I've recently been quite busy with tile-based games.
Space Hulk was the most expensive purchase of late (aus$165- oh, if the Aussie Dollar had only been stronger when they set their pricing!). I'm hoping to play it tonight for the second time. I'm not a miniature painter, but if any game wants me to paint the minis, it's BattleTech. Ok, Space Hulk is a close second.
You've got to love a game that is basically Aliens with a few close-combat weapons. Yes, I know it's set in the 40K universe, but as I know basically nothing about that world, it's Aliens. I played it back at University once or twice, but now I have my own copy... that I can play once or twice.
BattleLore has a board, but you place tiles on it. The new expansion, Heroes only gives you a couple more tiles, but it counts as a tile-based game! One of the big problems BattleLore has is its pricing, and that hasn't been improving recently. Heroes is worth it because of the play value, but the upcoming Dragons expansion which gives you three unpainted minis for us$35 looks nowhere near good enough to buy unless it also gives a lot of other material.
What Heroes does do is give you more a campaign feel to the game: your Hero gains XP and treasure after adventures and gains levels. He might die on the battlefield (although the first few times he'll only be "wounded"), but if he survives long enough he can become an advisor to your war council. There are these cute little Hero character sheets in the set. I'll be giving it its first run tonight as well.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark is the best boardgame based on a dungeoncrawl there is. It's superficially similar to Space Hulk, but it's played mostly in a group rather than 1-on-1. Recently, they've released a Quest Compendium for it, using the talents of a lot of luminaries in the field to write quests. You've got folks like Chris Pramas and Monte Cook in there. (Me, I want to know why there aren't quests from Rodney Thompson and Bruce Cordell!)
The book has a number of problems due to a lack of proofreading: unclear rules in quests, bad labeling, and other such annoyances. A few make a quest unplayable, but most are cosmetic only. I'll give this a go on Saturday.
Dungeon Tiles: Sinister Woods are only the second set of wilderness tiles from Wizards, and unfortunately for SRM, I was looking for a slightly more generic set of tiles. That said, the tiles look great and will see play; I just can't wait until there's a base set of wilderness tiles we can get again.
Yes, I'll use them in my next Greyhawk session in about a week's time.