Thursday, October 3, 2013

Insert Reference Here... umm, already done. Sedition Wars Homage Characters

Seven months late, but starting in on the second wave of Sedition Wars minis...

Niven Banks (Isaac Clarke) was a lot of fun to paint. I really enjoy doing grungy metals, and conveniently he and a commission I'm working on shared colors pretty closely, so he was a snap to paint. I enjoyed the mix of mostly reference material with a few details connecting him to the Samaritan armor style from Sedition Wars.

While I wish he'd had a cooler pose, I liked the mini a lot. The helmet in particular was nice to paint. I actually painted two different tones in the armor, but with all of the effects, they came out looking very similar.

The model fits right in in the setting, and I look forward to trying him with Firebrand- I don't know if I'll paint them all quite so grungy, but it would certainly visually remove them from the Vanguard.

Regarding rules, I've given him a few test runs.

He's pretty solid with a very high defense and good staging rules on one of the few weapons Vanguard has access to that's strong in melee. He's got the same weaknesses as any Vanguard heroes, though (infection, less health and damage output than spamming Samaritans). He's definitely a fun piece, though I have no idea how faithful to the setting his rules are. (I haven't actually played Dead Space but it's high on the list of shooters I'd actually play...)

Hexen Phaedrus (Caprica Six) is an example of one of the many models that looks really bad in raw restic/PVC/whatever the new plastic companies are using is called. However, painted up, she looks pretty good. While she's on the small side, she's not nearly as bad as I first thought, and looks fine at the distance you'd be playing her at, though her feet are tiny and have already broken off the base three times.

I had fun painting a bunch of skin and cloth, and painting her gave me some confidence to paint my incoming mass of Kingdom Death and (much smaller set of) Arena Rex minis, which are also dominated by large areas of skin.

I also gave her the near-obligatory spinal glow, though in the blue I paint my Strain in.

I've given Phaedrus's rules one test run.

She's got a surprising amount of power, and her Nano Ripper is less situational than you'd expect: you just need to target already wounded Revenants, and/or she can use Redirected without a roll. A cool little combo that your opponent might not expect is that killing a Revenant through reflex (i.e. Samaritans gatting everything) generates nano, which allows Hexen to target it: it won't do any extra damage, but will wipe out the nano.

Also note that, just because Ripper does no base damage, it doesn't mean it isn't a viable attack: in a pinch (especially if focusing), you've got decent odds of doing at least 3 damage even without Nano, if you need to finish something off.

It isn't clear what the timing is for her reflex when a Strain model uses nano- it might either be weak (after spending it) or very strong (threat as denial, or denial and moderate to high damage).

She has the same cool damage reduction ability that some of the larger Strain beasties has, which would be great, except it does nothing for resisting Infection, so she's very easy to take down with nano (and you might not actually be able to kill her to prevent her becoming Strain. Of the models with special Strain forms, hers is likely the easiest to create, which I guess is appropriate since *spoilers* she's going to be one of the baddies in Arms of Sorrow */spoilers*.

Oh, also, Infectious is a dumb rule that both models share, because the models don't have a cost when taken against a force other than Strain, and it does some whacky things with forces. I'd suggest just house-ruling that they cost what they'd give Strain.

I'm not wowed by either of these sculpts, really (well, other than the chubby Revenant and the Grendlr, I don't have that many favorites for Strain). I gave Hexen glowy bits and decided to make it look like there's some sort of Strain manifestation under her skin, a little like a less cool version of the end of Tima's skin peeling off at the end of Metropolis (that would be METOROPORISU (Japapanese), not Metropolis (umm, German... I guess that's what you get when two languages have the same origin)).

You won't likely get use out of Niven's exo-form, but, for the sake of completeness, he's on the higher end- while a Quasimoto has more raw damage potential, he's got respectable health and some pretty decent support abilities.

Proto-Phaedrus, on the other hand, is a likely piece to see, and would be important to consider when taking her human form against Strain.

She gets a hearty defensive upgrade, with better stats and a bonus against reflexes, while keeping her damage reduction. She's got some very basic support, and I'm not really sure how valuable spending Nano for her attack is, since it's a valuable Strain resource. It could, however, guarantee a spectacularly high damage if she can hit.

She offers less utility in Strain, but is still a reasonably good support piece that's very hard to remove compared to a regular exo-form.

Note: Nano-shift clearly has a copy-paste issue, since it references an ability on her other card: it isn't clear if it should be a different rule or if she should have the ability.