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A kind-of sort-of albeit-reluctant plug for .. *gulp* a GW product
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TOPIC: A kind-of sort-of albeit-reluctant plug for .. *gulp* a GW product
A kind-of sort-of albeit-reluctant plug for .. *gulp* a GW product 7 Years, 1 Month ago  
I mentioned these in the Reaper pre-painted thread, but I wanted to say a little more, and didn't want to take that thread more off-topic than necessary. So I started a new thread to talk about this very strange, super cool, but extremely annoying GW product.

GW has a boxed set of Empire Wizards out, two plastic wizards made from components on two sprues. The sprues come with, if I counted correctly, three possible right arms, three possible left arms, six possible heads, and a bunch of possible hands-carrying-accessories.

These are the sprues:

Here's what's great about these guys:

The accessories are all classic, traditional wizarding gear, like a giant spellbook, a crystal ball, and a vial of smoking potion. The arms can be posed in various dramatic poses, good compromises between classic melodrama "majestic standing still" poses and more action-oriented "currently kicking your @#$" poses. The heads also show a good degree of variation, and can be attached to the body so as to have wizards looking straight ahead, off to the side, up in the air, etc. In short, there are tons of ways to assemble these guys, all of them producing a very cool looking wizard. Plus, the robes themselves have enough detail to be interesting, but are also basic enough to allow all sorts of painting experiments -- freestyle runes, color combinations, blends, you name it. In short, if you like getting creative in how you assemble or paint a mini, this set gives you a LOT of room to play. It's not like -- "Hm. A wooden staff. I wonder what color THAT should be. *sigh*"

Here are some of the "official" looks shown on the box:


Here's a link to a gallery that shows off a decent number of different painting approaches to these guys:


Now, here's what's ANNOYING AS ALL @#$@#%:

The price. $17 for the set of two. I've defended GW on price in the past, because while their "hero" minis are absurdly priced, at between $8 and $15 a pop, if not more, their boxed regiments are as cheap as it gets in this hobby. You can get 20 skeletons for $35 -- that's less than $2 per skeleton. You can get 16 Saurus lizardmen for $35 -- only slightly more than $2 per mini. If you want tribes or swarms of minis, you can't complain about their prices. Plus, with these sets you can assemble all sorts of creative poses and get more variety than you'd get from just amassing the same WOTC fig 10 times. For anyone willing to paint minis, the GW plastic sets are usually great deals.

Which is why this set is a slap in the face. $8.50 per wizard -- per PLASTIC wizard. It's aggressively insulting.

The thing is, I accept -- RELUCTANTLY -- that the price for these things always reflects the fact that it's a game. That's why WOTC can release a $40 dragon and McFarlane can release a more detailed, better painted, only tiny bit smaller dragon for $11-13 in the same day. It's why a WOTC AT-AT costs $50 when a similarly sized SW toy from Hasbro would cost $25-30 at most.

But there's a point where the "you also get the game!" approach to price is not going to cut it anymore. Yes, these are boxed for gaming purposes -- you get 20 skeletons, 16 lizardmen, or 8 knights because that's what your army could USE, and you get two wizards for the same reason. But while the average WH player isn't going to want more than 2 wizards, I suppose, I can't accept being charged for the game mechanics when the quantity of plastic I'm getting for my money is so radically diminished.

The fact is, with these sprues and the way you can keep coming up with new ways to build and paint from them, I'd get 15 wizards without skipping a beat -- if they cost a lot less. And I don't mean "funtime imaginary time" wouldn't-it-be-nice, I mean "If they cost what OTHER GW plastic sets cost." I'm not asking for the moon. I'm asking for a set that costs $35 and allows me to make 8 wizards -- two $17 wizard sets costs $34, around what a normal regiment costs. But while you'd get 20 skeletons, 16 lizardmen, heck you'd get 8 mounted KNIGHTS for that cost -- you'd only get FOUR wizards.

So I don't know. On the one hand, this is the most annoying, worst product GW has done in ages. It's outrageously expensive, even compared to normal GW prices. It's an item that would appeal to all sorts of gamers who like cool wizards, but is priced only for those who accept getting minis for WH and being charged in accordance with what the game mechanics dictate.

On the other hand, these are some of the coolest wizard minis I've ever seen. They're on a par with the best Confrontation minis, IMHO, and certainly equal a good deal of what Reaper puts out.

OOooh so annoying.

Anyhoo, I've got four painted up. They'll be wreaking havoc in a tavern in about... oh... two or three months....

Minotaur Lord
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