Saturday, 31 January 2015

Pendraken Warband Fantasy Army Packs - Goblins - Figures Review

Today a mysterious package arrived from Pendraken Miniatures.  See here for further discussions on that.

However, it included a Goblin army pack for the new Warband fantasy rules.

I thought I'd put up a review of what I found within.

OK, in the interests of full disclosure, I'm the author of Pendraken's Warband rules, but other than that I have no connection to the company - other than being a loyal customer for many years.  My review therefore will contain my own views, unbiased by any agreements or arrangements with Pendraken.

OK, lets get started.  Here's the army pack.

Ooohh...pretty!
It comes with eight 100x50mm bases, which are the recommended size for units in the Warband rules.  I think it would be useful to include some Minibits dice and dice frames too, but people will no doubt have different views on how to record unit Morale loss.  And I suppose the army packs will be useful for more than Warband, so no worries.

Onto the good stuff; the figures!  The army pack contains 6 packs of varying size and composition.  In Warband terms this appears to give you enough for the core units, but will leave you needing to add in additional unit selections from the optional units.  No problem really, as Pendraken couldn't possibly anticipate all the different possible army builds.  For wider use you get a solid mass of warriors, a cadre of supporting archers, a command unit, a magic user unit, and some fun stuff - a unit of wolf riders and some field artillery.

The command contains five miniatures, and I recognise them from the existing goblin ranges.  However, they've been updated, with some nice crisp details, and corrections of previously tired sculpting.


The banner bearer has been given a good revamp, and although still a small banner, is now much improved.


This detail is worth noting too.  Amazing wolf-head detail on the shield there.


My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 7
Pose variation:  10
Sculpting: 8
Casting: 8

The next pack is a small group of shamans.  These are updates of the previously pretty good shaman figures, and each is now different, with lots of variation in their detail.  These are great little minis, well sculpted and cast.  The pack also includes some sort of dolmen or magic rock which has a bunch of runes on it.  These do have a sort of 'dwarfy' feel to it, but it's certainly a nice little addition.  Like most of these new packs it's also becoming clear that the breadth of different poses is very impressive.  So far, each figure is different.





My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 8
Pose variation:  9
Sculpting: 9
Casting: 9

The army pack contains a unit of 25 goblin archers.  These are the old goblin archer models updated, and crucially the old 'stubby bow' problem has been solved (thank goodness!).  there's some moulding flash at the base of the bows, clearly necessary for the casting process.  There are two basic poses, again with each pose having a tremendous amount of variation in the details.  These are great little figures.






My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 7
Pose variation:  5
Sculpting: 8
Casting: 7

The archers get some heavy support in the shape of a unit of field artillery, or bolt throwers.  You get four in the pack, with 12 crew.  On the Warband basing this will probably make one densely packed artillery unit, or two sparsely spread units.






This bolt thrower looks great, but I think it may need pinning together.  That joint looks vulnerable.

My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 7
Pose variation:  6
Sculpting: 7
Casting: 7

No goblin warband would be complete without some wolf riders and the army pack provides you a unit of twelve figures.  These come as seperate rider and mount, which I would prefer across all of Pendraken's product line.  The option to mix and match riders and mounts, especially among the fantasy ranges would be cool.

Anyway, not much has been done with the wolves, and they remain quite static in pose.  But the riders have been tweaked with the addition of shields and other bits and bobs to give them a refreshing 'once over'.  Again the individual variation is impressive.





My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 8
Pose variation:  7
Sculpting: 7
Casting: 8

And finally, the heart of the warband, 75 goblin warriors.  There are six basic poses carrying a mix of spears and hand weapons.  They are a simple overhaul of the existing range adding just enough in terms of new wargear and kit to bring them up to date.  Within the six poses, individuals have a lot of different details like pouches and shields.








My (rating out of 10)
Pose quality: 7
Pose variation:  9
Sculpting: 8
Casting: 8

All in all, a nice simple update that doesn't reinvent the wheel, keeps the ranges backwards-compatible, but refreshes the figures for the future.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent review really enjoyed reading it

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  2. Marvellous review. Cheers for doing this.
    Will probably be buying a greenskin horde in the future, now I've got the rules - luckily I picked up some dice and frames today.

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  3. Nice one Roy, I'll look forwards to hearing your views on how the rules play.

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