Due to the many games with detailed tactical combat systems, miniatures have become a necessary evil. This puts those of us who have neither the desire, space, or cash to collect traditional miniatures in a bind; miniatures make handling combat much easier, but how to use them without having to handle a ton of minis. Paper minis provide a good solution for to this problem. Paper minis provide a nice alternative to traditional minis, in that they are inexpensive and disposable. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a reusable, readily available source of minis for your games. Print those that you need, when they get to be a pain to have lying around, you can throw them away, with PDF tucked away for when you need to print some more. They are also handy for ?collectors? of traditional minis to provide additional figures, or non-precious stand-ins if you don?t want to worry about your minis being damaged or lost at an unfamiliar, or merely overcrowded, gaming table.
The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.
The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. This particular set requires an extra bit of work putting together Triagonal versions of the large Dragon-lord figures, but nothing to strenuous. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.
This 6 page PDF (7 with cover) is Arion Games Science Fiction ?Villains? set, though bad guys set is more appropriate as it provides largely rank and file antagonists, rather than ?boss? level bad guys befitting the term ?Villain?. This set features an expansive selection of 30 SF antagonists, mostly rank and file troopers & officers as well as more colorful character types, such as assassins, bounty hunters. The set also features an Imperial General and an Emperor figure, who can reveal their plans to the all but defeated rebel scum brought before them. The look of the figures is near-future muted body-suits and bulky weapons, though the Imperial Officers look to have come from a galaxy far, far away.
The miniatures include two Bounty Hunters figures, one looking more Cyberpunk than Space Opera, the other wearing a striking suit of light body armor in red and grays, as featured on the cover. Though she doesn?t look to have a jetpack, and is more likely to shoot first and freeze later. Next we have a fat gray-skinned Crime Lord sporting some serious belt-roll and a large staff-like weapon. Then we have a wild looking Assassin figure, looking like a vampire on a meth bender sporting a strange gas mask and wrist-mounted weapon. Next, is an Emperor figure, bald and clothed in a large flowing black trench coat and a set of shades. Then we have an Imperial General figure in some vaguely medieval looking powered armor. Next we have the Imperial Agent and Imperial Pilot figures, both sporting sharp black bodysuits with a gritty near-future feel. Next we have a Rogue Marine figure, who looks to be AWOL from marines of the Space variety, rather than the Colonial type. Next we have a Trance Mistress figure, who looks like some kind of trash glam raver. Next are two Mutants figures, who seem to be largely more squat and oddly colored anarchists, than 3 armed freaks. Tromping down the corridor next, we have the bulk of this set?s figures, ten Imperial Stormguards, who feature dark black battle dress and squarish assault rifles, their faces encased in a skin-tight mask. Commanding these troopers are five Imperial Officers figures, each wearing a gray dress uniform and gray beanie-like hat.
Also included in the set are three ?vehicle sized? figures, a Imperial Sentry Walker figure, a squarish sloped bulky mech-like walker type robot, and two gunmetal gray Imperial Speedbikes figures, ready to race through a forest or across a trackless desert.
Overall, this is a solid set from Arion games, the figures all feature a gritty near-future motif, with bits of Cyberpunk and more fanciful Space opera elements thrown in. They would work well in general Sci-Fi and space opera games, and some near future and cyberpunk games as well. The Stormguard figures would also make good agents for a Supers game or mooks in a HK Action type game. The textures and features are all believable and sharp. Thus I recommend this set to anyone looking for a set of figures to represent a large organization of bad guys to pit against their players in an SF or Cyberpunk game, with potential use in a Supers or HK Action game. Adding in the fact that you can easily prepare your own sheets of Stormguards and print off an army if you like, this is an excellent value as well.
<b>LIKED</b>: Trance Mistress, Assassin, Stormguards<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Emperor figure is a bit plain.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>