Good Components Key to Board Game Success
Good components are a big part of having a great gaming experience. Fantasy Flight Games is one of the best in creating good components for massive miniatures board games, even if many of those components are made of cardboard. During my time with Journey’s in Middle Earth and Star Wars: Imperial Assault, I’ve realized that Fantasy Flight might be the best component maker in the business, and on a grand scale.
Both Journey’s in Middle Earth and Imperial Assault use cardboard tiles to build out the board. Both use a numbering system to figure out what tiles you might need in any given scenario. It’s a bit hard to sort these tiles, and the storage solution isn’t great, but the tiles themselves really are.
I prefer the Imperial Assault tiles over the Journey’s in Middle Earth tiles, simply because they click together like puzzle pieces. When the entire board needs to be moved, it is easy to do so. With Journey’s in Middle Earth, despite the tiles being of exceptional quality, they only slide together, edge to edge. Moving the entire board can be a pain in the ass, and it has caused us issues many times.
There is a big difference between good cardboard tokens and bad cardboard tokens. When folks purchase Quacks of Quedlinburg, the first thing people say is that you need to put plastic discs to put the cardboard tokens into. They are of poor quality, and too much handling quickly wears down the tokens, ruining them quickly.
Although you don’t handle the tokens as much in Journey’s in Middle Earth and Star Wars: Imperial Assault, the tokens still hold up. With over 25 hours of time using my copy of Journey’s, the tokens look as good as they did the first time I used them. While I’ve only had Imperial Assault and played for a few hours, I do think the tokens are equally as great.
Quick tip – if the cardboard punches out of the punch boards really easily, they are probably really good tiles!
Ah the miniatures. A good miniatures board game really is only as good as the miniatures you play with. Whether you paint them or not, Fantasy Flight miniatures are top notch. Whether I’m looking at characters from Lord of the Rings, or taking out legions of Empire loyalists in Star Wars, the quality of the miniatures directly influences the amount of fun I’m about to have.
The sculpt quality is fantastic. There is so much detail, especially in the armour of the heroes in Journey’s in Middle Earth and the capes of characters in Star Wars: Imperial Assault. With very few production lines (small bits of plastic obviously left over from the molds), the quality control is very good. In a future article, we will look at some of the characters we have painted up, so stay tuned for that.