For those gentle readers who didn’t get my subtle wordplay, that was a Halo reference. Believe it or not the game of Halo is getting the miniature wargame treatment. Spartan Games have been given the licence and will be releasing a space fleet game, for more info check their blog here: http://www.spartangames.co.uk/spartan-games-is-to-produce-halo-tabletop-miniatures-games. For those of you who don’t know what Halo is, dig yourself out from that rock you’ve been living under and listen. There have been four main Halo video games spread across the XBOX consoles. They follow the journey of Spartan John-117 (aka the Master Chief) in his battle against the alien Covenant. They have been a hugely successful set of first person shooters an have given birth to (deep breath); two spin off shooter games, a real time strategy game, a twin stick shooter mobile game, a LOT of Mega Blok sets, collectable action figures, graphic novels, encyclopaedias, books, hats, t-shirts, trainers, an interactive board game, legendary edition RISK, key-rings, wallets and a lunchbox, to name but a few. In short, it’s quite a big deal, even being considered as an e-sport with thousands of pounds in prize money going to the victors.
Ok, so maybe you like Halo and fancy playing as the UNSC, attempting to stop the Covenant from glassing the planet Reach thereby changing the course of the war (well, that’s what I’d do). That’s great, wargames and the like are using big IP’s (Intellectual Property) to sell their games more and more. Star Wars: X-Wing, Batman: The Miniatures Game, there’s even a Mars Attacks game that’s just done very well on Kickstarter (Ack, ack ack…ACK!), but could this mean something more for the industry as a whole. We can argue that something like X-Wing is a perfect gateway into miniatures games. It comes pre-painted and assembled, it’s fully playable out of the starter box and it’s based on what is possibly the single most well known IP in the world. I think they even sold it in Waterstones. Only thing is, I don’t see random Star Wars fans getting into this. Little Timmy who’s just finished watching the Clone Wars is much more likely to want a Yoda t-shirt and some toys over a complex starfighter simulator. Could this be where Halo has the advantage? Gamers know Halo. People who play video games are considered more “normal” than we who play wargames and RPGs, but they still have the gamer instinct. How many steps is it from football, to FIFA 15, to Halo, to Halo the Wargame. Well, it’s three. Which isn’t a lot. Think about it. Of course, it’s very early days yet and lots of things like marketing, a decent starter set and simplicity of rules, will each have their own affect on the popularity of the game.
Could this be the game that brings us out of our cellars and into the light? Do we want to be all mainstream or are we secretly hipsters? Will you be looking into the Halo minis game? Let us know what you think in the comments below and the best answer wins a metaphysical journey into their own soul but will sadly forget it ever happened.
Until next time gentle readers.