WWX: GenCon & Infernal Investigations

So let’s take mid-week moment to talk about Wild West Exodus, and crack open the box I picked  up at GenCon. WWX is a game that’s been on my radar for many years – I’m a fan of steampunk shenaniganry, and I enjoyed the demo I did at my first GenCon – but it’s a game that has a checkered past. This is in part due to the concept of the game – a Wierd West setting – and the challenges of approaching the setting that has enough elements of the West that it retains the flavor, but that doesn’t fall into the trap of negative racial stereotypes when the  game is based in a time period where lines were drawn based on skin colour and heritage. To be frank, the original producers of the game failed their Detect Traps roll.

When I saw that Warcradle had taken over the property and had the opportunity to speak with the crew at GenCon 2017, we discussed how the game was being revamped/reinvisioned to be more respectful of the heritage and at the same time more mindful of the portrayals. I had enjoyed the game’s earlier incarnation mechanically, and was very interested to see how the new rules shook out, and when it came time to check back in with the lads at the most recent GenCon, it was clear that several things were still being worked on behind the scenes as they looked to blend the setting with the Dystopian Wars universe, but I don’t mind admitting that I was impressed by the models on display, so much that I ended up picking up the new Infernal Investigations posse box, which we’ll unbox in this very post. Aren’t you lucky?

Long story short, Warcradle is taking Wild West Exodus forward, and I think they may be worth a moment of your time.

Sometimes it boggles my mind to see display tables, and I’m reminded that in my last game of 40K there were canisters of colored sugar crystals as “silos”.

One of the most fascinating posses to me was Discordant Symphony. Weaponized gramophones and a clockwork dancer with a buzz-saw tutu!

The only painted model on display… the crew need to get their brushes cracking!

As I wandered around looking at the posses there were some that held more of a Western element…

… and others that were more clearly leaning toward the Weird side.

The Steampunk element was evident pretty much everywhere…

… and some elements had a certain filigreed flair…

… while others included… well, mutant dog things.

The names alone of some posses cried out for custom tables – Gambling steamboat anyone?

I’m not sure the Secret Service in the Wild West included bazookas, but hey, my degree’s in Ancient History, what do I know.

Have loudspeaker, will foment revolutionary change in society!

But this… this was the posse that really captured my attention. A rocketpack gunslinger, a fencer with funky pokey sticks, a bipedal robot horde, a sniper with an owl, a mysterious hooded man, and someone vaulting over a crate? Visually this set is just fantastic.

Helena Miller (what a great last name!) invites you to join the fight.

I found a bunch of resin sprues in the box, with models sharing components on a number of the sprues.

Thankfully, there’s a handy-dandy website to tell you how to put the darn things together.

Jedrick Powell is largely on one sprue, though his right arm is elsewhere.

Blackhoof 20-20 is similarly split over multiple sprues. There seemed to be a fair bit of extra resin, but at least we know for sure who made the components 😉 #ClearlyLabeled

Thge resin casting is clean, and Blackhoof 20-20’s biceps are buff.

Blackhoof 20-20’s last sprue also holds Jedrick’s gun, cementing this posse as more Raygun than Steampunk.

The bodies for Ida Saxton – the sniper – and Furio Montoya – the fencer.

Tow heads, an arm, and a robot owl

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was entirely Furio’s sprue, but no, that’s Ida’s arm. A little hot water will see that bent sword straightened out in no time.

And now we start in on Helena Miller, our rocketeer leader, and Mercury Jones. These three parts are all Helena…

… but Mercury’s arm has snuck in the middle there.

If there aren’t crates somewhere else in the game labelled “Tonikk’s” then there’s  a missed opportunity.

And then we end with a bunch of arms and legs. Yes, Mercury’s gear includes jet boots.

 

The resin casts are pretty damn clean, and I love the raygun aesthetic of the posse. While most of the models have the double-breasted shirt as a shared aesthetic, there’s a huge disparity in posing and personal look of each model, which will make for some great painting opportunities. Now, can I resist painting them in similar colors to the Guardians of the Galaxy when they first rebooted the Starlord comic during the Annihilation event? I make no promises…