Thursday, 26 November 2015

Robot Review

Over the past few weeks, Spartan Games have revealed and released the immense Dreadnought Battle Robots for their Core Nations. Now we have the last one for the Republique of France (a very controversial figure, it must be said!), I thought I would have a closer look at them and give you my initial thoughts on their designs.

Many in the community are not fans of this release, seeing it as a cynical cash-grab and a lazy design choice to release up-sized robots with big price tags. Especially when many of the Alliance Nations are lacking in models and updates, to release something nobody asked for has not been a popular move.

I'm not going to debate Spartan's choices in their release schedule. I have already said their haphazard release schedule over the summer months did not help me focus on Dystopian Wars. I might have wanted something more for the Alliance Nations, true, but I am not against these releases. They give a big centrepiece to all of the Core Nations, and offer something different to another Carrier or Cruiser variant. I already have a fully-painted Hochmeister-class Dreadnought-Robot, and found it to be a very enjoyable project!

As long as Spartan consider this to be a one-off release and don't begin escalating the size and ridiculousness of their models in the future, things should be fine. I do not want to see them make the same choices as GW did with their rampant escalation of Warhammer 40,000, and would rather keep it a game naval warfare with a steampunk twist.

Enough naysaying, onto the Robots!

The Hochmeister-class Dreadnought-Robot is far and away my favourite - and so far it is the only one I own. I'm a die-hard Prussian player, so it was always going to appeal, but I think they did well to "play it safe" and design an up-sized Metzger with a giant sword

Rating - already bought and paid for, painted and fielded! Great model 
The Windsor-class Mobile Fortification is a wonderful piece of steampunk madness, with two extremely large cannons. I like this one a lot because it is not just a big robot but a walking fortress, and think in the future more design like this would be welcome. That said, I'm not a huge fan of the rather clunky-looking legs

Rating - interesting model, probably not one I will buy but would like to see on the battlefield 
The Restitution-class Battle Robot suffers from the issues I have with other Federated States Robots - gangly, strange proportions, elongated limbs etc. Too much Iron Giant and not enough Pacific Rim for my tastes.  Nonetheless, this is my favourite of the FSA Robots and I have grown to appreciate this model quite a bit

Rating - lanky and weird, it needs a good paintjob but fits in well with the rest of the FSA Robots
The Coeus-class Dreadnought Battle Robot is a lovely looking kit, and if I played the Covenant of Antarctica I think I would be investing in it for looks alone. That said, it does remind me of a Necron Tomb Spyder or Crypt Stalker (something from Warhammer 40,000 for the uninitiated)

Rating - cracking model, if you like the Covenant aesthetic this should be right up your alley

The Ayakashi-class Dreadnought-Robot is another cool model, with a strong idea behind it - who doesn't love giant robotic Samurai? That may be the problem for me - I've seen so many giant robotic Samurai in my time that this one looks a little chunky and round-edged. Perhaps in the flesh it will be more impressive, but at the moment I am not driven to pick one up

Rating - giant robot Samurai, why not? Not as impressed I have been with others, but it's a solid (if uninspired) release
The Madame Liberte Battle Statue is something special. I would love to have been in the room when the design team decided to go ahead with this model! At first, I was horrified, but as time has passed I have come to like the Battle Statue more and more, and given a lot of consideration as to how I would paint her. I think I have come full circle with this monstrosity now, and will probably pick one up when I return to my French fleet!

Rating - growing on me far more than it should, this is just the right kind of ridiculous
The Svarog-class Battle Robot has some really cool design concepts and weaponry, but ultimately it is let down by that head. For all my love of the Russian fleet, I will not be purchasing this model. Perhaps a conversion of something from Privateer Press would make for a good proxy?

Rating - big disappointment, really sorry it didn't work out. Some cool concepts (axes especially) that should be revisited in the future
Thanks for reading,


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the discussion. I'm struggling a lot with those of the FSA, Russians, and especially the French. Even suspending disbelief for a (presumably) skimming Statue of Liberty is a challenge for an old salt like me.