Today I stopped into a FLGS and was pleasantly surprised to find two copies of the Desert of Athas Dungeon Tiles sitting on their shelves. I didn't think they were supposed to be out until next week so I scooped them both up and hurried home. Normally I would only buy one set of the tiles, but this is Dark Sun, I figure I'll be using them a lot!
Getting hope I ripped off the plastic and dove in. This set has six sheets included. Four of them are grid marked desert terrain and the other two are of the 3D variety.
- The detail on this set is great. The tiles seem really high resolution, good quality stuff.
- The 3D building and stairs are pretty cool, as well as the table.
- Flat? Deserts are rarely flat, I know I'm from a desert (Arizona). Wind and water shape the landscape into canyons and valleys.
- What's with all the water? Sure, I can understand that maybe a few of the battles in the desert are over water, but I surely don't need a boat(!?) and I don't need several pieces with just water on them.
- This is not Athas, this a plain desert tile set with the words Dark Sun on it.
- The 3D wharf, cart and table are pretty weak in my opinion. A section of wall or another building would have been better.
What I would have done differently
- I love the Caves of Carnage set. In a short Dark Sun game I ran a while ago used the caves of carnage as a set of steep canyons, that's Athas!
- As I said I loved the Caves of Carnage…this is Athas…where are some desiccated corpses? A few pieces of Thri-Kreen chitin here and there would have been cool. How about some broken weapons?
- Where are the Athasian terrain pieces? I could use some brambleweed walls/thickets or how about even a couple of ruined walls, nothing major, just something other than boulders and open space. How about an ancient bridge crossing a barren wash? A nice obsidian flow beneath a bridge? Some slat flats? Come on people!
- Making one of the larger pieces look like a ramshackle little area would have been perfect.
Overall I like the set and I would have bought it if were called "Desert Set" instead of the Deserts of Athas, but I am a bit disappointed that they slapped the Dark Sun logo on it. I sort of feel cheated even though I like the set and will definitely use it.