When you gaze into the Abyss

With the recent release of the Seas of Dread expansion for Armada, two new fleets were released.  First was the Trident Realm (for which STLs are being released on the Mantic Vault TOMORROW (August 1st), and now comes the Abyssal Dwarfs!

The official release date was July 24th, less than two weeks before Gencon!  I asked if there was any way I could pay for Fedex shipping so that I could get them in time to have them for my Learn to Play Armada events at Gencon.  Instead they offered to send me a fleet so I could get it ready in time for Gencon (even though I had the fleet deal on order already (and, as I expected, it still hasn't arrived via Royal Mail)).  Unfortunately there was a mispack and I got a booster fleet, but even still they sent another shipment with the starter fleet that arrived on Friday, so I have Abyssal Dwarfs to premier in just three days!

Of course the starter has not only the cards for the three ships, but also the fleet rules AND the magic cards (a unique spell and the spellbook card).
Amazingly, the Mantic Companion was updated almost immediately - so people can start building their fleets even before they get the models.  Not only that, but the companion can now print out cards as well (though I don't like the format of these as much as the actual cards).

However it isn't the cards that you came here to see - it is the new models!

Unlike their do-gooder southern cousins, the Abyssal Dwarfs largest ship is a Large (and they do not have an extra large ship), but like them one of the medium size main battle ships is close to the other fleets large ship.  (They are similar to the Twilight Kin that way (who also do not have an XL ship)).

And that is the Angkor (all of the ships are directly named for units in the Kings of War army list).  The Angkor is the big mortar - so that is what is at the center of this ship - a HUGE mortar.  (Back in KoW 1st edition my Angkor was known to turn an entire regiment of cavalry to dust (they were (un)dead already) before they even moved (when you get a hit with blast(3D6) and Piercing(3) you can take out ANY regiment with one lucky hit (of course they are horribly nerfed much more balanced now)).

Assembly is very straight forward - the only thing to watch out for are the smoke stacks - they point FORWARD (of course I had to remove them and redo them as I put them on backward the first time).

I have used GW Contrast paints on my ships in the past (now I am using Army Builder speed paints), so I picked up some of the new Speed Paints 2.0 metallics (Broadsword Silver, Talos Bronze and Brazen Copper) to give them a try.  I wasn't so sure at first because they go over a white primer - which felt a bit bright for metals. but a Strong Tone wash afterward helped with that.

The second ship is the Infernox

Of course as I'm cropping the pictures I realized that I missed a bit on the back, and painting the edge of the base BEFORE I did the white drybrush for the waves didn't help, as I needed to go back and redo those edges (but I have a whole day tomorrow before I have to pack up and drive to Indianapolis).

Finally was the small support ship, the Katsuchan.  Which of course is a rocket launcher.

I really like the huge drive mechanisms on the sides of all the ships.  But the ships just felt a bit smaller than I expected.  But very nicely detailed!

Of course I couldn't ignore the booster box, even if it wasn't what I needed for my events.

This includes an Angkor (as above), another medium support ship, and two more small ships (because again like the dwarfs, they do not have squadrons).

So the Decimator

The Blacksouls are the small support ships.

I'm still waiting for my Hellfane and fliers (which I expect will arrive WHILE I'm at Gencon).

As I mentioned, these are very detailed models, but seem a little small.  So I did some side by side shots with the equivalent ships from their beardy brethren.

Comparing the fleets - the Dwarfs are more boxy and bulky - the Abyssal Dwarfs simply look like they are more works of art not just functional.  More importantly, they are completely and stylistically different.  I haven't tried them on the table yet, but the new Hellforged Engines can make them very maneuverable at the cost of taking damage.  We'll just have to see how they do this weekend at Gencon.

And in case you didn't know, I'm heading to the best four days of gaming in just a couple more days.

Because it is all fun and games . . .