The ruined hamlet is perhaps very subtlety one of the cleverest kits for terrain we have seen in a long time.
Terrain tends to be expensive.
So while players oft have the very last word on armies they make do with what's at hand for their actual games. Yet much as the base makes the model so terrain makes the game.
In that score the Ruined Hamlet for me at least takes a crown few others can lay claim to. And don't come back at me with generic sci-fi terrain. For one I'm not listening lol and second sci-fi is sci-fi what this terrain offers is a little step up from one genre :)
The ruined hamlet first off is multi-part and, I guess, multi-pose. You can build this up nearly any way you fancy.
Now, the box says, clear as day, that it contains 3 hard plastic modular ruined farm houses. While the back art shows much more and in the wise hands of one of Wee Gamers fans, Mike, he produced four or five quite suitable ruins from some smart hobby work. But that's not what's smart here. Warlord have produced a kit that spans the ages of thier games currently on offer and more still. These ruins will sit quite right on a Pike & Shotte Table, Black Powder and World War 1 or 2 as well as suiting the right paint job and setting for modern games. How many times have you taken a dander across the good old country side only to come face to face with a ruined farm stead or long abandoned croft?
The visible architecture is good old generic Western European, but again a good painter and some thinking will have these ruins in more settings than I've mentioned. Fair enough, how you paint them will suggest if these are recent victims of fire or bombs or the relics of a previous age simply fallen to ruin. Though that's a detail for the detail obsessed to, er, obsess over!
The less discerning will see these as an opportunity to build some very nice ruins for their games and be able to churn them out on the table for a number of reasons, yet be pleased that in all cases they add to the feel of their game and its setting instead of being something to "make do".
The net is already awash with several suggestions for building and painting these up, so scan about and select a guide that fits your needs, so that you will get the most out of your terrain set.
It will certainly provide, as it says, a small ruined hamlet or the scattered remains of rural domiciles on a larger battlescape.
A couple of kits to bash and your on good ground for larger agricultural buildings, storage houses and the like. The wooden remnants are nice too. Partial flooring and bare roof beams. A little hobby application and some tiles could be fabricated and added should you wish.
While I've too much on my own bench at the moment, this is certainly a kit I wouldn't refuse to buy or build, and would happily stand over for its value, detail and use. All I would say is don't just glue bits together. Do a little homework both to build pleasing looking combinations of parts and to maximise what you can produce from the set.
At around £35 it may not sound cheap, but with a close look - and a need for such terrain - there is, I think, more value in the kit that its first glance suggests and even a modest paint job should be capable of pleasing results.
For those more hobby inclined, rather than leave these as free standing ruins there is great potential for going to town on based ruins with a wealth of added details and effects which could really bring these kits to life.
The only downside for me is the lack of part by part direction, something Warlord may want to add in the box.
Will be on my personal birthday list as well as on one of our Bolt Action tables :)
Director and co-founder of Wee Gamers.