Mike McVey, (well-known game designer and miniatures sculptor (he was hired as a professional miniatures painter for Games Workshop Ltd. in 1987 and then joined Privateer Press in around 1995. He left Privateer Press in 2007 and launched his own company: Studio McVey with his wife), joined by Cool Mini or Not, launched last year a Kickstarter Campaign to produce a brand new board game, Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster, that would use minis sculpted by himself.
The campaign was successfully founded on June 30, 2012 and packages started to be shipped all around the world few times ago.
As you have already guessed I took part to this Kickstarter Campaign and I received my package on Friday and you’ll find my unboxing following.
Once I open the box, here is how it was packed. Game and accessories were just slipped inside the box and there were a bit of foam around to avoid hit being moved to much inside the box. I must admit that even though nothing was damaged inside the box (my game and the accessories were in perfect shape), the protection was definitely was too little.
Once I had removed all the items from the box, here is how much foam was inside to protect everything:
Once all is set, here is exactly what was in the box: the game, a nice signed litho, the extra map pack and some extra minis.
I’ll start by opening the main game box. I must admit that the quality of the packaging is pretty impressive.
Once the top cover is removed you can have a look at the tiles (tokens is the first one) and then you got access to the minis.
Since I wasn’t sure that everything was there, I checked the whole box
As I guessed, nothing was hidden.
Bottom cover gives you details of what’s inside the box.
Back to the tiles. They’re just top notch regarding the print. Very detailed, the grid are clearly visible but not overwhelming the details.
There are 5 double-sided tiles. The extra pack that was available contains the exact same number of tiles/tokens and they are exactly the same.
Rulebook was slipped in the middle of the tiles. A4 format, full colour, glossy paper. Like the tiles, printing quality is just impressive. Rules are very detailed, with schematics and everything. Paragraphs are not compressed on the pages which doesn’t make the reading impossible.
Going with the rulebook, come the characters cards. They’re like the rest made in nice quality paper and printing is very good. Format is standard one so they can be protected with usual card sleeves, which will be required as the characters wounds counter are on the cards, so unless you want to mark for life your cards, go for the sleeves. Also, cards are double-sided so you might consider getting see-through sleeves
Tokens bagged with the minis are tokens for the Strains. Nothing special
Bases are full plastic, they’re 25mm round with straight edges, though, when you flip those, there are 2 little holes.
Those holes are used to fix markers (shield (blue) and contamination (red)).
As you can see, you can fix lots of markers under a base. Though, when not a lot are under the base, it will probably be hard to notice them during game play.
I was afraid that after a bit of use time, the markers might fall when the minis were lifted, and I didn’t have to wait a lot to prove the theory. I awkwardly dropped the bases after I took the photo and the markers that were fixed under the base spread apart.
It’s not that important as they split as the base fell down (and there were lots of markers under it which might explains why the split as well), but it might happen once the markers will have been used a lot.
As for the bases themselves, they come in two sizes: 25mm and 50mm. Enough are provided to base all the minis.
As for the choice, all 50 mm are the same, and the 25 mm comes in 6 different versions.
And now, onto the minis. As I already said earlier, I won’t talk nor show about the assembly of those. You’ll find the tutorials on the blog of the game. I’ll just show you what’s inside the box and talk about the quality of those minis.
Minis are scattered in multiple bags, though even if some parts for the Vanguards are placed into the Strains (and vice versa), faction mostly come into separate bags.
As you can see, there are lots of minis for the Strains and less for the Vanguards.
Once I had them separated on the table, I could have a better look at them:
Woua! I wasn’t expecting that at all. I had seen greens and previews of the minis, but I couldn’t honestly think that the minis delivered inside the games would be of that impressive quality. They’re made in hard plastic (not cheap one that you usually find in board games that comes with that amount of minis), the details are impressively crisps and there were simply no bubbles or miscasts at all. It’s just breathtaking…
…but, cause of course there is a but, otherwise it wouldn’t be funny, perfect cast comes at a price. All of the minis (even the ones from the lightout campaign) come with insane amount of insanely placed mold lines and flash (sprue residues).
Sadly, the amount of time that’ll be required to prepare all the minis (cleaning, assembling) might result into a motivation killer before game will be properly playable.
When I took part of the Kickstarter Campaign, I chose to pledge enough to get some more additions to the board game like the terrains, the lightout campaign and some extra crews and armored suits. Right now, only the lightout campaign minis were dispatched, rest of Biohazard pack (what peeps where getting when they were pledging at least 100 US Dollars) and the extras should arrive later during March/April, and I must admit that I’m really impatient about it.
For those who wonder, lightout campaign minis, they do glow in the dark:
As a conclusion what can I say about this Kickstarter Campaign and about the Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster package? One word: Insane!
The amount of stuff of such an impressive quality inside a box is just insane. Tiles are just superb, minis are well sculpted and details are crisps, rulebook is clear and easy to understand.
Though, I must admit that even though the contents of the package was insane, there are a few things that were missing and that could have been easily fixed:
First of all, the initial package. Protection wasn’t good enough, contents could have been easily damaged. Then, beside a global listing, there were nothing clearly detailing what was inside the additional box. Yes, mails were sent as updates during the Kickstarter Campaign, but not everyone has the possibility to unpack in front of a screen, so a little list wouldn’t have harmed. Then a little numeration of the bags would have been appreciated. Like the listing, they’ve been showed on the blog, but would have been helpful to spread the minis together.
And at last, something that might be important.
Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster is sold as a board game with lots of minis, which it is, but considering the huge amount of time that is required to assemble the minis, it might be a demotivation thing. For instance, Space Hulk from Games Workshop had a lot of minis too, though, assembly was pretty easy once all minis were separated from the sprues and glues wasn’t necessary while here, not only you’ll need to clean the minis because some part won’t fit with others, but you’ll also need glue to assemble them. So unless you’re a miniature collector that doesn’t mind spending a lot of time preparing minis to play with, then either stay away from the game or go play with someone that already built the minis.