Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brokentooth's Guide to Goblin Greatness: Machines of War. Review of Mantic Goblin Mincer & War Trombone

Gather 'round young warriors and listen to Old Brokentooth! 

You've been in a few battles now, how do you feel about being bashed in the face with a mace?

"Oh I hates that!" yelped a brash fellow.

And right you should! Nasty business to be sure.. no doubt, no doubt. And it's hard to avoid, what with the tall folk being taller and all.  It's going to happen now and then. So what should be done about it? 

"Grab another goblin nearby and push him into the mace!" sputtered a bold fellow.

What? ack! Ah.. well Yes.. you could.. alright, I have myself now and then, but as your King I'm looking for something that might avoid that completely, since it's all the same to me if it's you or another who gets bashed in the face.  

They looked blankly about, lost along the way to a thought.

Yes, and that's why you're warriors. Well then, I'll tell you.  What you have in common with the big folk is fingers and hands! You may be smaller, but even a small finger can pull a trigger, light a match, even small hands can steer a machine! And we've got so many more fingers than they do!  

Some of the warriors looked at their hands, most unable to count, but wondering if they indeed had more fingers.

*Sigh*  I mean we have more goblins than they have folk, and so we have more fingers!
And it only takes fingers to cause a lot of destruction!

"Ahhh!" many said in unison, clearly not understanding at all.

Well, I'll show you some of the machines we have, ready to unleash on those foolish tall folk!  

This way! 


With my Mantic Kings of War Kickstarter Goblin Army I got a few 'Goblin War Trombones'.
Just the name is appealing! 

The warmachine is a metal shooting weapon, something like a giant blunderbuss, top-cup loaded with gravel. I especially love how silly the splayed trombone barrel is!

It comes with a crew of two: one to aim, one to load.

The detail is very crisp and the parts fit together very well. 

The War Trombone comes with a 25x50mm cav base for the gun & aimer,and a 20mm square base for the loader. I prefer single based warmachines and crew when possible, and since in Kings of War a warmachine has a single stat profile for the machine and crew, there's no reason to have separate bases. 
I ordered some custom bases from warbases.co.uk and am very happy with them!  I decided 40x60 mm was the perfect size. I did try 40x80 but the base looked too long. 

The nice thing is I can now glue 2 of these together to create a 60x80 base which is ideal for the next machine we'll look at!

The Mincer is the Goblin answer to the chariot. Simple steam engine to propel a tunnel digger loaded up with spikes and blades... very Gobliny! I haven't put the driver in yet (a goblin with goggles and a wrench) but since I ended up with 4 from the Kickstarter I'll likely change around crew, and while this one is built stock, the others will have different blades & bits so no two are exactly alike. 

It should be noted that the floorboard part was pretty badly warped on all of them. However, a quick dunk in very hot water, pull on both sides and it snaps out straight as you could want: dunk in ice water and problem solved. The 'restic' material responded to reshaping a lot better than most resin minis i've worked with. I was very pleased. 

Another problem though is the chariot base it comes on is 50x100. Probably a good length for a boar driven chariot, but longer than needed here, and most importantly: too narrow.  

A 50mm wide base puts the wheels right on the base edge. 

I hate that. 

Bases are important. They are part of the visual unit that is the miniature.  Everyone has their preference with bases, such as some love tall display bases..me, I think that's fine for a display mini, but I don't like seeing an entire army who all found the only tall rocks in the battlefield to stand on all at the same time! Odd. But while I can understand opinions differing on something like that, I can not see any reasonable opinion for thinking a miniature should butt along the edge of the base on both sides.  It just looks cramped, and wrong. 

I was a framer many years ago, and it'd be like framing a picture with a matt that is 3inches on the top and bottom but disappears under the frame on the side. Not a chance. The base should frame around a miniature in a reasonably equal way all the way around. A weapon or tail overhanging is fine, but not the edge of a chariot. 

So 60mm wide gives the Mincer the slight extra room that was needed.  It looks much better on this size base. 

Overall I quite like the Mincer.  It's a pleasing shape, nice detail, a very reasonable price and should be easy to convert for variety. 

In comparison, I do have one of the GW Pump Wagons: the current mini, though luckily in metal, not the dreaded finecast. 

I love this model. It is just a joy.  So I'm very glad to have it for the army.  It's very distinct, and more expensive, so I'm happy to have multiples of the Mincer and use this one for a more 'signature' Mincer. 

I skimpt a bit on the snotling crew, using less than it came with, to use them elsewhere. It still looks very bustling with crew, and I prefer the horn blaster at top rather than the slingshot. 

It also works well on the same base size as the Mantic Mincers. 

The two together.  Variety is key in a goblin army, as much as budget will allow for. 

That's enough machines of war for today.  

Coming soon I'll show you what I came up with for a Catapult.  It may surprise you. 

More Mayhem To Come! 


Minitrol said...

I love the pictures who's the illustrator?

Fantastic to see you getting underway with the project.

Thomas said...

Goblins & big machines - there's nothing like this combination in wargaming i you're looking for fun.

... oh and by the way: you got me by now, I ordered the rulebook yesterday.

Paul´s Bods said...

Those machines are crazy..very appealing :-D

Anne said...

Jesus those are nice. Wish I had gotten in on this one.

Simon Q said...

Nice looking warmachines and crew the giant blunderbuss looks awesome I may have to get one just for the sake of it!

fireymonkeyboy said...

Those look like loads of fun!


Turms said...

Heh - I can already hear the blunderbuss exploding with misfire malfunction and goblins flying around screaming! Gotta love the green little dudes, they entertain without a fail.

Francis Lee said...

Spikey madness and spikey beauty all in one or two machines...I love them.

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all! The feedback helps keep me motivated :)

Minitrol: I'm not sure, they're great aren't they? I found them just by a google search. They're clearly the Reaper Pathfinder goblins, so that might help track it down

Thomas: Excellent, hope you'll like it!

Paul: they are fun aren't they? actually looking at a lot of your 1/72 scale projects made me think they'd be a decent size for goblins, and I was thinking about one of the catapults you had shown recently, though in the end I opted for something odder ;)

Anne: It'd be fun to see what you'd do w Goblins. but you can't back everything that appeals.. gods know I've tried ;)

Simon: it's one of my favorites. I can imagine it'd come in handy for all sorts of things, not just as large army support.

FMB: thanks!

Turms: Goblins are some of my favorite early wargame memories, so nice to be building an army of them for myself finally

Fran: Thanks! you're obviously a man of refined & distinguished taste!

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