Avast, me hearties! The Pile is finally ready to share its Skull and Shackles miniatures set review – better late than never, right? And as expected, Paizo did not disappoint our tiny senses. Round four of this series clearly establishes Pathfinder as the minis monopoly leader…and that’s just fine by Ben. So let’s draw swords and get to it.
Inside the Doubloons
Let’s start with the basics. This is the fourth full set of Pathfinder Battles. There are 55 pre-painted miniatures in all (including the promo). Once again if you order a case, you’re basically guaranteed to get a full set. Ben had a scare here but then found four unopened packs in his car – whoops.
Ben re-ordered from PopularCollections.com and paid $344.99 for a booster case with the promotional dragon. He likes this particular online retailer as they often have free shipping or an early bird pre-order special.
The set broke out categorically-ish like so:
- Monsters: 34 (like the Vine Choker)
- Female Figs: 9
- Good-ish Guys: 3 (like the Chelish Marine)
- Unique Characters: 16 (uniques should not be uncommon)
The most common draws (five of each) from Ben’s case were the Sea Devil Champion, Wereshark Pirateand the Pirate Sailor. Ben wished he would have pulled more Bloodbugs (alas just 2).
Editor’s Note: These are loose counts as classifying some of the minis is open to interpretation (so please call off your team of Ernst & Young auditors).
This set delivered way fewer shipping causalities than the appropriately named Shattered Star set. Ben unpacked xx broken figs from the box.
Previously, Ben was able to ship his Shattered Star misfit toys to WizKids for replacement (all one had to do was pay the original shipping). However, at press time, this option did not exist on their website and the Pile did not receive a reply to its e-mail inquiry. The company might just need more time to get the latest replacement program in place but Ben is hoping they haven’t changed to a tough-tooties-policy.
Pieces of Eight
First, the Pile’s highly coveted Fabulous Five:
- Ambrose Kroop (Chef NPC? Oh hell yes)
- Whalebone Pilk (You had us at Whalebone)
- Gilbrok The Tongue (Pet monkey for the win)
- Cannon Golem (Brilliant idea and exquisite details)
- Seaweed Siren (Three heads are better than one)
Our group went around and around on this set’s best-of votes. So much so that we decided to give an honorable mention to the Wererat. The fig’s pose and paint job were exceptional. Plus, this monster sculpt puts many other opponents to the mat.
Son of a Biscuit Eater
And now for the bad news and our Bottomfeeder Five:
- Greater Host Devil (Call an exterminator…bug problems)
- Seltyiel, Half-elf Magus (Albino white skin freaks us out)
- Scourge Hellknight (all that white after October 1st?)
- Golden Guardian (Thundercats Snarf body double)
- Tsadok Goldtooth (Eddie Munster got his own mini)
Picking the least favs was quick and easy and that’s always a real positive sign.
Blow Me Down
Could Pathfinder be moving to a quarterly release schedule?! This marketing strategy would put them on par with WotC’s renaissance days. The set after October’s Legends of Golarion, Wrath of the Righteous, is rumored to be out in January 2014! [Ben faints]
Sadly, the promotional figure for this set was yet another overly familiar creature type – Brinebones, a Skeletal Dragon. Yes, it’s a nice fig but one wonders when the mini designers will finally realize that the community already has ample red, blue, green, silver, and black winged creatures to choose from.
The Pile would love it if they read the room and produced more creature types that we don’t have. How about a gargantuan spider or angry giant? Dare to be different, Paizo. You’ve already taken some chances but with Legends of Golarion, this will mean three straight dragon releases. #yawn
Plus, how many darn huge dragons will your group realistically encounter during the life of their campaign? The typical answer is very few.
Dare to be different, Paizo. Your community will support your creativity.
Weigh Anchor and Hoist the Mizzen
As Ben mentioned at the start of this week’s post, another set is nearly upon us. This is fastest follow-up release yet and that’s indicative of the product line’s strength. Legends of Golarion is set to release in October. Ben seriously thought it was a typo at first glance.
The next set doesn’t carry a particular theme or campaign but instead offers a celebration of Pathfinder RPG. A full preview gallery is already up over at Pathfinderminis.com but if you enjoy the weekly previews on Paizo’s blog, don’t click here.
Overall Ben gives the set 4.5 out of 5 peg legs and highly recommends the line to other D&D RPG enthusiasts (especially if you’re running the Skull and Shackles Pathfinder campaign). Here’s yet another tip of the sailor’s cap to the entire Pathfinder Battles development team.
Until next week.
Questions to Ponder: How many boosters will you buy? Did any minis arrive broken? Did we get our top or bottom five wrong? How so? Do you only buy singles? Do you still find yourself re-basing a lot of old Mage Knight and HorrorClix minis? How did Ben do on the category counts? Will anyone ever join Pathfinder in the minis biz or did this just become a one horse show?