Garblag Games Presents…
Road to Gotham


"Life is a bowl of cherries, and this is the pits"

I like Batman (and by extension DC Comics) and I like skirmish games. Why haven't I played the Batman Miniature Game (BMG) before? Well, my gaming group currently have at least six games in our rotation at the moment, and i am responsible for us starting a large proportion of those. I often get bored on a weekend and decide to start something new, and the BMG was no different

Having said that, there is one difference with this project. Usually I get myself a few figures and the rules and just play. But with BMG I have been so impressed with the game boards I have seen online that I have decided to A) focus on terrain before I overload my painting table with models and B) make this a solo project so as not to cost my friends any more money... yet

So, this is the journey from nothing to a fully-kitted BMG board and component models. I hope you enjoy the Road to Gotham and if you are thinking of starting out with this game, it helps you with a starting point.

Part 1: BMG Begins

So, where did I start? The rules were an essential purchase. I believe that they were available for download once upon a time, but I couldn't find any mention of the latest version being around. The cost of the hardback rulebook was £35 and although this is a large part of the money I decided to invest, it had to be done. So what else?

One thing I do like in these games are tokens. I have been playing wargames for long enough to know that they are not essential, and have managed many games with just a collection of glass beads, but ever since buying my first token set for Warmachine I have been a strong supporter for those little plastic mites. How happy I was that Knight Models provide tokens by the bucketload! None of them are strictly necessary from the battle reports I have watched, but the price point of them is so low, I couldn't resist. So, tokens added.

Now, I did say earlier that I would hold off on models. While that was the case at the start, when I came to adding items to the basket I felt that it would be wrong not to have at least one model to paint; so I bought two. Batman and Joker added.

The final things I purchased were a couple of sets of lamp posts and sewer grates. These are an essential part of the game and again, are so cheap that I thought I would pick them up sooner rather than later.

Video: A quick rundown goodies from the first haul

As I mentioned in the video, I'm not really a fan of metals. The detail is never as good as with plastics or resin and although the sculpts for this game are excellent, I find that drop in detail to be a bit disheartening. I'll avoid getting on my soapbox in this, but just take a look at the miniatures produced by Wyrd or Privateer Press and you will see what I mean.

I really like this lamppost and sewer set produced by Knight Models. Easy to assemble (cut out in the case of the sewers) and paint. I dug out my Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust for the effects on the grates.

Location, location, location. A game board is only as good as its scenery. So… to buildings! I'm sure like many of you out there, I like good scenery but rarely have the painting time over the models to get it looking good. My tables often have a lot of mdf coloured buildings and one or two 4Ground items, which are pre-coloured.

However, I have resolved to get this done properly and take my time. I had a scout around for mdf city buildings and although there are some nice kits out there, I settled on TTCombat's City Scenics. Not only do they look specifically designed for Batman/Marvel, but they are very reasonably priced. I opted first of all for Apartment Building A, as that seemed to be the most appropriately named. Looking at the options I also bought the Apartment Extension so that I would have the option of making it a three storey building should we need a good Batclaw building.

I primed the building with Army Painter Chaotic Red as it was the closest colour to brick red. As you can see from the above, I then had to paint the grey render. It would probably have been quicker to prime in grey and paint the brick, but I did't have a Chaotic Red paint (I have since bought it) and I just wanted to get started. Patience is not something I possess in abundance .

I then put the extension together. I know from experience that the tops (roofs) for mdf buildings, although easy to assemble, can dry skewed if not allowed to dry on the actual structure. And there you have the final building. There is a fair bit of detailing to do but you get the idea. I am very happy with the finished product and love the little details (particuarly the aircon units).

It will have heroes and villains Batclawing off it in no time! maybe even a Bat-Signal…

Part 2: Containers, Cops & Clowns

After a few weeks of life getting in the way, I have finally had the chance to move forward with the project. Apartment A is done and with a bit of an added extra in the form of a 'Flying Graysons' poster.

I just grabbed the image from the internet and printed it on 300gsm card, then stuck with some pva. You may notice that the building (and buildings to come) are a bit grubby and this is completely intentional. I really wanted the board to be set of the shady parts of Gotham. There are nicer parts to the city, containing banks and other targets, but I thought that the less desirable areas would make more attractive propositions for the criminal elements to skulk and scrap it out without too much hassle from the law.

On to the new purchases! I once again broke my rule of no models and picked up a couple of items that, when combined with Batman and Joker I already have, will make the starter (150 rep) crews: Gotham Police Set 1 (Gotham Policeman and Agent Ron) and Joker's Clowns Set 1 (August and Triston).

Despite this lapse in control, I also picked up some new scenery pieces: TTCombat's Sovereign Theatre, Intermodal Containers, Rooftop Accessories and Street Accessories.

Obviously, I started with the Theatre and I really enjoyed putting it together. It wasn't particularly tough and came with a few options for seating , signage and posters. When choosing the sign, I probably chose the least extravagant, but I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to have the 'Crime Alley' theatre - previously Park Row and the site of the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

As you can see, I really went to down on making this building grimy. Not only does it fit the look i'm going for, i think it makes the building look a lot more interesting as it is just a bit of a box with a front. I did think that some windows on the side would have helped, but why would a theatre have those? I also like the film titles you get to choose. I chose Death in the Family for its Batman link, Killing Game is it's nearly Killing Joke, and Die Easy, because it's amusing.

Knight Models do make some nice shipping containers with 'Wayne Enterprises' and 'Queen Industries' on the side that I will be getting, but I thought I would start with some (cheaper) and generic containers. These were easy to put together and after a lick of paint and some more rust, were ready to go

I suppose the rooftop accessories are not terrribly important for the game rules as I doubt we will interact with them, but they will absolutely help make the board look city-like and avoid too many plain, flat roofs.

I've still not finished the Street Accessories but I thought I would put up a picture of what I have done so far. I used my son's stencil set to put the GCPD on the concrete barrier. I'm also not going to assemble the street lights just yet, as they look like a bit of a fiddle and I don't have the motivation for that!

Finally, eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a Titan container on the picture of the finished Apartment A. This is because I did buy two sets of Objective markers between the first and last haul. Objectives are essential for the game and athough you could probably use tokens (such as scheme markers for Malifaux) I like the official ones. I've assembled and painted one set, I just need to get around to the others. From left to right we have: Riddle marker, Titan container, Ammo marker and Loot marker.

That's all for this update. Thanks for reading!