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AT-43 game review (ok, not really)

 Post subject: AT-43 game review (ok, not really)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Unctuous Toady
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Well my local independant game store has two copies of Rackham's new 28mm skirmish game AT-43. Ok first off, I haven't played the game, but I have done the next best thing. I picked up the box, shook it a bit and stared at the miniatures inside (the whole box is this fancy plastic stuff with a big window inside).

I think we were all wondering just how well painted the pre-painted miniatures for this game were going to be. To my mind, they are painted pretty good, but I don't think they spell the end of miniature painting. I would say that if you hate painting miniatures or if you feel your own efforts are just too awful then maybe miniatures like these will have some appeal for you. The human and humanoid miniatures look painted about as well as any mass produced plastic toy. The faces of the human troopers is really where you can tell that the painting isn't superb.

The human dreadnought thing is a really cool model and its much more blocky surfaces seem to have taken the paint very well. I think it had the best paint job of the lot. Meanwhile the alien walker thing also seemed well painted. It has this awful white porcelain-looking mask right on the front of it that looks unbearably silly. The concensus was that this little mask would be quickly cut or sanded off by everyone who purchased the game, much to the improvement of the miniature.

The price for the whole box was a whopping $80 USD! :eek:


Truckler (So much for mass production.)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:43 pm 
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Master of Arms
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This probably belongs in another thread but; what is the godamn point of pre painted miniature games? The whole point of doing the GW-style hobby is painting and converting. Otherwise you may as well just as well buy console/pc games, IMO Rackham have acted like a gang of shameless wh*r*s bringing this out and I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. You could say that Rackham are just looking after their best interests, but i think the whole souless pre-painted thing is going to lose out to Computer games relatively soon, as they offer much more possibilities.

Essentially, who gives a tinker's cuss how nice the box is when the game lacks both the potential of online strategy games and the soul of painted miniature games?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:02 pm 
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Unctuous Toady
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You might be right Shiver85.

But I think that many gamers enjoy the social aspects of miniature game as well as the strategy, though many of them don't like the painting and hobby aspect. I always hear folks at the local game store saying, "Yeah, I've always wanted to get into warhammer. But I just never wanted to paint all those miniatures."

So what is really the secret of GW's gaming empire? Is it the gaming or the hobby aspect more? Personally, I consider myself a gamer first, but I think the hobby part is some how key. I wouldn't want to play with unpainted miniatures and terrain made of stacks of books and such.


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The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:44 pm 
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The key is the interaction of the different aspects. But IMO they are all vital aspects. So, while I would still enjoy painting Necro minis if i had no-one to play, it would make it much less fulfilling. And GW are not quite as bad, but when they started bringing out pre-painted+textured scenery i was actually disgusted.

Removing the painting side from the hobby is like removing a vital organ from a human body, and then being surprised that it keels over and dies :rip


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:42 pm 
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Quote:
You could say that Rackham are just looking after their best interests, but i think the whole souless pre-painted thing is going to lose out to Computer games relatively soon, as they offer much more possibilities.


Fuh? what reality do you live in Shiver?
You could have said that 15 years ago and it would have been wrong.
You could have said that when Warhammer/40k & D&D were the most popular boardgames of all time and it would have been wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:09 am 
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I live in this reality. The one where I see many more adverts for Nintendo Wiis and PsPs and DS s and all that cobblers than I do for all miniature games put together

And I wouldn't have said that about WHFB/40k because they are a totally different hobby to prepainteds. Which is my point.

When I say "relatively soon" I am thinking the next few years, even decades, not months. When I'm 50, there will still be people making Spitfires, driving Hornbys and gaming with models they've painted themselves. But as computer games become even more sophisticated, companies that make pre-painteds are going to find themselves flogging a dead horse. It may not die altogether, but it's going to be really, really niche


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:48 am 
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The one where I see many more adverts for Nintendo Wiis and PsPs and DS s and all that cobblers than I do for all miniature games put together.


I do vaguely remember Games Workshop putting out a television commercial once, i never saw it but heard about it.
I can only imagine how the advertisement would go.

"Child 1: I'm going to charge your genestealers with my grots!"
"Child 2: (childrens laugh) this is so fun!"
It would have to be a situation so utterly stupid that most actual tabletop gamers heads would explode if they saw it. (perhaps that's why they don't play the ad anymore)
Imagining the whole debarcle gives me shivers.

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And I wouldn't have said that about WHFB/40k because they are a totally different hobby to prepainteds. Which is my point.

I don't see your point in this remark.

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When I say "relatively soon" I am thinking the next few years, even decades, not months. When I'm 50, there will still be people making Spitfires, driving Hornbys and gaming with models they've painted themselves. But as computer games become even more sophisticated, companies that make pre-painteds are going to find themselves flogging a dead horse. It may not die altogether, but it's going to be really, really niche


Tabletop games will never completely die out but the prepainted market is designed for lazy gamers, people who neither have the time, money or motivation to paint their own models (i'm guilty of the third point) videogames are simply more entertaining because you can play them NOW!
There's no preperation involved except for a few seconds of load time, whereas with miniature wargaming you need to collect an army, paint it if you feel like it, find an opponent who plays the same game you do, possibly including transport to their home or to your local hobby store, table setup etc, the list goes on almost forever.

I can bootup my system and join an online game in less than a minute.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:41 am 
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there you go, that is my point right there: GW style games (inc confrontation, infinity et al) require preparation. And this is a big part of the attraction, i wouldn't have got into this at all but for the creative/artisitic side of it. And the people who aren't drawn to that (lazy gamers if you like) are more and more going to move to computers. GW don't do mass media advertising (tv, radio etc.) and thats as well cuz they would suck. But the companies that do (nintendo microsoft ea etc.) are going to draw more and more people, and the tabletop gamers will increasingly be made up of people who are interested in the prep.

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I don't see your point in this remark
My bad, i misunderstood your original post.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:42 am 
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What I DO like about 40K is tactics, customization and having a detailed game world that I can embody in the design of my own unique army.
What I DO NOT enjoy is the elitist "art snob" culture of many 40K players who assume that I'm some kind of cheese gamer who cares only about winning because my army isn't fully painted. The truth is, I understand and respect the fluff better than 90% of them and my armies usually lose due to a lack of cheese, but I just don't find painting to be nearly as fun as actually playing a game. Given a choice between painting and logging on to my favorite MMORPG... painting loses every time.
I'm very glad I don't live near any actual GW stores where I can be disciminated against and asked to give up a game table because my army isn't fully painted. Around here I can throw down my unpainted Kroot and fight some other guy's unpainted Imperial Guard and just have fun playing a wargame.

Since we're discussing computer games... in MMORPG terms, painting is "grinding". That's the non-fun drudgery and prep work that many gamers feel they are forced to do before they can begin the fun activities they actually bought the game for. In my opinion, paying good money for a game then then being forced to spend time on activities that are not fun in order to reach the eventual payoff is stupid. Some people genuinely enjoy painting miniatures for its own sake, but there are a LOT of us for whom it is forced labor.

Whatever factors went in to Rackham's decision to make AT-43 pre-painted, I applaud their choice. Their game will have broader appeal right out of the box for players of any age who want a visually appealing wargame they can just jump in and play. Nothing is stopping the more art conscious from re-painting their own minis, but people who do not enjoy painting or have no time for it can play the game without being pressured into the ordeal of trying to paint them to a standard that the "art snob" culture of 40K will respect.

Just based on my own experiences in my own area, and watching trends in the industry, I see no signs that miniatures gaming is on the decline. Just the opposite, I think it's doing better than ever. But the GW model of arts and crafts assignments disguised as a wargame may indeed be losing steam to games like MechWarrior, AT-43, etc. that are just wargames without the work.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:57 am 
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Don't misunderstand me man: if you want to field an unpainted army, thats fine by me, if some snobbish c**t trys to throw you off the table for not painting up your army, then i will happily belt them for you :P I am not disparaging people who don't paint their armies, but that is how i think the market will change in the next few years. The fact is, I personally can't see the how buying an army that's been painted by french robots is any more satisfying than fielding an army made up entirely of pixels.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:14 am 
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Well I finally managed to get my dirty mits on this boxed set. I haven't bought it yet, but I went one step further then Truckler. I got to open it and play with the models.

80 bucks seems a bit steep but I don't, the paint jobs are really good up close. Are they as good as Rackham in house painters? No. But they are certainly above average and look really cool. Also included in the box is some terrain, (a cargo shipping box like you would see on an overseas tanker ship, also some concrete road dividers, I gues that is what you would call them) a really neat tape measure that has inches and centimeters on one side and ranges on the other, also they have of course dice and a fairly large double sided playing mat. The playing mat is pretty cool, but is obvously just a temporary thing until you can get some kick ass terrain, after all these models do deserve it.

The detail and quality of the miniatures is certianly worth the buy alone. Rumor has it they will be selling army packs of 5 to 10 miniatures to supplement the game. When that happens I am going to see if the paint can be stripped off the models...you know for those "Art snobs" (me included :P ) to give them a chance to paint them up properly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:35 am 
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shiver85 wrote:
Don't misunderstand me man: if you want to field an unpainted army, thats fine by me, if some snobbish c**t trys to throw you off the table for not painting up your army, then i will happily belt them for you :P I am not disparaging people who don't paint their armies, but that is how i think the market will change in the next few years. The fact is, I personally can't see the how buying an army that's been painted by french robots is any more satisfying than fielding an army made up entirely of pixels.


playing an army that's been painted by french robots is FAR more satisfying than playing a GW grey bare plastic army, anyday. People like buckshot who love the game but couldnt care about painting. 'Pre-Painted' is way better the 'bare metal'.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:26 pm 
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i sadly must agree that minitures are dying out and true table top gamers are a rare breed i think these minitures will help gamers who want to skip the part where u boudn with ur army and get to the battle...bah i like painting so much better


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Right, I picked up the rule book for this today on a pure whim and it seems like fun, if I can get any of my friends interested I would like to start playing.

As for pre-painted minis I personally I don’t see the problem, if people don’t like painting mini's they already are and if they do like painting they can repaint them so what’s the big deal. It’s not an end to Rackham or miniatures gaming. I personally like the idea of pre-paints as I lack the patience and skill for painting and much prefer the gaming and converting side and see no reason why AT 43 can’t be converted and then the paint re-touched afterwards so I am a pretty happy camper with this as long as the game actually turns out to be fun to play. Here’s hoping. Speaking of which any one played it? Opinions?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:36 am 
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I played the AT-43 introductory Scenarios.

This is a game with a lot of potential, the pre-painted figs plus the easily understood rules could very well make for a great game.

However, they have this "Universal Resolution Table" and it is a little confusing.

If you can get past that, it's a really cool game.

-Dr R.

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