January 29, 2016

BMG? SMG? MUMG? WTF?

It's been a busy week for Knight Models. First up was the announcement of the upcoming release of their new Marvel Universe Miniature Game. This will use a new system, different to that of the Batman Miniatures Game. Some details about the MUMG can be found on Facebook or over on Ian's blog here.

It's interesting that it's a new system, but not entirely surprising. Many fans of the Batman game had discussed whether or not to bring in more powerful characters like Superman, and if in fact they could even be properly represented in the BMG system. With the web-supplement for a Spiderman Miniatures Game made available in December by Knight Models, many of us thought that this was the Marvel game and were happy that it was largely compatible with Batman.


I'm a bit conflicted on the announcement about the Marvel game. In one sense, a new system does allow for a better representation of powers and abilities without having to worry about puny humans like beat cops and clowns with baseball bats. On the other hand, it's not compatible with BMG, and means that the audience for both games (in my opinion) is being forced to make a choice. Some will choose to play both games, some will choose one or the other, and some will be turned off by the fact that there are two different games and choose not to play either. It's a potential fracturing of an audience that could prove difficult to surmount, especially for those trying to build the game(s) in their local communities.

All that said, the Marvel models shown so far look great and I'm curious to see how things play out.

I feel for the folks who splashed out the cash for the 'direct only' boxes released under the SMG banner only to find out a few weeks later that there is a full scale Marvel game arriving very soon. That seems like a bit of a kick in the balls from Knight Models. I've been pretty vocal about things, and not always as reasonable as I'd like. Change is hard...


BMG has also taken a bit of a hit with the announcements that some models from its range are being retired, and thus also becoming direct only.

The list of retired models for BMG were posted over on Wayland Games and are currently:

- Arkham City Harley Quinn
- Arkham City Poison Ivy
- Arkham City Talia al Ghul

It sounds like more retired models will be announced soon.

What are your thoughts on this?

9 comments:

pulpcitizen said...

SMG now looks likes no more than a patch for BMG. They may fully develop it, but that seems unclear now.

Presumably they will do a DCUMG that is cross-compatible with MUMG, meaning 2 game engines which sounds manageable. However the volume of releases for the 4 strands is where I think they could come unstuck. How many releases do they want to sustain per strand per month? How will ramping up production affect their quality control which I find problematic for a premium product? (I know mileage will vary on that).

I am beginning to wonder if they have a short window (maybe a year or two?) for licenses? The MUMG game will presumably be a driver for sales of minis, and I wonder if KM are trying to wring as much as they can out in a finite time? That could be wild speculation, but it will be interesting to see where things are at in 2-3 years, especially given how quickly everything they did for the 35mm SW license just vanished. That takes another context from a conversation I had with the KM guys at Salute a few months before they lost the SW license - they stated they were planning a game for SW, which self-evidently did not follow and the license evaporated seemingly with no warning.



Obsidian3D said...

I had heard they used to produce Star Wars models but didn't realize that everything just vanished after their license ended.

I only started collecting the Batman line last year but have picked up a lot of models. I would really like to get the entire range, but it's very expensive. There are some Marvel models that I'd love to get too, and I hope they don't go overboard with monthly releases.

I think two or three items per month for Marvel and DC each would be great, but right now we just don't know.

pulpcitizen said...

Looking at February it looks like at least 3 for MUMG.

Recent months have been 5 or 6 releases for BMG (excluding accessories).

January saw 5 new BMG releases and 4 SMG releases plus 3 SMG re-releases.

Simon Quinton said...

Interesting times ahead. I think I'd rather play Pulp city tbh

Obsidian3D said...

I really enjoy Pulp City every time we play it here. I love how fluid it is, with models being able to act multiple times each round. It does capture the feel of comic battles very well.

PMMDJ said...

The MUMG rules are... uninspiring so far. I will keep my eyes on it as it develops, but so far, not impressed.

At least the SMG rules I could use with my BMG stuff?

Obsidian3D said...

Yes they're compatible. We tried a small game of Batman and green Arrow against Daredevil and Spidey which worked just fine.

Palmer Clarkson said...

I'm actually very excited about the MUMG. Of course not having played the BMG yet I suppose I am a bit naive to the situation. Like another person commented it really could mean two rule systems one for street level and one for beyond. I am not at all disappointed in having bought miniatures for the SMG. I will plan on using them for that but expect they will have rules for the MUMG. It was mentioned characters will be between level 4-20. I am assuming characters like Daredevil, Green Goblin, or Doc Octopus will fit in their somewhere. The rule tid bits released are still a bit vague for me to comment but I liked what I saw so far. I expect the starter packs will be pricey though having four plus characters and rules. I know I will be buying though.

Obsidian3D said...

I'd be surprised to see the Marvel Universe starter boxes for less than $75 CAD. I'm currently working through a massive backlog on Pulp City and Batman miniatures, but might pick up a Guardians starter to have a look at the rules. I wish it was classic Guardians of the Galaxy though, I loved that series as a kid.