January 30, 2015 by crew
The Batman Miniature Game (hereafter referred to as BMG) is about skirmish battles between 35mm miniatures representing famous and infamous characters from the Batman franchise. Each side usually fields between 5 and15 miniatures in hour and a half games set up on a 90cm X 90cm (3′x3′) table loaded with scenery (the more of it the better!). Most of the character design and some game features come from the recent Batman video games like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Origins and, probably, the incoming Arkham Knight. There are also additions from Nolan’s impressive film trilogy and from the original comic books too! Finally a few extra DC characters not directly linked to Batman like Lobo or The Watchmen may also appear to spice things up.
Some of your characters may have superpowers but the focus of the action is more on street level where heroes and villains face off against the mafia, streets gangs or the police department rather than cosmic threats. You can play iconic figures like Batman or The Joker but also faceless henchmen like SWAT team members or escaped prisoners. Victory Points are scored by killing, capturing or knocking out opposite characters, by securing different kinds of objectives (ammo crates, loot, solving riddles) and by succeeding in various victory conditions set by the current scenario.
“Do I Really Look Like A Guy With A Plan?”
The most distinctive feature of BMG is the planning phase at the start of each round when each players assigns Action Counters for each of his characters which vary between Attack, Defense, Movement and Special boxes represented on each character’s card. The game round is then played with each player activating each of their characters alternatively. Action Counters spent on Attack and Defense allow your character to strike and parry, counters on Movement are used to boost movement but also allow for various actions to be carried out (opening doors, picking up an object etc). Special counters are required to use gadgets, powers and dirty tricks. If a character has no counters in Attack he will not be able to strike or shoot but, on the other hand, if he put everything he got into Movement he may be able to outrun an opponent who didn’t!
“The Night Is Darkest Just Before The Dawn”
Imagine a foggy dockyard in the early hour of the morning, or the narrow alleyways of a poor neighborhood slicked by heavy rain, maybe even the a bank during a snow storm. You’d probably not be able to see anything beyond a few meters so the same applies to your characters!
In BMG line of sight is limited to 30cm because most of the action, understandably, takes place at night (11/12 inches) so only occasional lamp posts scattered across the table provide patches of light. In these lit areas you can be seen by everyone, especially by snipers. This brings in some interesting skulking and sneaking gameplay and has you constantly on edge.
“Why Do We Fall?”
With sewer systems, abandoned galleries, old subways and natural caverns Gotham’s underground has more holes than a Swiss cheese and so in BMG you can take advantage of this!
While most of the action happens above ground your characters have the ability to enter the sewer system through a manhole. Your character is then temporarily removed from the game but later, during another round, he will have the opportunity to emerge from any manhole on the table. It costs a lot of Action Counters but effectively grants the ability to pop almost anywhere a reinforcement is needed.
Suddenly you’re looking at the miniatures that aren’t on the table compared to the ones that are! A bit of Batman planning might be in order.
“Do You Wanna Know Why I Use A Knife?”
If you set aside some special characters who mastered ranged weapons up to a near supernatural level (Green Arrow, Deadshot) characters will rely mostly on close combat in BMG. Firearms are expensive, heavily impacted by the low visibility rule and random in their effects. Still, even if it’s unlikely, they can deal a lot of damages and are therefore intimidating. Your opponent would be a fool to leave one of his characters out in the open like a sitting duck!
“Always Mind Your Surroundings”
The Strategies System is optional but it is highly recommended you use it. Almost every feature related to the game set up can be customized to suit your needs by buying the related option or “strategy”. Each of them has a variable cost and you can usually spend 3 points on strategies so make sure to choose wisely!
You have a crew loaded with long ranged guns? Buy some extra lamp posts (1 point for two lamp posts) and illuminate the place leaving no dark corners for your opponent to hide in. You want to quickly get close and personal? Buy an extended deployment zone (2 points) and start closer to your opponent’s team. You can also add objectives (1 point), decide who will be the first player (2 points), choose the scenario (3 points), or even cancel a strategy chosen by your opponent (2 points). The meta of the game begins before you’ve even rolled a dice!
“It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I DO That Defines Me”
Between movies, games, TV series and comic books, there are many versions of the same characters within BMG. Are you a fan of the aging Batman from Miller’s Dark Knight Returns or the old school Batman played by Adam West? Which Joker’s impersonation do you prefer: Heath Ledger or Mark Hamill? When alternate versions are available, you can only play one of them but they have different characteristics that match their specification. The main thing is there is loads of customisation in BMG and the world is your oyster when it comes to what YOU want to play.
So far we’ve avoided Clooney’s Batman but I’m curious as to what could be the in-game use of a Bat Credit Card. What do you think, any thoughts?
We’ll be back soon with more on BMG and the new look Rulebook is on the way soon!
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"Victory Points are scored by killing, capturing or knocking out opposite characters, by securing different kinds of objectives..."
"So far we've avoided Clooney's Batman but I'm curious as to what could be the in-game use of a Bat Credit Card..."