Recently I picked up the Marvel Universe Miniatures Game by Knight Models. I have always been a fan of Marvel comics, since I was very young. Still, with the number of games I own that aren’t probably getting enough attention seems to continue to grow so I held off when I first saw this game released. After much staring at this and Knight Models Batman skirmish game for quite some time, I decided to jump all in and picked this game up.
As with all small games like this, I picked up enough for two players to get started. That way I don’t have to talk someone into buying the game and deciding they don’t like it. I like to be able to do demo’s of a game if I get into it. Not to mention, it’s easier to get those early games if your buddies don’t have to buy models. Let them try it, get their feet wet and if they like it they can buy their own models or, for that matter, play with my collection! So I picked up the Avengers starter and the X-Men starter. I think the Avengers will be good for new players and demos because of the success of the recent set of movies. X-Men have always been my favorites from the comics, so they were an easy buy for me.
The models are really, really quite good. The models are larger then what I am used to, at 35 mm scale rather then what seems to be the standard 28 mm or 32 mm in miniatures these days. The slightly larger scale may make some of your existing terrain (buildings and such) seem a little out of scale, but for the most part it’s close enough that unless it’s on the smallish side of 28 mm terrain, you are all good. The detail on the models is really good. Each model seems to have a great, iconic pose from the comics. Detail like the rings and star on Captain America’s shield are part of the model, so free hand skills aren’t necessary (ok, the strips on his abs have to be free handed).
The models are metal, which is a pain for most hobbyists to work with. Mostly for me, it means that some times the mold lines get in hard to clean up places where the detail is quite fine, like on Iron Man and cleaning up the mold line means you start removing the detail. I did my best to work with it, but I also think I missed a few lines that I did my best to disguise with the painting. My personal feelings are that these are not for competition use, so a few mold lines won’t kill me. I would note that for metal models, these are easy to assemble. There are no fiddly bits, least not in the starter box for the Avengers.
Another bit that I didn’t care for is that the bases come pre-modeled with rocky dirt. I could have swapped these bases out as I have plenty of spares from Malifaux, but I went with the ones included since I again am not worried about doing anything too fancy with them. I think for new players that are new to the hobby this is a pretty cool, as I think this is the only game I have ever owned that has done this.
Rules and the Game
The rules are included with each starter in a small, mini rule book. I like that a lot, but Knight Models continues to FAQ and adjust the game so it’s likely best that you download the rules from their website (which is free). What’s challenging is locating FAQs which in the most recent one has added some abilities and changed other abilities from the models in the starter. I find that a little annoying, but maybe it’s just my new outlook on the game and company and not that familiar with the system or their website.
I haven’t played an actual game yet, but since you use a card for each of your models in your list all of the rules are pretty much in front of you. Most of the rules seem straight forward and there are some nice player guides that fans have done.
I have to say I am excited to try this game, but I have made the commitment to myself to only play with painted models. I have also committed to only buy new models as I finish up the stuff I have all ready purchased. I have enough games where I have boxes of models that I haven’t even assembled yet, and I am not going to do that with this one. I think it’s going to be a light, thematic super hero game. I hope to do a battle report after the first game and give some deeper thoughts about the system and game play at that point.