So, I was out at my local FLGS this past week and saw that he had in a set of the new Terraclips 3D terrain - the set in stock was the Buildings of Malifaux, which is pretty expensive for a product which is interesting, but of unknown quality since you probably haven't seen a set out of the box unless you went to GenCon. So, since I didn't I was a bit hesitant to purchase a set. Another thing that put me off was the store didn't have any clips needed to use it. So, I informed the store owner and he promptly ordered a box of clips (in this case a box of mixed clips of 40 of each type, corner, flat and triple connector clips). Today, I opened the boxes and started playing around with the buildings and the clips. The buildings are made of stout card common to known games like GW's Space Hulk tiles - very heavy card stock. The buildings are very nicely cut from the sprue and you will need to de-sprue the card stock walls, etc., from the frames before you can play with the set. This takes about 20-30 minutes to get all of the pieces out and sort them into piles so you can take stock of what you have and prepare to assemble your first building. So, the card stock is sturdy, it isn't bullet proof and it can still be bent, folded, spindled or mutilated while taking it off the frames or sprues. So, a word of caution, take your time, remove the pieces carefully as some of the cuts may not have fully pierced the card to make removal perfect. I had a door piece where part of the door was not fully cut through and the door tore a bit and a small piece of the printed door was left on the sprue. Accidents happen though, but just a word of caution. (I had been careful, but in some cases if you don't support the whole mass of pieces, some parts will fall out as the cuts are that good, and in other cases, well, they stick!) After getting all of the parts removed, I began to play with the pieces and build some buildings to see what they looked like. They are indeed some of the nicest card buildings you can purchase which are also modular. I have loads of PDF files for card buildings which you can assemble, but these are in a completely different class. First, a PDF file printed on card - even 120lb card stock is no where near the same thickness. This product is truely a heavy-weight card made from sturdy stock and equivalent to 5-10 sheets of regular card laminated into one piece in terms of thickness. So, the sturdy factor is that these will holdup to the rigors of gamers who are - shall we say - less than dextrous with handling figures, terrain, or dice. Second, the printing on these pieces is exceptional and of a depth that many color printers cannot match in terms of printing technology. So, expect that the card buildings you have will pale by comparison. Third, the buildings you create are - well - big, very big, or in some cases monstrously huge. If you have seen a box of these buildings, you can get an idea as the tiles shown give you a vague scale, but they don't do the product justice. These buildings are designed for actual playing purposes where a figure occupies a square on the product - and they are well marked even though subtly done - in a nice grid pattern. This is as opposed to the typical PDF product which is similar, but limited by the size of the paper you can fit through your printer. Not to say some products don't make the cut, the Fat Dragon products are excellent, and would scale well with these products - albeit - these are truely modular as you can take them apart and reassemble them in a new configuration in a short period of time.
So, what would you use this product for? In looking at the pieces they will make great buildings for Mordheim style games, scenery for Lord of the Rings Strategy Battlegame, Malifaux obviously, as well as any other skirmish game which requires modular scenery where you can maneuver miniatures in a Medieval period looking set of buildings. The timber frame construction and stonework is typical of European buildings, and even some early American buildings. The tile roofs are found many places, and the buildings are such that you can use them for so many different skirmish games they will make a great addition to anyone's gaming table. They would even go well with World War II or Weird War II games, and even Zombie games if that is your thing.
So, you ask yourself when is he going to get to the damned point and show us photos? Well, here are some quick photos so you can see how the buildings look:
I hope you enjoyed this first product review!