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Athelassan
07-01-2007, 15:48
Hello, I'm new to the forum, although some of you may recall me from BL, or the old GW forum. Since the GW forum is now shut, I had to take my opinions here about the new Empire plastics- I'd be interested to see what you all think.

When the Empire were last re-released about five years ago, we got a slew of new models. The plastic knights were, and are, excellent, with only a few niggling problems, the Steam Tank is exceptional, the metal characters like the Engineers are first class, the flagellants and greatswords are great, the plastic cannon and mortar are both pretty good, the spearmen and handgunners are unimaginative but still decent. I was only a little disappointed that we were required to make archers and crossbowmen from what I felt was a rather substandard free company sprue. I also didn't much care for the command plastics (and still don't).

I was both excited and apprehensive when the new Empire models were announced. The models already available were very good, so I was expecting perhaps new spearmen and handgunners and a few new metal models. And yet what we got was the new infantry, plastics of such eye-poppingly abominable design that at first I refused to accept they existed.

To begin at the beginning; they suffer from the same creeping malaise that has afflicted many GW plastics in recent years: the combined body and legs- but it's even more pronounced than on the Bretonnians or Chaos Warriors since the only pose provided is hunched over like an orc, which is rather limiting in what you can do with the whole model. The legs are spindly and bandy, far too insubstantial to look capable of holding up the bloated body and oversized head. The quality of the sculpt is nothing particularly special, either- the bodies are unimaginative and missing virtually all the frills and ribbons that made the last regiment set stand out; the heads are just awful. From the infantry set I can see perhaps two I might want to use on a regular basis, and none of them are anywhere near as good as those on the old regiment set. The weapons are ok, although half the spears and halberds are the wrong way up- the model is holding the shaft from above rather than below, which looks a bit unnatural (and is damned uncomfortable to try for long)

The handgunner set is marginally better, although the incorporation of arms into the bodies is just unnecessary. The heads, too, are a bit better, although the average standard is still lower than in the previous four-pose plastic. Their legs still look funny, though. If it weren't for the awful, awful legs on both sets, you could probably just about scrape through with liberal application of heads from the old regiment set. What really gets me is that they've had the cheek to charge more for these new violations- £12 for 10 rather than £18 for 19, a rise of roughly 25% per model.

Happily, the pistoliers, outriders and general set are much better. Apart from a couple of minor issues, and my preference for metal characters, the general is excellent, and the pistoliers, while not quite up to the standard of the metal models (although they do offer more variety) are pretty good. But these are the violins on the deck of the sinking ship. Without a decent infantry set (the militia box-set has gone from being, by some distance, the worst Empire set to, by some distance, the best infantry one) everything else is superficial.

What I don't understand is why and how the sculptors did it and were able to get away with it. Admittedly the Perrys these days work only on LotR, which is the Empire player's loss as most of the truly excellent Empire models have been theirs. The metal, general and pistolier sets show that those drafted in to replace them, while not quite up to their standard, can at least sculpt pretty nifty-looking models. But when it comes to the most important plastic set in the army, they turn out this. There's a lot of extra gizmos on the sprue, but the selection of what you can do with the models has actually decreased from the old regiment set (which was still looking good for its age). And the heads have if anything got worse even since the travesty of the heads on the command sprue. Maybe I'm peculiar, but I like my human soldiers to look like human soldiers, not goblins or gurning competitors.

My main worry is how I'm going to be able to get hold of enough of the old regiment sets to keep me going. I'm damned if I'm buying any more of the new one than I have to. In fact, so bad are these models I wouldn't be surprised if they closed down the old forum to pre-empt the complaints.

Ath

Festus
07-01-2007, 15:58
Hi

A nice and insightful rant do you have there. You might want to read what others said to the new Empire models only yesterday, here:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60522

Greetings
Festus

Athelassan
07-01-2007, 16:09
Ah, thank you. I had looked for prior threads on the new models on which to vent my spleen, but I must have been fooled by the innocuous title of the one you point to.

Ath

BlazeXI
07-01-2007, 16:10
I was only a little disappointed that we were required to make archers and crossbowmen from what I felt was a rather substandard free company sprue.

Without a decent infantry set (the militia box-set has gone from being, by some distance, the worst Empire set to, by some distance, the best infantry one) everything else is superficial.

Ath

You are so wrong! The Empire Militia is an excelent set, IMHO the best warhammer plastic regiment. Sure it is dated, but still looking good and giving you a veriaty of choices. Good for Empire and a great conversion base for undead armies.

I am actually going to do a Sigmar army with foot troops done from militia boxed sets + Flagellants.

I am not a fan of the new stuff either, but interchangability of the sets looks well. Like the conversions od the General kit including parts from Handgunners in last White Dwarf.

Athelassan
07-01-2007, 16:18
The militia set has grown on me; it's not so much that I don't like the models so much as that I don't like the way they look on the battlefield if assembled without imagination. It is possible to get some really decent-looking free company from them, though, and with a bit of switching with the old regiment set make some pretty sharp-looking soldiers. What I don't like is that you have to use them to make archers (not crossbowmen any more, although I think I prefer the militia crossbowmen now I've seen the state troopers...) - I've got some good results, but only by using many parts from the infantry box set.

Of course, liberal switching is now out of the question, it's down to that lowest form of conversion, head and arm swaps...

That the militia set was the worst of the old plastics was meant more as a compliment to the rest of the Empire range than a disparagement on the militia per se.

Ath

Dr Death
07-01-2007, 18:50
I've rather been half and half on the new empire stuff, there are very defined good points and bad points of this new set in comparison to the older models and i think it's important to take both into account and think about the very simple 'kit bashes' you can do between them to make a superior regiment.

The biggest single issue for pretty much everyone (including myself) is the combined body parts but (and not that i'm trying to find an excuse for it) that in itself does not make them bad models. It also allows for more sculpted 'bitz' to be placed around the belt which would otherwise have to be clumsily placed there as bitz- something that is usually a clumsy and ultimately uglifying affair.

Another problem are the feathers which are rediculously oversized and done more for comic effect than for aesthetic unity but the remedy for this is simply to trim them down to an agreeable size.

However there are good points to the new plastic state troops. For a start they dont look nearly as spindley as the older models- i was actually packing my old army away preparing for the new version and i was amazed at how small and weasley they looked. The newer models certainly look stauncher and more like they could stand up to a breath of wind, though i beleive that more of the signature slash and puff would have increased the effect.

The poses are also better. The sword and pole arm close combat troops have a far superior 'action stance' than the older 'on the march' models and the same goes for the missile troops (both the plastic/metal hybrids of olde and the more modern single peice plastic handgunners).

One issue i do have is the oversized handguns: they have an altogether clunkier design than the single part plastic's musket style handguns and only their insanely increased length compensates to keep them looking slender. This is not an ideal situation by anyone's standards. The shields also suffer from their lack of uniformity, complicating the overall visual effect of the regiment.

My solution is one of compromise. I have or can buy enough of the old sprues to pick and choose what type of empire soldier i want. I have a stockpile of shields to give the troops uniformity and the arms from older sets can, with a little imagination be used to replicate the poses of the new models while adding that all important dash of slash and puff to the regiments. Where kitbashing fails though sculpting can replace it to add more of the older landsknect feel.

Do not be deceived- there is potential in these models, you just have to find the right bits and combinations to draw it out.

Dr Death

gorenut
07-01-2007, 20:21
Another matter of your own opinion. The Free Company kit was and still is one of my favorite plastic kits. It's so versatile. I've made everything from Duellists, handgunners, to swordsmen with the box. You can ideally create your entire Empire infantry out of that box with the help of a little bits ordering (shields for swordsmen, etc).

Also, I happen to like the new Empire state troops. Not everyone is a fan of the frills and poof. I think it's ok when done correctly.. but unfortunately I have yet to see a plastic model get it right. They just end up looking like pillows and comforters instead. Personally, I'll take the new state troops any day. This is not to say they're perfect.. but I have so many bits that I never take each box "as-is" and always kitbash. I think their potential for this is very high - which is very good in my books. They're good sculpts with just some questionable design here and there.

Kidjal
07-01-2007, 22:18
I've just finished eqipping new state troops with greatswords from the militia boxset, adding another 5 to my unit. Damn good.

loveless
07-01-2007, 22:41
i will forever support the new troops over the old ones

they look more fantasy and less historical, ergo, they fit better in my mind, and a good lot of the people around here agree whole-heartedly

it's about time the Empire fit into the rest of Warhammer instead of looking like a leftover from some historical battle game

prince_dios
07-01-2007, 22:47
That lunging stance works for the front rankers... but not the whole unit. And yeah, the faces are ugly.

Also, the price hike for 6 point troops is really uncool.



I'm just not putting up with this crap, and I'm scooping up the old figs while I can.

Lostanddamned
07-01-2007, 22:54
Ugly faces is definately a good thing for the empire.

Not so the feathers and some of the accessories (im looking at you "powder monkey")

loveless
07-01-2007, 23:00
That lunging stance works for the front rankers... but not the whole unit. And yeah, the faces are ugly.

Also, the price hike for 6 point troops is really uncool.



I'm just not putting up with this crap, and I'm scooping up the old figs while I can.

...price...hike?

oh, you must mean in dollars and pounds, lol

i read this and thought you meant the point cost and I was quite confused

I understand the basic reasoning - "look at all the bits you get!"

but...since you can't order a body sprue...all those bits just go to waste since they give you enough bits to equip all the models exactly the same...so, GW really dropped the ball in that department

Axel
07-01-2007, 23:20
I just assembled my first dozen or so, and my first impression is that the missile troops are next to useless, while the statetroopers can be used. The sprues offer a great potential to create a first rank of Spears, Helbards and Swordsmen, just as many characters. But nobody in its right sense would shoot either handgun or crossbow in such a humped position, and both handgun and crossbow are ridicilously oversized. Not even an Ork could hold these in the position shown on these minis. I am deeply disappointed.

Regarding the size, the same goes for the pistols. I can use some of the pistols from the pistoliers as handguns, but thats about the usefullness of that sprue for me.
Gladly the poses are mainly identical, so that I can create spearmen or swordsmen from the missile troops.
The overall detail on the minis is lacking, compared to the old statetroops and metall.

I planned on adding the odd 100 or so to my army, but after seeing what I got I am glad that I only preordered two of the "regiments". I will probably buy another box of pistoliers for the horses, but that will be the end of my troop investment for this edition. I am glad that I still have some regiments and free companies in reserve for any future expansions.

BlazeXI
07-01-2007, 23:26
Ugly faces is definately a good thing for the empire.

Not so the feathers and some of the accessories (im looking at you "powder monkey")

I have a similar feeling about the griffin on the General/BSB set. Couldn't theu put there another Banner varient? A one actually being a banner would be great. But then this kit would be too good (I'd use the Death on VC BSB and the other on Empire one.

gorenut
07-01-2007, 23:57
i will forever support the new troops over the old ones

they look more fantasy and less historical, ergo, they fit better in my mind, and a good lot of the people around here agree whole-heartedly

it's about time the Empire fit into the rest of Warhammer instead of looking like a leftover from some historical battle game

Exactly my thought. If I wanted historical looking minis, I'd play a historical wargame.

Dr Death
08-01-2007, 09:43
Historical is good in my opinion- it's one of the great traditions of warhammer to cannibalise cool historical periods and use them to create races. That's what's been wrong with so many of these 'redesigns' of 6th edition. GW have been arrogant by attempting to move their races away from their obvious inspiration and frankly it hasnt worked. Like it or not the empire are, were and always will be Landsknechts just as the dwarves are, were and will always be vikings. GW have to realise they have to pay their dues to that otherwise their fantasy world too will loose it's relevance and become meaningless sub-D&D tosh instead of a parody of world history...with monsters.

Dr Death

alpha_dude
08-01-2007, 15:48
I guess the new troops are good if u want to assemble your models quickly, and dont mind them all in a similar pose....

luckily i have discovered 3 boxes of the old troops hidden under my bed that i bought years ago, and have yet to assemble....unfortunatly i have also discovered that a box of handgunners are missing about half of their handguns :S

Athelassan
08-01-2007, 16:14
I took another look at the infantry and was just on the verge of deciding that they could make barely passable swordsmen... when I noticed that one of the soldiers on the standard infantry sprue has bare feet. Why?! These guys are professional soldiers, they can at least afford a pair of shoes... My dissatisfaction with the new infantry now has grown even more.

Ath

Arhalien
08-01-2007, 16:24
The argument for that is in the other thread, that in slippery, muddy and bloody conditions of the battlefield, there may be more tracftion available without boots than with.
I think they're good for a beleagered, campaigning army in mid-battle, but the empire army I;m thinking of doing (far in the future) is a knightly order based army, with troops that have been re-equipped by the rich knights and have seen little or no fighting since joining the knights. Lookslike I;m just gojng to have to make do, and try my best with grenstuff (if I don't change my mind about what army I want to do next while I;m doing my Eldar one :))

alpha_dude
08-01-2007, 17:15
I took another look at the infantry and was just on the verge of deciding that they could make barely passable swordsmen... when I noticed that one of the soldiers on the standard infantry sprue has bare feet. Why?! These guys are professional soldiers, they can at least afford a pair of shoes... My dissatisfaction with the new infantry now has grown even more.

Ath

haha yeah just noticed that myself....how odd, looks far too peasanty for state troops, would be fine for militia on the other hand...

loveless
08-01-2007, 18:25
yeah, the bare feet are annoying to no end, but luckily, we have green stuff and it won't take much at all to cover up toes and heels

Warhammer races may be based on historical peoples, but the fact of the matter is (and I do praise GW for stressing this), they are NOT historical peoples - they must be firmly placed in a realm of fantasy in a world that is not ours, where the rules and physics are different and time and technology flow differently than it did in Earth's past.

Arhalien
08-01-2007, 18:47
If you don;t like the current models, the old empire troops are apparently still available in a box from the classic store for the same price. Go through the classic soldiers of the empire (I think) and look at the compnents. This may just be because the store hasn;t been updated, but it may be good news,m sine the equivalent cost buying separtae sprues is about £30.

Kahadras
08-01-2007, 19:40
I'm more amazed by the fact that GW are now only putting 10 models in a box. I looked at the price of the box and could believe my eyes. I showed a couple of mates and they just laughed. One commented that it didn't matter how many 'extras' were in the box at the end of the day and he's right. for 'basic' infantry it's quantity over quality I want from my box sets.

Kahadras

Dr Death
08-01-2007, 20:42
Warhammer races may be based on historical peoples, but the fact of the matter is (and I do praise GW for stressing this), they are NOT historical peoples - they must be firmly placed in a realm of fantasy in a world that is not ours, where the rules and physics are different and time and technology flow differently than it did in Earth's past.

Well they may not be strictly historical in the sense that we have griffons and magic and a big 'hole in the ozone layer' in the north (otherwise known as the realm of chaos) but it certainly isnt fantasy in the same way that Tolkien's Middle Earth is. The similarities are plain to see even down to the landmasses and dialects. I dont mean this a a critisism i mean it as the greatest compliment because it encourages people to read.

Sad as it sounds history became far more interesting to me in my youth after becoming a gamer because it allowed me to 'get the joke' and i still get a kick every time i read something historical or from warhammer which matches a corresponding reference in the opposite world that i had read previously. 'Nerfing' or neutralising that renders the warhammer world into escapist bumph and i think it'll be a sad day when GW in their arrogance tries to become a 'creative force' and start kicking out the references to make room for their new fantasy 'themes' and pseudo-philosophical drivel.

Dr Death

gorenut
08-01-2007, 20:49
I'm more amazed by the fact that GW are now only putting 10 models in a box. I looked at the price of the box and could believe my eyes. I showed a couple of mates and they just laughed. One commented that it didn't matter how many 'extras' were in the box at the end of the day and he's right. for 'basic' infantry it's quantity over quality I want from my box sets.

Kahadras

Well, thats why you get the detachment boxes now while they're still around. They're even better deals than the old state troops. For about $10 more than the regular regiment boxes, you get 50% more troops.

Captain Brown
08-01-2007, 21:00
As we have two threads talking about the same thing I am closing this thread (as it came after the other).

For those interested in continuing the discussion please visit here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60522).

Captain Brown
WarSeer Inquisition