So I’m sure some of you have heard the rumors swirling that star wars battle packs were dead, and I’m sure that a few of you, like me, are sad to hear that. Whether it’s true are not is to be seen, but it got me thinking, how could lego better use the battle pack model? Outside of a handful of packs from 2008-2012 or so for things like Fantasy Castle, or Pharaohs Quest, it has been used almost exclusively for Star Wars.
However, there is potential for it to be used beyond, as a way for things people have been wanting more of (I.E. Space of various era, Castle, Western.), as a way for army building, and perhaps, as a game.
So, what is this idea? It’s simple. A Miniature Wargame. Now, before people mention that Lego doesn’t do things like a wargame, lego has already done it.
This is X-pod play-off, a Miniature Wargame Lego created to go with the X-pod line of sets. You built units, sent them out, and either get them across the board, or were destroyed by enemy units and rebuilt into new ones.
Now, my idea, is to use the battle-pack model to make a lego wargame, to be played with friends or family members. Now, I’m not much of a rules man, I can make some things, but a full system is a bit beyond my skills. (Though if anyone would like to develop one go for it!)
How this would be done:
The model itself would be comparatively simple, it would use the battle pack model, to army build and develop a force to play against your friends on a table/floor/etc. Each faction would get at least 2 boxes, a starter box, featuring enough units to build a small army. Probably a leader, some troops, and vehicle/special forces/turret/etc. The second box would be a battle pack, featuring a unit of troops, and a small support vehicle, which could either be part of the unit, or it’s own separate thing. It would also include extra peices for customization. (I.e. A Castle footsoldier with options for swords, spears, or axes) In addition, the line could be expanded with alternate Battle boxes with different units. (I.E. Battle Droids and Super Battle Droids) as well as vehicle/support boxes with things like catapults, a space tank/rover, etc. Perhaps with alt builds, so you could build a catapult, trebuchet or a unit of Ballistae for example.
I would propose a base lineup like so (using Warhammer 40k’s organization structure):
Starter kit: 40-50USD
HQ battle Pack(contains commanders for your army in a box): 5-10USD
Troops Battle Pack1: 15USD
Troops Battle Pack2: 15USD
Elites Battle Pack: 15USD
Fast Attack: 15-30USD
Heavy Support1: 20-40USD
Heavy Support2: 20-40USD
In addition, you could have boxes for support commanders, extra large boxes for filling out troops options quickly, and more. Perhaps factions packs if you want a particular space subtheme for example. I.E Blacktron II. You buy your space men, then buy the Blacktron II upgrade kit so you can decorate it to look in line with other Blacktron II sets.
Why would this sell?:
There’s several reasons on two sides, the Lego community, and on the Miniature Wargaming Community.
For the Lego side of things one of the easiest ways to grab the big pockets of the AFOLs, is variety. While they may be uninterested in the game a chance to buy say… a Blacktron II battle pack? Now that might raise some eyebrows. Do the same with Castle, maybe some pirates or Western, and now you’ve got them. I’ve talked with a lot of AFOLs, and for the most part, while they would want new sets, a lot of what they would like are essentially emblem packs, which the afore mentioned upgrade packs. Those alone would sell well to MOCists, especially Classic Space and Castle fans, increasing the availability of their preferred factions emblems. On the more casual side of things, things like Castle, Space, Pirates, etc. still sell well to kids. Maybe not as much as they used to be, but still enough. Not to mention, while a parent might pass up on something DC or Star Wars themed, a 15$ playset with a knight theme? That might do the trick. Obviously, the kids may also enjoy the game and ask for more sets as well.
On the miniature wargame side, the biggest selling point would be price, and it’s (comparatively) pre-built nature. For the most part, the company Games Workshop (creator of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k) has a near monopoly on the miniature games market, with Mantic Games (Creators of Kings of War and Deadzone) and Warlord Games (creators of Bolt Action) being the closest thing to competitors. However, this means they have near impunity to charge what they like for their models. Being able to buy basic troops for 15$? To wargamers used to 30+$ for basic troops, it would be a breath of fresh air. Not to mention Lego has the sheer financial weight to combat GW in the market.
On the building part, one of the biggest barriers to entry into wargaming (besides price) is the building and painting of miniatures. Lots of people are intimidated by it, and shy away, and others just want to play the game and not bother. With Lego however, it’s much simpler, no glue or screws, no painting, just snap the parts together. For those who do still like building the models, you can still paint them up like any other model kit, it’s plastic after all, or you can do some kitbashing (taking parts from other kits and combining them with glue and an epoxy putty known as greenstuff) to make them more unique. Or you can use your own lego collection to decorate your army.
Anyway, those my thoughts, feel free to come up with your own ideas, game rule suggestions, and more! I’d love to hear your thoughts!