Review of Drifters army box from Wreck Age by Hyacinth Games (edited to add contest at the bottom)

By Polar_Bear
In News
Oct 5th, 2013
32 Comments
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Wreck-Age, by Hyacinth Games, is a post-apocalyptic skirmish game. Human civilization has collapsed and those that remain must struggle against the elements to survive in any way they can. Players take control of a small group of humans who must eke out a living.

Hyacinth was kind enough to send me a box set of Drifters and wanted me to give you their thoughts on the subject.

So grab your goggles, hockey mask, razor-sharp boomerang and shoulder pads, ’cause here we go…

The box the models came in is a little smaller than a VHS tape box… and I just caused a large number of you to raise an eyebrow and go, “what’s a VHS tape box?” and that makes me just a little bit sad. So to be a bit more specific, the box is about 1.5”x7.75”x4.25”. There’s the covering sleeve that keeps the cardboard box inside closed.

Opening the box there’s a large, single piece of packing foam holding down the parts inside. I gotta admit, when I first saw the foam, I cringed and figured the models inside would be bent in all sorts of interesting ways. But, to my surprise, the figures were actually not bent much at all. There was some bending, but that’s to be expected with pewter miniatures. Nothing was broken and the things that were bent easily bent back in place with only a small nudge.

Almost all the models are single-piece. Only the Trained Berzerker and Trained Beast Handler were multi-part. This is somewhat limiting to the overall look of the models, but as each model is unique, the total look of the set I don’t feel is affected too much. The models have a good amount of detail on them, with fur and hair looking rather nice on the models. Cloth wrinkles also have some detail to them, though the cloth, itself, is untextured as most models are.

There is relatively little cleaning that needs to be done on the models. The photos are of the models in their “raw” state, not having been cleaned in any way. There is very little flash to clear away, much of it “structural” flash that was put there in order to stabilize the pieces during transit. Mold lines are also rather well-hidden or only require a little cleaning to take care of.

The box also contained enough slotta-bases to hold the models. The bases are 25mm and are essentially the same ones used for Warhammer 40k. So any aftermarket bases you may want to use would be easy to find as it’s a very common size.

The last things in the box are the stat cards and a token sheet. I found the two to be a little curious in their construction. The stat cards don’t have the glossy finish that the token sheet has. Also, the token sheet, which is meant to be cut apart, has the Wreck-Age logo and artwork on the back, but the stat cards have blank backs. The reason this is curious is that it seems these should be reversed, with the cards getting the nice backing and the glossy finish while the token sheet would be left without the finish or the two-sized printing.
Note: I didn’t post photos of the stat cards since I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to by Hyacinth.

The box set on the Hyacinth website is $50. So with 9 figures inside, each comes out to a little more than $5 per model. This is a pretty standard price-point for a starter box set and considering the skirmish-size of Wreck Age, this box alone could get you through quite a few games just fine.

And there we have it for another TGN Review. Thanks for reading.

Oh! Almost forgot!
You can win that box set from the review! Just leave a comment below on what you thought about the review and… hmm… say what your favorite post-apocalyptic movie is. I’ll do the drawing middle of the week!

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  • How many figures in the box?

    • 9 figures. The picture above has them all laid out. Apparently I typoed in that final paragraph. goes to fix that

  • Spartan

    I was alway curious about this game / miniatures, good to see that they have a started box set.

    Fave post-apocalyptic movie would have to be Mad Max (the Road Warrior to the rest of the world), a close 2nd would be 28 Days Later.

  • Review is nice and short – very to the point. Since I am a total figure nerd I always look at the pictures to get a proper read of the quality and while the pictures are ok, I think all but one has out of focus parts. It seems you have taken them at an angle combined with a small depth of field. I know shooting naked metal is hard, but I’d like to see a bit better photos in reviews 🙂

    Favorite post apoc movie – It’s quite hard since there has been quite a slew of them lately… I’d have to say that’s it’s a tie between “The Divide” and “The Road” in the serious department. There are too many to count that use a comedic approach, but also I don’t think any of them match those two in terms of overall quality.

    • I’m definitely not a photographer by trade and sometimes that does come out in the final product. Our staff photographer was shooting a Dark Age video at the time, so he set up the camera settings and I took the photos. I’m still trying to figure out exactly the best way to get the shots I’m really looking for in these reviews.

      • Not sure what your current way of doing it is, but for a bare minimum I use a small tripod so I can use a higher exposure time (and set the timer for the lowest time so I don’t shake the camera) and a light tent to get good lit pictures and low glare. I use a lower iso number to avoid grain on practical pictures. I also don’t get in too close, because that gives you the low field of view. Given how big the resolution is I rather crop pictures afterwards. If you don’t have the settings down while taking the pics, the other thing to do is postprocess so you get a tad higher contrast and brighter background (in this case). If the actual background is white you want it to be close to white etc. The background on the pictures is grey which means you had a very low exposure time/not enough light. 🙂

        Seeing that you have an in house photographer I guess all I just said is useless heehhe, but it’s generally the steps you need to take good mini shots. It takes a bit more time, but it’s so worth the results and you can use a camera from the digital stoneage and still get good pictures this way.

  • Vashar

    Thanks for the review. I like the photos of the figures as well as your descriptions. One piece models have a certain appeal to me as I live in fear of losing a small hand or attaching the wrong arm to the wrong body. I do have a question. How do the figures compare in scale to Warhammer 40K figures? Most of the minis that I own are 40K figs and I’m curious if I can repurpose some old Necromunda figures or Chaos Cultists to Wreck-Age or if these figures could serve double duty.

    My favorite post-Apocalypse movie is “The Road” although basement.dweller mentioned “The Divide” so I’ll try to see that. Again, thanks for the review.

  • rpmarsh

    I thought the review was in depth and had plenty of images for me to reference. If I could improve anything I would use a lightbox on the images like you normally do.

    My top post apocalyptic movie was six string samurai. It has enough of a wild abandon where you can never expect what comes next. But at the same time there are so many themes from the Buddy Holly Rock star to the angel of Death Slash.

  • Deathwing

    Short and to the point. I’ve been quite taken with some of the Wreck-Age minis. They definitely have some interesting ideas for the post-apocalypse genre. I can’t speak for the stat cards, but I think the main idea for the token sheet is a clever piece of advertising. At conventions you can had out cards for your product. Most people just throw these things away, but Wreck-Age card has useful tokens you can use. Just my take.

    Joey

    On topic, favorite movie of the genre has to be Mad Max, but that’s as easy answer.

  • SandwichBot5000

    Good review, you covered everything I needed to know. The miniatures look nice, especially when painted.

    Of course my favorite post-apoc movie is Road Warrior. There are some other good ones but nothing holds a candle to RW for me.

    Thanks!

  • Daniel36

    Clear review. Good enough for me to know whether or now I am interested in this game from a model standpoint. I am still not sure I like the background material much, but this game seems to be growing on me a little.

    Fave post-apoc movie? Hmmm… The Road is definitly my fave. No over the top stuff.

  • jedijon

    Unless Hyacinth wrote the review and you merely posted it, I believe you meant: “Hyacinth was kind enough to send me a box set of Drifters and wanted me to give you my thoughts on the subject.” I followed their development…and like many of Reaper’s figures, these need a paintjob to be able to evaluate. I’ve had boots on infinity figures look about like that (blobby) that painted quite nicely. But my overwhelming feel when I look at the closeups of these figures is that their details are of low and inconsistent execution, and their proportions and sculpting (particularly the facial anatomy) isn’t very good. Add that to the ‘yet another system’ part and it’s underwhelming. The box cover foreground shows the two leftmost figures are okay – the best of the bunch.

  • jedijon

    Oh, and from a design aesthetic, apparently the proximate cause of the apocalypse in this world was the degradation of every other footwear style save the Jackboot. 🙂 I guess they all raided the same dept. store.

  • -DE-

    I enjoy Wreck Age designs but concur with the above poster that sculpting quality is average; decent but not extraordinary. Though at that price point it’s quite fair. Nevertheless, I’ve been eyeballing a couple sets, but they’re tricky to get hold of in Europe.

    As for my favorite movie? I’ll have to go with something more obscure, namely Neon City, starring Michael Ironside. It’s one of those rare nuclear winter flicks. Very entertaining.

  • KMANT

    I think the reviews very good and covered enough about the figures to let me know what I’d be getting if I bought them. I liked the info you listed about the figures themselves and I think you’ve got a good handle on the sort of things gamers wonder about when looking to buy stuff.

    My favourite post apocalyptic movie at the moment would probably be Book of Eli. It’s one of the ones I’ve watched most recently and it had a nice Fallout feel to it that made me want to run an RPG along the same lines.

  • Nice to the point…
    Favorite post acpoc movie? Zardoz with Sean Connery from 1974.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070948/

  • estrus

    I’m all about the Romero Holy Triliogy, and Day of the Dead is the most grim.

    I haven’t heard of the game but now that I’ve seen them I can certainly use the minis in a zombie game!

  • Disgruntled Goat

    Nice tight review, covers important (to me) stuff like mold line placement and answers damned near everything you’d want to know about this package.

    Favorite post-apoc movie: Planet of the Apes (original)

  • BaSaint

    Very nice review. Id like to see some paint variations. Were the minis in individual bags or what? Good to see clean minis from newer lines too.

    Although my more favorites are already listed, the newer homage to those movies (and not bad either) is Doomsday.

    There’s also an oldie (my gen oldie) that not too many are familiar with but had a good soundtrack (songs by Ministry): Hardware

  • garra

    nice review, I’ve been interested in this since their kickstarter came out. As for my favorite post apocylaptic movie I’d have to say Road Warrior for a classic and Book of Eli for a newer movie.

  • Nightbee

    It’s an informative review, but I wish you’d include your opinions about the design and concepts of the models. It’s fine to review the quality of the sculpting, casting, and packaging, but surely you have some opinion on whether the models fill a niche or are generally cool.

    Favorite post-apocalyptic movie: La Dernier Combat. It has a very Wreck Agey aesthetic.

  • Soulfinger

    I like the bit about kids not knowing what a VHS box is (just like how kids in the post-apocalyptic wasteland will ask, “What is peace?” or how Haddaway asks, “What is love?”). I found the review a tad vague though. Would they be easy to convert? Could beginners paint these? Are there other games these figs would be good for? Is there anyone you’d recommend them to outside of the intended audience?

    My favorite post-apoc movies are Book of Eli (actually, one of my favorite movies all around) and Wall-E. I also recommend The Quiet Earth as a more obscure title and Night of the Comet for what is a really fun premise if you can look past it being filmed in the 1980s. For low budget drinking movies, there’s Six String Samurai and Road Lawyers and Other Briefs.

    • Being single-piece, pewter models, converting them in any form would be a little tricky. You’d need a good knife (or better yet, jeweler’s saw) to get the pieces apart, which was something I was never really that great at. My preferred medium is plastic with resin just behind. But, with how many of the arms are separated out from the bodies, it wouldn’t be too terrible to cut up and convert the miniatures.

      Painting I don’t think would be much of a problem, but being a little-better-than-novice-painter, myself, I don’t think my opinion on such would really carry much weight.

      As for using them with other systems, if Necromunda were still a thing, I could see using them in place of GW models there, if you wanted. They could also potentially stand in for Dark Age models, though there, Dark Age has a bit more “tech” going for many of the models and while they could work, it might not totally mesh with the overall look.

      • Soulfinger

        With metal, the most important thing to note for conversions is what you said about the arms being extended away from the body and freestanding details, as opposed to have the weapons huddled up close to their chests. Is there a clear cut along the neck somewhere is another consideration I look for. Most of these guys look like they’d be a breeze, which means someone could buy two sets, swap out some heads and weapons, etc. and have very little redundancy. It doesn’t give as fine a cut, but I can’t imagine doing conversions without my dremel tool. Painting-wise, a “little-better-than-novice” is a great perspective to go by. None of these models appear to have tremendous amounts of detail, which is great for tabletop gamers but not so much of a draw for painting enthusiasts wanting a thousand tiny skulls and gemstones to fawn over.

  • Wall-E, but if that doesn’t count as Post-Apocalyptic then I’ll go with The Road.

  • grimbergen

    The minis are very nice. Much better than the greens on the KS previews. If they had shown more like these final ones I would have backed.

    I’ll go with a post-apoc movie that I found very good but others may not agree: Terminator Salvation.

    • Soulfinger

      I remember not liking the movie, but even though I saw it only a couple months ago, that is absolutely all that I can remember about the movie. It is the least memorable movie I have ever seen that wasn’t directed by Michael Bay. I can’t even recall if I fell asleep watching it.

      • grimbergen

        I have to agree with you to a certain extent that it is not very memorable. When I initially was thinking about this movie, I only had memories of the John Connor/Christian Bale scenes. It was only when you mentioned that you couldn’t remember much from it that I thought harder and Sam Worthington character/storyline… which is not good since he’s quite central to the story.

        But my terminator fanboi side couldn’t get enough of it, especially at the time just having been disappointed with the cancellation of the Sarah Connor TV show.

  • Borzag

    I’m actually okay with the photos…. anyway, missed the KS on this one (I’m not as rabid about stalking KS as most other gamers) so to me these look like a happy surprise. Thanks for the review!

    Favourite post-apoc movie… not sure if it counts, but The Matrix is a favourite. Shame it never had any sequels.

  • BurnDownTheSky

    Thanks for the review It’s always nice to see what comes inside a box set. Like some others, I personally like single piece castings…mainly because I detest assembling things! Hell, I’ll buy single casting cavalry whenever possible.

    True, single castings can limit the poses a bit, but good sculptors can overcome that problem. I mean, look at the first generation Necromunda figures, and then compare them to the later Citadel ones where you had to attach the hands and weapons. The older figures are much better.

    As for favourite PA movie…hmmm…28 Days Later I think. (Admittedly I was startled – and impressed – when I heard music from God Speed You Black Emperor for the soundtrack when he leaves the hospital to stumble around London).

    Still haven’t seen the Road mind you.

  • xGIxJOKERx

    I thought about backing this on Kickstarter. Good review. I think my favorite PA film in the classic The Road Warrior.

  • Doppelbock

    I appreciate that you noted the placement of the mold lines. I think that is an important yet often overlooked feature of any model. Fave AP movie would have to be the original Mad Max. How can you go wrong with Toecutter and the Night Rider?