Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Enter the Witch Hunters

Hey everyone and welcome to more Dispatch goodness!

As I mentioned before, I got the Malifaux rule book a short time ago and after doing a little bit of research, I decided to start out with Sonnia Criid and her Witch Hunters. From what I'd heard, the Guild is the most straightforward of the factions and Sonnia just sounded like she would be fun with all of her flaming attacks. I went ahead, placed the order, and waited for my crew to arrive. Having never seen any of the Wyrd minis first hand, I was very interested to see how they look in the "flesh". Let me tell you that I was not disappointed in the slightest.

In the Witch Hunters crew box, you get Sonnia Criid (Master of the Witch Hunters), Samael Hopkins (Sonnia's right hand man), and three Witchling Stalkers. All of the figure were had very crisp details and virtually no flash and only a few mold lines to be filed. Needless to say, prepping these miniatures was an absolute breeze! In fact, the worst thing about them was adding the pins to their feet. Wait, pins in their feet? Let me explain.

The figures all come with their appropriate size bases in the box but I decided that I was going to jazz them up a little with some of the custom bases you can find online. To this end, I ordered the Broken Wasteland 30mm bases from Dragon Forge. There are other companies that make various different types of bases (including Wyrd themselves) but for the Witch Hunters I wanted something a little different. Ultimately it was actually the skulls and bones that are sculpted into this set that made me decide to buy it. Just seemed fitting for the Witchlings if nothing else. What makes using these bases different from regular bases is the fact that you have to attached the mini directly to the base; no tabs are involved here! And of course the best way to make sure that your minis are attached is by pinning it to the bases. Sounds easy, but this is where things got tricky.

The minis from the Witch Hunters set all have pretty thin ankles. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but since I am pinning it makes things a bit more complicated. If you go this route, make sure that you are careful, otherwise you might end up with figures with some serious disabilities!

Once the pins were in place, I went ahead and primed the miniatures using black Duplicolor sandable primer. If you don't use this stuff, go and get some! It works great and it's cheaper than P3, Armory, or Citadel Primers. Having given the figures a couple of nice, even coats, it was time to start painting!

As I went through the paints that I owned, I realized that a good number of them were very old and had dried out. I had also heard some great things about the P3 range of paints so I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of new paints for these minis. Since the model count is very low in Malifaux, I really wanted to make sure I did a good job on them. I mean think about it, five minis makes up a respectable sized crew. How could I not want to give them the attention they deserve?

One of the other great things about the Wryd line is the full color pictures of all their miniatures. This gives you lots of inspiration when you sit down to paint them, but I decided to take a slightly different route. Instead of using the painted mini for inspiration, I decided to use the drawing of Sonnia. This picture has her in darker clothing, with very pale skin, and red hair. As I said, kind of different but I really liked the look of her.

For the Witchlings, I wanted to go with just a basic brown color scheme, basically having them dressed in tattered, dirty rags. Very basic but these are grunts so I don't want to spend a lot of time on them anyway.

Last but not least is Samael and I can honestly say that I like his pictured paint scheme the least of the five minis. I think it is just something about the highlights on his clothing that just doesn't look right to me, almost seeming too pronounced in my opinion. This is not to say the painting was poorly done, just not the way that I would do it. Instead I decided to paint him closer to Sonnia's paint scheme, using dark brown for most of his clothing and dark green for the armor on his calves and poncho. I think this makes it look more like they are wearing some kind of a standard uniform which fits since they are both members of the Guild and also gives me a theme I can carry forward in to any minions I add to their crew.

So what are my overall thoughts on Sonnia and her crew?

From a hobby point of view, I definitely recommend picking up any of the Wyrd miniatures. The castings were beautifully done with very nice detail and they were a lot of fun to paint. They do stand a couple of millimeters taller than most other minis out there but given the depth of there range, there's probably something out there that you'd be interested in.

As for game play, I haven't had a chance to try her out yet but I think she looks pretty interesting. With a lot of abilities and triggers that are geared toward being anti-magic, I can see where she would be a tough customer for anyone that specializes in spell casting. Complimenting this is are a number of fire based spells that add to her offensive strength, not to mention her sword and pistol, both of which can pack a pretty serious punch. Overall, she is a very well rounded looking character that should be a lot of fun to get to the table. Her crew also nicely augment her abilities, continuing the anti-magic theme and also being pretty nasty in their own right. Samael and the Witchlings are all scouts so they can ignore severe terrain penalties and they are also all hunters which lets them ignore cover. This makes the whole crew very flexible and maneuverable so it should be a lot of fun to bring them to the table.

Well, that's it for this time but be sure to come back soon for more goodness here at the Dispatch.

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