And Now For Something Completely… Steampunk
A little while back I picked up a starter box and rules set for quite a different style of miniature wargame – namely Dystopian Wars, by Spartan Games.
As you have probably spotted, I’ve been getting rather obsessed about Malifaux lately, and also focussing on my Salute painting competition entries (just over two weeks away now, ulp!). So those lovely little Steampunk ships have been sitting patiently in their boxes.
So, to add a touch of variety, I thought I’d do an unboxing post so you can get a sneak preview of what’s to come when I eventually do get stuck into them.
This is the haul I have collected:
- Dystopian Wars Rulebook, with accompanying reference card
- Empire of the Blazing Sun starter box
- Sky Fortress (giant flying aiurcraft carrier thingy)
- Deck of game cards (not necessary for play but they add some interesting random events and narrative)
Spartan Games already have a couple of other ship games at this scale – namely Uncharted Seas (Fantasy) and Firestorm Armada (Sci-Fi). However, Steampunk being genre-of-the-moment, I got rather excited when they announced Dystopian Wars last year and previewed it with glorious looking models of Prussian Zeppelins with Tesla Cannons.
Here’s what Spartan Games have to say on the setting:
Imagine a world similar to our own, but subtly different. Now imagine the year is 1870 and the Industrial Revolution occurred decades earlier than in our own world. Technology is far advanced, and in many cases, unrecognisable, which has led to the development of fantastic naval vessels, hulking land ships and terror from the skies in the form of airships and war balloons.
What’s not to love about that?
Anyway, James bagsied the Prussians (damn him!) so I went for my option two – namely the Japanese inspired Empire of the Blazing Sun.
Cracking open the starter box we find it is jam-packed with steampunk goodness.
Here’s what tumbled out (in an orderly fashion):
- 1 x Sokotsu Class Battleship
- 3 x Nakatsu Class Cruisers
- 9 x Uwatsu Class Frigates
- 2 x DFA-170 Bombers
- 10 x Fighter Tokens
Plus stat cards for each of the ship classes above, a handful of counter and template sheets, and some metal weapon turret options for the battleship.
I must say I’m really impressed with the quality of the resin sculpts.
The detail is super sharp and crisp. I can only assume that the sculpting was done on computer, which is probably appropriate for vehicles made entirely of geometric-inspired shapes such as these. (That said, my Kingdom Death Preacher appears to have been computer sculpted.)
Anyway, you can get an idea of the detail level yourself in this close-up of the three ship types:
I probably should have put a ruler alongside for scale. For reference, the shortest – the Frigate – is 40mm prow to stern.
I’m not sure how long it will be before I get to work on these but I can see them being fairly easy to prepare and paint. I think the sculpts will respond well to drybrushing, washing and glazing, so half decent results should be pretty quick to achieve.
As for the actual game mechanics, I can’t really comment yet, having only had a cursory scan through the rules, suffice to say that it looks pretty simple and fun. And, in a far cry from the card-flipping of Malifaux, it features bucketloads of dice.
I do love chucking around bucketloads of dice.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention the game features freakin’ Zeppelins with Tesla Cannons!