespire.
It's a skirmish sized game where you have a band of 3-5 characters from a particular force that fight it out on a tactical map. The characters are pre-set per band, but you have cards that let you customize everything from gear to objectives. It can be anywhere from 1 on 1 to a 4-way free for all and sounded fairly interesting as it plays really fast too - less than an hour is what I keep hearing.
The base game comes with Sigmarites (the gold armored posterboys of Age of Sigmar) vs Khorne Blood-somethings - basically barbarians or chaos marauders. There are expansion sets now for orcs and undead. Sounds cool, and you can pick up the whole thing for about $100.
Then I started looking around. I had picked up the General's Handbook for AoS a while back and was really impressed with what it did for that game. Maybe fantasy is the right answer, but not in the limited-and-somewhat-close-to-an-RPG form that is Shadespire.
I can get the starter set for Age of Sigmar, the big original one, for about the same amount. It has a good chunk of two fantasy armies in it. I'm a lot more friendly to the rules now after playing 40K 8th. Finally, I am busily building up my daemon armies for 40K and they are completely usable in AoS with no changes at all! With our leftover High Elf, Greenskin, and Chaos Warrior armies from Warhammer and Kings of War, plus my daemon forces, plus Apprentice Red's Wood Elves, plus what comes in the box, we could have 6-7-8 armies right now using a similar set of rules to 40K and using terrain we already have!
So, Shadespire is sitting down for now and somewhat to my surprise we are moving into Age of Sigmar in a big way. I don't expect it to replace 40K but I expect it to jump to the #2 spot pretty quickly.
I know we only have a limited amount of time to play these thigns. I also would rather spend a big chunk of the budget diving deeply into one good game than spending a little on half a dozen games we play once or never play at all, so I try to pick one main game to dive into for the year - especially when it comes to miniatures. This year it's AoS.
More to come, for sure.