Shadespire – First Impressions

I wasn’t especially excited about Shadespire; the limited number of figures was attractive, but Games Workshop’s hyperbolic claims about it being the ULTIMATE COMPETITIVE MINIATURES GAME really turned me off.  GW doesn’t have a history of producing the most competitive, balanced games.  I’d seen some Geek & Sundry articles about it, the breathlessness of which would compel me to ask about ethics in game journalism (if doing so wasn’t a short path to demonstrating that one is an asshat).

Anyway, I picked it up on launch day, looking forward to knocking out the 8 figures in no time and being able to play it fully painted.  So: speedpainted the figures (a little bit on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, mostly on Monday), and got the chance to actually play the game on Thursday.

You know what? I really liked it!

It plays insanely fast, is incredibly straightforward. I’m sure there are more competitive games out there, but there’s some decision-making that needs to go into building one’s decks and every. single. decision. matters.

The game is really easy to pick up, and scales up simply: I played a couple of games with each warband and then we doubled-down and went four player to teach the game to two other players… very smoothly.

One of the cool things about Infinity is the urgency around the game: you get three turns, not six.  If you want something done, you need to start working on it ASAP because there’s no time to screw around.  Also, with the orders system, the game is very much a resource management game: how many orders do you have, how many orders do you need, and how many orders will you have to spend to mitigate odds or compensate for them?  This is just as true of Shadespire, too: you have three turns and four actions a turn.  That’s it.  Twelve actions. 

The playstyles of the two warbands are very different; between that and the distinct objective decks, the game plays very differently between the two warbands.  The Sigmarites are playing their game, the Marauders are playing a different one.

I’m really looking forward to picking up the next two warbands: it’ll be very interesting to see how the Undead, with seven models, gets around with only four actions a turn, and I’m sure the Orks will be right up my alley.

1:72 vs. 28mm Miniatures

Once every couple of weeks, I see someone ask about using 1:72 scaled miniatures along with their 28mm miniatures.

This isn’t a dumb question: I’ve certainly asked it myself, there’s a plethora of inexpensive 1:72 stuff out there, and 28mm is kind of a weird, messy scale that doesn’t have a convenient 1:something ratio and is often accompanied by freakish, unusual proportions.

1:72 is a fine scale (I find it unsatisfying from a hobby perspective, but I’ve been convinced that from a gaming perspective it’s the greatest of scales), but it is wildly out of whack with 28mm miniatures.

As you can see: the 1:72 scale miniature is about half as tall as a 28mm scaled miniature.  They simply are not even close.  The only scenario in which one might want to mix the two scales would be if they wanted to use the 1:72 figures as halflings.

If you’re looking for something you can use with 28mm figures, look instead for something between 1:43 and 1:56 or O scale.

Bolt Action is good proof of this: Warlord’s figures are 28mm and their vehicles are Italeri 1:56 models.  To my tastes, I find the vehicles on the small side, but some of that is caused by Warlord’s heroic scale proportions (the pumpkin-sized heads and baseball mitt-sized gloves I prefer).

The tank on the left is a 1:56 Company B Sherman Tank, with a Warlord/Italeria tank driver sticking out of the the bop.  Compare the size on the head of the tank driver (1:56) to the 28mm Warlord Marines.  The car on the right is a 1:43 Greenlight Fast & Furious Dodge Charger.

When it came time to buy some trucks for my Bolt Action French Resistance, I picked up some Welly/Ledo models: the one on the left is (I believe) a 1:64 Ledo Days Gone truck and the one on the right is the same vehicle, but in 1:43 and manufactured by Welly.  The former is, clearly, too small, and the latter just right.

I don’t have any 1:72 cars or tanks, but I believe this is a 1:72 Mustang next to a 28mm Warlord Marine.  Compare the size of the heads.

So, 1:56 is close enough but on the small side, 1:43 is close enough but on the large side.  1:72 isn’t even close.

I hope this is helpful, and that person who’s trying to math their way into proving that 1:72 is, indeed, close enough to use with 28mm miniatures (there’s always at least one); I’m sure they’re well-intentioned but they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

Weekend Workbench

Wrapped up some Dark Age Prevailers. Of what I picked up at NOVA, I’ve got 5 left to paint.

Speaking of which, :sigh: :

Then I started working on Shadespire: I’m trying to speedpaint these, so we’ll see if I can knock out at least one faction before I get the chance to play it.

Painting Dark Age

So, I’ve been painting the Dark Age minis I picked up at NOVA, and it’s been frustrating.

I played the game once, liked it okay. It played fast and straightforward, was easy to learn and understand. The setting is evocative, and hyperbolic in its grimdarkness.

A lot of the minis are cool (you kind of have to see them in person, though, because it’s simply very difficult to find photos of them online). Although some are resin, I think they’re mostly metal, and that metal is shit.

It’s simply the worst metal I’ve ever interacted with. I’ve put together metal figures from a lot of manufacturers, and this is far and away the lowest quality material I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with.

It’s probably not any worse than the metal used by, except BF&S figures are small and solid. These are sculpted with incredibly delicate detail that really simply aught to be avoided, period, even without the chalky, crumbly garbage they passes for metal here.

I mean, really: look at this figure. There is no way this figure survives a day without a dang paper clip support being pinned up her butt.

I got through the first batch of five figures, and am satisfied with them. Of the next batch, though, four of the six figures have shattered, shattered I say, while being painted. Three of them have snapped at the ankles after being subjected to the trauma of an incredibly light dry rushing.

I can’t blame the two arms from repeatedly breaking off: that just glue and I should have known better and pinned them (but after going through the grievous hassle of drilling out the limp metallic noodles that passed for spears, who could blame me for wanting to be done with it?).

The sword’s been reattached six times. Fuck it: I’ll finish painting him and figure something else out.

This one, while reattaching a broken arm, snapped again at his ankles, and while trying to reglue those, simply came completely apart.

At this point I don’t know if I want to push on. Painting this figures, fighting this shit, is not bringing me joy. It’s not relaxing me. It’s just pissing me off. I don’t need to do this to myself.

I’m venting my spleen here to give me time to figure out if I push on, somehow, and finish this batch, or just say to hell with them and give up.

This has been incredibly discouraging.

Weekend Workbench

Not much. Just working on a Zero, the Kriza, and playing around with some color options for painting Ad Mech.

Weekend Workbench

Built the Kriza. Probably won’t build the other Beyond Nomads any time soon, though.

Got a bug up my butt about building and painting a Kastelan Robot at NOVA, which somehow turned into picking up the Start Collecting! Ad Mech box.

Got as far as I could get without liquid green stuff (after checking three stores, no luck! I had to order some from Amazon), so I moved on to a Taurox I’ve had sitting around in the closet.