These things cost a chunk of change. It was hard for me to part with the dough, but consider:
- A decent Settlers game with a couple of expansions would have cost the same.
- Any sufficiently insane Kickstarter would wheedle as much cash out of you in a heartbeat.
- I spent at least that much trying to get started with GURPS Traveller a decade ago.
- Most other gamemasters would spend this much for the corebooks of whatever D&D they play.
Face it. The age of the hundred dollar game is here. The time of five dollar pocket boxes and ten dollar GURPS worldbooks is just plain gone. And the average gamer’s tolerance for cheapo game components is gone with them.
In the case of the Starline 2500 Gorn Fleet Box, you at least get a lot of bang for your buck. Sixteen starships. Sixteen starships! Does anyone really need that many…? Actually, yes. The set includes three each of the CL, the DD, and the BDD. That lets you play squadrons of each of those ship types. And of the three, one of them will be your best one, of course. That’s three chances to nail down assembly and priming and painting. Finally… I don’t own a lot of miniatures, but I have noticed with starships… it really doesn’t hurt to have spares. It’s too darn easy to drop these things and have them go straight back to drydock.
I’ll tell you why I went with these ships even though I already had a few 2400’s. (And boy did it pain me to start over.) It really came down to the engine mounts. The warp nacelles look awesome on these 2500 series Gorn. I know ADB has bent over backwards to give people what they want with the 2400’s– welding the engines directly to the ship in such a way that they can’t break off– but these new ones are just so very, very pretty.
I have a devil of a time with them, though. I’ll superglue them on and then… once it dries notice that the engines are noticeably crooked. (Fortunately the kids were playing outside the last time this happened, so they didn’t hear the exact words that I muttered….) The DD, at least seems to come together well enough. The CL’s are maybe a little tougher. The BC… I was quite frightened when the guides didn’t quite match up– I wondered if I even had the right engines. The BDD… I don’t know what was up with those. I whittled away at the little engine connector rectangle base nodule thingy and still couldn’t get the warp nacelle to attach flush. And the precious DN… ah, that one fit like a glove; I was much relieved when that one came together without a hitch. (Why couldn’t the other ones work that well…?)
I am just not that much of a miniatures guy, honestly. It’s a lot of work that could be better spent playing games, in my opinion. Storage and transport are an entirely different problem. At least with this set my games are not going to be overly impacted with a limited selection. (I can’t stand it when people play crappy scenarios just because they have to use what miniatures they have.) Finally, unlike with figures of people and monsters, these ships can look well enough even after done up in my meager “paint-by-number” approach. This is the miniatures set for people that otherwise hate miniatures!
Oh, and the compact rules booklet here is the icing on the cake. The game is fairly straightforward, BattleTech-like in its playability, and the ships blow up nicely in this system. Best of all, you don’t need a giant hex map to play this it. So once you get your miniatures based and everything, you are good to go! (I think I am one of the few dedicated space gamer types that doesn’t have one of those gigantic super-deluxe epic hex maps with the real-life star field on it.)
So that’s my take on these big 2500 fleet boxes. Yeah, they cost a chunk of change. But in this case, you at least get what you pay for.