Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review of "Battle Field in a Box"

About six months ago I was perusing my local hobby shop when I noticed Gale Force Nine’s new “Battle Field in a Box” line of scenery and terrain. The first thing that grabbed me was the price point. Surely the price tag couldn’t be right? It was way too cheap. I decided to take a closer look.

The “Battle Field in a Box” range consists of a variety of terrain pieces you can buy to spruce up your tabletop warzone. There are rivers, hills, buildings, ruins, barricades, tank traps… you get the idea. These are made out of high quality resin and are pre-painted. I am fully wary of pre-painted models after buying one pack of WTOC’s Star Wars toy soldiers. YIKES! Still the art on the box looked good and I figured it couldn’t be too hard to paint some wrecked buildings. I grabbed a few packs of ruined walls and a ruined tower of some sort and headed for the counter. I am a regular in this particular shop and after explaining my concerns, the shopkeeper let me open one of the boxes to see what I could see. I liked what I found.

Heading home. I was in the lift (elevator) of our building looking at the back of the boxes when I noticed that these terrain bits were sculpted by Jason Buyaki. Now you might not know the name. Jason used to be one of Games Workshop’s promotions team and was responsible for many of the awesome tables at US Gamesdays and Grand Tournaments. The man does good work and ironically I bought this work in Melbourne Australia when he and I used to be roommates in Baltimore. (Thursday night game night for the WIN!)

Now I only have the buildings and rubble packs thus far. With two walls section kits and a tower my table went from wilderness hills to destroyed town/ city instantly. The resin and paint jobs are without blemish and are surprisingly sturdy (I am notoriously hard on armies and terrain). I use mine regularly and have yet to damage any of my bitz (this includes using them on two tables at the Melbourne’s Masters 40K tournament). I found that adding the second ruined walls box really gave me a choice in terrain that ensures that I have a wealth of possible configurations for my table.

From a game standpoint I really like how the walls were designed. The windows are at a good level for True Line of Sight if you are using orks, guard, marines… really almost everything… except for gaunts. The walls come in a variety of widths (all fairly short) which means, depending on your configuration, as long as you are thinking about what you are doing, your boys can get a cover save and generally still get to all shoot. Good times. It also means that if you need to move vehicles into the buildings you can move or remove the pieces that are being driven through without perching your beautifully painted rhino tank in a place where it might take a hard fall.

At a price of $25 US a pack I think that Jason and his boys at GF9 have really outdone themselves this time. I not only recommend that you get a set I am thinking about buying more myself. Until next time… (hopefully with my camera)


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