During the last few weeks I’ve spent a bit of time looking around to see what table top miniature game systems are out there and boy is there a lot of choice! Today I would like to summarise my findings with the games which have peaked my interest so far. There is quite a bit to cover so lets get started.
To preface this post I want to reinforce my stance with Games Workshop so no one gets the wrong idea. While I may not agree with the corpo behaviour, they make some fantastic miniatures and are no doubt leading the table top miniature gaming scene. I still love 40k/ AOS and will continue to work on my G.W. miniatures. I’m also still heavily invested in the settings & lore. With that said however, it’s probably not healthy to give a business exclusive rights to your hobby life & wallet. There are a wide range of alternatives and if like me you are only really in it for the painting, then you are not limited by what other people are playing. It’s a liberating realisation that you are not stuck with what one company are offering.
I’ve already mentioned these games in previous blog posts but as I’ve already begun to invest in Frostgrave, this seems like the best place to start. Both are skirmish games and miniature agnostic meaning you can use whatever miniatures you like to play the game. There is an official miniature range (From North Star gaming) and I have to say they are not only REALLY cheap compared to what I’ve grown used to, but are good quality too. Fantastic!
In Frostgrave you control a wizard and apprentice, leading a warband of mercenaries and explorers as you delve the ruins of a frozen city for magical artefacts. Mechanically the game seems very simple however there is a wealth of customisation and the option to use any miniatures you like means you can really go to town with the hobby side, making something truly unique. As I understand Stargrave is very similar however has a sci-fi twist. Have you got some unused Necromunda or Warcry miniatures? Then you already have everything you need to delve into these games. This one is well worth a look if you are in the market for a more casual skirmish level game.
Link for Frostgrave: https://ospreypublishing.com/frostgrave
Link for Stargrave: https://ospreypublishing.com/stargrave
Infinity is another sci-fi skirmish level game, however I wanted to mention it as the miniatures look amazing! I don’t know an awful lot about this game apart from the fact that the aesthetic is bloody lovely. I will note that models do appear to be largely metal so not as easy to work with as plastic or resin, but with sculpts this good it’s worth the pain.
The game itself appears to be quite complex however there is a slimline version of the ruleset available called “Code one” which seems the ideal place to start. Both the slimline and main rulesets appear to be freely available too which cuts down the cost of entry although the miniatures themselves do appear quite expensive.
Link for Infinity: https://infinitytheuniverse.com/
This is a game I find very interesting both in terms of mechanics and setting. Malifaux is another skirmish level game where you control a pre-made character from the setting known as a master and build a crew around them. There are many masters to choose from across a handful of factions and each comes with it’s own unique personality. Malifaux is set in an alternative “Victorian” world with advanced technology, magic and a healthy dose of gothic horror. It’s a world dripping in character and the miniatures look fantastic. What’s more there appears to be quite a bit of “fluff” to flesh out the world of Malifaux. Perfect if like me you want to fully dive into the setting while painting your miniatures.
What interests me regarding the mechanics is that instead of dice, Malifaux makes use of a standard deck of cards. You draw a card and if the number on the card + any modifiers beats the target, then the thing you want to happen happens. I’m seriously considering investing in Malifaux and have already settled on the Outcasts as my faction of choice.
Link for Malifaux: https://www.wyrd-games.net/malifaux
Kings of War
Switching gears now to something on a larger scale, we have Kings of war. I’ve known about this game for a little while and almost got into it about 5 years ago however sadly got distracted. Kings of war is essentially a re-imagining and streamlined version of Warhammer Fantasy. Think mass armies on movement trays, marching about the battlefield in formation. The official miniatures from mantic games look great but if you still have your old Warhammer fantasy army then you just need to pick up the rules and you can play Kings of War.
As I understand there is a basic free rule set however if you do want to get into this game then you will need to buy a copy of the full rules from mantic. That said, with the miniatures being quite cheap compared to others on the market this isn’t such a tough pill to swallow. Mantic seem to make a point that although they have a good range of minis available you don’t need to use them so long as you are using the official mantic bases. (For game mechanics.) With that said I am tempted to get some Agincourt Mounted Knights from Perry miniatures and use them as the core for a Order of the Brothermark army. Kings of war scratches that old world itch and is here now.
Link for Kings of War: https://www.manticgames.com/games/kings-of-war/
No doubt if you have also been researching into alternative GW systems you will have heard about Battletech as this seems to be the place most people moving away from Warhammer are heading. In Battletech, you control a group of mechs and fight against an enemy group. If you love big stompy robots and a grimdark setting then this may be the game for you.
Interestingly, Battletech is another miniature agnostic game, meaning although an official range may be available, you are by no means forced to use them. As such there are many 3rd party companies producing mechs for you to choose from and even a 3d printing community. What’s more, the setting is expansive with a great depth of lore. Once more the option to get lost in the setting while painting miniatures appeals greatly to me and so this seems a fantastic option.
Interestingly there is a pc game for Battletech and it just so happens to be currently on sale via Steam. I’ve picked up a copy and am quite excited to explore the setting.
Link for Battletech: https://bg.battletech.com/new-to-the-board-game/
Gaslands is a miniature gaming system based around modifying hotwheels cars for post apocalyptic war. Add weapons, accessories and a custom paintjob to your cars and you are ready to go. I’ve heard it said that this game is a ton of fun both in terms of hobby and gameplay and if you are a petrol head or just adore that madmax setting, I would certainly suggest looking into this one further. Low cost of entry both for the miniatures and rules also means this game is incredibly accessible. I don’t have a lot more to say about this one as it’s not really my thing, but I wanted to mention it just incase it appeals to you.
Link for Gaslands: https://gaslands.com/downloads/
I actually used to play this one a few years ago but fell out of interest with it after moving back to 40k. This is another skirmish level game where you control a character who in turn controls steampunky robots or monsters and a crew of soldiers. I found this game incredibly fun to play and mechanically deep. The miniatures where a blast to paint too which is great for the hobbyist and again, there is quite a depth of lore to immerse yourself into while working on the hobby. I understand that Warmachine/ Hordes is now up to it’s 3rd edition and though popular back when I dipped my toe into it, there does seem to have been a drop in 3rd party stores supplying this game for whatever reason. I’d advise optimistic caution if this game peaks your interest.
Link for Warmachine/ Hordes: https://privateerpress.com/warmachine/welcome-to-warmachine
I’m really just scratching the surface here with a handful of suggestions but it goes to show that there is a wide range of options available. If you have any suggestions for more table top games then I’d love to hear them in the comments.