Monday, 19 January 2015

Crazy Quail

"Hi, I'm Malfunctioning Eddie, and I'm malfunctioning so badly, I'm practically giving these cars away!!!"
 I don't need any more figures.  I mean, I don't "need" any figures in any real sense, but I have more than enough in the to-do list to keep me from needing to buy anything else so my hobby budget should be kept to paint and similar consumables with the occasional rulebook now and then.

Alas, that's not how it works in NerdWorld, and so I found myself purchasing something I've read about but never bought before - one of Mantic Games' Crazy Boxes.

Lots of toys, little control

An annual Christmas-ish tradition, Mantic put up Crazy Boxes which are basically lucky dips from their miniatures collection.  The box costs £25 this year but the random odds and ends one gets should make it worth about £75 in real terms - so as long as you find a use for some of them you're ahead and it's a ready source of bits for converting, swapping etc.

There's a certain thrill from a random purchase like this.  I used to pick up randomised CCG card packets and randomised pre-painted miniatures and I remember a non-nerdy friend of mine understanding it surprisingly quickly: "George, it's basically gambling". 

Although they do a general one that mixes sci-fi and fantasy figures, I plumped for the sci-fi version hoping that I'd get enough usable in both 40K and Dreadball to make it worth my while. My fantasy needs are more specific - Chaos Dwarf proxies or nothing - whereas I can find more value out of a mixture of sci-fi figures, or at least pass them onto chums who might use them in their own armies.

This was ordered back on Boxing Day but of course the Christmas rush to buy stuff and the days the mail was shut meant this took a while to get here.  Now it is here, though, let's bust this box open!

The box arrives with a special label on it.  Most of the crazy boxes seem to be numbered - rather than be 100% randomised, it seems they come up with a set number of standard mixes.  I've got SCI-FI .

Inside, packing peanuts and sprues a plenty.

 The contents spread out on my living room floor.  Five sprues of terrain and twenty one individual miniatures, almost all plastic. It's a fair wee haul, but will I get my money's worth

Two of the terrain sprues were Sci-Fi Urban Accessory Sprues.  These will be good for decorating my custom made terrain and can be easilly cast should I want duplicate ladders, crates etc.

 I also got half of a Sci-Fi Ruined Outpost kit - one of each of the two sprues plus a connector sprue.   I should be able to combine these into a small urban ruin no problem.

Three Dreadball figures were included, which is less than I would have liked but still included some useful figures.  Top is an insect man, one of the guards for the Z'Zor team; bottom left is The Praetorian, a MVP figure I already had from the kickstarter so who is likely to end up converted or traded; finally on the bottom right is Dozer, a giant MVP who usually goes for £10 and whom I didn't already have.  Dozer goes a long way to making this box worth my while!

I got a few Ork, or "Marauder", figures.  The plastic sprue in the top left is the Marauder Grunt Command Sprue which can make a unit commander and heavy weapon guy.  The smaller plastic items are a Marauder Commando and Goblin Sniper from the Marauder Faction Starter for Deadzone:I have the two figures on the far right, the kneeling sniper and the two-guns Ork.  Finally the metal figure is another Deadzone figure - Boomer, Hobgoblin Grenadier.

These guys have pretty much no value to me so odds are I'll trade these away.

This plastic bag is five Forge Fathers, i.e. Squats, and probably the easiest for me to use.  Forge Father Stormrage Veterans are  my go-to figure for making elite Storm Trooper esque Squats and I already have a couple of packs I scrounged off eBay.  This extra pack means I'll have even less excuse not to be painting Squats in the near future.

These three pretty fellows are Plague Zombies from Deadzone - the premise of the game being such that sci-fi mercenaries battle in a place filled with disease-ridden berzerkers created by an alien pathogen.  These three are generic Plague Troops and will be usable as mutanted Cultists or hacked into pieces to help putrify some Plague Marines should I ever let Papa Nurgle tag along with my Slaaneshi army the same way I let Daddy Tzeentch bring a unit or two.

The final unit is something I've been wanting but had no practical game purpose for.  The Veer-Myn are the Mantic equivalent of Space Skaven -  rat-men aliens who burrow beneath the surface of worlds, infest starship holds and use bizarre chemical weapons against their foes.  This is a unit of Veer-Myn Nightmares, armed with giant drills they ram into the guts of their foes.  Again, these may end up getting used as proxies for something in my Chaos Space Marines - Plague Marines or Possessed - or chopped up for parts.

Hmm, I wonder what 40K army could be used to proxy Space Skaven?....

 So yeah, overall most of the figures I got I can find a use for.  The Ork figures are my only "useless" ones and even then the Goblin sniper is such a cool figure I would probably paint it just for fun.  The rest will be workable somewhere, so it's a £25 well spent.

I didn't know if it was going to work out at the time, though, so I spent an extra £10 on this....

A Forge Fathers Support Booster for Deadzone.  I already have a host of figures for line infantry for my Squats - mostly from the Forge Fathers range for Warpath - but it's weirder odds and ends I could do with to prevent me having to convert, scratch-build or haunt eBay for non-stupid priced Rogue Trader models.

Thankfully, the Deadzone Forge Fathers come in good here.  With a less "army" look and more "engineers & mercenaries" look, they have some more weird and wonderful toys.

The box I got contains a bike which is the main reason I got it - old Squat bikes go for a lot on eBay but I'm going to want a few, probably using Space Marine Biker rules for them.  There's also two operatives to go with the other toys - a remote controlled drone which can probably serve as a proxy for the Cyclops Demolition Vehicle and some sort of tracked gun which could either be a small artillery piece or a more hi-tech version of the Hades Breaching Drill.

There's a lot of cool models in the Deadzone range which help fill some gaps in my Squat potential when the time comes.  Exo-Armour, the over-sized power armour akin to Terminators, had no nice modern version but now there's Forge Guard to use for them.  The hero Bjarn Starnafall and his Drop Armour could work for a Jump Pack proxy if I want an Assault Marine proxy.  The new, more casual troop models allow for Penal Squads or Conscripts who are clearly Space Dwarfs but also clearly not line infantry.

It's all boding well for me when I get around to painting up my Squats - which should be about 2035 at this rate.  :-)

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