Monday, 5 January 2015

West Wind - Empire of the Dead - Order of the Dragon Masked Thugs - Unboxing and Review

The thugs arrive packed tightly into a clamshell pack; this might explain their angry demeanor

4 metal 28mm Thugs
4 30mm round bases 

The thugs are cleanly cast in white metal. Mold lines are few and intelligently placed. Westwind are very good at sculpting and casting which is highly in evident here.

Similar to the thralls included in the Vampire starter box, the thugs are individualistic yet linked in appearance. I like this, as it allows the painter a chance to experiment, avoiding the monotony of uniforms, yet tie all the models together as a single force. I feel this suits the fluff of a vampire group, which, is likely made up of disparate individuals - who while likely to have made some effort to resemble the vampire leader haven't been issued any sort of full formal uniform. The opera masks are the obvious example, however the cloaks tie them to the thralls in the vampire starter box.

Table top usage:
I was very excited at the release of the Thugs, as possessing both the Vampire starter box and the order of the dragon starter box I have a lot more heroes than I can legally field at once. This is due to the rule imposed by Empire of the Dead's core mechanics, which requires three henchmen be fielded for every hero.
Outside of allowing a Vampire player field more vampires (all vampires are (anti?)heroes) the thugs act as standard henchmen: grabbing objectives, attacking enemies and acting as human shields for their vampire masters. 
Personally I tend to equip thralls with heavy pistols and swords, this gives them a strong melee attack and keeps them cheap enough to be fielded in large numbers.

The thugs fit neatly into the 28mm heroic scale
To the left a 32mm scale model to the right a 28mm
Cost per model:
The Thugs retail for £12 this works out at £3 per model. For metal models of this scale this is highly competitive.

The Thugs are a neat little pack, allowing vampire players to expand beyond their starter box. I would have liked to see a female Thug or two for verity, variety and inclusivity however. Overall 9 out of 10 

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