This post is aimed at the extremely niche readership that cares about D&D gaming. A lot. Too much, really. Everybody else should probably just wait for my next post praising Obama or bitching about Prop 8. ;)
Some minor waves went through the gaming community lately, when Wizards of the Coast announced that they were discontinuing the skirmish element of their miniatures line, changing up the packaging and, oh yeah, jacking up the price a bit.
But, judging based on their last random pack set, Demonweb, I say "Bring on the new, ungodly expensive but hopefully more focused set!"
One of the biggest requests we've gotten at my shop, since 4th edition? Dragonborn miniatures. They were the big new race in 4th edition, and there are tons of folks playing Dragonborn. Paladins, Warriors, Wizards, Clerics, everything. Do you know how many Dragonborn miniatures there were in the first 4th edition set, Against the Giants?
Two. And they were rare. Both were fighter types.
OK, so surely they'll rectify that in the next set, right? Well, behold the gallery.
There are two more. One is another frikkin' paladin, the other is a very specific, barely usable epic-looking dude with wings. And they are both rare.
You know what's uncommon, which means you'll get one every couple of packs? Well, there's a warforged, despite the fact that they haven't reintroduced the warforged yet (save in a Dragon article) and Eberron won't even be out until 2009. There's a fucking evil mushroom. Let me tell you, if I'm a consumer, every time I open a pack of expensive plastic miniatures and not only don't get the dragonborn warlock that I've been playing for several months, but I get another fucking evil mushroom? My head's gonna explode.
There are a ton of wildly specific, mostly unusable miniatures in this set. Another Girallon? Seriously? Who at WOTC has a hard-on for four-armed gorillas? Kruthik? Goddamn Kruthik? Who even uses Kruthik, except for those of us running the modules written by folks at WOTC who think people give two shits about the Kruthik? And I'd happily use little red glass beads to represent Kruthik if you'd give me a few options for your brand new showpiece race the Dragonborn instead.
As a last set for the current D&D miniatures model, this looks like an utter failure. Maybe I'm wrong, and after I open a few packs, I'll see the wisdom of having the same number of Slaad as the number of Dragonborn, or I'll want to create an amazing module populated by evil mushrooms, sarcophagi and Kruthik.
But I very much doubt it.