As both a roleplayer and a miniatures gamer, I was excited to receive some Angelfire figs to fiddle with. The selection assembled for the set seems to have a wide range of heroic individuals, menacing beasts, and staples of fantasy miniatures (kobolds and skeletons? Check). I even managed to get my hands on a 124 point CG commander, Ghaele Eladrin, who gives extra activations to followers that roll a 19 or 20 while attacking. As game mechanics go, the new set looks to push the game’s envelope in new directions. Thus far nothing jumps out at me as a figure with a broken, dominating ability.
Yet despite the collector’s instinct kicking in, I found myself underwhelmed by the paint jobs on most of the figures in the box. It’s as if WotC has stopped giving a pay bonus for good work at the factory; the majority of these figures look as though they just have the basic colors, applied semi-lazily. The figures of the previous set, Deathknell, still had paint jobs with a level of detail that gave a vivid illusion of life, best seen when springing the figs upon my unsuspecting D&D players. But with Angelfire, it seems that last pass to bring out the details has been skipped on most of the figures in my possession. Hopefully it’s just my booster, rushed out the door to be sent for review. Hopefully. [EDIT: It seems that, to some extent, it was a bum booster. Read the comments below for more info]
By the way, those of you prowling Ebay to grab a “Mina, Dark Cleric” promo figure from last year’s abbreviated Margaret Weiss book tour, save your money. A Mina fig is in the set, and I’m hearing it’s identical to the promo (but if my booster is any indication, it may not be painted as well).