Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Going Back to a Wyrd Place

So, now that my Warmachine career is over I need something to replace it. With 7th edition 40k looming, and me being wary of it and Demitra having sworn off the game (as far as I can tell) that's a no-go. Then a miracle. My wife asked me "what about Malifaux?". Why would she ask? She knows the game is played in stores on days I'm stuck at work until 11:00 at night...

Turns out she really likes the background and minis. Hmmmm... I took a gamble and asked if she was interested in learning the game. The answer was yes! She has been interested in learning how to paint minis for quite a while now, and it's been a while since Monsterpocalypse or Battle Lore hit the table, so I seized on the opportunity. I took the PayPal money I had earned from selling off all my Warmachine stuff and went to the Miniature Market. First up, my crew.

I chose the Ten Thunders. I love their Asian look, and who doesn't like kung-fu and ninjas (pirate fans can go scratch)? Plus their underground mafia theme and the fact that all of their masters have infiltrated all of the other factions is a great bit if fluff as well. The fact that the models look dynamic and super slick was a big selling point too.

My wife loves steampunk, so I turned her straight toward Ramos. It was love at first sight (read?). All his constructs, in particular his arachnids, resonated with her. Super cool, we had picked out our forces.

I, having read the rules and figured out how the various crews interact, placed the order. About a week later most of our stuff had arrived. I say almost since my FLGS somehow had a Misaki crew in stock, and with the second edition cards! This is an almost miraculous find, as no online retailers I know of have them. I snatched them up, unaware of the trials the box would contain. More on that later.

My crew consisted of the aforementioned Misaki box, a set of archers, some Oiran, and Yamaziko. I figured this would give me a solid core from which to expand. My wife received Ramos' box, an arachnid swarm, and some metal gamin. Again, I figured that this would be a solid place to start. I made a couple of oopsies with that order. First, apparently Oiran are all but useless. Sad face as the minis are gorgeous. Second, Ramos needs many, many arachnids as one of his strategies is to go around making more and more of the things from the scrap markers as the initial ones get destroyed.
Time for a second order.

With my part of the money I got the Masters of the Path box, with some nice undead samurai to tag along. My wife got more arachnids as well as a Soulstone Miner and the Mechanical Rider. The Soulstone Miner was purchased because it looks cool, and the Rider because according to a few podcasts he just wins games.

Now that I had my stuff either in hand or in the mail (due to arrive two days from now), I decided to slap together the minis I had in hand. First basing, which I decided to do with a sort of ruined city street look. I started with using green stuff to lay down cobblestones, followed by laying some slate pieces over them to look like crumbled walls. I haven't gotten to laying down the ballast yet, but as soon as this post is finished that's next on the list. Now that the bases were ready it was time for the minis. I started with what I thought would be the easiest, Yamaziko. She went together like a breeze, and I glued her to her base. No sweat! The Internet legends of these being some of the toughest minis to assemble on the market were obviously posted by amateurs. Then I popped open Misaki's box.

What a nightmare.

I'm being helpful.
The parts were thin and fiddly. This I was prepared for. There were no instructions and the parts were randomly numbered. This was bad. Off to the Internet I scurried. I looked for an assembly guide on the Wyrd site. No such luck. To Google! Nope. So I started reading Malifaux blogs with Ten Thunders articles. Eventually I hit pay dirt. A color coded diagram. Not instructions, but the next best thing. From there I struggled through putting the nightmarish little things together. I struggled with Ototo, but I was able to noodle through the rest of them.

The Oiran went together easily enough, but then to the archers. Every last arrow, every single one, came snapped in half. I was going to have to get creative here, because they were all the same diameter as paper clips. Not good at all. Again, I was able to bodge the models together, but there are some arrows that are obviously bent and to mu eye you can still tell they were broken at one point. I am a bit more than displeased with these models. Maybe they'll look better painted, but I'd give it a 50% chance that they won't.

In the end the minis did go together, but not at all smoothly. Because of this, unless you are an experienced modeler and have lots of patience, steer clear of this faction. I'll give Ramos and friends a review when my wife puts them together, but as you can actually find instructions online I would give these a much higher chance of being doable than my faction.
That's enough text for now. Here, have some pictures of my finished minis:
Oiran. Useless, but easy to assemble.
Torakage. Middle of the road once you get the color-coded diagram. Still, those chains are fiddly and delicate.
Archers. Putting them together is the biggest exercise in patience in my modeling career
The Henchmen. Yamiziki is easy, Ototo is a pain.
Misaki and Shang. I would figure out later that I had assembled Shang's tail wrong, but it's not really noticable.

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