June 25, 2012

Look What I Got...Empire of the Dead

So I had to make a trip up to the big UPS depot on Friday afternoon to pick up a package.  I wasn't certain what it was, although it really could only have been a 50/50 choice between two items.  While I was thinking (and sort of hoping) that it was my shipment of gaming mats from Zuzzy Mats, that wasn't the case.  Of course my disappointment was short-lived, as the alternative wasn't too shabby either: my huge Empire of the Dead order from the previous week!

After paying the import duties and taxes from UPS the price of all this lovely stuff ended up being, less than stellar but let's forget about that for now and dive into things a little bit more.

This particular batch of metal, paper and plastic was ordered directly from West Wind Productions based in the UK.  Until recently I'd honestly never heard of them, but apparently they're producing some other miniatures games that have been quite well received of late.

In addition to current games, they also have some older lines of miniatures (and rules, but I'll not be getting into those) which look to have been directly related to the genesis of Empire of the Dead.  The most directly associated of this would be their Gothic Horror Vampire Wars line of figures.

You can see some of these figures on the bottom right corner.  I ordered a package deal (saving 5 pounds from the individual prices) which included all of the figures needed to play the EotD demo scenario from the West Wind website. It included figures for Holmes and Watson, Jack the Ripper, four policemen, four female victims, four English gentlemen and a collection of ten or eleven townsfolk figures.  It wasn't a bad price and the models look pretty decent, but there looks to be a fair amount of flashing on them.

I was a little disappointed that West Wind didn't include some bases to go with these figures are part of their package deal.  It's a minor thing, but it would have made me quite happy.  As it is, I was able to clean up the officers and named characters in about an hour, seven figures in total, and base them with little trouble.  As soon as I can find some more bases I'll be doing up some civilians and the victims next so that I can try out the demo scenario with some friends.

The five boxes you see towards the back include one of each of the starter factions, and one other box that I felt compelled to purchase with all the other stuff:

- Brotherhood faction starter
- Gentlemen faction starter
- Lycaon faction starter
- Vampire faction starter
- Victorian Zombies

I've opened each of the boxes to have a look at the figures and they're thematically and stylistically in keeping with the Gothic Horror ones, but appear to have better casting quality.  The mold lines are less obvious and the quality looks a bit higher.  Since these are newer products that's sort of to be expected, so it's a happy thing that it's actually the case.

Next up are the two bonus figures that I received, Professor Erasmus and The Butler.  These were included as extras for ordering the whole batch of stuff from West Wind.  I haven't opened these but they look good from what I can see.  It's a nice bonus, and makes the shipping costs for what I ordered feel a little less painful...but it still stings a little.

Lastly of course is the rule book.  This is a very nicely put together product, hard bound and in full colour.  I like that the fiction to set the scene is all collected together at the start of the book, and the rules and campaign setting information follow in their own sections later.  It's a great looking book with lots of rule examples shown in the appropriate spots.  I've not read through it entirely, but my first impression is quite favorable.

So what do I think?  Overall what I got looks great.  I can't wait to paint up some stuff and give the game a try.  I think it will make a good companion game to Strange Aeons or at least serve a similar niche for players who aren't interested in the Lovecraftian flavour that game has.  My only complaint was the shipping, which is really no one's fault specifically.  Between shipping from the UK to here plus the import costs it was a costly purchase.  However if the game play is solid and I get some a decent amount of gaming time out of it, then it will have been worth it.

I'll post back my thoughts on the individual items, rules and reports as I'm able to in the future.


Anonymous said...

Westwind is a great company. Scott (Supersystem) does a lot of work with them - and the nice thing is that nothing ever goes out of print with them. That's probably one of the reasons the older stuff has more mold lines - as the molds wear.
Roadkill is one of my favorite lines.
Check out Blue Moon Miniatures too. 20s/30s vehicles, and sets of Victorian Horror minis, Pulp and all kinds of stuff -

Obsidian3D said...

I've heard of that mini company but I don't think I'll be buying much of anything else for a little while. I've spent far more than I should have on miniatures and rule in the past few months.

I've got tons of stuff to paint, let alone trying to find people to play games with so I'll have to consider my toy box full for now. That will probably change as I get more games in though, because of course we'll need better scenery and all that jazz. ;)