Sunday, November 03, 2013

Review: Sedition Wars Kickstarter - Wave 2

At last, the Wave 2 set arrived. I know I am probably one of the last people to receive this, but I could not resist giving you my view on this.

As a part of the Kickstarter Biohazard package, the following items was promised to arrive later. Initially it was set for March 2013 - mine arrived November 1 2013. Let us say it was delayed a bit ;-)

Wave 2 - Biohazard Contents

  1. 6 bonecrabs
  2. 6 baby drones
  3. Barker in Aphid Suit
  4. Kara in Gnosis Armor
  5. Jada Lilly
  6. Morgan in Biohazard Suit
  7. Keegan Kor
  8. Cyber Akosha
  9. Vokker Dargu, as promised for being late.
  10. Resin Karas for EU backers that did not receive them in wave 1.
  11. Painting DVD - the videos has been released for download earlier, so nothing new here.
  12. Updated cards for new and old models.

I know it can be hard to see the models through the plastic, so here is a picture of the models painted. The models are painted by Studio McVey as well as other painters. The baby drones are missing though.

Wave 2 - Optional Items

I could not help myself when I pledged for the Kickstarter back in August 2012 - I had to have it all. Here is the optional items.

  1. Dr Susan Ridley (and Strain)
  2. Hexen (and Strain)
  3. Niven Banks (and Strain)
  4. THI Suit
  5. Calamity Crew (or should we call is Firefly Crew?)
  6. Ramirez (and Strain)
  7. Terrain Pack (I will write about this separately!)

Here is a picture of the painted optional models by Studio McVey:


First, I am happy that the last items has arrived and that I can stop checking Kickstarter for status all the time. Let us face it - this project has been a huge disappointment for most people. 

Frankly, I have not even tried the game yet. People who has been playing, all seem to have found various bugs in the rules. That is why Studio McVey released a new rulebook for the Wave 2. One that I unfortunately forgot to add for ridiculous $3. Luckily, there is a PDF version available here.
However, as far as I know, the new rulebook still leave some bugs in the rules.

The huge delay was one thing, but for me, the quality of the models was the biggest disappointment in Wave 2. To explain this issue, I will show you this:

I do not know how obvious it is from looking at the pictures, but the difference is shocking in real life. The new models from Wave 2 has a completely different scale/size. For starters, their head is smaller, but there whole body is also thinner and more detailed.
While more detailed is normally a nice thing - this time it is not. The quality of the plastic in addition with more details and smaller models just makes a bad combo. The mould lines has not shrunk as you can see on the picture.

I do not know about you - but I always find it a challenge to paint the eyes on a small models. Look at the above comparison of Hexen and a Vanguard Samaritan from Wave 1 - I will never be able to paint eyes on Hexen!

Does all the Wave 2 models have this new scale?

Luckily, you should know that the new scale does not apply to all of the models in Wave 2! This is also a weird thing, cause some of the models are new sculpts so they should all have this new scale right?

Models using the new scale
  1. Kara in Gnosis Armor (Only the head seems small, the rest of the model looks ok)
  2. Jada Lilly
  3. Keegan Kor
  4. Cyber Akosha
  5. Dr Susan Ridley (and Strain)
  6. Hexen (and Strain)
  7. Niven Banks (and Strain)
  8. Calamity Crew
  9. Ramirez (and Strain)
Some models are worse than others I think. But mainly it is the optional models that has this new scale.

So what went wrong?

Mike McVey made this announcement September 21 2013:
I thought I would post about the comments if the size/scale of the miniatures. Apologies for not doing this sooner, but the past few weeks have been pretty full-on. 
I have to say right off the bat, that I am unhappy with the shrinkage of some of the casts - it is certainly disappointing to me, and I'm sure it is to some of you too. Unfortunately, the ones that are the worst effected are the ones that were the thinnest to start with - the ones with a more chunky design have not suffered in the same way. It seems that the process is not kind to finer designs. I don't think the miniatures are ruined - but they are not quite how I had envisioned them coming out.

I can only apologies, and learn from it.
As for the scale... Well as anybody who has been in the hobby for a while knows - discussions on scale and proportions are likely to open up a huge can of worms and polarise opinions. But here we go... 
The first Sedition Wars human miniatures (Vanguard) were mainly sculpted by one person, and when that person was not available to work on the wave two material, I had to give the commissions to other sculptors. The people I am working with on SW now, are of the more realistic school of proportion when it comes to humans - so smaller heads compared to bodies, and generally a little finer. They are the same people who have been working with on the bulk of my LE resin line for the past few years, and the proportions there lead to absolutely no complaint . I had to make a decision about the future of the SW range - and who was going to be sculpting the bulk of it going forward, and I decided the more realistic approach was going to be the one that would lead to the best consistency in the future. 
You most likely think I should have had the new sculptors work to a style that matched more closely with the original miniatures - but that wasn't really a workable solution. When you try and get creative people to work in a style they are not comfortable with - the results are never good in the long term, and you end up with more problems with quality and consistency. We tried for a half-way house - and if characters were going to be in units with the older miniatures (like Ramirez), we tried to match more closely. 
The other factor here, is the subject matter. Some of the wave two characters are supposed to be closely inspired by 'real' subjects, so to get an accurate representation I thought it best to go down the realism route - that was particularly the case with Hexen and Ridley, and the Calamity crew. I didn't want 'war-games' versions of those characters - with large heads and chunky bodies. That was the decision I took at the time - was that the right choice? Given how they suffered in shrinkage terms, I'm not so sure now - but that was my choice, and I'll have to live with it. 
Overall I'm not as happy with Wave 2 as I had hoped to be - but they are by no means terrible, and I think many of the miniatures came out very well.


I have really looked forward to these models since I ordered them back in August 2012. I had high expectations because I have always associated Mike McVey with high quality.
Unfortunately, the Wave 2 models have left me with mixed feelings about Sedition Wars and its future.

I especially look forward to paint the larger models like Barker in Aphid Suit, Kara in Gnosis Suit and the THI suit. I am sure that some of the other models will be fun too, but I am personally not a fan of too small models. I might sell some of the optional models, as I doubt I will ever get them painted to a satisfying standard.

I still think we should be happy about this game though. Even though 50% of Wave 2 has been a disappointment, there are still some awesome models in there - and we basically got the models for free during the Kickstarter campaign! I can only regret buying the optional models :-(

If the future for Sedition Wars is these small models cast in the same problematic plastic, then I do not suspect pledging for a rumored Sedition Wars expansion. I would rather invest in known brands like Games Workshop or other popular ones. I have never had an issue with quality there.
I understand that the decision Mike McVey had to take was hard, and it somehow seems like he has regretted taking it when he saw the results. The sculptors is probably used to have their models cast in fine resin - not in plastic.

I have learnt a lot from this Kickstarter. It was my first non-GW game but it is definitely not my last. Even though Studio McVey has messed up, I am sure other companies have more experience of delivering quality products. 

There is always a risk with Kickstarter campaigns when products have not been finished.
Lessons learned for next time :-)


  1. I'm 100% with you on this. i went trough the same dissapointment with the minis.
    Although I'm under the impression McVey do not plan to kick start Arms of Sorrow. And I would be very surprised if he associated ever again with CMON. On his site he mentions Something BIG coming our way for the end of the year.

    Anyway, thanks for your posts, I find your painting of high quality and your writing is consistent and interesting.

    1. Hi Sei
      Thank you for your feedback :-)
      Yeah I hope McVey have learned a lesson from this one. I do however look forward to Arms of Sorrow, but a lot has to change if it should tempt me.

      Glad you appreciate my work - makes me want to continue.

  2. Nice run-through. I recently got Wave 2 from a guy who dropped SW altogether, and I'm glad to have it. Yes, some minis are smaller, but it doesn't bother me much. I'm in it for the gaming experience, and I must say, that I find SW a great gaming experience, and that's why I'm committed to painted the lot and building 3D terrain also.

    I liked Space Hulk, but found it a bit too simple. SW ads detail and variation, and I really love the "Dead Space" horror of it. I find that the whole idea and theme of the game really come out nicely in both strain models and gameplay.

    Yes, the rules were budged. But one you get to version to (and the recent errata...) AND you get your head around how to deal with line of sight and a way of deciding cover/no cover, then it plays quickly and with much fun.

    I'm at around 12 games now, agains 5 newbie opponents (all but my girlfriend really liked it, but she's more into Settlers....), so my next problem is finding someone challenging to play agains ;-)

    1. I have still not tried the game - but I really look forward to it. I am sure my girlfriend would rather play something else too I am afraid :-)
      But it might be challenging to find some experienced players, I do not think so many people know about this game in Denmark especially :-(

  3. Introduced the game to an old buddy yesterday, and he loved it. He's a very skilled gamer, so gaming with him in the future should be challenging. Actually, he did win the game yesterday :-P