Thursday, September 29, 2016

Panzerfauste: My first battle

SPOILER ALERT: Gnomes: 1, Da Masta Cheef: 0

This originally was going to be a nerd rage fueled, vitriolic rant post! However the fine folks at Hysterical Games, and co-owner (I think) Rob specifically, corrected that notion before I even had the chance to type up that kindova post. 

Good print quality!
As everyone knows, I prefer Weird War II rather than purely historical minis for Bolt Action (but not Konflict '47 because its full of stupid zombies). My intent was to give BA's 2nd ed. a try in hopes that I'll like it a bit more, and to get things going with a new army, using the Gnomes from Panzerfauste. Thus I bought a starter set, with the minis swapped out to be all gnomes. It also came with some dice and a Quick-Start rulebook.  

The artwork is reminiscent of GW's old B&W art, albeit with a WWII flare! 
Not sure how these will roll without divots on the one side...
Being roughly the same height as the now out-of-production Kindred minis produced by Hasselfree Miniatures, my aim was more or less to have the Eleventy-First 'hop the channel' and fight in France (or Belgium, as they're equipped more or less identically). Waiting with eager anticipation for the slow sail across the pond from the UK to Tennessee, I was pleased to find a box on my front porch this past Monday. 
The Gnome CAD renders from their website.

Actually, I was kinda horrified, as the box looked as though it had had the living shit kicked out of it! Knowing it was filled with little resin minis, gave me an immediately bleak outlook on the contents. Luckily the minis were swaddled in what seems like half a roll of bubble wrap, and they arrived with only 3 breakages. One of which was due probably more to an air bubble which would have doomed it anyways, a 2nd was of the exact same mini (I ordered 2 identical squads as the Gnome options are quite limited currently), in the same spot but was a clean break, so it ought not be any trouble to glue back together. The last was a VB launcher snapped from a rifle end. 

The air bubble victim has already been 'bagged and tagged'.
Note, these are laying on a 1 inch grid and yeah, those teeny tiny weapons and arms!
Casts of the bodies look pretty clean, with only one showing a noticeable mold line, though given the small stature, it'll probably be lost when painted. However the weapons…seriously, WTF?!?!

I've heard many a complaint form Neverness, Kushial and Screech about the tiny, fiddly guns and bits for their bolt action kits. However by comparison to these, those BA rifles are like space marine bolters in terms of thickness! Yes, seriously! The SMG barrel is probably a millimeter at most? I have no idea how they survived shipment. Likewise I have no idea how you'd be expected to straighten it out without breaking it, or how they would expect it to survive normal use and storage. In fact ALL of the weapons fall into this same category, the the SMG is the most egregious example!

My first attempt at assembling a mini met with disaster, as an air bubble in the minuscule rifle caused it to snap in half at the slightest touch, and there was no fixing it! Zap-a-gap was proving futile (odd, as that's what Hysterical Games uses), and after about 30 minutes I was in a state of nerd-raging fury!

Kind of an ugly mold line, but when viewed at 'actual size' its hardly noticable.

Like any irrationally minded gamer, I blasted out a rage-filled 'WTF?' IM to Hysterical Games via Facebook. Of course they're 5 hours ahead of us, so no immediate reply was expected. Forcing myself to calm down, I put the broken mini aside and over the next hour or so, managed to assemble the 2 VB troopers (minus both of their VBS), and a single BAR trooper. 

VBs broke or mis-molded and removed. Their Bolt Action stats suck anyways. 

They're nice sculpts but seriously, I don't expect their weapons to last at all! Possibly not even the painting process which is anything but violent. The next day I got an apology for my disappointment in the minis from Rob @ Hysterical games, and in our working it out back-and-forth, he offered a full refund along with telling me to keep what I have! Wow, was figuring on shipping em back!

The thin weapon issue doesn't apparently affect their Orc Minis, and only a very few of their Dwarves. However they just recently decided to redo all of the gnome arms and weapons in metal to hopefully alleviate the fragility problem. Indeed Rob told me to give them a shout (seems they already know me well…) in a few weeks and for a 'token fee' they'll ship me some new metal arms and guns for my 2 dozen Gnomes, huzzah!

A good size comparison.
'Surrender you scrawny little Mon'keigh!'

Not quite, but it'll probably feel like it!
Content with that idea, in the cabinet they wait. Not much of a concern as my beloved Wolfy will be getting her 2nd bionic upgrade this coming Monday, and as such we won't be out and about (well, not to the FLGS for game night anyways), for at least a month or so whilst she recovers. So in the interim, its back to working on the Alpha Legion I suppose.


neverness said...

Back in the day I wrote up an army list for a 40k fanzine that was sadly never published: the Ornsworld PDF. Yup, an all Rattling army list. And these gnomes might actually work for them. Maybe.

Da Masta Cheef said...

They have many more coming out too!

Zzzzzz said...

It looks like a good game, I can see why you chose the Belgian/French gnomes, they look great. Pity about the breakages, nice to hear that they are sorting you out.

I get a sense that you'd like a good rant, though....

Da Masta Cheef said...

lol, they are very cathartic, but there was no way I could rant after that kindova fix to my problems!

Admiral Drax said...

Great customer service!