When I saw a new Star Wars miniatures skirmish game I have to admit, I was a little giddy. Adding to that, my grandson/gaming buddy, loves Star Wars. I remember playing the old miniatures game and while fun, it was a pain to manage all of those cards with the minis if you did a larger battle. I hoped this one would be better and, on the surface, it appears so.
For this review – I am going to focus on the miniatures. My first proviso, I am not a great miniatures painter. I am average, at best.
When I purchased the set, I noted that these were 35mm figures…as opposed to the 25mm figures from the old game. Was this merely a ploy to make sure I couldn’t use the old minis in the new system? Probably. At the same time I wondered how the larger size would impact details. As it turns out, it makes the details pop. Even better, the larger size seems much more forgiving when you paint them. Little mistakes (the ones only you notice) disappear on a larger miniature.
Assembly was great, well almost great. For the Stormtroopers and Rebels, you can almost get by without gluing some of the arms to the miniature, some are that good of a fit. The figures are great to work with, with good facial distinctions and details. I have to admit it, Fantasy Flight Games did a great job with these.
The only miniature I struggled with putting together was the speeder bikes. The guide in the rules set simply didn’t help at all with putting on the parts. I went to two videos to finally figure it out. On one bike, I got the control vanes on backwards. I’m refusing to correct it at this stage. Even more frustrating, unlike other parts in the boxed set that fit together well, the vanes don’t. One wobbly finger and you end up with a hot mess…trust me. I hate those speeder bikes for that reason. I’m sure better modelers fared much better than me.
These minis are not quite model kits in complexity, but are pretty fast and easy to assemble (other than those blasted bikes.)
In terms of painting, be prepared. There are a lot of videos on how to paint these minis. In terms of color guides, I found no less than a dozen. It makes sense with the Rebels, after all, these are ad hoc units so there is some variance. Well brace yourself, there are a lot of options here which make it great for you as a painter/player.
The large bases have groves for identifying firing angles. You need these in game play. It can make basing those figures tricky. You can see how I did it. I wasn’t overly pleased with the result, but it worked.
Stormtroopers are easier. You have white and black, and a touch of dark gray. I color coded the bases with the leaders so I can distinguish them on the field of battle.
I used an airbrush for base coats, which saved time. It allowed me to do some light camouflage on the RT walker that I liked too. You will have to judge for yourself.
I purchased Strong Tone wash from Army Painter and this was my first experience with it. You can judge for yourself. I have come to love it. With the Stormtroopers, I put it on and gently wiped the white surfaces so they popped a little more. I am not a Strong Tone kind of guy when I paint. It can make a dull mini pop, and isn’t that what you want?
You can see my results as an average painter.
One of these days I will play the game and do a full-blown review of these minis in action. Stay tuned!