Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Review: Dystopian Wars Kingdom of Britannia fleet

Those of you who know me well, will know that although I'm fiercely patriotic I am in no way jingoistic!!! I love my country for the great things we've done and yet despise ever so slightly the country we're becoming; but hey, we have great little companies still like Spartan Games who can still churn out great little game systems and great little miniatures to go with it... rule Britannia indeed!!! So where better to start my reviews of the Dystopian Wars fleets than the Kingdom of Britannia?

Product Description

Some people have said to me that the Britannia fleet lacks say the character of the Federated States of America or Empire of the Blazing Sun fleets, or that it doesn't have the great individual pieces of say the Prussians... I say poppycock Sir!!! I love them, you see I think the Britannia fleet actually evokes the mental images I conjured up when listening to Jules Verne stories being read to me or indeed later when I read them to myself. The Britannia fleet does this much better than the other fleets. There's also something very quintessentially British and Victorian about them, the big smoke stacks and bulky, brash and clunky design with iron girders that says made in Britain. I think they have bags of character and they don't have to rely on one individual design element to look British, unique and cohesive, they borrow heavily from the architecture of the time and that adds to their allure and familiarity. Out of the box you get 1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers, 9 Frigates, 10 flight tokens all in resin and 2 bombers in metal and a few turrets and nick knacks to go onto the ships also in metal. There are also the usual high quality card components you've come to expect off of Spartan Games, including ship profile / rules cards, counters, tokens and templates. That's right everything you need in one box to get you started. I love that about Spartan Products.

Character of the pieces 9 out of 10

I love the boxy but good look of the Britannian fleet. They look like they've been made out of way too much metal to actually float and they are festooned with touches that make them look like Victorian warehouses and factories. Details like iron girders and great big smoke stacks that lead off from huge steam engines... they just somehow look very British... so design brief achieved!

Detail 9 out of 10

I personally think that on the whole the Dystopian Wars miniatures are a bit of a step up in detail terms on the Firestorm Armada fleets that I've seen. All I can personally say is just how hugely impressive I find the detail on the hulls of these ships, from the planks of wood on the deck, to the miniscule rivets on the hulls and the tiny portholes all over the boats. They are fabulously detailed and packed with surface texture and I think the sculptors, casters and everyone involved should feel rightly proud of what they have achieved so far with this range and the Kingdom of Britannia fleet in particular.

Quality 9 out of 10

Lets get this out of the way, these are pretty sturdy pieces and even though they are mostly resin, like the Firestorm Armada fleets before them, I'd personally have zero worries about using them as gaming pieces. There is a little bit of flashing to clean up around the base of most of the ships but its very thin and mostly just comes away without too much fuss and requires very little in the way of 'cleaning up' with a craft knife. Because of the way these miniatures are cast there is also no mould lines on the resin pieces and very feint mould lines on the metal pieces. It really is all tip top stuff.

Service 10 out of 10

I ordered the Dystopian Wars Mega Bundle, which got me all four starter fleets, rulebook and game cards for the very reasonable price of £125. I also ordered this deal at a time when Spartan Games were, I think its fair to say, struggling somewhat with the absolutely massive demand they were faced with for all things Dystopian Wars. So the very fact that I got my fleet deal within 7 days is a testament enough to the service they give. The fleets were exceptionally well packed and arrived in tip top shape. I'd certainly have no qualms ordering from Spartan Games again and I did order my Firestorm fleets from them.

Price 9 out of 10

As I've said I ordered all four fleets in the Mega bundle for £125 including rulebook and game cards. I did this because A) it was an absolute bargain B) I'm a terrible faction whore and can never make my mind up in any game, which faction I want to play!!! I think the mega bundles represent great value for money, but the fleet itself at £32.50 is also really quite fantastic value. As with the Firestorm Armada fleets everything in the box will be used and as such it represents an excellent starting point for the game. These aren't duffer starter sets with things you wouldn't really want.

Overall 9 out of 10

I love the Kingdom of Britannia fleet I really do. I think its either them or the Empire of the Blazing Sun that are my favourite. However as always with these starter fleet deals from Spartan Games I think the Kingdom of Britannia fleet boxed set is a fantastic deal and well worth getting. The miniatures themselves are fantastically detailed and the price point is a really good one for getting started in a new game, which is something I'd urge all gamers to do, get started in new games. We're kinda going through a bit of a golden patch in wargaming right now with just a fantastic range of games and miniatures from a fantastic range of companies, give something else a try and why not Dystopian Wars? Peace out!

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