Warlord Games makes some pretty awesome historical games and has recently started picking up licenses to produce other, non-historical line, such as Judge Dredd. They have now picked up the license to create a miniature game based on Doctor Who. I actually have students who will love this. As for me? I am disappointed.
Warlord are a great company. They produce good models and nice rulesets. Their prices are higher end but are not ridiculous, and their starter sets are reasonably reasonable. Warlord are a good choice for this license and will do the BBC proud. I am still disappointed. Here is why:
This is a fan-made Doctor Who Miniatures Game that has been around for years. The creators of this game went on to create their own company, Crooked Dice, and tried to secure the license themselves. They were essentially priced out of the market years ago. Undeterred, they went on to adapt the rules into their own game, 7TV, which takes the DWMG rules and expands them to cover the whole range of cult TV shows:
My point is that there are already some pretty solid rules for a Doctor Who Miniatures Game and my worry is that an official offering would force the publishers of the unofficial set to make their book unavailable. 7TV, with its more generic setting and themes, would be safe, so the rules would be largely preserved – second edition is due out soon – but the DWMG would potentially be in trouble.
There is also the issue of miniature availability. Warlord Games would be the only company legally producing Doctor Who miniatures and this may lead to the situation where those companies who have been producing lookalike miniatures are slapped with cease and desist orders. I have no doubt that Warlord will produce fantastic miniatures, but here are some of the companies already producing fantastic Doctor Who-esque miniatures:
Crooked Dice (Link)
The company that produced the unofficial DWMG and now produces 7TV have created loads of Doctor Who minis. Here are a few of their offerings:
Heresy Miniatures (Link)
Andy at Heresy Miniatures has produced a good selection of appropriate miniatures for the DWMG. His models of the Doctor himself(s) and a couple of the companions are particularly grand:
Ainsty Castings (Link)
Ainsty make an excellent Tardis, Tardis Console and assorted minions:
Attica Games (Link)
Attica produce some excellent Silence models and some pretty cool plastic crew:
CP Models (Link)
CP have some excellent Slitheen in their range:
Warlord are a good company with a proven track record. They have had success with their historical ranges and their licensed products. They will produce a good game and the BBC made a good call in granting them the license. My concerns are that Doctor Who has long been a subject of miniatures, stretching back to previous games by companies such as Games Workshop. Black Tree Games still makes mony selling old, out of production stock of old Doctor Who models. In recent years, companies such as Heresy and Ainsty, but particularly Crooked Dice, have produced amazing Doctor Who miniatures, marketing them as lookalikes or parodies in lieu of official sanction.
An official product is great news – it would just be a pity of it kills the creativity in ingenuity we have already seen in the community. If nothing else, and if the game does not live up to expectations, rules-wise, then at least those playing the Crooked Dice version of the DWMG will have a new and exciting source of models for their games.