The Star Wars fan in me caved and bought the Star Wars Legion base box. What a victim I am. After I already have all kinds of unpainted Star Wars Imperial Assault stuff lying around, the resolution was actually that I ignore the Star Wars tabletop variant until I have painted the other stuff. After all, the resolution had held until the end of the year…
Pile of Shame par excellence: Star Wars Imperial Assault
When I returned to the tabletop hobby around 2016, the mere existence of beautiful Star Wars miniatures was mindblowing to me. Star Wars Imperial Assault was actually a board game, not a tabletop, but the miniatures were in the usual 28mm scale, plastic and quite capable of satisfying the tabletopper. They were all, completely boardgame compliant, monoposes, which was not a problem with the heroes, but was eye-catching with all the troops. All the Storm Troopers looked completely identical and were rather impossible to convert. But for me it was all about the heroes of the classic triology anyway. Luke, Han, Obi Wan, Vader, Boba Fett, I had to have them all.
Since I always seem to have bad timing in this hobby, like to buy too late or jump on trends when everyone else is already jumping off again, this time was no different: shortly after I bought the basic game and a couple of boosters, Legion was announced and Imperial Assault was phased out. In the course of that, the German version was discontinued altogether and you had to hurry to get any leftovers. At that time, I frantically bought everything a fan’s heart could possibly desire: Jabba the Hutt? Always here with it! Oh, a Bantha! Buy it!
The plan was to do justice to the fan and at least own the favourite miniatures, but by no means get into the new tabletop game. I thought I had enough with the Imperial Assault miniatures. Little did I know…
Star Wars Legion and the great fatigue
The change in the community happened quite rapidly. Star Wars Legion seemed like a great game, you could read about it everywhere. Finally a real tabletop game in the Star Wars universe with battles between armies and lightsaber duels between Vader and Luke. I took note of that, but stuck to my resolution. At first there was a lot of resentment because Legion has a larger scale and the old Imperial Assault miniatures are not compatible. All the more reason for me to think: I’m not going to buy everything twice!
Somewhere around that time, 3D printing became really popular in our hobby. Some designers offered really good files for Star Wars miniatures in Legion scale. Suddenly all sorts of characters and troops from the films were available. Even the prequels were served with droids and droidekas. I don’t know if the Star Wars files were actually a relevant part of the proliferation in the hobby, but from my observation, painted prints made up a good portion of the photos shared. 3D printing in tabletop was initially represented to me by Star Wars and a few Warhammer 40,000 bits.
The new Star Wars triology was shown in the cinema, accompanied by ever waning euphoria and ever greater criticism. Ok, let’s call a spade a spade: …accompanied by frightening hatred. Whatever one thought of the individual films, my fanhood was somehow curbed by the general circumstances. I didn’t enjoy dealing with Star Wars, everything had such a negative connotation. The “Solo” film didn’t make it any better, only “Rogue One” was a bright spot. In any case, the total omnipresence of Legion and the bad mood about it meant that I had no desire to paint my Imperial Assault miniatures. That hasn’t changed to this day. At least I painted the Jar Jar Binks miniature that sculptor Andy Peters gave me to caricature the absence of Star Wars posts on this blog.
A new hope!
… to quote the very first Star Wars film. I join the many voices that have found the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” to be the salvation of Star Wars. Not so much because everything before it was bad. But because the series is qualitatively above reproach and has managed to reconcile all the frustrated fans with the franchise again. Those who love the original trilogy and dislike everything else after it will most likely at least appreciate the series. I too was just happy after the first season was over. And again, all kinds of files for 3D printing appeared. This time I couldn’t resist. Mando and Grogu I had to have. The now diverse selection of 3D figures from Star Wars was one of the reasons why I got myself a 3D printer. Until today, it was a very good decision.
But now I was sitting there, had files of the cool new characters and had to decide whether to print them in “normal” Legion scale or downscale them myself to fit my Imperial Assault figures. Since I haven’t even played Imperial Assault yet, everything is unpainted so far, and Legion is now a firmly established, popular system, I decided to use Legion scale. This inadvertently gave me my foot in the door. By now I have printed quite a few figures, support Skullforge Studios’ Patreon and am thus theoretically equipped with a great many units for Legion. With that, I had already squeezed myself halfway through the door.
When various online shops offered heavily discounted Star Wars Legion bundles during the last Black Friday, all resistance collapsed as quickly as if I had been shot at by the Death Star itself.
The lucky Star Wars fan now has an unpainted Imperial Assault collection, a bunch of completely unpainted 3D prints and a few boxes of completely unpainted Legion units. Wonderful.
The Eternal Trauma: Unpainted Miniatures
Yes, okay, the purchase of Legion was somehow accompanied by a guilty conscience. I haven’t had the time or, to be honest, the inclination to paint my Star Wars miniatures. How likely is it that the new additions will fare any better? Especially as I automatically get more stuff every month via Patreon? It’s not reasonable at all. But it’s so much fun. It’s all so beautiful. It makes the fan so happy!
Nevertheless, at some point something like that can also become a burden. Normally I don’t talk about the Pile of Shame but rather see it positively as a Pile of Potential or something similar. Everything unpainted is theoretically only in the waiting position, because I have a concrete use or a small project in mind for every single miniature. In terms of Star Wars, however, it feels more like a Pile of Shame. The unpainted figures are years old now and I had preferred to paint other things on various occasions.
In the meantime, I have reached a phase in which I hardly have any time for the hobby. The little time I have has to be used all the more sensibly, but Batman, Conan, Masters of the Universe and many other franchises are also waiting for their attention.
For me, this means that my new purchases will be drastically reduced. I have a lot of really cool stuff already at home and “just” have to take care of it bit by bit. The new season of Mandalorian is coming up and I’d like to rewatch the first two seasons (plus Book of Boba Fett?) before that. I’m definitely up for Star Wars at the moment and I should use this momentum. I still have to think about how exactly I’m going to do it now and what my reduction in new purchases means.
Star Wars Tabletop – The Dark Menace
…so that’s enough allusions to Star Wars titles. Supposedly history doesn’t repeat itself, but maybe it does. Just in time for my Legion purchase, publisher Asmodee has announced a new Star Wars tabletop for summer 2023. Shatterpoint is supposed to be a skirmisher and will once again bring new miniatures that will once again be larger and thus once again incompatible. The numerous Legion fans naturally fear that this could now mean the creeping end of Legion. Something similar could already be observed in the past, see Imperial Assault. For the time being, this doesn’t sadden me at all, because I already have everything I want and I hardly ever get to play anyway. So the resolution is quite clear: Shatterpoint doesn’t interest me at all – I’m not going to start with that, too…