Monday, 5 August 2013

Dystopian Legions Empire of the Blazing Sun - Officer and Bodyguard Box - Review and Unboxing

Empire of the Blazing Sun Bodyguard and Officer

The body guard and officer march into battle in a small Spartan box, the front of which only depicts the officer.

The back, however, clearly shows the bodyguard along with some fluff and a detailed listing of the contents.
The officer and his body guard are both detailed metal models:

Also included are the required bases, an activation card and, excitingly, a set of plastic command points:

The command points are a nice touch; made of strong plastic, the provided sheet breaks into 12 neat tokens:
Using the tokens, I found them to be easier to handle than the cardboard ones provided in the starter box, while adding a small touch of class compared to using proxy tokens such as coins. The tokens are not nation specific, although a quick paint job could easily make them so, allowing them to be pooled if you have bought the officer box for more than one nation.
Contents as list:
2 detailed metal models as list
2 bases
1 activation card
12 plastic command point tokens.

The models are of a high quality, exemplified by the body of the bodyguard which is a truly excellent casting. The arms being supplied separately to the bodies should also allow some customization and easier conversions, something that has until now been lacking in the legions range. More negatively, the bodyguard's face is somewhat lacking in detail and the officer's face has a mould line directly through the middle of it. These, are however, minor detractors.

Both the models look terrific, personally I prefer the bodyguard's personification of a more traditional Japan. I know the officer's gas mask will please some people who think that the Japanese utilisation thereof in dystopian legions has been underrepresented.  

Tabletop usage:
The bodyguard is purchased in game as part of the officer's section, bringing with her a significant melee punch, one of the best dueling stat lines in the game and the adjutant + champion MARs. The bodyguard, not being an officer herself, is unable to issue challenges and so her dueling stats will be hard to use directly. The champion MAR however allows her to fight if her charge is challenged this will be most useful against enemy characters such as the Prussian Oberst.
Aside from her ability to kill enemies directly the bodyguard also has an indirect utility in the form of the adjutant MAR; this allows the player to draw an extra card each turn and then choose which of the cards they have drawn to discard. In a force with a large number of unit specific cards this could be extremely potent.

Every force is required to take a lieutenant. Most players, however, will already have one from the starter box. The prospect of taking two lieutenants (and the four mainstays that would require) is a choice I could easily write an entire post on and not really something to linger on here.
How this model differs from that supplied in the starter box is firstly in the sculpt and there is something to be said for the ability to take different models in order to vary the look of your army on the table top. The model its self is also armed with a shotgun rather than the pistol that is supplied in the starter box.
The shotgun offers improved firepower against infantry and the ability to ignore a measure of protection that cover provides your enemies at the cost of range, the ability to threaten ironclads and two points. Personally I consider this a difficult choice, what the shotgun seems to offer to me the most is the ability to claim a piece of area terrain such as woodland with relative ease, firmly claiming any objective within.

Per model price:
At an RRP of £9 the officer and bodyguard work out at £4.50 a model. This is reduced if you purchase the model from TheTrollTrader or firestormgames who both offer a 10% discount. Considering the 12 tokens provided and the detail in the casting this a reasonable price for the set.

Price per section:
The officer and bodyguard are a section unto themselves.

In conclusion this a great box worth a resounding 9 out of 10.

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