Game: Skirmish Tiles, dungeon rooms set 1
Publisher: 0one Roleplaying Games
Review Dated: 4th, February 2004
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10 [ Really good ]
Total Score: 8
Average Score: 8.00
What can be said about 0one Roleplaying Games’ Battlemap series that hasn’t been said already? They’re good and with each addition to the set they just get better. They get better because you’re able to build a larger dungeon (not that the tiles are always restricted to dungeons). You’re able to be more flexible in your designs to; the tile map can be based on how you want the dungeon to be, rather than basing your dungeon on which tiles you have.
Collecting all the PDFs will be a little expensive. The series isn’t cheap – unless you compare it to paper products. Skirmish Tiles, dungeon rooms (set 1) is one of the best value in the range. For $7.50 you’ll be able to add 30 tiles to your collection. There are two version of each tile too; the full colour copy and the grey scaled one. Two versions of each title is pretty good but if you’ve been going with the light weight line drawing only versions available in the core Battlemap series then you’re going grumble and you’re in tough luck.
The Skirmish Tiles have a bit of everything in them; corridors, rooms and areas that are neither really a room nor a corridor. In many ways the Skirmish Tiles are a good entry point to this 0one Roleplaying Games range to those of us who haven’t already started our collection.
Here’s a quick ‘treasure chest’ blast of all the available tiles.
Entrance room, Corridor “I”, Corridor “L left”, Corridor “L right”, Corridor “T”, Corridor “X”, Double sacred circle, Alchemist’s room, Three statues, Armory, Fountain room, Torture chamber, Dark shrine, Bridge room, Empty room, Wizard’ study, Library, Old barracks, Four tombs, Dwarven crypt, Crypt, Pool, Jail, Forge, Guardpost, The well, Throne room, The pit, Debris and Small room.
The idea is that the tiles stack together neatly. This is especially easy and effective with the corridors. There’s a catch though. There’s a black edge to each of the tiles. There’s a downside to 0one Roleplaying Games’ expert use of light and shadow too. The rooms, even the empty rooms, clearly have walls. You can’t see the walls as this is a standard top down view but you can see the shadows of the walls. This means you can’t line up four empty rooms to make one much larger room. Ah. That’s a shame.
Despite the problem with the shadows and walls-by-suggestion described above I think it is the use of light and dark which help make these high quality tiles such a success. The tiles look real. It’s almost as if someone’s photographed an actual dungeon and then run the picture through an imaginary “Fantasy” filter on their photo manipulation software. As an example of the detail you get – you know the object on the table is a candle because you can see the correctly distorted two prong shadow of the candle stick holder. This is how you get the details and ambience of a dungeon across and have the birds eye view which the use of models needs.
Battlemaps are, I think, designed with the d20 system in mind – though they’re good with any square grid system (rather than hexes). These Skirmish Tiles are 8×5 in size though you rarely get the full 40 squares.
If you make heavy use of miniatures in your RPGs then the battlemap series and these skirmish tiles are a must. Alternatively, if you sometimes use miniatures but only for important battle scenes then the extra oomph and atmosphere these colourful tiles offer are a great edition and it’s easy to buy just the set you need.
I hope this review helps – but I suspect the free demo of the Skirmish Tiles will be even more informative.