What with Games Workshop knocking it out of the park with the latest edition of Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight and other board game companies dipping toes into the market and crowdfunding offering designers an alternative way to get their games out to the dice-rolling public, it feels like mini wargaming is enjoying a renaissance right now.
There’s plenty of options out there, but here are a handful of the new miniatures games that we’re itching to get to the table in 2018. Three of our picks – Star Wars: Legion, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare and A Song of Ice and Fire – aren’t even released yet, but their IPs alone are enough to get the hype train rolling. They’re joined by a pair of recent spin-offs – Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000-set Necromunda and Privateer Press’ skirmish scale Company of Iron.
STAR WARS: LEGION
With hit titles such as X-Wing, Armada and Imperial Assault, Fantasy Flight Games has done a sterling job with its Star Wars licence – and the Minnesota publisher is looking to repeat the trick with a straight-up tabletop miniatures game, Star Wars: Legion. Unlike X-Wing, the minis come unpainted, but the famous IP and FFG’s accessible approach mean that Legion should be a good pick to get non-wargamers into the hobby …and there’s no denying that the prospect of an AT-ST stomping across our table is pretty sweet.
Set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe, sci-fi skirmish game Necromunda sees rival gangs battling in the polluted slums beneath a towering hive city. In the starter set, the scrap’s between the punk girls of House Escher and the musclebound brutes of House Goliath, but more gangs are on their way. No, it’s not the same Necromunda that you may remember from the ‘90s, nor are the rules particularly elegant. It is, however, hella fun – especially once you add the campaign and 3D terrain rules from expansion book Gang War.
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE
Co-designed by Eric Lang, CMON’s A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game did as well on Kickstarter as you’d expect a Westeros-themed game to do, raking in a cool $1.7 million. The starter box pits Lannisters against Starks, but while you get to play with characters from the books such as Jaime and Robb, this isn’t a skirmish system. Instead, infantry and cavalry units are assigned movement trays to create a fast-playing mass battle game, bolstered by tactics cards and political intrigue from non-combat peeps such as Tyrion. Like 2017’s Runewars, this seems set to be a solid entry-level miniatures game.
COMPANY OF IRON
MyM Buzz’s current mini wargaming drug of choice, Company of Iron has the advantage of starting life with a vast selection of figures ready to hit the table. A chilled out, skirmish level spin-off of Privateer Press’ Warmachine and Hordes games, the quick-playing Company of Iron employs a tweaked version of the WarmaHordes rules set and stat cards, enabling players to use the majority of Privateer Press’ existing range – with more options and scenarios being rolled out via the firm’s recently revamped mag, No Quarter Prime.
FALLOUT: WASTELAND WARFARE
Video game franchise Fallout has already inspired a bunch of post-apocalypse tabletop skirmish titles, but London-based Modiphius Entertainment has scooped the real deal, with Fallout: Wasteland Warfare giving players the chance to pick a crew from factions such as the Survivors, Super Mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel. Featuring PvP, co-op and solo play, not to mention a campaign mode, Wasteland Warfare is certainly ambitious, and the minis themselves look pretty dope (albeit pricey). Plus Dogmeat’s in, and he’s the best.