Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Relic Knights - And Then There Were None

After many bourbon fueled hours of trimming flash and gluing, I am happy to finally be able to say that all of my Relic Knights models are assembled.

Well, that's not entirely true. Every faction set from the Kickstarter shipped with a few duplicate sets of models - in pretty much all cases it's extras of the non-character stuff you get in the Battle Box - and those are going to stay in their boxes for the time being. I'm sure I'll want the extra models later for flexibility/alternate cadre builds, but right now I don't have the stomach to glue together duplicates of anything.

I also have Candy, the Prismatic Relic Knight, but she's likewise staying in her box for the near future. The rules for creating a Prismatic/Void based cadre aren't terribly complicated, and I'm sure they're a fun way to make use of models from different factions at the same time, but I want to get some "normal" games in first.

With Shattered Sword PaladinsDoctrine, and Star Nebula Corsairs done, the Noh Empire were the only faction left to assemble. Pictures of the assembled models and impressions after the break.

When it came time to put together the very large pile of models I received for Relic Knights, I decided to bookend the process with the two factions I was most excited about. In hindsight, I think that was a good choice. The Shattered Sword Paladin models were, for the most part, as cool as I expected, and that gave me some momentum to then go into Doctrine and Star Nebula Corsairs (factions I was interested in, but less excited about.)

Of all the factions, the Noh Empire were the ones with the most impressive models to me, and I don't think I'm alone in feeling that way. There's just something about straight up large models that makes them impressive, and it has the side benefit of making them less prone to sculpting/casting letdowns. Plus there's the novelty factor of the designs: they're space faring techno-oni. That's pretty slick.

Noh Empire Battle Box
Starting with the Battle Box, the Noh Empire models did not disappoint. They are absolutely massive compared to anything else in the line. It might be hard to tell due to lack of comparison, but for reference: Zineda (the floating chick) is on a 40mm, Spite (little snake thing) is on a 30mm, and the other three models are on 50mm (and comfortably so.)

Also, as expected, the larger model size resulted in some excellent models. Lots of detail that translated very well to plastic/restic. They were pretty easy to put together (though the Render is a little tricky with his gun tube,) and they're fun models to work with because they're damn near "action figure" size.

The "worst" models from this batch are probably Zineda and Spite. Zineda is a decent model, but she's all of two pieces: her ponytail, and then everything else as one big piece. Spite is the same way, though with head and body separate.

However, the biggest issue with these models seems to be a persistent problem across the Relic Knights line: she's off scale. Zineda herself doesn't seem too bad (just a little small) but Spite seems positively tiny, even considering that it's a Cypher. Like many of the other out of scale models, Zineda and Spite were part of the old metal Relic Knights line, so it's possible that there's a core issue with converting those models to the new line. Maybe they're all off scale to some degree (especially if the old line didn't enforce a uniform scale) or the conversion process did something to them.

All that said, Zineda and Spite are still solid models, and they're probably the "best" out of the models that are afflicted with this malady. Zineda in particular is sort of impressive for being largely a one piece model.

Non-Battle Box Noh Empire Models
It's hard to fit that many large bases into a picture.

While the Battle Box had one or two possible low notes, the rest of the line has zero. Every other model I've put together for the Noh Empire has been impressive, well designed, and well realized. They're just as big and impressive as you'd expect; seeing these guys paired up against an opposing cadre is going to be a narrative moment all on it's own.

Kasaro To is the most impressive Relic Knight out of the four factions I've put together, and I'd imagine that he's very likely to be the most impressive out of all of the initial set of Relic Knights. Once again the size of the model pays dividends with plenty of room for clear, crisp details. He's absolutely massive, even ignoring his "I'm going to make myself harder to store/transport" pose. My only complaint with the model is that it's actually too damn big - I couldn't get him to sit fully (i.e. all four feet down) on the base, even without the insert.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the Noh Empire models. They're exactly as big, imposing, and cool looking as I expected them to be. I'm glad I saved them for the end, so I could finish up on an unarguable high note. I can see them being a very popular faction choice due to the quality and impressiveness of the models.

These reviews get a lot shorter when the models are cool, don't they?

As for what's next for Relic Knights, I'm hoping to get a game in next week. All US shipments are supposed to be completed, so our group should have all of their stuff in the near future. After waiting for two years, I'm excited to actually get the models on the table.

I should have some game impressions to post up afterwards, though they'll probably be much more of a rough set of impressions than an actual battle report since I don't imagine we'll have too good of an idea what the hell we're doing.

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