Thursday, August 28, 2014

Relic Knights have arrived! Noh Faction review..

As many around UK have now seen... there are boxes marked "Relic Knights" appearing on their doorsteps in great quantity.

Relic Knights is a Kickstarter initiative from Soda Pop Miniatures in collaboration with CMON. It was successfully completed back in September of 2012 to the tune of $909,537. With an estimated delivery date of May 2013.

Today is not a day in May. Nor is it a day in 2013.

To say that this project has been surrounded with misfortune would be an understatement. It could also be used as a cautionary tale to those looking at doing kickstarters where many, if not all, of the items that one would like to include in said kickstarter are still in the concept phase.

For me, it seems that I put in a whooping $275 for this back in September of 2012. With the hopes and dreams of receiving it before I moved to the UK. Maybe even having the chance to play a game or 2 with it at some point.

Oh well.. that is the past.. what is the now is that I have received my order... well.. most of it anyways. Seems that they forgot to send out the Battlemat that I bought to go with it. Will have to open a case regarding that soon enough.

But what did appear within the box that was left at the front of my door last night?

Apparently.. quite a lot!

I only really backed to receive 2 factions. The Noh and the Doctrine. I figured they were both magical in nature but polar opposites with regards to sides or factions. So would be a good selection to have in order to have 2 sides.

For this post I will only show off the Noh Empire models. The main reason I backed this to begin with, and one that they were able to keep to their original drawings quite well!

Quite a force, and now looking at the army book, possibly too much. But.. hey.. that is just how I roll at times..

Kicking things off is the starter boxset. Originally this was to have a bigger Knight in it, but it seems at some point that changed.

So the starter comes with the Knight Zineda and her Cypher Sprite. 1 Render, and 2 Berzerkers. Plus the Esper deck, gaming cards for the models, tokens, tracker cards, and playmat. You can see them in the photos below..

As you can ( or cannot due to my horrible photos ) see some major mold and casting vents on these pieces. I have to state up front that I was expecting these to be much much worse than they really are. Something akin to the disaster that was Sedition Wars and the plastics used there.

Although the mold lines and vent casts are horrendous in many places, the plastic is a lot more sturdy and rigid here. To cut the vents off, they more like snap off than slice off. Will make cutting some of the mold lines to be interesting, but will see how that goes. Maybe sandpaper will be useful here afterall.

Thing I do like is that the slot slips that they made for each of the parts line up nicely. There is a bit of guesswork going on but it is not terrible overall. And some of the pieces can stay in without any putty/bluetac, etc. Which is a nice thing to have also. Plus it seems that most were sculpted in such a way that they can be painted once fully assembled while still being able to reach all the areas! Huzzah! Means I can have an unpainted force assembled for many years to come here then ;)

Next up is Kasaro To and his Cypher Azi. Originally, when looking at the kickstarter, this was to be the main Knight that was to be included in the starter box. And really, when looking at how they began to market this back back wayyyyy back in the day it would seem about right. Considering that the "main" knights are all riding these massive monster/robots/mounts. But whatever, I got mine as part of the kickstarter starter box set. Just for retail going forward people might not be as happy about knowing this and having to spend more money for them.

But again, here are some shots of the model and cards from the box.

I have to admit, it was this model that made me want to back this kickstarter in the first place. And I do love the model even today! I will have to keep his backpack separate from the body until he is painted, but the rest can be glued together already. Though, as you can notice.. he fits together well enough without glue as is! Huzzah again!

Some major mold lines once more, and I suspect that I will be spending many a day on cleaning these up. So most likely you will see these guys being done one at a time, instead of en-mass like I normally paint armies/factions. But since there is not too many pieces I don't think that will be too bad actually.

This was another unit, along with their handler, that I really enjoyed the look of. Actually you might see me say this about the entire Noh range, as I just love the look/feel of them compared to many others. And although this is pretty poor plastic, it really works nicely with soft organic pieces like this entire army range!

The handler ( who comes in a separate box that I didn't photograph ) is below.

Brilliant model, and I like the pose of it. Going to be a nice piece to paint up, and something that if I didn't need him in the game I could see him being used in a display piece. But who knows eh? Time will tell on how much I use this as an army vs a collection of random pieces :D

As a bonus to the kickstarter we did get to receive 2 extra hounds in that section of the rewards. So it is nice to have 4 of these pups and again very cool that they can stand without needing glue. Will be interesting to see how I paint them compared to the uber red skinned main guys ( which may or may not be red for me! ).

Here we have another Questing Knight Marikan and Lakmi. Sweet model that has quite the ranged attack here it seems ( or at least I hope so since she has a bow in her hands! ).

Again all put together without glue and just there through the sheer will of it. That and probably the mold lines and off cuts hanging off them making it easier for them to stick around. Though due to that huge arrow case, I might have to rethink on how to paint this piece. And considering how the shoulder/back has no cloth on it, this will be very difficult to play out with. Something that the caster/sculptor should have thought about before making it so that the case and left arm are one piece.

A spare box of Berzerkers. Nothing special here as there are 2 in the main box, but these were a unlocked perk from the kickstarter.

Here is another Render as well. One of the only minions that can use a ranged weapons for the Noh Empire ( at least with the guys that I have at the moment ).

Pretty basic set up here. Small box for the single models. Larger box for the multiples or Knights. Coming with their stat card, and their trigger cards. Plus a small plastic bag with the model and their associated base in the appropriate size ( which is shown on their playing cards! ).

Another kickstarter extra is the Serpent Priestess. Small in comparison to the other pieces.

And for the last piece is more of a sideshow styled piece. The Rin Farrah model which is actually part of the Speed Circuit faction, but is cosplaying a Noh Empire setting. So with this exclusive piece she can be used in the Noh faction and her skills are pulled from those Esper also. Again, very tiny model in comparison to the rest of the Noh faction, and something that will be very interesting to use. Could make it so that I get more ranged support that is lacking with this force.

And the final piece for the Noh faction is actually not for the Relic Knights game itself, but actually something for the Super Dungeon Explorer game ( that I have yet to build/paint/play ) and can be a mini-boss 16 bit level. Most likely he will get paint first only cause he is only 2 pieces, Body/Hand, and quite straight forward.

So this is the models for the Noh faction that I have received so far.

My overall thinking about it though is one that is of 2 minds. I mean this was expected to be delivered in May of 2013. Or in 2013 in general. But due to passing back and forth the responsibilities between Soda Pop and CMON, many issues occurred, and many delays were experienced. The quality of the casts was never known. And some of the sculpts did not turn out like the concept art ( though very limited here in the Noh faction I am glad to see! ).

My biggest problem is now is it something that I want to paint and play? My gaming habits and style has changed radically over the past 2 yrs since purchasing it. And I have even changed countries already and had to go through the headache of making sure that my new country, let alone address, was updated correctly.

The upside is that there are some nice sculpts here. The pieces are better than I expected ( but better than Sedition Wars isn't saying much ), but at least I can see myself painting these sooner than I do with Sedition Wars. And I think the value of what I got vs what I spent so far is worth it ( especially for the Noh Faction ). Let's see how they go when I put them onto the painting bench though.

The next set will focus on the Doctrine Faction, and then the rules/extras that I received alongside this whole set. Stay tuned!


  1. That is some serious eye candy Mr Lee, i'm looking forward to seeing the Doctrine Faction.

    1. Doctrine is up tomorrow.. though I cannot say you will be as impressed with them as the Noh Empire. ;) Just saying..

  2. Looks like you have enough for now! Should keep you busy for a while.

    1. This is half... sad to say... will show the rest tomorrow.. now to hope that the other KSs take a while before they show up ;) Which I think is a safe bet anyways :D

  3. I look forward to see your painted ones, in due time...


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