Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

When I heard that WotC (Wizards of the Coast) was cancelling the Chainmail miniatures game, I was bummed. I had finally found a miniature game that was exactly the kind of game I was looking for. It was fast with easy (minimal) set-up. It allowed you to build small warbands of varied figures, had simple rules and a whole lot of strategy. During my time playing in the Chainmail league, I played several warbands with wildly different strategies and won most of the leagues, so of course I liked the game. I won a lot. :)

Then WotC announced they were cancelling the game and I lost interest. The game hadn't been around long and it was just starting to get a following, but noone would want to play a game that is no longer supported. The important thing about miniature games is being able to find an opponent. If you can't find someone to play against, you won't get much use out of your minis. It sucked because Chainmail was just starting to build a following and the last coupleof sets had some of the best minis they produced.

Since Chainmail, I started playing Heroclix a bit and it's a decent game, but it's nowhere near the quality of game that Chainmail was. The best part of the game is the fact that it's superhero miniatures but even that can only carry the game so far. Unlike Chainmail, with its varied startegies and tactics, Heroclix tends to have very little in the way of strategic options. Most Heroclix teams tend to be pretty similiar. If you don't have a few guys that fly on your team, you'll probably lose. So, every team has at least two fliers. If you have too many inexpensive guys and try to win with hordes of "cannon-fodder," you'll proably lose. In Chainmail, I had some terrific luck with warbands that were all cheap guys. In Heroclix, if you try buying just one or two really big (expensive) guys for your team, you'll lose. In Chainmail, my first warband was one huge Ogre and a Gnoll. I won a lot with that team. In Heroclix, when I go to play at a hobby shop, it seems everyone is playing the same team with the same startegies.

So, I've wanted to play miniature games, but Heroclix wasn't the game I was hoping it would be. I still keep picking up the occassional pack because the comic geek in me loves having superhero miniatures and, while I like playing the occassional game of Heroclix, I mainly like that I may be able to use them someday for Champions or Mutants and Masterminds and have already converted a couple of Heroclix figures into some of my Champions characters.

My miniatures are gathering dust and lately I rediscovered Magic: the Gathering. I've spending my money on it instead.

When WotC cancelled Chainmail, they said it wasto come out with pre-painted minis like Heroclix and Mage Knight. They had seen the popularity of the games from Wizkids and they wanted to cash in. Skeptical at first, I've since heard that the new game may be an updated version of Chainmail. I've seen the miniatures on site like this one and I've liked what I've seen. The game comes out in a few months and I'm looking forward to it. The best part? The same excuse I gave myself when I got into Chainmail miniatures: They're fantasy miniatures that I can use for countless other games (like the D&D RPG), so if the game flops or gets cancelled, I still can find a use for the minis.


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