Posts tagged ‘world of warcraft’

WOW Minis – Core Starter Vs. Deluxe Starter

Author: Chris Skinner

I recently had the fortune to come into a few boxes of World of Warcraft (WOW) Minis. It’s a game that I have been wanting to try for a long time. I had even gone the length of downloading the play-test-demo from the website, printing them out and having my own little arts and crafts until I had a playable set created from a printer, tape and a lot of patience.

When going to purchase the game, the first question I had, and most players have, is “How do I get into the game?” Typically, with most games, all you have to do is go out, buy the game, and you are good to go. Even with mini games, there is normally one starter set and boosters from there. I scoured the net looking for some sort of breakdown of what was in the sets, but there are no real good descriptions.

The package contents are there on the main site, but it’s like reading cooking directions that read “with a pinch of this and a bit of that”. Not real helpful.

So, really, the only way to tell is to get hands on. That’s what I did.

There are two different options you can start with:

  • The Core Starter
  • The Deluxe Starter

I’ll list what’s in the package and go through exactly WHAT they are afterwards, so don’t worry, I’ll get to those questions. I had the same ones.

Core Starter Set:

• Four WoW Miniatures

1. Gorebelly (Horde Warrior)

2. Lotherin (Horde Priest)

3. Ruby Gemsparkle (Alliance Mage)

4. Vindicator Hodoon (Alliance Paladin)

• 6 Themed Play Dice (3 Horde, 3 Alliance, 10s are CRIT symbol, 1-3 are grayed out)

• 6 UBases (3 Alliance, 3 Horde, more on these… things later.)

• 4 Sets of Play Cards, 1 for each Character

1. Gorebelly, Charge, Execute

2. Lotherin, Psychic Scream, Mind Blast

3. Ruby Gemsparkle, Ice Barrier, Fire Blast

4. Vindicator Hodoon, Hammer of Wrath, Flash of Light

• 1 Poster Game Map (Random: Ashenvale, Winterspring, Tanaris)

• 1 Manual (Core Starter Manual, rules only, 21 pages)

• 1 List of all Minis and the Cards they come with

Deluxe Starter Set:

• 6 WoW Miniatures (Random: 3 of 1 faction, 3 of another. Horde, Alliance or Monster. I got Horde and Monster)

• 6 Themes Play Dice (3 of 1 faction, 3 of the other, based on what you got. I have 3 Horde and 3 Monster)

• 6 UBases (3 of 1 faction, 3 of the other, based on what you got. I have 3 Horde and 3 Monster)

• 6 Set of Play Cards, 1 for each Character

• 1 Board Game Map (Random: Ashenvale, Winterspring or Tanaris)

• 1 Sheet of Punch-out Tokens

1. 16 Reversible Hill/Forest Tiles

2. 6 Reversible Victory Point/Graveyard Tokens

3. 6 Reversible Horde/Alliance/Monster Banner Tokens

4. 2 Reversible Totem/Pet Tokens

5. 9 Reversible Buff Tokens

• Two +1 Resist/-1 Resist Tokens

• Two +1 Armor/-1 Armor Tokens

• Two +1 Attack/-1 Attack Tokens

• Three +1 Move/-1 Move Tokens

• 1 Manual (Deluxe Starter Manual, rules + extras 42 pages)

• 1 List of all Minis and the Cards they come with

Okay, what’s the difference?

On it’s face, the main difference between the two starter sets is pretty simple, one has 6 random guys and one has 4 pre-set ones. That is the simplest comparison, however, as it gets pretty different after that. I’ll break it down in sections.



The Core Starter always comes with the same guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you want only one set. The guys that come in the set are well designed, fun to play with and are two nicely balanced teams. Also, the figures themselves (aside from Ruby, imho) are very well designed. Gorebelly is big, powerful looking and imposing. Vindicator is statuesque and vicious, reigning down the power of a true retribution Paladin. Also note that the 4 in the Core Starter are exclusive to the Core Starter. You won’t see them anywhere else.

The Deluxe Starter comes with 6 random figures. In my box, I got 3 Horde and 3 Monster figures. They were equally divided, 1 of the Horde being Rare and 2 common, 1 Monster Rare and 2 Commons. This is the same way the Boosters are set up, so, essentially, you get two Boosters in the Deluxe Starter. This can be a good thing if you already have the Core Starter, but if you are looking for intentionally balanced teams, you will definitely get that with the Core.


The play dice are the same in both sets. The cool thing about these dice is that they are themed for the factions. In the Core Set, you get 3 of each faction, Alliance and Horde.

The Horde dice are red, Alliance are blue. The numbers 1 – 3 are gray, indicating a miss and the 4-9 are white, indicating a hit. The 10 spot is a Crit symbol, indicating a critical hit.

The Core always comes with 3 Alliance and 3 Horde. The Deluxe will come with 3 of one faction and 3 of another. Mine came with Horde and Monster.


May as well get the ugly over with. The UDE or UBases (UDE = Upper Deck Entertainment) are bases that the characters sit on. These bases give you two pieces of information critical to the game; life and tick.

Life goes from 1 – 15, indicating the current max life.

Ticks go from 1 – 0, 0 indicating 10, then it repeats itself (i.e. 1-0, 1-0).

The ugly about this is several fold… origami fold really. Firstly, the characters do not fitsnugly onto the base. It seems as if they are supposed to click in and stay, but they do not. This makes sense, however, considering if your mini takes damage, you have to turn the mini on the UBase to point to the new Life total.

This leads us to a second point… to do anything to the UBase, you need to remove your mini from the play space, manipulate the UBase, reattach the character (hoping it doesn’t fall off) then replace it on the game map.

In my house, this leads to no end of amount of trouble. “Where did that guy come from?” “Are you sure he was there?” “You moved my guy!” Personally, these things stay in the box and I track it with either pen and paper or dice.

The Core always comes with 3 Alliance and 3 Horde. The Deluxe will come with 3 of one faction and 3 of another. Mine came with Horde and Monster.

Play Cards

The Core Starter set comes with the 12 cards listed above. The Deluxe comes with 18 cards, random, depending on the minis it comes with. Each mini comes with 1 Character Card and 2 Action Bar cards.

Game Board

Here is where the two sets get real different.

When I opened the Core Starter set, it came with a game board, but it is a poster style board. It is folded like a map, 5 times, is printed on heavy, glossy paper and is double-sided. It is a 7×10 Hex map that is beautifully done. It has vibrant colors, is easy to read and artfully colored. The only real downside of the map is that it’s paper! I understand that most of the other mini games come with the same types of maps or no maps at all, but I guess I expected a little more for $25. I wasn’t really sure what I expected… until I opened the Deluxe Starter set.

Now, the Deluxe Starter comes with a larger, game board. This one is a real game board, nice and thick, very sturdy and even more beautiful than the poster one. It has more of a matte finish, but the luster and color is still there. It has 3 folds, with a split down the center. When laid out, however, it lays flat and has a nice, solid sound to it. It is a larger board, 11x 10, making it quite a bit wider. THIS is what I expected. The board alone makes the Deluxe worth picking up.

Either set comes with a random board, either Ashenvale, Winterspring or Tanaris.

On one side of the board (or poster) there is the underlying artwork of the game board, and all the hexes are clear. On the other side, there are Hills, Forests a VP space and two Graveyards.

Sheet of Punch-out Tokens (Deluxe only)

This is definitely a cool addition to the Deluxe Set. The sheet is as thick as the game board itself, and has a total of 39 punch-outs, all colored on both sides. They are all reversible. They allow the game board to be customized any way you like, as well as adding a few things to the game itself, such as flags, buffs and extra Victory Point spaces. All in all, a very cool add in to the set.


Both of the Manuals are pretty much the same except for a few major differences. The Core Starter manual is bare bones, with the instructions and that’s it. The Deluxe, on the other hand has a few more bits to it that makes it a better manual overall.

First of all, it’s bigger. That doesn’t seem like much, but if you have friends like mine, you’ll be digging constantly through the book checking on rules. The larger text is a big deal. I don’t know the actual point size, but it’s way easier on my aging eyes.

The other additions include class descriptions, expanded sections of rules and a scenarios section in the back that give several different game-play styles and rules for battles other than just “kill the other guy”.

The Box

The one thing I neglected to mention was the big fancy box it comes in, too! I have all my Minis fitting right in that box, along with the dice, maps and everything! It’s big, solid and nice to look at,..and it really does fit quite a few minis in it. Now, understandably, they are all different sizes, but I have the Core, Deluxe and two boosters in mine right now, and there’s still room for more. I even have a Tauren in there!

Final Thoughts

Both of the Starter Sets offer something different and, for the most part, are pretty unique in what they offer. I have to say that the minis in the Core Starter are very balanced and powerful, when used right. Lotherin is my favorite, and you just can’t get him in any other pack. They are only available right there in the Core Starter, and for money, it’s pretty worth it. I would have liked to see something different done with the map situation in the Core, but that’s the way it goes. Everything you need to get into the game comes right in that single box, and all by itself, it’s tons of fun.

The Deluxe Starter is what really impressed me, however. The big board map is a jewel, and one of the better game boards I have seen. There may have been a different way to build it, so there was no huge break down the middle, but it still works great, has a great feel to it and smells fantastic. Yeah, I’m one of those.

For myself, I am very excited to have both Deluxe and Starter. For the cost of the Deluxe, at first, I thought it was a little steep, but when you break it down, you get two boosters, dice, punch-outs to customize the board and an actual board, well, it’s not all that bad. I would expect to pay this much for a non mini game with just as many pieces, but the quality here is way above what I originally expected.

Well, I hope that helps you guys with you decision. Personally, I chose both, and I’m pretty happy about it! Have fun!


February 13, 2009 at 4:41 am Leave a comment

Fantasy Flight Games – New Video Posted

Just wanted to let everyone know that Gary and I spent some time putting some videos together for you all over the holiday break.

There are a lot of informational videos coming about different game companies, game systems, and just stuff to help you determine if a game is for you or not. We are trying to be a little different than the average video guys out there and offer you something you may not have seen or heard.

The first one is a quick overview of Fantasy Flight Games. In this one, Gary goes over the basic characteristics of these games and tells you a little about what to expect if you decide to purchase one of their games. They are definately for a specific type of gamer!

January 2, 2009 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

New Games This Week – Battlestar Galactica, WOW minis, and Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition!

This is a big release week and we got ’em!

Battlestar Galactica

The cooperative game, Battlestar Galactica, released on Monday. We should have some copies arriving today. If you want them, I suggest you pick them up quickly. This is a pretty popular game. It has similar mechanics to Shadows Over Camelot. Instead of a traitor, you have hidden Cylons trying mess with your teams success. There is intrigue, politics, space battles, and hidden dangers. What’s not to like?

Get your copy of Battlestar Galactica today!

World of Warcraft Miniatures

On Tuesday, Upper Deck released their new minatures game based on the insanely popular World of Warcraft. You get 4 minis in the basic core set – which comes with enough stuff for two people to play a solid game.

If you want to increase your collection, you can buy individual booster packs. These come with 3 minis each.

In December, they will release their deluxe core set. This comes with 6 minis for a two-player game.

Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition

This is the big news item! This game releases on Nov. 18. We will have them in our hands and shipping to customers on Friday or Monday of next week. This game has been HOT! HOT! HOT! We have pre-sold 18 copies of this game and are SOLD OUT! The bad news about this game is that it is probably going to be a limited run. There may be another printing of this game in December, but this is only a rumor at the moment. So, if you have not gotten your own copy of the game, you may be out of luck.

If you pre-ordered a copy of this game from us, you can expect that you will get it some time next week! Hooray! I know there are some happy gamers out there excited about that news!

November 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

World of Warcraft Adventure Game and Power Grid Videos Posted

We created two new videos for you this month.

I was so excited this month! I am a huge fan of the Warcraft PC games. I have never played World of Warcraft. I know what happens if I do – my life gets sucked away and nothing gets done. Therefore I avoid it. I saw the World of Warcraft board game and thought “Wow, that would be great to play”. I never did. I learned that it was a five-seven hour event. Again, stayed away because I would not have anyone willing to devote that amount of time.

But, this month, Fantasy Flight Games answered my request for a shorter version of the game. I give you World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game.

As with our other product videos, we show you all the details of the parts, pieces, and basically how the game is set up. The goal is to help you determine if you want to add this game to your collection.

By the way, this video has been viewed over 5,000 times on YouTube. Holy Cow!

The second video is about a game I have been curious about. So, we picked up a demo copy and opened it for you to see and for us to learn how to play. This game is Power Grid from Rio Grande Games. It is a very interesting game.

The goal is to buy the most efficient power plants you can through an auction system. Then, you need to buy resources to supply power. At that point, you need to connect your power plants to cities. You get points for the cities. The interesting thing about the game is that it gets more expensive as you go and resources become harder to get. Also, there are not any die rolls or card plays in this game. It is all you! Either you can win or not. It is all on the table for you to see what the other people are doing. If you get behind, it becomes very hard to come back.

This game ships with a double-sided board, so you can play in the US or in Germany. There are also some expansion boards that offer other countries. This allows you to change up your game experiences.

As always, enjoy the videos.

I think next month, we will venture to the land of Catan and look at Settlers of Catan and Traders & Barbarians – the new expansion. We will probably also look at 1960: The Making of the President.

August 1, 2008 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment


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