Monday, 25 February 2013

Dystopian Legions EBS Shinobi + HMG Sections

The Empire of the Blazing Sun (EBS) are not forgotten in the new Dystopian Legions release from Spartan Games.
The have a devastating Heavy Machine Gun and deadly Shinobi Ninjas! Both capable of taking on any and all foes.

Shinobi Veteran Section
The deadly Shinobi bring stealth, misdirection and an arsenal of keen blades to the Blazing Sun forces. Their masks and shaded goggles emphasis their role as infiltration experts, while their assorted weapons look almost too sharp to touch! Now the team is joined by the lethal Shinobi Kyudoka, armed with an enhanced 'Yumi' or bow. Able to aid her comrades across impenetrable Terrain with her grapple, or pick off an exposed enemy with a well placed arrow, the assassins are more dangerous than ever.

As with the other Dystopian Legions (DL) releases the Shinobi packaging is very nice. The front tells you exactly what you need to know and shows a full colour render of the Kyudoka leader.
The back has renders of all 4 models taken directly from the models themselves so you can see all of the fine detail without being distracted by professional paint jobs. There is also a little bit of background on the Section. One main item is not shown though!
In the game these Shinobi are full a Veteran Section that you don not want to cross in close combat. Massive Melee Dice, stealth and smoke pellets mean they are the masters of combat. Shuriken also give them a ranged attack. The Kyudoka is a new model compared to the starter box and is armed with a bow. This gives her a much better ranged attack and gives the Section the chance to use the Grapple MAR (special rule). This means they can pass over almost any terrain in the way.
The full rules can be found in the Downloads area of the Spartan Games website

Inside the box you get 4 metal models with 40mm bases, 2 blank Activation Cards, 1 Game Card, a smoke template and a DL Collectors card.
Below I will take a look at the models a little closer.

I item not shown on the box is a HUGE Smoke template on a stand. The model in front is a 35mm mini on a 40mm base so you can see how big it really is.
In the official picture (top of page) it looks like it is semi transparent plastic but the cloud is actually clear plastic with a white backing. This means they when you insert it into the base you need to be careful not to pull the backing off. I think this is a nice addition though as they all have Smoke Pellets.
Now for the reason you are reading this post. Steampunk Ninjas!

On the left (above) is the Shinobi Kyudoka. A Shinobi armed with a large bow.
She is a great model. Tons of detail and the sculpt really captures the 'steampunk' look while still being recognisable as a ninja.
On the right is the other one piece Shinobi in the Section. Armed with a katana (?) and shuriken. Again, brilliant detail and styling.
These models do have a few small vents where metal escapes the mould but they are in flat areas so no detail is damaged when clipped off. They have very slight mould lines around the edges but they are barely noticeable.

The other two Shinobi in the Section are multi part models with VERY dynamic sculpts.
Both are in 'ready to strike' poses with blades drawn. The high level of detail is just as good on these two and even the katanas have a textured blade along one edge.
A couple of small vents and mould lines but very quick and easy to clean up.
One thing to watch out for is the thickness of the blades. If they were any thicker I think they would look wrong but they are easy to bend, and I imagine, easy to break. Make sure you are gentle with them and you should be fine.

The building was a mixed experience. The first 2 Shinobi and the Smoke just slot into the bases without ANY problem at all. The second two were a different matter.
The awesome poses mean the blades stick out quite far from the body of the model. The joints had a tab on the forearm but a flat area at the elbow so the tabs had to be cut off. This left a very small flat joint.
I would suggest getting a small drill and pinning the four arms to make sure they don't fall off.
I didn't pin them and knocked off two blades after taking these pictures!
They do look fantastic when together though.

Price - You can pick up this box set from the Spartan Games Store or local and online retailers like Troll Trader and Wayland Games (In the side bar>)
From TT the box is £16.20. This works out to about £4 a model and that's not including the smoke template. For large, detailed, metal models like these I think that is a brilliant price!

Overall - The Shinobi Section is very impressive. Even though 2 need a bit of support while building, they look awesome on the table and are a force to be scared of in a game. Even if you have the EBS Starter box I would recommend picking these up as well as you can never have enough 'steampunk' ninjas!

8 out of 10 Badger Points!

With the Shinobi stalking towards the enemy, the Infantry will need some support in the form of the-

Heavy Machine Gun Team
The tripod mounted, Kawachi-Kanpon Type 9 is a double-barrelled, fully automatic heavy shotgun. Loaded with the Alchemical Institute's trademark incendiary shells, the Type 9 has earned the nickname 'Fireball'. As essentially an enlarged version of the infantry weapon, the 'Fireball' shows off the stunning fantastical detail on the weapon's barrel and housing, capturing the ornate, oriental influence that sets the Blazing Sun apart. Any enemy caught in the open or even behind light cover will have a choice: either dive for cover or perish!

The box for the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) team is the usual Spartan high standard.
The front shows the HMG in a full colour render and tells you what is in the box.
The back shows renders taken directly from the models to show every little detail.
The box says the HMG team are a Section AND a Section Upgrade. This is because they can be used in 2 different ways.
First up you could chose to upgrade 2 of your basic Infantry to a HMG team instead of taking the rocket specialists. Seeing the HMG has a similar range but much higher attack dice, this could be a great option.
If you want to keep rockets in your Infantry you could instead take a Battalion Support Section of up to 3 HMG teams. With the ability to move and fire from the Quick Setup MAR, this Section can easily reposition and keep attacking at the same time.
The full rules are in the Downloads area on the Spartan Games site

In the box you get 2 metal crew models, a metal HMG, 2 bases and a blank Activation Card.
I will take a look at the crew and gun separately.

The HMG crew are stunning models. Both wearing gas masks and back banners they are packed full of detail. The Loader on the right is knelt ready to attach one of the several ammo barrels he carries while the Gunner on the left comes with 2 separate hands that are holding the HMG triggers to rain down fiery death!
These model had a couple of little vents on them and a small mould line but otherwise they are very good casts that are clean and ready to go in minutes.

The HMG itself is the simplest in the release model wise but also the most highly detailed. With only 3 parts and a couple of little vents is took no time at all to get prepared.
The detail on the ammo barrels and the dragon head barrels look really nice and also tie it in perfectly with the weapons of the basic Infantry.
All in all, a lovely piece.

Building the HMG team took no time at all. The Loader just sits on the base and both of the banners slot straight into the backpacks. 
For the HMG I would suggest sticking the stand to the base first and the Gunners hands to the back of the main gun. Then you can line up the HMG and Gunner and glue them at the same time

Price - As with the other releases, you can get this team from the Spartan Games store or local and online stores like Troll Trader and Wayland Games (links to the right>)
From TT the price for a box is just £8.10 For 2 metal models and a good sized metal war machine I think this is a great price.

Overall- Wonderful detail, easy to clean up, simple to build and really good in game. I honestly cant fault the Empire of the Blazing Sun HMG team at all.

10 out of 10 Badger Points!!!!!

What do you think of these new EBS releases?

Tomorrow we head to the other side of the map to see what Spartan has in store for the Federated States of America!

Hendybadger awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

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