The upcoming Star Wars: Legion miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games appears to be generating a tremendous amount of buzz in the global wargaming community. And why wouldn’t it? Adapting the world’s biggest science fiction franchise to the tabletop wargaming environment seems like a slam dunk, particularly given the success of X-Wing Miniatures and other Star Wars based games.
Today however we’re going to look back 25 years or so to when another gaming system, Star Wars Miniatures Battles (paid link) from West End Games, also allowed wargamers to pit Rebel forces against the Galactic Empire in an epic struggle for tabletop domination.
Previously we showed you some of the various rulebooks and miniatures used in Star Wars Miniatures Battles. Now we’re going to go a step further and open a still shrink-wrapped Star Wars Miniatures Starter Set from 1995, as well as a pre-owned Stars Wars Miniatures Battles Vehicle Starter Set from 1996.
Unboxing a never-opened Star Wars Miniatures Battles starter set was a bit like cracking open a time capsule from a previous era of wargaming. Obviously there were no finely detailed plastic miniatures back then. The 1995 starter set minis were cast from pewter, which fortunately meant they were less toxic than the lead figures from just a few years earlier.
Also the Star Wars Miniatures Battles figures are based on a 25mm scale, which means they are significantly smaller than the 32mm figures for Star Wars: Legion.
The Star Wars Miniatures Battles starter sets are nothing fancy, but they did give wargamers everything they needed to play basic games right out of the box, as long as they could dig up a ruler and didn’t mind using unpainted minis!
If you’ve ever been curious about the state of Star Wars wargaming before the millennium, or just want to see what a solid-pewter snowspeeder looks like, check out the video above.