Miniatures are both a blessing and a curse in the world of tabletop gaming. Entire franchises have been built on the backs of the little plastic heroes, spawning countless crowdfunding campaigns and making up a lucrative chunk of shelf space at the friendly local game store. But often the scale of a publisher’s ambition for a product line far exceeds consumers’ willingness to pay for it—much less spend the time illustrating it.
Star Wars: Shatterpoint, the latest offering from Atomic Mass Games, is an attempt to reconcile that conflict. It is the most recent entry in a hot area of the tabletop landscape known as miniature skirmish games: highly thematic games of tactical combat that require only a handful of miniatures to play. so while Shattered can share the same cinematic universe with Star Wars: Legion – One of many Star Wars-themed miniatures games from Atomic Mass’, and one that requires dozens and dozens of minis to play – the experience of buying, painting and playing Shattered Must be something else entirely.
“Strategically, strategically, it’s a very different experience,” studio head Will Schick told Play Gamez during a demo at this year’s Adaptcon. “In troopWhat you are doing is that you are building an army that will have coordination and strategy. You are choosing your command cards. You are choosing your units. You are planning a war. and then your target in troop You have to execute that plan as best you can while your opponent brute force you.
“It’s instead how your forces work together and coordinate, and how you build the perfect Rube Goldberg machine,” Schick continued, “the focus [in Shatterpoint] Heavy on the characters and what the character is doing. And part of that is the fact that you have very little tactical control.
In Shattered, each player will come to the table with about four to six miniatures in a group called the Strike Force. Each strike force has a primary unit – usually a named character, such as Anakin Skywalker – who gives the group its personality. There is a secondary entity, often a lesser hero like the cloned Captain Rex. Finally, there’s a support unit – in this instance, a pair of Clone Troopers fit the bill nicely. Each of those units contains a tarot-sized card, all shuffled together. Play proceeds from there, with players drawing cards from the top of that shared deck and activating their units.
instead of a rigid back-and-turn order like in traditional wargames Star Wars: Legion Or warhammer 40,000, each step – called a struggle – is therefore pretty much random. You may find yourself taking turn after turn in the first struggle of a best-of-three match, only to find yourself on the back foot, unable to swing through most of the next match. The central tension of the game, Schick said, is what you do with the limited choices presented each round.
“The game is going to ask you a lot of questions through its randomness,” Schick said. “How can you make the best of what fate has given you? And that is ‘Shatterpoint’. This is the whole theme of the game.
To allow players to act at these inflection points, Atomic Mass has given its various characters loads of powerful abilities. Working closely with Lucasfilm, Schick and his team have helped impress Shatteredgameplay with unique Star Wars combat – including inspired moments the clone wars and other animated series. For example, your Anakin miniature doesn’t just stick to the nearest Battle Droid and start rolling dice until one or the other falls. Anakin slashes and parries with his lightsaber, leaps with a flourish on top of the droids, and then Force pushes them right off the table—all in one attack at a time. War talks, as I’m told, seem more complex, more vigorous, and more cinematic In fact more than anything I’ve seen in a skirmish game to date.
While other miniatures games can avoid this type of elaborate, flashy trickery, Atomic Mass. Shattered Losing in the first round of a conflict only to fight to a stalemate in the final round just before the climax may seem a bit odd, but it’s great for storytelling.
“It’s chaotic,” Schick said. “It’s not very clean. There are a lot of individual heroics or initiatives. That’s the point where Obi-Wan like, Anakin! No! And he runs away and he goes and does his job anyway. […] It’s a bit of crisis management, because you don’t have complete control, you don’t have the right information. Instead, it’s up to you how to maximize the chances you get from your draw.
Another key feature of the game is its modularity. Players are encouraged to mix and match units to create the strike force of their dreams. As a side effect, each unit the players invest in – both monetarily, and with the amount of time it takes to portray them – becomes more valuable. Schick said that fans will be able to easily mix and match primary, secondary and support units, trading out the Mandalorian Supercommandos for battle droids. In fact, the Core set launching in June is designed with that kind of flexibility in mind. Many combinations of characters and support units will be available right out of the box, giving both sides plenty of options to learn the game.
and miniatures? They’re absolutely gorgeous, with slim, sleek silhouettes and screen-accurate proportions. where eligible Star Wars: Legion appear slightly stretched with head and hands extended to show detail, Shattered Minis look more like action figures. That’s because each multi-part, hard plastic miniature is presented in 40-millimeter scale—much larger than the industry standard 28-millimeter scale found in most wargames. As an added advantage, the large size should make them much easier for beginners to paint.
“You want the miniatures to evoke the experience you want players to have,” Schick said. “For Star Wars: ShatterpointThe idea was always to lean into that more heroic, more – I want to say childish – but more orderly things that Flash Gordon Did.”
Looks like fans have the same type of attitude the clone wars, the mandalorianAnd book of boba fett are waiting for.
Star Wars: Shatterpoint core set Will ship with an assortment of 16 miniatures and plastic terrain, in addition to all the cards, dice, and tokens needed to play. Pre-orders are available now for $164.99 both online and at your favorite local game store. Fans should expect even more hands-on demonstrations of gameplay soon as Atomic Mass heads to Star Wars Celebration ahead of the game’s June 2 launch date.