Is all that is left on Secret Weapon’s Tablescapes Kickstarter and the oh-so-close stretch theme of “Ruined Temple”. From the very start of Justin’s funding push to tool a set of high texture detail, 12″ injection plastic gaming tiles, that theme has stood out as the potential star amongst all the stretch goals. Terrain and gaming tile Kick-starters haven’t to date attracted the same attention (or backers) that the fully fledged miniature game kickstarters have, as a rule. There are exceptions of course, most notably Dwarven Forge which was a recent smash success.
Tablescapes, for me at least is very much in that category as well. It has not (to date) garnered anywhere near the funds Dwarven Forge did with their dungeon tile sets, but what I think sets it apart from the competition is the impressive detailing of the tiles and the thought that has really gone into their design. Not just what is on the gaming surface, but also how the themes Secret Weapon are bringing to market can be used for so many different games and scales.
Take Games Workshop’s Realm of Battle and fantasy terrain range, gothic wise it has you covered. I love GW’s plastic Warhammer terrain range, it’s loaded with fun little details and touches that works beautifully with 40K or Warhammer Fantasy to enhance any battle. If you play other systems in addition to Warhammer however, well perhaps not quite so ideal. That isn’t Games Workshop’s fault, they designed their terrain to compliment their games and background. And quite right too! But, if like me you are a bit more cosmopolitan in your gaming tastes you are probably looking for something a little more flexible to give a bit more of a return for your investment. That I think is where Justin McCoy has got it right with Tablescapes.
Take the Scrapyard and Urban sets. Sci-fi yes, Post-apocalyptic modern or near future, absolutely. When I look at either theme set I can see how they could be used for 40K. More importantly however I can also see how they would be perfect for Necromunda, Gorkamorka, Pulp, Starship Troopers, Modern Combat, Infinity … the list just goes on.
The scale agnostic Rolling Fields set and you could still list most of the above, in addition to which you could probably add more fantasy or historic themed games like Warmachine, Lord of the Rings (sorry, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Fantasy Battle Game), Ancients, Flames of War, Heavy Gear, Gruntz. All the sets are interchangeable because they are all being rendered using the same basic earth texture style to help integrate and transition between sets. Obviously the Urban Theme is an exception to this in that it’s a little harder to mix and match as the transition is likely to be somewhat sudden. What you have here is a set of interchangeable and highly detailed gaming tables that will provide a near limitless environment for more than just one of your games. In fact, I reckon it will work for near damned all of them as far as I can see. Unless of course you only play naval or fleet games, at which point maybe not so much.
Finally, I come full circle back to the Ruined Temple theme that is on the cusp of being unlocked. All of the advantages above plus one the others don’t have. If you happen (as I do) to have a few of the Hirst Arts Castle molds, you are probably going to be in hogs heaven with this theme because I can really see the dressed stone theme foundation working magnificently with a number of those wall molds. I can see the temple theme foundations working with overgrown alien ruins, with greco or roman themes, with Middle Earth ruins, or just plain good old Warhammer Fantasy or 40K.
Clearly, I like these themes and the scope they give me in getting use out of them for a whole range of different games. But that isn’t the only reason I have backed this Kickstarter; it’s the flexibility from having 12″ tile sizes.
As an owner of 2+ sets of GW’s Realm of Battle system I can testify to what a royal pain in the **** storing them is. Yes, they come in a very nice fabric holder and carrier, but it is still a somewhat unwieldy 2′ x 2′ monster when not in use. Secret Weapon’s tiles being half that footprint at only 12″ x12″ is actually not only a lot easier to store (stack them up on a shelf), but they open up additional sizes of warzone’s more in keeping with the games I have been playing lately. Sizes like 3′ x 3′ or 3′ x 5′ are suddenly available. Useful if, like me you have a less spacious or odd sized gaming surface.
Roll on Ruined Temple I say. You can find out more, or watch the final hours of Secret Weapon’s Tablescape Kickstarter reach its conclusion following the link at the top of the page.
Oh, did I forget to mention the link-up they have in place with a certain sci-fi Kickstarter Mantic are running right now? I’ll be back tomorrow with a few thoughts on that and how a rather large box of recycled terrain may be about to get dragged out from the corner it’s in back into the workshop.
Until then, have a great day.