But what is the purpose of this build up? While I was attempting to write up this article for several weeks, there was several key news stories that got in the way though. Stories like the GW Price raises, the limitations placed on Wayland games etc, and Beasts of War getting kicked off youtube, just to name a few. Oh and I guess the Rapture, but seeing how that failed and my attempts to rework this article have taken forever(not to mention forgetting the joke of the article) I believe that I have finally got something "Alternative" to talk about. If you don't get the obvious "hint" I will be talking about Alternative game systems to invest into. Because lets face it, I love the Warhammers and GW minis as much as the next guy, but even I can tell you what they are doing to Oz and NZ GW prices are completely unrealistic (Don't they know Food and Fuel is going up?), but understand that when a company has almost 90% market share they can flex that price muscle a bit. Now I don't think GW is wrong in their choices because they can do that in a free market, but as a result every choice has consequences and as consumers we need to expand the miniatures market so that we can have more diversity and choice with regards to prices and companies. Now adding to what my friend Mike from FBRoundup has already stated, we shouldn't hate GW and overflow local forums with our bad manners and rightful outrage. Instead we should be the instruments of change and at the very least show big companies that we are a force in the industry. How do we do this? Support other game systems and the best part is you don't have to quit your current hobbies. Actually most of the following games that I'm going to list below have their main core rules on the internet already. Most of them don't require a whole lot of models to play and their game systems are dynamic and engaging. I would even encourge proxying the models first and then expanding into those ranges sometime in the future, if you finally decide to buy those games. Finally if you find that you don't like the game system, its not like you invested a terrible amount of money into the new game so it shouldn't be difficult to cycle out the models or even use them in you own GW based armies. Companies like Privateer Press and Mantic Games have developed into potentially powerful competitors already, so I thought I would showcase some of the smaller games that have just recently drawn my attention. Finally I have added some cheap computer games to the mix, because hey when you find a deal you run with it :).
Looping back to the starting joke here are some of the other amazing options out there right now:
FIRESTORM ARMADA/DYSTOPIAN WARSFrom the creators of Uncharted Seas, Spartan Games has created two very unique and interesting game systems that might tickle your fleet fancy. I have always loved the concept of fleet battles on water or in space and these two games help bring that love of mine to life. Firestorm Armada puts you in command of a space navy as you put all power to the engines and ram into the opposing enemy fleet. The biggest draw for me in this game is the size of ships...
(Brought to you by Jaded Gamercast. Check out the Firestorm Episode, http://jadedgamercast.com/2011/01/31/episode-14-failstorm-armada/)
Plus they are in full resin so they are easy to build and take next to no time to paint. Certain fleets are better at long range combat while other specialize at broadside firefights. This game holds alot of potential and has got me fairly excited.
Dystopian wars is a steam punk style game that not only incorporates sea battles but also air and ground battles as well, covering all 3 types of conflicts that a wargame can hope to cover. Now I don't know as much about it as Firestorm, but apparently they have Jet Pack Samurai, soooo thats pretty sweet in my books. The factions within the game include steam punk versions of the U.S, Britain, Japan and Germany, so make sure to give this game a look if you like Uncharted Seas or Warmachine/Hordes.
Now this is a game system that has been getting alot of buzz recently, do to its hybrid dice/card based game system. Now if you have ever wondered what Malifaux mini's look like they are simply stunning and have a very unique aesthetic that makes it stand out in rapidly developing market place. I don't have alot of experience with the game, but there is a rather large community growing for the game. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up in the near future.
This game company was a relative unknown until recently, but after checking out some of the newer content that is out there on youtube I was interested enough to look up their main webpage. To my surprise there was more on that site then first thought. Online Rules, Army Builders, Instructional videos for both the rules and fluff. A local forum and finally an entire Wiki.......WOW! The game also boasts having dynamic turn elements that allow both players to participate during one turn as they both use terrain and cover to make sure they get the upper hand in the conflict. It's a Science fiction game that holds alot of promise and this company has been making great strides to grab an audience. Frankly I think they deserve it and they have the potential to go all the way.
LIZARD, SPOCK!!!!Now the following are games that have had my attention for along time and I have finally given them a shot and frankly I can't express how awesome these two games are. I have struggled to pull myself away from them to actually write this article. They happen to be $10 computer games provided by the free to download program Steam. But wait a second why switch things up with computer games? We were talking about mini 's a second ago? Yes, thats true but like many people I need a break from all my wargame hobbies once in while and there needs to be other simple time killers to jump into when I'm not painting or building new models. Also if you are reading this article you most likely enjoy quick games at work that cost next to nothing that have hours of content and fun, right? Heres my picks:
Magicka is a game that is difficult to explain. On the surface it appears to be a simple fantasy style game that involves killing multiple enemies over a course of several levels and areas with different tile sets. But in reality its an Explosive Manipulation Engine!!! You can summon fireballs of doom with a side order of sith lightning! To say that Magicka uses pop culture references would be a major understatement. The entire game is a reference, everything from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, 300 and .......
Now this game is all good fun, but that dial gets turned up by 10 when you play the extensive multiplayer campaign and challenge modes. There is so much fun to be had you have to give it a shot.
This game, THIS GAME!!!! has taken so much of my free time! I have struggled so much to get away but it just keeps pulling me in. At first glance it seems like a cheap minecraft clone, but considering that Minecraft has basically created its own genre, this game complements that genre very nicely. Take games like the Legend of Zelda, Classic Metroid/Castlevania and smash them together into Terraria. Everything in this game is a means to an end. You build a house to hide in during the night when the monsters come out, you fight bosses to gain access to powerful magical items, and you mine underground to gather rare resources so that you can make your lightsaber of doom(They are called Phaseswords, but they sound and look like LBs :D ). Each time you create a new world its randomly generated with dungeons, floating islands, deserts, and corrupted areas, so that no two worlds are the same. I'm currently trying to get the minishark gun, which is "50% Shark, 50% Minigun, 100% Awesome" to quote the game. Finally like Magicka, Terraria has multiplayer and actual PVP(Player vs Player) so that you can fight your friends or have them help build your castles. A fun game that is expanding every day and for only $10 is just fantastic.
Each of these wargames and computer games deserve your attention, so take a look at one of the links below for more info on any of the topics above. Also make sure to check out this fantastic Facebook Page:
GW Australian & New Zealand Prices Petition http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/home.php?sk=group_109577025797447 . If you live in Oz or NZ and don't like the GW Prices or the restrictions placed on indy retailers, make sure to sign up onto the page.
As always you can reach me on twitter @ATT64 if you have any thoughts about this week's topic or any older topic. I check my wall once a day and I will do my best to get back to you when I can. All gaming content/pictures that are used, belong to their respective owners.
Till Next Time