Tuesday, 25 September 2012

071 - Review - KR Kaiser Multicase

At the start of this year, I posted my thoughts on the Battlefoam Malifaux Bag, explained that I'd be returning it to Battlefoam, and promised a review of the case I bought instead. That long awaited review is finally here!

After browsing the KR website for some time, I went for the "Kaiser2" case, consisting of two cardboard cases filled with foam, and a larger bag that held both of them along with all the necessary books and accessories.


 There's plenty nice to say about this case.

1) It's roomy. Depending on which foam trays you choose, you have space for more than enough Malifaux models - probably most of your collection (unless you're an obsessive crew collector!) The foam loadout I chose contains slots for 156 regular sized models and around 16 large models, and so even though I own 6 or 7 crews, it's only around half full. KR's website itself is pretty confusing on which foam trays you should buy, so I'll attempt to clarify here.

Half of these holes are still empty, even with 4-5 crews

KR operate a 3-character code system to identify their foam inserts:

The 1st character represents the layout of the inserts.

N = 20 slots per half tray. Each slot holds a 30mm base model comfortably, but is too narrow to hold a 40mm base.
F = 18 slots per half tray. Larger slots that you can squeeze a 40mm base into. Although the base will stick out a little over the top of the insert, I found that the trays still stack on top fine.

The 2nd character represents the insert thickness. Generally you're going to want to choose inserts with the standard thickness of 3 (effectively one-third of a cardboard case's depth). However if you want to transport larger models, the 5 insert is what you need, which is twice as thick. That will be deep enough to transport large models with "sticky out bits" such as Avatar Pandora or Nekima. Inserts with a thickness of 4 will be too shallow to hold 30mm bases effectively, and thickness 2 will be somewhere between - it might be good for some of the larger 40mm base models, but you're unlikely to have enough of those to need a whole tray.

The 3rd character represents the width of the insert. It will be either T (Tray) or H (Half tray). Therefore at normal (3) thickness you can fit three T inserts or six H inserts into a box. This is merely a matter of personal preference, but I figured that the H inserts would give me a bit more flexibility and that the T inserts might be a bit large and floppy to handle once filled with heavy metal miniatures.

An N3H is ideal for most 30mm based models

A 5H tray for larger models

2) The foam is good quality. Each of the two boxes has space for 3 layers of standard thickness foam, along with a foam topper. The slots grip a 30mm base tightly, and I've never had any concerns about my models being damaged in the case.

3) There are compartments all over the thing, enough for everything you might want to bring to a game. There are two large zippable book pockets and one small one, two velcro pouches and one zipped pouch, and one elasticated mesh pouch for anything you can't fit elsewhere. My bag currently carries all 3 main Books, a Rules Manual, Tape Measure, all my Stat cards, 3 Fate decks, Whiteboard markers, cloths, Soulstone counters, sweets etc etc.

 There are a couple of small negative points I should add:

1) The bag is big and bulky. It's almost cube shaped and doesn't sit all that well on your shoulder. If your intention is to carry your entire Malifaux collection with you, then I suppose it's hard to avoid having a big bag, but i wonder if a different shape would have been better.

2) The handle isn't very strong. The lid of the bag itself appears to be a thin plastic, to which the handle is bolted. I expected this plastic to eventually shear, but it turns out that the thing that went first was the handle itself. It's a small fabric strap with a plastic coating, and my plastic coating has recently split. It should be noted that this is after 8 months of occasional use, and that my case is only half full.

 3) My particular bag has a slight defect where the shoulder strap attaches to the bag itself. It's only minor, but the sewing doesn't grip the plastic clip tightly enough and so it the clip twists around and puts strain on the join. I'm hoping that the stitching will hold, but it worries me.

All in all though, an excellent bag, and a great way to keep all your Malifaux in one place that I very much recommend. In hindsight, I think I should have gone for their single-box case, which would have done away with the weight and strain issues that this bag has faced. The cardboard trays are interchangable, so as long as you know which faction/crew you will be playing when you leave the house, you can swap them out as needed.

Actually yea, I've changed my mind. Get the smaller KR bag.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

070 - Post GenCon

So GenCon has come and gone and the dust has started to settle. People lucky enough to live on the right continent (or lucky enough to be able to afford a plane ticket!) look to have walked away with more new Malifaux goodies than any person could wish for. Unfortunately my geographical and financial situations meant that I wasn't one of these people, and so like many others my GenCon has once again been one of closely monitoring my Twitter feed for spoilers - biding my time until I can get my hands on the shiny stuff later on.

I didn't even put in a GenCon order this year - I found the Nightmare Hanging Tree to be not nearly as inspiring as last year's limited edition Teddy and Lady Justice (not to mention 60% more expensive!). Although it's definitely an impressive model, and I can't wait to see one properly painted, I couldn't see it getting all that much table time. The smaller trees, intended to be used as alternative Hanged models are, in my opinion, way too big to be used as 30mm base minions, and would look ridiculous next to normal sized models on normal bases. So that was out.

I suppose I could have ordered some of the new models (all three boxed crews are VERY appealing to me), but I already have a giant backlog of models to finish painting, and there'd be no benefit to me in paying the additional cost of international postage just to have them a couple of months earlier, if they weren't going to get used immediately. So no new crew (and no Wyrd plastics) for me just yet.

At GenCon time, I'm basically only interested in the limited edition stuff that I can't get elsewhere, so my only disappointment is that I didn't get myself a Miss Terious. I'm not too worried, however, since I'm confident that in a couple of weeks eBay will be flooded with them. However I fear Santana Ortega, though lovely beyond belief, is going to remain forever out of my price range.

The one compulsory purchase, come it's September release, will be the Storm of Shadows book. Those of us without the book have only seen a few glimpses of the rules for the new models, but all of the art has been shown on Twitter and on the forums (thanks to @sassylady1970 of course!) and so we can see what/who the new masters and minions are.

Here's a brief rundown of the new guys on the scene. Once I get a book in hand next month I'll post some more detailed thoughts.

Lucas McCabe (Master)
Luna (Totem)
Wastrels (Minion)
Guild Riflemen (Minion)
Clockwork Trap (Minion)
Sidir Alchibal (Minion)
Guild Pathfinder (Minion)

Yan Lo (Master)
Soul Porter (Totem)
Ashigaru (Minion)
Toshiro, The Daimyo (Minion)
Yin, The Penangalan (Minion)
Izamu, The Armour (Minion)
Chiaki, The Niece (Minion)

Mei Feng (Master)
Emberling (Totem)
Kang (Minion)
Willie the Demolitionist (Minion)
Rail Golem (Minion)
Rail Worker (Minion)
Metal Gamin (Minion)

Jakob Lynch (Master)
Hungering Darkness (Totem)
Illuminated (Minion)
Beckoners (Minion)
Mr Graves (Minion)
Mr Tannen (Minion)
The Depleted (Minion)

Burt (Minion)
Gracie (Minion)
Wong (Minion)
Friekorps Strongarm Suit (Minion)
Vanessa, Treasure Hunter (Minion)
Oiran (Minion)
Ama No Zako (Minion)

Ten Thunders
Misaki (Master)
Shang (Totem)
Ototo (Minion)
Torakage (Minion)
Yamaziko (Minion)
Ten Thunders Archers (Minion)

From what I've heard about these characters so far, I'm really excited to see them on the tabletop. It's going to be an interesting year for Malifaux!