Terminator Genisys: The Miniatures Game



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Review: Thoughts on Terminator Genisys - The Miniatures Game

May 28, 2018 by robsaunders


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I am a huge fan of the Terminator films (well the first two).  I am also a huge fan of miniatures gaming.  When I first watched The Terminator and saw the post-apocalyptic battle scenes I knew that i needed to play a miniatures game in that setting.  It was perfect for it.  Armies of Endo-Skeletons blasting human resistance fighters with their Plasma Rifles looked amazing on film but would be so so so much fun to play out on the tabletop.

It wasn't until 2015 that this dream became a reality.  It was announced that Alessio Cavatores River Horse Games were designing the official miniatures game based on the last movie in the Terminator series Terminator Genisys called Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game: The War Against The Machines.  As soon as it was announced I was excited.  I am huge fan of Alessio Cavatore.  He did excellent work on Games Workshops Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game, proving that he can make an excellent cinematic game based on a huge IP.  It was being distributed by Warlord Games, the people behind the excellent WW2 game Bolt Action .  All the ingredients seemed right but the game never really seemed to take off.  It does have a fan base and an active Facebook group but it had the feeling to me that it should have been the next big thing!

The game it's self is actually great.  A really simple to learn skirmish game that uses polyhedral dice and movement templates.  The full rulebook is fantastic full of detail, examples, painting guides and terrain building tips.  It really reminds me of classic Games Workshop rulebooks.

Despite this why did it not take off?  Here are some of my thoughts...

Terminator Genisys

I think the most obvious reason why the game never really become a smash hit was because the film it was based on is, frankly, terrible.  It seemed to miss the mark entirely.  It was a flop and I think even fans of the franchise, like myself,  didn't connect with the film.  I also think that River Horse only had the licence for that film, this meant that they could only produce products based around Terminator Genisys and not the loved original James Cameron films.  I think this may have put a few people off,  I know I was less keen to get involved with the game because of this.

The Miniatures

The miniatures in the War Against The Machines starter box are good.  They are functional,  good looking, easy to build and are handily in different coloured plastic (the Terminators in shiny silver and the humans in "army man green").  They were fine but I think a lot of gamers expected more. Warlord Games plastic kits are usually excellent. Their WW2 plastics are some of my personal favourite kits around but they are multi-part kits that if you are not into model making or are new to wargaming then would be a bit intimidating.  The Terminator miniatures were obviously made to cater for more of a board game audience but they still actually a bit fiddly and the "snap fit" feature that was one of the selling points for the minis didn't quite work.  I think it would have been nice if they made the minis one piece miniatures in the style of the new Mantic Games Walking Dead game but I understand that this way of making miniatures is quite pricey.  I personally like the miniatures in the game but understand that some people wanted more.

The Price

For me this was the biggest one.  The RRP for the full starter set was £70.  That is not a cheap buy in for a starter box,  especially with the amount and style of the miniatures included in the set.  There was an option for a cheaper box with quick start rules but I think that most gamers feel a bit cheated not getting the full rulebook (and the rulebook is one of the best things about the game in my opinion).  This was the main reason I didn't buy the game staright away and waited for a deal until I actually got the set.  It was worth the bargain price of £20 but I wouldn't pay £70 for it...and I don't think a lot of people would.  I assume that selling a game with such a big IP incurs many more costs and problems so it makes sense really.

I know this article may sound negative but I don't mean it to be.  I think Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game is a great game for fans of the films and wargamers alike.  It's easy to learn but full of tactics, just waht you would expect from Alessio Cavatore.  I really encourage people to piuck up the game and keep it alive after the disappointment of the Terminiator Genisys film.

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Great review, A lot of the points brought up are exactly why I didn’t pick this up. Even when I seen it was £20 as that was a sign it was clearance. A shame since everyone I know who has played it says it’s fun and a good game.