The voting is over and Tabletop Gaming News readers have made their choices for the best miniatures, rules and accessories of 2010. Voting this year was slightly higher than the 2009 awards and, as is usual, voting in the second round has higher in all the categories than the first round as readers found favourites to rally behind.
Links to the nominations and both rounds of voting can be found on the Awards main page.
Best Sci-fi miniature
It wouldn't be a Reader's Choice Sci-fi poll without an Infinity figure in the top two but this year the Lt. Kara Black sculpt from Studio McVey came within two votes of unseating perennial fan favourite Infinity. The Anathematic figure from Corvus Belli is a classic Combine sculpt combining a humanoid form with enough alien elements to make it look familiar and yet otherworldly. Lt. Kara Black is typical Kev White magic. The pose is another example of the genius at making figures look natural and the resin shows a level of detail and precision that isn't seen in many of his metal sculpts. The sharpness of the material allows his work to really shine out.
Best Fantasy miniature
Studio McVey scores a victory in the Fantasy category with Y’Sala and Darkness, a figure that represents a magic-user or spell-caster summoning a Daemon or otherworldly creature and having is assemble itself from smoke or ectoplasmic vapours. The contrast in form and design between the Daemon and the summoner is also another factor that makes this a delightful sculpt. The Mousling Heroes are a surprise inclusion in the finals narrowly edging out the Farrow War Hog form Privateer Press showing that sometimes it does pay to be wee and cute.
Best Alternative Adventure miniature
Smart Max scores their second consecutive win in this category with the exceptional Doctor Zeels figure. Zeels flight for his life from the tentacled horrors that live beyond the dimensional rift is well sculpted, as are all Smart Max SMOG figures, but is also dynamic and contains a great narrative element that sets it apart from the competition. Hasslefree's Boy in Goat Suit is a more macabre figure inspired by the rather dark tales that surround a particular member of the Frother's Forums. If you have to wonder what is disturbing and horrifying about a man in a goat suit then clearly you haven't spent much time on Frothers.
The real surprise in the category is the low placing of the Uncle Meat miniature. The exquisitely crafted model did well in the first round of voting but didn't appear to inspire fans in the second round.
Best Historical Miniature
- Winner: Wars of the Roses Infantry 1455-1487 by Perry Miniatures
- Runner-up: US Special Forces Delta by Empress Miniatures
Plastic figures are really starting to gain popularity amongst many historical gamers and the best example of the quality and detail that are available in the market are from Perry Miniatures. Their 28mm Wars of the Roses Infantry set is another example of the art and attention to detail that they bring to their figures. Perry Miniatures continue to supply fans with plastic kits that not only look good but contain options allowing for a lot of customization. Empress Miniatures' US Special Forces Delta are examples of the modern reworking of the traditional metal figure. Designed for skirmish gaming these metal miniatures are chock full of detail and deliver a look more typically seen in sci-fi or fantasy miniatures.
Best Rules or Expansion
Corvus Belli continue to give their fans what they want and the Human Sphere expansion for Infinity delivers more weapons, more gadgets, a new faction and new army building options for the existing Infinity factions. Even better, the rules are available as a free download. Privateer Press spent a considerable amount of time and money in recreating their Warmachine and Hordes rules over the course of 2010. Warmachine Prime Mk II is not an expansion and it isn't a new game but the rule changes and tweaks to stats for all the Warmachine armies made the game more playable and brought many players back into the game.
A surprise was the tie for fourth place between Eden by Taban Miniatures and Tomorrow's War by Ambush Alley Games. Neither was close to the top three finishers in the category but they did show an impressive amount of support and even beat out Warhammer Eight Edition.
Best Terrain or Accessory
It is not surprising that the Guard Tower from Tabletop World crushed the opposition in this category. The level or artistry in the Guard Tower is breathtaking and it is on a level of its own when compared to other terrain products aimed at the gaming market. The price will keep it out of the hands of most gamers but you can't argue that it isn't worth every single Euro. ZUZZY Miniature's latest gaming mat, the Broken Blacktop Gaming Mat, not only has a great amount of detail but it is easily adaptable to sci-fi, modern, superhero, WWII or Pulp gaming. The latex rubber mat immediately adds an added level of detail to your game with the brickwork and broken asphalt terrain on the mat and when you're done it rolls up for easy storage.