Sunday, January 20, 2013

Deep Wars! - A first look at some of the miniatures

It is an exciting time for miniature gaming enthusiasts, with the shift towards crowd funded miniature lines and games, we are seeing a surge of interesting new projects that would not have been possible otherwise. I have been on top of many of the different initiatives on Kickstarter, including Sedition Wars, Kingdom Death, and Imbrian Arts Miniatures (many of which I hope to post about in the future). However, there is one I managed to miss out on, one that I am still kicking myself for: Deep Wars!
Still my favorite Deep Wars model, and what got me interested in the game to begin with! 

The game was developed by AntiMatter Games and is an extension off of their earlier game ShadowSeas (which uses a modified form of the Song of Blades and Heroes system). Similar to ShadowSeas, Deep Wars is a 28 mm tabletop wargame set during 17th century Earth. The main difference is that Deep Wars (as its name implies...) takes place in the dark depths of the sea! Who couldn’t get excited about fighting skirmishes in the oppressive confines of the ocean?  

Fortunately, AntiMatter Games set up another small Kickstarter project to further fund a collection of new miniatures for the game. I took this as the perfect opportunity to delve into the game and pledged enough to get a small collection of miniatures and a softcover version of the rulebook.

Shortly before Christmas I received the first of the Deep Wars models I purchased through the Kickstarter. Overall, the models themselves look quite nice and are cast reasonably well. The majority of the models are cast in metal with a few of the larger models using resin.  The metal is rather soft and easy to work with, but can be a bit brittle.  A few of the models I received have slight faults in the casting that ended up cracking when bent into their proper position. Most of the metal models were pretty easy to clean up and assemble. There were a few models that required a little greenstuff work to fill the gaps between arm joints.  Additionally, some of the scenic bases needed to be sanded (sometimes filed) to fit into the plastic bases.   

The soldier's head fin is missing due to a poor cast :(
A few Ancient of Atalan recruits.
The resin models I received varied widely in casting quality, ranging from near perfection to something akin to a sponge.  Case in point, the Fortune Hunter Commander, Angus McBain, suffered from prevalent air bubbles and mold shifts on his legs.  This necessitated an extensive amount of greenstuff work to get the model into an acceptable state. Additionally, his Targeting Mech failed to come with a separate base like the one depicted in the pictures. Despite these flaws, I took the model as kind of a modelling challenge and have been working diligently on the model mending and adding some minor modifications. Thus far I am quite pleased with the progress I have made.
When cleaned up, Angus McBain has quite the presence (even without his backpack...)! 
But it took quite a lot to get him to that point...
I replaced the claw with a more imposing one from an old techmarine servitor.
Aside from the miscasts and air bubbles, several of the  resin pieces had mold tabs poorly placed, obscuring or removing model detail entirely. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the Fortune Hunter Breaching Mech Construct, where the mold tab was placed overtop of the rear thrusters. The placement is such that I don’t believe I will be able to fix it without remodeling most of the detail, something that I don’t know if I have the skill or willpower to do. 

I don't know if I can fix this...
While I have raised a lot of negative points in regards to the miniatures I received, overall I am very impressed with what AntiMatter Games have produced. For such a small operation, they have designed and produced some great figures. Additionally, the game is really easy to get into, only requiring a handful of models (even less than for games like Infinity).  The way the rules incorporate many elements other than simply combat, give the game somewhat of an rpg-feel.  I think the game excels if it is played with this in mind.  Fortunately, all of the imagery built through the rulebook and models makes this task easier to do. I have only played one small game and simply tried to kill the other opponent’s warband.  And while it was fun, it fell below its potential, having left out most of the more interesting elements such as interacting with the environment and magic. 

This shark has the honor of being the best resin cast I have ever worked with.
Currently, I have managed to trim and assemble the majority of the models I got through Kickstarter. Despite having enough models to comfortably play the game using the Fortune Hunters, the Dark Mariners, and the Ancients of Atalan, I am excitedly planning out which models I want to get next (Looking fondly at the Silent Soldier...).

So if you are at all interested in underwater exploration and combat, I urge you to look into Deep Wars.

Into the icy depths!

- Harlon Nayl


  1. Some nice looking models. I am pleased to see that Antimatter Games is releasing most of their models in white metal, as opposed to the cheaper, poor quality resin that a lot of companies are moving towards.

  2. I am still waiting for something to excite me in their range.

    1. I admit it took me a little while to really start liking most of the range. I think the newly sculpted Dire-fish is one of the best models in the range:

    2. I like the Cephalid Biomancer. I think he turned out better in mold than in design.

    3. I do like a few of the Dark Mariners models but I just don't feel like there are enough cool models and or poses of ones that I do like to justify playing the game.

      I also like this guy to some degree too:

  3. That Fortune Hunter model looks famished. On the other hand I really like that shark's quality. Is it a versus game, or is it a co-op dungeon crawling rpg type?

  4. It is a skirmish game, where two people play against each other with 5-10 models. So it is not quite as daunting as starting something like Warhammer 40,000.