Thursday, October 20, 2011

Warmachine: First Impressions (3)

The Miniatures:
The figures are generally quite stunning. A significant number of sculpts are dynamic and compelling, Even more are undeniably beautiful. just beautiful. I could not tell you why exactly, but I adore the Gun Mages and have contemplated Cygnar on their merit alone. Unlikely, I admit, but then there is a strong chance that they will find space in my “for the love” category all the same. A scroll through the PP website is often an exercise in shocking waves of “ohh shiny” compulsion, which must be wrestled with and mastered.

It's alarming.
There are, of course, some notable exceptions to the above.

Here is the most obvious example from Menoth that catches me flatfooted every time I see him: these grenade fellas are pretty mashed. Put plainly, the sculpt is not entirely inspired nor equivalent to the other tremendous examples from the range. More's the pity.
Quite a few other examples are a mess to put together. I am thinking specifically of either those that are delicate but not cast in one-piece (skeleton pirates) so their assembly requires faith in the thinnest of metal connections, or those that are hopelessly top-heavy (just about all metal jacks), which requires a similar kind of faith in fragility. The models practically scream, break me into many pieces, in shrill lifeless voices.

Moreover, I have moaned about this already, but PP plastic isn’t plastic, and requires that understanding to use properly. My first efforts with the stuff were calamitous, though that has improved since. Still, the stuff is odd to work with and a mare to clean.

Having said that, the PP plastic improves demonstrably upon some of the top-heavy and delicate models mentioned above. I prefer it to metal and positively leapt at these Bastions the moment I saw they were plastic.

...but again, ambivalence.
Two of the Bastions that came in this PP plastic kit were mangled beyond hope or reason I will only field three instead.

[in different circumstances, the above would likely make the average GW detractor positively spray the internet with bile and spleen. I’m not so bothered. Perhaps my standards are conditioned to be low. Still, I will take GW real plastic (and even finecast, with which I am lucky enough to yet have any problems) most days of the week.]

The Cost:
Direct comparison is difficult for me because I have established my hobby limits and stick to them. From what I can tell, it’s a wash; I would not start Warmachine under the misguided notion that one might “save” money. In my opinion, that is quite improbable reasoning, if not just silly. I will say this, if one is compelled to spend more than he/she is able in any given month, then the problem is with that individual’s sense of self-control, and not with the product he/she buys and, in the end, I see every ounce of the “ooh shiny” compulsion in the Warmaworld as I do elsewhere.
I feel quite strongly that the previous posts and the above combine splendidly to a net positive, even though the un-shuttered glare might be pure torment on a personal level. I think we are currently spoiled for choices, both within any given system and/or range as well as across the different systems and/or ranges currently at our collective hobby disposal.

The sum of my opinion: Warmachine is a wondrous and compelling game, a decent but stuttering world, and a tremendous but human hobby space.

Oh to be burdened with such beauty.


Chicago Terrain Factory said...

Not to dispute your attraction to the various warjacks, but I find it funny that I can't stand the big shouldered jacks and rather like the infantry that you called out as flat footed. In my eyes, the jacks are so over done that the sculpting will prevent me from ever playing the game ...

tzeentchling said...

If the models are that bad, contact PP. They're pretty good about replacing warped/broken/missing pieces from model kits.

Anonymous said...

Contact PP and get those Bastions replaced. They're great about that. They're every bit as good as GW in this respect.

Revenant Crew (skeleton pirates) and metal jacks aren't at any more risk of breaking than any other model when assembled correctly. You seem like this is not your first rodeo when it comes to modeling, so surely you are familiar with pinning joints. You're also probably aware that you can pin with materials of different thicknesses accompanied by appropriately sized drill bits. I do almost all of my pinning with straight pins (the ones you buy in giant boxes for sewing) these days. They are far stronger than paperclips and brass rod, while being smaller as well. pinning those Revenants shouldn't be a problem, and you can use bigger pins for the jacks if you prefer.

As to the Zealots, they were some of the first units released, and they have yet to be redone. I expect a few new sculpts when they finally get put into a single box instead of a box and blisters. Even if they don't, their utility makes up for the flatter sculpts.

Plus, who doesn't like a guy that drags around a 2 ton Menofix while still being able to carry his own large mace and inspire those around him? There's no bringing a Monolith Bearer without Zealots.

Brian said...

@ CTF. Haha. In fact, I agree. Some of those Jacks looks positively oafish.

@ tzeentchling. I very well may do that. I think part of the reason that I'm willing to let it slide is that I have so many other projects on the table right now that I barely have space for the replacements. Still, as a matter of principle you are correct. I absolutely should send them back.

@ Anonymous. I like that expression about the rodeo. Moreover, I really like that tip about straight pins. I've never heard of that particular technique and intend to try it. Cheers.