As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the Batman Miniature Game by Knight Models. At the time I am writing this up, I have thirty-four figures from the game painted up and another twenty-eight more to go. Of course, every month there are new guys I want, so who knows when I will ever be caught up again. I paint about three guys a week, but that means if I don’t get any more figures AND I don’t paint any of my Reaper, Warhammer or Malifaux figures, I can be done in nine to ten weeks. The problem is, there will ALWAYS be new guys that I want, because Batman Miniature Game is my favorite game to both play and paint.
The one downside to the game is that there are so many Batman continuities Knight Models can take advantage of. I know they can’t use the Burton films or the DCAU, but everything else appears to be fair game. However, the sheer amount of potential means that most of the time, it seems like each month’s releases are picked out of a hat rather than structured and logical. So I thought it would be fun to do some fantasy booking and what I’d like to see if I was in charge of what models got released every month, as well as your reaction to it.
First of all, I’d do theme months similar to what Games Workshop does. You get teasers and a lot of gossip across the web this way, but gamers also have a slight idea of what is coming and thus know whether or not to budget for the upcoming theme’s releases. If you’re a Stormcast Eternals from Age of Sigmar player and you know the next month is going to be Tyranids, you know you’re not going to spend money but can still enjoy the community’s discussion of current and upcoming releases. By going for a specific theme, you can give hints, get the KM/BMG community stirred up and excited for the releases and gauge reaction. By just springing things on without rhyme or reason, it’s harder to tell what people think AND you get a lot more “WHERE’S MY SCARECROW GANG?” comments from people disappointed that, once again, the figures they really want aren’t released. Doing a theme forewarns people what might be coming, but also stirs up interest as the community tries to figure out the theme.
So here is my booking attempt. Each month I will list a theme and seven figures a month to fit that theme. Following how Knight Models appears to do things, each month will get a four pack blister and three other figures. Some will be singles and some will be in two-packs. Once a quarter, there will be an increase to nine figures (like July’s Arkham City releases), but let’s be honest. Nine figures a month is a lot for a small company like Knight Models, so I did try to keep this realistic. We’ll run from September to August. Now, let’s try and have some fun.
September Theme Hint: ARROW
4-Pack Blister: Malcolm Merlyn (leader) and the League of Shadows (ninja Henchmen)
2-Pack: Felicity and Diggle (Henchmen)
Single: Thea Queen/Red Arrow (Sidekick)
This is pretty easy. People want more Arrow figures. Right now all we have is Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. I see a lot of people asking for this, and why not deliver? Devoting a whole month to it scratches the Arrow itch for a long time. You get three new figures for an Arrow team, allowing you to field Ollie, Thea, Felicity and Diggle all at once. Throw in some cops and you have a good law team. Meanwhile, you can add to the League of Shadows by giving them a new leader in Malcom Merlyn and three more ninja henchmen. The League is one of the most popular warbands in Batman Miniature Game and this will keep fans set for the full year – especially since we just had a Lady Shiva set early in 2015. The theme would be fun and I think this set of releases would make a lot of people happy.
October Theme Hint: Spooky Halloween
4-Pack: Arkham Knight Scarecrow (leader) and Scarecrow Gang thug members (henchmen)
Single: Gentleman Ghost (Free Agent)
Single: Andrew Bennett (I, Vampire) (Free Agent)
Single: Ragman (Henchmen)
2-Pack: Jason Blood/Etrigan (Free Agent)
There is a LOT of supernatural activity in Gotham City, but we see none of it touched so far in BMG. Granted, Zatanna, Constantine and Spectre are WAY too powerful for a street level super hero game like this, but why not touch on the others?
First, Halloween is the perfect theme to finally release a Scarecrow gang in its Arkham Knight form. Not much needs to be said here. Gentleman Ghost would be a thematic free agent for all the evil aligned squads. He’d look very dapper in a Black Mask or Penguin warband. Andrew Bennett would be a very powerful (probably 150 points) free agent for a Batman or Arrow warband, as he’d regenerate, phase (mist form), have claws, Ivy’s mind control power and more. He’s one of my favorite DC characters, and considering what an amazing job Knight Models did scaling Swamp Thing to this game, I think they could do the same for Bennett. Plus Justice League Dark fans would get really excited for this. Ragman would be a low point super hero henchmen for the law forces. He’d be really hard to point, but I’d love to see the end result. Finally, Jason Blood and Etrigan would be a two pack. I forsee where he could work for ANY warband. Jason Blood would be frail but have powerful ranged attacks, while Etrigan would be a giant figure and pure melee tank goodness. However, the catch would be that the player would have to switch the two out every other round or so (maybe 3/3, something like that). This means you’d have to be very good at tactics with the figure, but it would also keep your opponent guessing. You’d also get an extra VP if you talked in rhyme every round Etrigan was on the board.
November Theme Hint: Arkham Knight
4-Pack: Arkham Knight Riddler Gang (Leader and Henchmen)
Single: Arkham Knight Nightwing (Sidekick)
Single: Knightfall Batman (Leader)
Single: Man-Bat (Free Agent)
This is pretty easy. Arkham Knight, despite the PC version being a shoo-in for this year’s worst game of the year (the console versions are great though), needs far more representation in a game that has its roots in the video game universe. The majority of pieces in this game are Arkham City or Arkham Origins based. Right now we just have July’s release in Harley, Batman and Robin, so let’s add to that.
With this set of releases, we finally get a Riddler led gang and some henchmen for it. We FINALLY get a new Nightwing sculpt (which we desperately need) and a Knightfall Batman (from the 100% ending, which we all know by now as the Batman from the 90s story arc by the same name). We’d have a Batman with fire and that does lethal damage, which would dynamically change how you field a Batman warband. Finally, I included Man-Bat because the game should really have him by now, Knight Models has finally worked out flying rules and he could be fielded by any team. Sometimes he is a good guy and sometimes he is a bad guy, Plus his appearance in Arkham Knight is one of the most memorable moments in the game.
December Theme Hint: Holiday Season!
4-Pack: Mr. Freeze Gang (Leader and henchmen)
Single: Ice/Tora Oladsdotter (Free Agent)
Single: Calendar Man (Henchment)
Single: Holiday/Alberto Falcone (Sidekick/Henchman)
This would be a fantastic way to end the year. We’d finally get a Mr. Freeze gang in time for a white Christmas. Look out Court of Owls! Calendar Man would be a perfect choice as henchmen for any evil aligned crew. He wouldn’t be worth a Free Agent spot, but he’d make a lovely Henchman. Also, very thematic. Finally, we’d have Holiday, aka Alberto Falcone, as either a Sidekick or Henchman to the organized crime band, which really needs to be built up more (see next month). Holiday is from the ultra famous Long Halloween storyline and, again, fits the theme perfectly. Finally, I threw in Ice for the good aligned warbands because it gives them an ice wielding character (right now we just have Freeze and Killer Frost) and another female sculpt. Plus Tora is one of the best female super heroes in the DCU, and she’s street level enough that she’d fit in. Plus we’d be inching ever closer to a JLI team, which is what I need in this game more than anything.
January Theme Hint: Cops n’ Crime
4-Pack of cops: Maggie Sawyer (Leader), Rene Montoya (Henchmen), Jim Corrigan (Free Agent), Harvey Bullock (Sidekick)
Single: Great White Shark (Leader)
Single: Carmine Falcone (Leader)
Single: The Question (Free Agent)
2-Pack: Generic Mob Enforcers (Henchmen)
This month would primarily focus on building up two underappreciated warbands: Organized Crime and GCPD. First, the GCPD would finally get four name characters from the comics. Right now we just have Commissioner Gordon and Loeb/Branden from Batman: Year One, but they’re actually corrupt cops, so we need more heroic cops for a heroic crew. This team gives us the four most famous cops that the GCPD has to offer. Two are women and two are men. Montoya and Harvey are must haves for any Batman fan. Maggie would be an alternative leader for a cop team. Corrigan would be something truly special, as we’d let him have the Spectre come into play. His main ability would be this: Anytime a character on ANY crew is taken out via blood damage (not stun), the owner of the attacking character must roll a d6. If it comes up 6, the wraith of the Spectre is unleashed, and the attacker is removed from the game by the Spirit of Vengeance. As well, anyone who takes out Corrigan via blood damage (not stun) is automatically removed from the game, no die roll needed. Otherwise his stats would be pretty normal, as he is just an average joe with the Wraith of God bonded to him. That’s ANY team remember, even Jim’s own, so this would be a huge shift in dynamic and tactics, and a lot of fun. We’d also have the Question show up this month due to his ties with Montoya. Meanwhile, Organized Crime would get two possible leaders: The Great White Shark (See Dan Slott’s Arkham Asylum: Living Hell) and Carmine Falcone. Man, I want to field “The Roman” so badly. We’d also get two generic henchmen for Organized Crime, which is sorely needed.
February Theme Hint: Batman ’66
4-Pack: Julie Neumar Catwoman and thugs (Leader and thugs)
2-Pack: Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara (Leader and Sidekick)
Single: Cesar Romero Joker (Leader)
With only Adam West available, we desperately need more characters from the old 1966 TV Show. We already have two Penguin sculpts and I suggested a Riddler gang earlier, so as much as I love the ’66 versions I decided to not use them. That’ll be next year boys! I went with a Catwoman gang because we need a new Catwoman majorly and everyone loves Julie Neumar. I’d make her henchmen open to any bad warband, but I’d also give the character Affinity: Batman so she could be in a good aligned warband too. It’s a way to have two leaders on your team other than via Hush or Titan Bane! Gordon and O’Hara would help give the GCPD more depth, and Knight Models seems like they will have an aneurysm if they don’t heap more Joker characters on us. I tried to stay away from that band since there are already too many of them and July saw Harley’s four pack. This gives us another Joker (our fourth), but one I think everyone will want to have. It’s Caesar Romero for crying out loud!
March Theme Hint: Justice League
4-Pack: Wonderland Gang (Mad Hatter Leader and three henchmen)
2-Pack: Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Henchmen)
Single: Mister Miracle (Free Agent)
Single: Big Barda (Giant Free Agent)
Single: Red Rain Batman/Oracle (Leader)
I think people would be shocked at this theme because they would be thinking super powerful characters. Honestly though, for much of the 80s and 90s, the Justice League was made up of street level characters. Superman, Flash and Wonder Woman were nowhere to be seen. So I would give people those characters, possibly bringing a lot of new blood into the game and really revitalizing the good guy side of the game. Booster and Beetle would be henchmen, allowing any good crew to field them. They wouldn’t be super powerful, but they’d be very useful. Booster can fly and has force fields, making him terrific as an objective chaser, and Beetle would be a highly annoying acrobat with a flash gun that robs characters of their Willpower tokens. The two would also have the new Teamwork ability debuting in July 2015’s releases in Arkham City Batman and Robin. Mister Miracle would simply be nigh impossible to hit and doubly so to KO, but would be rather ineffectual offensively. He’s be an irritation. Big Barda would be a giant figure for good aligned crews (if Gotham Butcher and Bane are on giant bases, Barda should be too). She’s be slow but very powerful. Being from Apokolips, I’d have her be the ultimate Joker gang counter, nullifying Kaos Agent effects in, say, a 10-12″ radius around her. She’d be pricey, but you’d get a JLI and a Birds of Prey figure for your respective crews. Plus she loves Pokemon. Finally, we’d use this month to bring in the Mad Hatter and his crew. It’s something that has been tossed around for a while. It’d be a good band to use against the JLI, and it would make Batman purists happy.
For the last slot, I’m not sure who to use. I’m leaning towards Oracle, as we don’t have her yet, and she could lead a Birds of Prey crew similar to Benjamin Orchard. She’d be a very low cost leader, but one you’d have to protect. The other option is a Red Rain Batman. It’s Batman game after all, and so far I’ve only given you a single Batman. We already have DKR, Adam West, Arkham City, Arkham Origins and Arkham Knight Batman though. With Az-Bats (who should already exist in the game to be honest) we’d have six. Do we need a seventh Batman, especially a vampire one? Probably not. Would people flip out and buy him though? Oh my yes.
April Theme Hint: Bring on the Bad Guys
4-Pack: Hugo Strange and Thugs (Leader and Henchmen)
Single: KGBeast (Free Agent)
Single: The Reaper (Free Agent)
Single: Arkham Knight (Scarecrow Gang Sidekick)
These are all pretty simple. I’d have Hugo Strange be able to lead ANY warband, even a Batman one (remember, he got away with posing as Batman in the Steve Englehart run of the comics and knows Batman is Bruce Wayne) and give him three generic henchmen for his blister. KGBeast and Reaper would be fantastic sculpts and additions to the game. Finally, we’d have Arkham Knight to give October’s Scarecrow Gang more figures. By having him in April, nearly a year after Arkham Knight‘s release, you could avoid whiners about spoilers on his true Identity.
May Theme Hint: Legends of Tomorrow
4-Pack: Vandal Savage and Thugs (Leader and Henchmen)
2-Pack: Ray Palmer & Rip Hunter (Free Agent and SPECIAL)
Single: White Canary (Free Agent)
This will be a pretty cut and dry month. It’ll be sweeps month, and the end of this year’s TV shows, so the KM releases should focus on the TV characters. Vandal Savage would be able to lead any warband because holy shit, it’s Vandal Savage. He’d just overwhelm any of the current leaders (even Bane) with intelligence and brute force. Let’s be honest, this guy isn’t Superman level in straight up power, but he’s the most experienced ANYTHING on planet Earth. He could be the power behind the team ala Hush or just straight up take them over. Ray Palmer and White Canary would be the usual Free Agents. Rip Hunter would be special in that he would either have Hush’s special ability or he could be fielded as ANY member of a good guy team, from Leader to Henchman, due to his time travel power and knowledge. In other words, he’d be the counter to Vandal Savage, but play quite differently. He’d also get a bonus for being in a crew with Booster Gold for obvious comic book reasons.
June Theme Hint: Fleshing Things Out
Single: Hawkgirl (Sidekick)
Single: Burt Ward Robin (Sidekick)
2-Pack: Ivy Plant Monsters (Henchmen)
Single: Arkham Knight Riddler Bot (Giant Sidekick)
2-Pack: Court of Owls (Henchmen)
I’m sure people wouldn’t take the hint as being Clayface related, but it is in fact all about fleshing out already existing teams. Hawkgirl would follow up the previous month’s releases and keep the show’s cast appearing in the game. We’d finally get a ’66 Robin (short shorts and all) instead of the creepy video game skinhead ones (and Damien). Ivy, Riddler and Court of Owls gangs would all get much needed pieces too. Essentially, this would look like one of the current months Knight Models already does.
July Theme Hint: Cs and Ds
Single: Grayson (Leader)
Single: Enlongated Man (Henchman)
4-Pack: Deacon Blackfire and cultists (Leader and henchmen)
Single: Catman (Free Agent)
This is kind of a tricky hint. First up is Dick Grayson (the first D) in his New 52 super spy self. He’d be a leader and play very different from the Nightwing options. Enlongated Man is the second D (as in Dibney and Detective) and he would either be on a giant base (stretchy form) or a bike/cavalry style base (also stretchy form). Deacon Blackfire (third D) would be an Organized Crime Leader and his cultists (lots of Cs) would be generic henchmen you could use with any evil aligned crew. Finally, Catman would be for use with any crew, as he plays on both sides of the fence.
August Theme Hint: The Heat is on!
4-Pack: Rupert Thorne and organized Crime Goons (Leader and Henchmen)
Single: Azrael (Free Agent)
2-Pack: Captain Cold & Heat Wave (Free Agents)
Single: Doctor Phosphorus (Free Agent)
Single: Fire (Free Agent)
Much like how December brought us some ice based characters, August will bring us some fire ones. What? Firefly can’t have all the fun. Rupert Thorne would finally show up in the game, giving even more depth to organized crime (after this year it has had all that is sorely needed with that crew and then double that). Everyone in this blister would be “packing heat” too. We’d get out second Azrael figure, although our first in his Knight of Saint Dumas outfit. We’d finish off Legends of Tomorrow with a Rogue’s Gallery two-pack that could be used in any crew, but they’d be pricey ($-wise, not point-wise) since they are mercs. Doctor Phosphorus would be a blast from the blast but be an amazing figure to try and paint and also be a lot of fire based insanity. Finally, the good guys would get some fire based damage of their own in everyone’s favorite Brazilian JLI member. It would be a nod to Tora from December and March’s Justice League month. Essentially she’d be a good Firefly without the Pyromania.
So there you go. This would add ninety-two new figures to the Batman Miniature Game, all ones I think many Batman Miniature Game players would love to own, paint and field. There are some others I strongly wanted to include like the Commissioner Gordon Batman currently in the comics, but he’s so new that I don’t think Knight Models could stat him up properly. Same with the 1970’s purple and green Catwoman or a new Killer Croc, preferably the DCAU version chucking a rock. Hell, I could have probably extended this fantasy booking out another year or two without running out of ideas. There’s just so many characters and variants to choose from.
Did you like the thematic months? What characters did I forget that you wanted? What characters did I list that you’d personally buy? Let me know in the comments below!