Friday, January 21, 2011

Product Review: Dystopian Wars Prussian Battle Group

With winnings from my last tournament I decided to branch out from GW products and pick up some product from the Dystopian Wars line. I've always liked my punk steamed and with Dystopian Wars' focus on a sci-fi Victorian era involving zeppelins I had to check it out. Being an immense Germanophile I decided to start my acquisitions with the Prussian Battle Group, hearkening back to a nicer, kinder version of world conquest than we are used to today.

The battle group, like the rest of the battle groups, comes in some very snazzy packaging and includes one battleship, three cruisers, 9 corvettes, two large aircraft and 10 fighter plane markers. They also all include four sheets of full-colored game markers and templates PLUS stats for the different ships printed on high quality glossy cardstock- a very nice addition in this day and age.

The ships themselves are made of highly detailed resin and for the most part consist of a single solid piece. Each of the larger ships have small indentations where you can place some of the small metal add on pieces that come in the box. These represent cannons and power generators that can be used to upgrade your craft. This is a nice change of pace to the comparatively complicated GW kits and definitely leaves no excuse to getting these things assembled and painted.

The Prussian ships are all very sleek and low to the water. They resemble more modern craft in their design, though the large cannons and Tesla coils (yes- Tesla coils!) manage to break up this image a fair bit. Did I mention that they can have Tesla coils?

I love the design on the aircraft especially. I was a bit worried how they were going to work such decidedly non-Victorian vehicles, but I shouldn't have worried. The thing looks like a steam powered submarine that got wings strapped to it- something so utterly impractical and heavy that it could exist nowhere but in Steampunk. Each of the aircraft comes with a clear flying stand and base. The smaller aircraft are on resin bases that rest on the clear stands during play.

There are a few problems with the casting along the waterline. One of my cruisers was flaking a bit along the bottom, pulling away from the smooth base. Other than that, though, the models seem to be fine after carefully clipping away the extra resin.

My overall opinion? For just over $50.00 American this is a great buy. You get a full navy group that with only a few seconds of assembly you can start painting and playing. I still don't have the rules so can't give my opinion on those, but these ships look great and like they'll be fun and easy to paint up.

Of course, for me to fully fall in love with the Prussians I'm going to have to pick up the zeppelin... :)


Bartender said...

That airship is incredible. Thanks for showing these.

Max said...

You are very welcome! I always enjoy people who appreciate ye olde zeppelin!

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sigmar said...

Hi Max,

I wasn't sure if you were following the blog reply or not so I thought I'd better let you know. I think 2 entries into the modeling competition is ok.

I'll post all the entries in the WFB miniatures Gallery for voting so keep an eye on that.

Thanks for taking an interest, looking forward to your entry,


Ben said...

(rephrased original comment for tone)

Cool review! I've run into discussion of the various Spartan Games systems a few times (Dystopian Wars most recently just a few weeks ago).

I find myself interested in the conceptual background and rules, but really struggling with the models and detailed background.

There seems to be a whole heck of a lot of options, from rockets to big and little planes to boarding, without too crazy-complex a ruleset. I like that. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the rules, should you decide to post on such things. Plus the concept of steampunk - zeppelins, autogyros, walkers, etc. is a sure-fire hit.

On the other hand, I struggle to get into the models. The Prussians look quite good, but everything else just seems either chunky or just weird (e.g. Japan's fleet mostly appears to be floating train cars - choo choo! Sad, because the Japanese flying carrier-thing and battleship are actually pretty nice). Barring the question of "where do they keep all the parts for the planes on there", of course.

The details of the background are also decidedly uncompelling from what I've seen. There are factions, they have SCIENCE!, they fight. Hard to identify with.

Thus, my dilemma. I'm interested to hear any further thoughts you might have.