Old Mini Monday 02 – V&V pt. 2

Old Mini Monday 02 – V&V pt. 2

There won’t be anything to show in the painting department this week. I primed some terrain, and did a few other experiments. Painting was at a minimum. A big bulk of free time has been spent wrapping up our friendly online Blood Bowl tournament in Fumbbl. I have not fared well this round and talking about “the losing streak” might make its way into a Blog post someday.

Background

While visiting my brother, he rounded up all his old painted minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog.

This is part two of the “V&V” (Villains & Vigilantes) miniatures that I found in the old box. For more background on these miniatures, please see: Old Mini Monday 01 – V&V pt. 1

Miniatures


“The Crushers” Supervillain group. From left to right: Mercury Mercenary, Temper, Mocker, F.I.S.T., and Shocker.

 

Manufacturer

As mentioned last time around, these miniatures were from “Lance & Laser” in the late 1980s. They are still available (if you email them) through this site (scroll down to the “Living Legends” section): Living Legends miniatures

 

Characters

These five miniatures represent supervillains from a Villains & Vigilantes (V&V) introductory adventure module titled “Crisis at Crusader Citadel”.

The module came with the boxed set of the game, so anyone who played V&V was very familiar with the module. Much like the “Keep on the Borderlands” module for D&D. The minis were based off of artwork from the module which was drawn by Jeff Dee, co-creator of V&V and early TSR artist.

We played quite a bit of the V&V rpg game when we were kids, and it remained one of our favorite rpg systems for quite some time. It’s not surprising that we ended up owning the miniatures later on.

For even more history on the V&V game, you can check out the Monkey House Games forum or Wikipedia:

Monkey House Games website

Wikipedia – Villains & Vigilantes entry


Tangent – Miniatures as Tokens

Seeing minis of days gone by, stirred up the cobwebs in my brain. One of the thoughts that passed through my mind was how things have changed over the years. I’m not a wargamer, and my first intro to the world of miniatures was through the roleplaying game (rpg) “Dungeons & Dragons”. Miniatures I feel, work a little differently in rpgs than wargames. In an rpg, I feel like I could slap down a pawn and say “This is the ferocious dragon that seeks to consume you in a bath of heat and fire!!”. Players would then use their imagination and react to that pawn (or die a horrible death).

In a wargame, you *could* do something similar, but I think it would lose the effect. I can’t imagine people laying out pawns and before each strategic move, giving a narrative of the army they are about to deploy “This pawn represents a troop of Champion Orcs, their breath stinks of death, and their green colored skin is glistening with the blood of the recently slain…”. “Uh wait a second…the puprle pawn is the Champion Orcs, the green pawn is the Troll…”/. Sure, like all things under the sun, it’s probably been done. But I can’t imagine it would be fulfilling.

Same could be said of the Dragon/pawn above, but it is really the gamemaster’s job in RPG games to ignite the player’s imagination. Even the most realistic miniature, is not going to provide a sense of the scale, weight, smell, touch, etc. of a given monster. So it’s up to the gamemaster and the players to make that thing real in their imaginary world.

Which brings us back to miniatures. And me wondering. Miniatures for rpgs don’t necessarily need to be elaborately detailed pieces. And more than likely don’t need to be lavishly painted as well.

We’ve also ran into the issue where an overly detailed miniature might supplant the players’ own imagination. Suddenly a character or monster is assumed to have the weapons or color or other features of the miniature that is meant to represent the particular thing. I’ve even imagined monsters looking more like the miniature than what they actually look like in the book. So sometimes less is definitely more.

At what point is rendering of the miniature considered overkill versus when is the miniature a laughable representation? I don’t have an answer to that, but it certainly makes me think a bit when looking at these older miniatures.

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