Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gallery Review for Against the Giants

The new Gallery is up:

I know folks aren't as interested in my opinions as I am in voicing them, but my wife hates it when I talk minis so you are my only friends. :)

I wasn't that impressed with the last set, but I'm holding out some hope for this one. That said, I'm not crazy about the paint jobs either. I think they are starting to look more like "toys" than game pieces or collectible miniatures. I know they are, in fact, toys, but I mean they are looking more and more like the crap in bags at Target...which, I suppose, to a purist might mean it is finally getting "back to the egg" because it was monsters made in China that came in plastic bags that Gygax originally used when developing the game...but I digress. On to the personal opinions. Also, remember, I am purley RPG, so my opinions have nothing to do with skirmish values.

Angel: I really am not crazy about the direction the 4.0 angels are going. I like angelic legs, not whispy clouds.

Boneclaw Impaler: Excellent. I like it a lot.

Blazing Skeleton: Not sure about this. I like it, but I'm not sure what in the world I'd use it for. The purple Faerie Fire throws me a little.

Armored Guulvorg: I feel like this is a wasted huge slot. I wish it were a rare so I'd only have to worry about winding up with one of them.

Blackroot Treant: WTF? I picture him chasing the dryads around from the last set. Again, wish it were a rare.

Bugbear Lancebreaker is pretty good, nice detail, but seems more Orcish to me than Bugbeary.

Captain of the Watch: Excellent miniature, looking forward to adding to my female fighters.

Cave Bear: Nice to have a bear that isn't dire. Cave Bears are really scary 1st level encounters.

Chain Golem: If this is a huge, it is dumb. Where would you get that much chain that is that big? Probably a lot easier to just make an Iron Golem instead. If it is, you know, normal chain, then I'm less worried about its inherent dumbness, because golems that aren't from the normal four food groups tend to be made from more easily obtained chains.

Cloaktrick Rogue: I'll have to wait to see the mini that I actually get on this one to judge the paint job. The image looks like some of the midling painted HeroClix minis...He's got enormous eyes.

Cockatrice: Pretty decent. Good to have an ignored core monster in this set.

Deathpriest of Orcus: I've been saying for years that I wish WOTC would do more mythos specific priests (still holding out for a Gondsman) and this is very nice to have. I'd have prefered going for Banak as depicted on the cover of one of the early Realms supplements, or one of the robed priests dancing around the summoning pool, but this will do. In my world, Orcus made a bid for Godhood early on and so I've had a real need for some Orcus priests.

Degenerate Cultist of Orcus: I'm happy to have more Orcus followers, believe me...and the Common designation meanst I'll have a bunch of them now, but why couldn't they be more generic and robed? Why do followers of a god who is in charge of skeletons and stuff have so much healthy flesh on their bones? I guess every temple to Orcus has a well equipped weight room.

Doresain, the Ghoul King: Did they finish painting this one? Who is this guy? Why is he on my shelf?

Dwarf Warsword: Nice. I'll probably use him for an angry dwarven theif. Or ranger.

Death Titan: Very nice. Not sure what I'll use him for, and hope my axe handle isn't as twisty as the gallery image, but I like it.

Dragonborn Defender: I'm just not that interested in the dragonborn or spawn or other dragaon hybrids.

Dragonborn Myrmidon: Ibid.

Earth Titan: I'll be interested to see the ecologies of the Titans. So far the huges are not grabbing me and making me cry tears of joy. One of the advantages of doing a huge miniature is that you can do extra detail on them. Something like this seems like cheating.

Eldarin Pyromancer: Pretty nice, but I bet he gets tired of carrying around that fireball all the time.

Elf Arcane Archer: Not crazy about the paint job, but can always use a few more elves.

Efreeti Flamestrider: This is a nice miniature, and perfect to make it a rare. You really only need one. Great homage to the old 1E artwork.

Enormous Carrion Crawler: Maybe it is just me, but it seems like so many of these huge slots are wasted on things we've already got. It is kind of interesting, but do we really need a huge version of something that mostly eats things that are already dead? Did it get huge because there is so much dead stuff where it lives? I wish that WOTC paid half as much attention to ecologies as TSR did. Fantasy isn't supposed to be real, I know, but does it have to so often defy logic? Carrion Crawlers were menacing, but their main puprose was to crawl along and clean up the dead stuff adventurers leave behind...but, I guess the 3rd and 4th editions were so combat and skirmish heavy that there probably are enough dead things to let carrion crawlers get this big...I withdraw my complaint. (yes, that was sarcasm)

Elder Red Dragon: Ever since the set before last I stopped caring about collecting these things, so I won't have more than a twinge of guilt over repainting this if it comes out of the box looking like the gallery image.

Elder White Dragon: So cool that I probalby won't get a single one in my three cases.

Feybound Halfling: All the halflings look the same to me. Is it some kind of halfling religious thing that they all have to have pony tails?

Firebat: This is sort of interesting...though I wish they'd make a bone bat.

Fire Giant Raider: This is very similar to the old Ral Partha fire giant sculpt. I like it, and like the pose, and am always happy to have more giants. Especially in a set that is called Against the Giants. I guess I thought there'd be more, you know, giants. This set should really be called Here Come the Titans.

Fire Titan: Awesome. Have no idea what I'll use it for, but awesome.

Fist of Moradin: Very good miniature, glad it is an Uncommon.

Flamescorched Kobold: Not sure what the flamescorched thing is all about, but seems like it will be a good addition to the kobolds on my shelf.

Furious Owlbear: I have way more owlbears than I need. Having a furious one doesn't get me that excited about adding another one.

Galeb Duhr: This I am excited about. I've been using a really crappy earth elemental from Citadel Miniatures for a Galeb Duhr for close to 30 years. I am so glad that I was able to procrastinate that entire time so that I don't have a sculpt of my own for this classic monster that I'd prefer to this one.

Gnaw Demon: Why? There are lots of similar minis from HorrorClix and other places...why invent a stupid looking new demon when you still have some classic ones you've ignored. Besides, it looks an awful lot like an old grenadier sculpt but with wings...the one that MageKnight uses.

Goblin Runner: I like him.

Golden Wyvern Initiate: A wasted opportunity to have another Mythos specific priest...but I can probably find a use for him/her someplace. Human faces are looking pretty bad in this set. I like the color of the robes, though.

Half-Elf Assassin: there anything about this figure that strongly indicates Half-Elf? Is there some quota I'm missing? Is this a token Half-Elf? With a hood and face mask, what are the specific Half-Elf traits that demanded a racial designation instead of just saying "Assassin" and letting the player choose the race? Probably some skirmish thing.

Hellwasp: Back to that plastic bag at Target. Thanks for the homage, but...keep your disproportionately huge articulated stiner to yourself. At least give us clear plastic wings!

Hobgoblin Guard: Good pose for a common. Nice work.

Lizardfolk Raider: Albino? Unfinished paint job? I know we had all those arguments about red Yuan-ti, but white lizard folk are...uncommon indeed.

Lurking Wraith: Good use of a clear plastic mini, but I'm not sure how many of these clear plastic ghosties we need. Well, want, I mean.

Mightly Blademaster: I can't tell, but isn't this a blade mistress?

Ochre Jelly: So dang glad to finally have an ochre jelly that isn't already eating somebody. Really hard to explain how your players are going down the dungeon hallway and find a bunch of Ochre Jellies eating a bunch of clones.

Orc Zombie: With Orcus presumably on his way, and his priests pumping up for action, makes sense to start giving us some more undead varieties.

Planechanged Ghoul: Not sure what I'll use it for.

Roper: I like this roper better than the last one...but why do we need another one?

Ravenous Dire Rat: We've got regular, Diseased, and Ravenous Dire Rats now. I think we've suffered enough. Give us some more wererats instead, please.

Shadow Hulk: Another wasted huge slot. What's the point? Would have been much cooler to do an Aboleth instead.

Shifter Claw Adept: Where are the admantine claws?

Skullcleave Warrior: This is a really nice mini, I think. Can't see it too clearly. Is it human or Orc?

Shocktroop Devil: I guess we're leaving all the Blood War Devil and Demons behind. I'll find some use for this.

Storm Giant Thunderer: I always thought the original Storm Giant was more like a Titan, but because she was painted green and I didn't want to repaint her, I shrugged and said, "Whatever." Now we finally get a storm giant that looks like a storm giant and they paint him blue???? This will be a repaint, and maybe now that I'm so uninterested in collecting, I'll finally go back and repaint the first storm giant afterall.

Thunderblas Cyclone: I like it...but it makes me really weep that they didn't do a Phaerimm instead. That would have been cooler. Oh well.

Tiefling Gladiator: She's OK, but if tieflings are supposed to have a variety of looks becasuse they each get one or two demonic traits, how come they are starting to look so much like a true breeding race with all of them looking nearly exactly alike?

Tomebound Arcanist: Pretty good miniature. I like when mages are depicted with spell books.

Visceral Devourer: I really like this one. Hope it looks as good out of the box as it does on the gallery page.

Voracious Ice Devil: Excellent. Really wish it were Uncommon instead of Rare.

Xorn Ravager: Is this a zombie Xorn? I don't get it. This was not a monster I was dying for a resculpt of.

Young Adamantine Dragon: Pretty good, though it looks a lot like the old green to me.

Yuan-ti Anathema: Nice miniature, I'm looking forward to using it, but I prefered the artwork of the Anathema having multiple heads rather than snake head fingers.

All in all, not a bad set...but where are all the giants? Against the Giants only has two different giant types? Oh well.