8/14/2015

Frugal GM Review: Far Away Land Pawn Pack I

Frugal GM Review: Far Away Land Pawn Pack I
I think one of the reasons I was so interested in checking out the Monster Stand-Ins last week was because I had downloaded the Far Away Land Pawn Pack I set right before I headed off to GenCon.

I managed to get the Far Away Land Tome of Awesome in hardcover (it is by they way...awesome), and I'm still waiting on getting in on a game.

A BIG part of FAL is the art. While I could use my normal minis with FAL, they really come up short. After picking up the rules I want to play in that game world, with those characters. FAL feels like Futurama meets Adventure Time with a large dose of Heavy Metal. I'm sorry, but a handful of Ral Partha or Reaper minis just isn't going to cut it.

My paper mini making gear
Luckily we have the 1st (I hope of many) pawn packs. Simple & easy to use paper minis full of Humans, Poomkins, and Noog Noogs. I decided to print up a couple pages of Goabs just to check them out.

I printed off two sheets of Goabs, one with the stone-work base bottoms and the other with the grass. That is a total of 18 Goabs since all the pawns come 9 to a page.

The pawns are depicted with a color side and an all-black "shadow" to represent the back. While it would be nice to have a backside graphic for each figure, that is a lot of extra work that I don't think is usually worth it. I don't know how many times I've had a two-sided full color paper mini and have to look close to make sure which side is the front.

Page two of this 17 page, 64MB PDF is the instructions, which were quite straight-forward. Odds are if you've ever assembled paper minis you don't need this page. I do like the special instructions about not cutting off the end which gets glued to the bottom and this one bit of advice, "Only use scissors to cut your pawns, never run with them." I did use a scissors, but I also used a hobby knife as well as a roller cutter.

preparations to fold & score a whole page at once
I didn't follow the directions given, deciding to fold and glue a single page of paper minis all at once and then cut them out. It isn't as precise as doing one mini at a time, but much faster. To aid me I started by cutting down the sheet of cardstock and then making notches where the fold lines were. This let me score on the backside of the page which was just a personal preference.

Not bad compared to my "regular" minisSince I had everything in a single sheet, folding and gluing was a snap. I let my glue set for only ten minutes before I started cutting out the minis. Since I was using the scissor on a whole sheet of already-glued minis, it was a bit more difficult and the minis wanted to bend back a bit more than I wanted. No big whoop.....after paring down each mini I just set them into proper position for the glue to finish setting up.

All 18 Goabs
My resulting 18 Goabs looked pretty decent. In fact, the only less-than-optimal paper minis were those that the printer didn't quite print out right. I think there was a defect on that page (physical defect on the cardstock). The Goabs don't look out too out of place with my other minis and table props.

I think if I plan on using these minis regularly I'd consider seeing if they print on clear acetate well. Those sheets run about $1 a piece printed out at FedEx Kinkos and I think they might really add a bit to these minis. I'd probably have to mount them on something a bit stronger though.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Far Away Land Pawn Pack I
The only criticism I have about the Far Away Land Pawn Pack I paper minis is that I wish they had simple white bases. I don't get much mileage out of the grass vs. stone minis and I'd rather be able to use a plain (un-printed) bottom to write on instead of having a colored based. This isn't a huge deal though and not really worth taking off a star.Overall, great minis and something really needed if you want to play Far Away Land.