Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wild West Exodus Kickstarter

Readers of the Dead Tau Project are likely aware that I kickstarted Wild West Exodus (WWX). During the month of December I received my kickstarter box and overall I am really happy with what I got. I backed the kickstarter to the Fiendish level, netting me the basics for 4 of the 5 factions the game launched with. Among the extra's I received all of the alternate models for the "Boss's" along with several of the additional models that were available and an extra Rulebook. My goal for the second hard cover rulebook was to have a reserve book for any of my friends who did not support the kickstarter but may end up interested in the game. Upon receipt of my 12 pound box I invited local gamer John over and recorded a 3 hour Gamers Lounge episode unboxing the order. We reviews the models and gave our opinions throughout the unboxing.

WWX launched with 5 factions to choose from, of which I chose four. I did not pick up the Lawmen faction, although I may decide to grab it at a later date if I start playing the game as my primary miniature game. I did pick up the following:

The Union - Having mercilessly crushed the Confederacy in the recent Civil War, the full power of the North now turns its greedy eyes westward. Fueled by the full destructive potential of stolen scientific technologies, the Union's might seem unstoppable. It seeks to defend itself against any threat that might rise up against it by crushing all those who could even pose such a menace. Without pity or compassion, the stampeding juggernaut annihilates anything in its path as it continues to consolidate an entire continent beneath its armored boot.

The Outlaws - Desperate men, who have turned their backs on the very concept of decency and honor, live as wanted criminals.  These degenerates of society struggle for a moment in the spotlight, caring only for the recognition of infamy.  Their egos drive body counts higher and higher with each town they pass through. With the clandestine assistance of renegade scientists these men will stop at nothing to be the strongest, fastest, most frightening specters in the Wild West. From bio-mechanical implants to stolen experimental weaponry, only death may stop their headlong quest for fame and wealth. Powerful weapons and a reckless way of life have made the Outlaws a force to be reckoned with.

The Warrior Nation - The proud descendants of the men who were once the lords and masters of the entire continent, now fight to regain power.  These Native American warriors have thrown off the noose of enforced servitude to the United States.  Joining their tribes together they form an alliance of unparalleled strength that taps into ancient spiritual power.   No longer does the Warrior Nation allow others to take from them the land of their ancestors. Confronting the twisted science of tomorrow with the purity of the Earth, the Warrior Nation has taken up the mantle of protector of the land, and will stop at nothing to eradicate this new threat.

The Enlightened - The greatest scientific minds of a generation have been twisted and corrupted by the whispered words of a dark and mysterious force. Once, in another reality, soaring towers of graceful steel would have risen up into the sky built by these men. But now brutal machines of destruction, powered by the very essence of evil, seek to crush the ignorant beneath their iron weight. Medicine that could have saved countless lives now drags the helpless dead back into the land of the living.   Mindless automatons moving solely at the direction of these crazed geniuses.  Men so convinced of the purity of their own motives and ideals that nothing can be allowed to question them.  Once heralded as the saviors of mankind, they now stand to provide the tools and weapons set on destroying all living things on earth.

All of the above paragraph's explaining the factions are copied from the kickstarter page. They are nice little descriptions and I figure as I get further into the game I will start to write up my own experience and descriptions of the factions.

The Start and the Models

I knew that my primary opponent when I started learning the game would be local gamer and friend John. He had kickstarted the game as well, picking Outlaws as his initial faction to start with and grabbing most of that line.  I had decided on an initial list I would learn the game with prior to receiving the kickstarter, so picking out the key models to build was pretty easy. The list I chose also worked well as part of a painting contest I became involved with on the WWX forums (Paint for the Paint Dog). I picked out a fairly balanced list that provided a mix of ranged and close combat to learn the bulk of the rules in the game. In addition, the list I picked had a fair smattering of special rules to learn in the game. I also felt that it balanced well from a visual perspective against John's outlaws, as the Outlaw faction looks like Cowboys. What better to match against cowboys than Indians, namely the Warrior Nation?

My list consisted of the following:
  • Sitting Bull (A big werewolf, 2 sculpts)
  • Sky Spirit (a ranged half-bird indian)
  • Walks Looking (a blind girl who kills you with knives)
  • River (a mercenary based on Firefly)
  • Marcus Cunningham (a mercenary half-transformed into a Rhino with a big hammer)
  • 3 Long Ranged Braves (hired hands or "chaff" models)
I want to talk a little bit about the quality of the models. The character models are primarily resin models while the hire hands models are plastic. The exception to this rule is the Wayward 8 models, which are inspired on the Firefly crew. Those 8 models are all characters but are also in plastic. The plastic used with the WWX models is the same plastic being used by GW and Wyrd miniatures. I use plastic glue on the models and it works perfectly. The joins on these models are overall cleaner and less delicate than the Malifaux plastics, while the detail appears to be just as good. The models are fantastic overall, with less "fiddly bits" such as the infamous (among Malifaux gamers) "Yan Lo's Beard".

The character models in resin are also spectacular. In my initial builds I found very little flash on the resin, most of which came away from the model when I cleaned it. I clean my resin models with warm water, a drop of dish soap, and a toothbrush. The light scrubbing stripped away the small amount of flash and went very quickly. As for bubbling, I only found 1 bubble that gave me any concern with the models. The Sitting Bull model in the center of the paper above (The standing one) had a bubble in his hip I ended up needing to fill with some greenstuff. In addition, these resin's are far better than both Forgeworld and Wyrd's resins (in my experience) considering the lack of gap filling and flash. Overall I have been very impressed with the models so far.


I have been slowly painting up my initial list. I have become a bit of a painting snob over the past several years, aiming to only play games with painted models. This is a personal rule I have broken with WWX, putting unpainted and partially painted models on the table to learn the game with. Once I get the bulk of a posse painted I will quickly jump back to my "only play painted" mindset. The models have some fantastic detail to paint up, and are not boring at all. Even the hired hands have some really nice detail on them to pick out when painting.  Walks Looking was one of the first two models I finished painting. I wanted to add some glowing effect to the blindfold across her eyes, but after a quick attempt decided it was not to be. Overall I am pretty happy with how she looks, and look forward to finishing the rest of my initial posse and getting them all into a light tent.

The second of my first pair of painted models is Sky Spirit. He was enjoyable to paint up and has really played well in game. He has an ability called Spirit Aim, which allows him to shoot through buildings and terrain (and models, etc) in play. To reflect this I colored his bow a "glowy blue" similar tot he blue tint on Walks Looking's blades. I recently received a complete set of P3 paint's and am using the new paint set to paint my WWX models. This has created a bit of a challenge for me, as I did not realize how much I used my GW painting reference sheet. When it came to matching the browns and tans on Sky Spirits wings I had to do some quick digging and make some guesses on the colors to use. I'm pretty happy with the results, although I do need to sort out my P3 paints to better (and more quickly) reference the shades for future painting.

Lastly I got my first Hired Hand painted up in my most recent painting session. He was the lone model I completed during that painting session, although I got some base coats on several move models. I am happy with the small details on the model which really add to the generic look of the more common hired hands in the game. In the fluff for the game all the Warrior Nation warriors are able to summon up bolt of blue energy, represented in game by the Spirit Aim and similar rules. As the hired hands do not have the rule in the game, I felt odd painting up the bow and arrow's on them in the blue. As a nod to the fluff I did add some glowing blue to the arrow tip however.

That's all for this post, more will be coming in the near future. I have pictures from my first 3 games of WWX showing the boards and battle overall. I plan to get them posted and discuss my experiences learning the game.

Friday, December 13, 2013