Planetary Empires and Mighty Empires Review

Posted: August 20, 2009 in Cool Stuff Related to Games or Silliness, Miniature Games
Tags: , , , , ,

My sons and I recently purchased several sets of the Planetary Empires and Mighty Empires campaign systems from Games Workshop. Essentially what you get for $49.95 are 48 highly detailed plastic hexagons that interlock with each other to create campaign maps. The tiles are not flat, but rather exquisitely detailed bas relief terrain tiles in approximately 1:1000 or 1:1200 scale (my best guess). They are about 2.5″ across. Most of the tiles are two-sided, meaning one side might feature a set of ruins and the other side a boulder field. The exceptions are the spaceport tiles and the mountain tiles, which are raised above the level of the tile border.

The tiles themselves are molded in gray plastic with no real clean up required other than trimming from the sprue and cutting away the inevitable nub left on the join. They hold primer well. In terms of painting, they look like washes and drybrushing will bring out all the surface detail. There are accessories on the sprues if you wish to add fortresses, towns, outposts, castles, etc. There is a hole in the center of each type to accommodate adding these items a la carte. Also included are flags that can be painted to represent who controls a specific tile.

We picked up both types of tiles because the Planetary Empires set is really more suited to wastelands and deserts. The Mighty Empires set contains forests, rivers and mountain terrain. The two sets were designed to be completely interchangeable. With tiles from both, we can now create a campaign map for just about any miniatures or role playing game we can think of. My first use will be for my Starship Troopers campaign game and my Hammer’s Slammers game. My two sons are planning on using the tiles to represent areas of the Fallout game (they are converting the xbox 360 game to a miniatures game). We will probably use the tiles for Warhammer 40K as well.

My disappointments with the product are first of all the price tag (a little steep at a little over $1.00/2.5″ tile), but no surprise with Games Workshop. My second is that the Hive City tile for Planetary Empires, which is integral to using it for the Warhammer 4oK system, is not included and is available only as a mail order item. These two concerns do not diminish the quality and utility of the tiles, however.

So if you’re looking for a campaign map system for miniatures, role playing games or boardgames that has a high level of utility and reuse potential, plus stunning visual impact, look no farther. I heartily recommend these products.

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