I'm delving more into formal reviews of my beloved Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons miniatures and products here on creative Dungeoneering, and wanted to start with a recent acquisition to the collection, the Tomb of Annihilation Tomb and Traps set.
Being a big fan of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module S1, Tomb of Horrors, and having never delved into Tomb of Annihilation yet, this set by Wizards of the Coast held much more nostalgic value. But one thing I love in miniature form is terrain....lots and lots of terrain! From it's old-school gaming artwork to the famous "Demon Mouth" of Acererak's tomb, The Tomb of Horrors is an iconic Dungeon I have always dreamed of replicating on my own table.
The box set can be purchased from various online and retail outlets, but we're fans of supporting the folks over at Miniature Market where this set can be purchased for $65 US.
The sculpts on the various pieces are surprisingly well done, and with a bit of time and just a small amount of extra work (if even needed) they could be brought up to an even greater level of detail. The sheer variety available for using these for various dungeons and tombs is hard to imagine, with everything from blade traps, spike pits, flame spouts, and even small rubble and gold piles to add flavor to any dungeon or table top terrain outside of this specific game.
All the pieces are of a strong, well-made plastic poly carbonate finish with a strong durability. I was impressed by the seams and welds of the plastic on the little details too; things like the way the reflective surface of the portal is set into the frame of the doorway, the solid fixture of the flame spouts into the tile, and even the details and durability of the carved demon face.
The crowning piece for me personally is of course the Demon mouth, set into a stone finished wall. the finish is good, albeit maybe just a tiny bit too shiny for being an old dusty tomb statue. This is the icon of the Tomb of Horrors, and without giving too much detail away, has created far too many TPK's (total party kills) throughout the history of this module! Great fun, and an icon of vintage dungeon crawl role-playing.
The 4 flame spouts and 4 blade trap tiles are well made and will be great fun, to use in multiple dungeons and settings as well. Finish is good on both, but a bit glossy on the spikes/stalagmites/blades of the spike tiles. Seeing these in a dark, tomb-like setting however makes more sense, and I've grown to actually like the slightly black gloss finish.
I'm thinking of double damage here: Spike trap with a slithering Black Pudding swirling about between....talk about total party kill...
The spike pit tile and boulder pile tile were somewhat less impressive, and in need of a bit of dry-brushing or additive coloring to bring out the highlights and depth. I love what Wizards has done with the "depth" on the spike pit, but the flat matte coloring makes it tough to see.
Highlighting these presents a plus and a minus however from a collection standpoint: To edge and paint would make them truly, better pieces, but takes away from their original out-of-thebox state...the clash between Creative Dungeoneer and Collector...
The sarcophagus of Acererak and the portal are both solid and well made, but like the spike pit, the sarcophagus is somewhat lacking in detail, and could sue a nice brownish-black wash to bring out the edge highlights and side-hyroglyphics.
The other small details, and I do mean SMALL, are outstanding but it will take an extremely well-organized Dungeon Master to keep track of these items including the four potion bottles, the sword, shield, scrolls, and skull of Acererak.
The details and clever design for bringing the campaign to life are incredible, but even as organized and meticulous as I am over my D&D mini collection, I worry about losing these before they get any tabletop time.
All in all this is an outstanding set by Wizards of the Coast, and brings to life both vintage-styled nostalgia and modular usability for great dungeon terrain!
This will surely be featured in some of creative Dungeoneerings upcoming Game Tales.