04/01/2020 at 12:20 #128908Angel BarracksModerator
BURNING SANDS REVIEW.
By Adam L Dobbyns
Author of 2017 Gangs of Rome.
There is an old saying in Wargames design “sometimes it’s hard to do simple”.
All too often when a game hits the shelves, the is a tendency towards bombastic overkill, and what a game originally started of wanting to achieve, is lost completely in its need to impress or be clever.
For career gamers like myself, it can all be overwhelming, I can’t tell you how many rulebooks I have read in the past 10 years, but it’s easily over a hundred.
With some of the mechanic and design choices simply baffling.
It’s rare then to find a game that is not tripping over itself to cram all sorts of “vital things you MUST remember” into your brain.
When you think about it, how many games have you played in the past 5 years, that even after your 3rd game you are still not 100% confident you are across all the rules?
That feeling, I think sits in the back of your mind all the way through the game, whispering to you, making you second guess sometimes not only what you are doing, but what your opponent is doing too.
Burning Sands was written by its author Michael Stockin, to remove those barriers to play and provide a series of plain speaking, good old fashioned rules, to get his wonderful 15mm fantasy models on the move and fighting, in no time at all.
Burning Sands is refreshing in its simple clean straight lines. In its absolute no nonsense minimalism, that gifts you the player with the fastest possible route to understanding what your model can do on the field of play.
It does this, while also providing you with a suite of extra abilities, in both its core rulebook and its supplement, the Chroniclers Companion, should you want to sprinkle a little extra here and there.
Burning Sands is also quite frankly one of the most inexpensive fantasy miniature games on global market.
With both it’s PDF books and the entire available range of 15mm models, not even adding up to half of the cost of many mass market 2 player starter sets.
The unique nature of its 15mm scale, also allowing for the creation of battlefields of a scope simply impossible in 28mm.
Burning Sands is a rare gem indeed and well worth a look for gamers tired of leafing through massive expensive bulky tomes only to find they need a 4, 5, or 6.
I can’t tell you how nuts it drives me to have to wade through some enormous rulebook that is trying it’s level best to hide what should be basic information from me. It’s like playing some demented “literary treasure hunt”, where my reward is a feeling like I am now actually allowed, to play the very expensive wargame I bought.
It’s madness… and most of all it’s completely “unfun”.
Burning Sands is a game you can learn quickly, and then simply put the book aside.
Your eyes are then kept on the table where they should be… not in the book.
Your time is spent playing, not searching, not arguing.
You wallet is not wounded… you buy something that is simply worth it and just plain good and fun.
Burning Sands is a gift of simplicity.
A simple portal into a fantasy gaming experience filled with adventure and potential.
In this gaming world where 28mm and beyond is king, it might be easy to overlook what 15mm gaming has to offer.
But within its tiny worlds awaits adventures just as exciting as any I’ve seen in others.
It won’t break the bank, it won’t crowd the table, hell it would even fit on a modest coffee table, with space to spare and the models take no time at all to paint.
Sometimes on a hot summer day you may be confronted with some elaborate sounding drink, with a fancy name, an impressive price tag and bunch of little umbrellas poking out in all directions…
The Wargaming industry can be a little like that drink.
And I can tell you for a fact, mostly what you need is just a tall cool glass of ice water, to refresh you body and mind.
Your imagination can get overwrought, it can get fatigued and dehydrated, with all the complexity it takes in and is told it needs, when really what it most needs, is a simple way to express itself, without the all the overwritten white noise… For me… Michaels work with Burning Sands is that.
It’s a game that just wants you to have a great time on the tabletop and gives you all the creative tools you need to do just that.
Without the pointless little umbrellas 🙂👍
If you have never played 15mm fantasy or have been on the fence, Burning Sands is the place to start. I encourage you to give it a try.
You may find it teaches you something about what tabletop entertainment really should both feel, like and actually cost.
It may only be little, but it’s sword is just as mighty as it’s peers!
Adam L Dobbyns.
Writer, Sydney Australia.
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE04/01/2020 at 21:41 #128935StroezieParticipant
It’s one thing to know you have a good product ,but it’s always nice to get some recognition.😎
Which reminds me, I really should get myself down to the print shop and have them print me a nice properly bound copy so I can give it the place on the shelf it deserves.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=005/01/2020 at 09:16 #128952Wouter WolputParticipant
That’s high praise and a wonderful review, congrats!06/01/2020 at 05:55 #129012telzy amberParticipant
Excellent.06/01/2020 at 16:39 #129053Darkest Star GamesParticipant
High praise indeed, and a well written review to boot. Always cool when another gaming author says something positive about something you’ve written.
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."06/01/2020 at 17:19 #129059Sane MaxParticipant
I doubt you could ask for a better review – Pity about all the ‘It’s’….. God that always jars with me.
I have to buy myself a set as well. since I had not been paying attention to this set’s development, can someone guide me where to purchase the set’s and supplement’s?06/01/2020 at 17:38 #129061
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