Monday, 7 August 2017

Conclave of Har Product Review: Puppet Wars Resin Magnetized Wound Counters

So with the advent of Eighth Edition one thing has become an absolute necessity, no I don’t mean the Indexes (which are rapidly being FAQed out of relevance, nor do I mean specialised movement gadgets or objectives. (Both of which I’ll review in another Article) I mean WOUND COUNTERS!

Yep, that’s right, in 8th EVERYTHING has wounds, and most of it has more wounds. Characters wounds went up and now Vehicles have wounds. With Superheavies packing well over twenty wounds and a Stompa having FORTY!

So how do you track these wounds? Well GW would have you use their special D10s. In all honesty I found these the very worst option. They get knocked over far too easily to another value and you have to remember what they initially said, which lets be honest, is kind of what you are trying NOT to have to do in the first place.

Another option! Write them all down on paper or on your roster. Yes you could do but this book keeping is kind of what we are trying to get away from and some things can recover wounds (regeneration, Techpriests, Living Metal) so it could be a lot of crossing out and easy to make a mistake as you look at the scribbled mess you have made.

Ok, so it’s back to physical representation then. Tokens? Well, they are ok for small amount of wounds I guess but will soon get unwieldy when you are trying to track the damage on a 28 wound Wraithknight. Erm, how about REALLY SMALL dice, those aren’t knocked over quite so easily. This is true but they are light and can easily fall off a tank or base and unless you want lots of dice on there it’s hard to track high numbers. They are also fiddly to place if you have sausage fingers.

Normal sized D6s then? Ok, easier to place, take up more space though and you still need 9 to track a Stompa's wounds, but normal dice have one MASSIVE drawback, especially if you play against me. I’ll pick them up and roll them. EVERY. DAMN. TIME. They just aren’t practical.

So it was up to someone else to come up with a solution. Thankfully it didn’t take long and Puppet Wars swiftly produced a series of resin trackers that were magnetized so they could spin and track wounds.  Wonderful! They made one for single digit tracking and one for up to 99 wounds (nothing has more than that just yet)

I ordered one set of each immediately. And waited.

And waited and waited... Man  Puppet Wars are NOT fast, it took them over two weeks to pick up and ship my order. These things must be popular. It must be said that once they WERE sent they arrived pretty quickly but be prepared to wait if you do order some. Still I got them at last and checked them out, after all they had to be reviewed.

And it must be said they are pretty nifty. Well designed and good looking. I would have to challenge the quality of the resin used, there were more than a few bubbles and in a couple of cases this caused a very minor amount of damage. As these are just for tracking wound’s I’m not so bothered but if it had actually been a model I think I would have been more annoyed. Had enough of bubbles with finecast.

Still, other than that they were fine. A fair bit of cleaning up to do but no deal breaker, they also come with all the magnets you need for assembly (which may explain the relatively high cost) and are straightforward to assemble, although there are a couple of places you could slip up so lets cover those now real quick.

The dials numbered 1-10 are for the SINGLE counters the ones 0-9 are for the doubles. Yeah i know it’s common sense but I just put all the bits in a pile and put them together from there, not the best option, don’t do that!

Secondly, polarity. The magnets that Puppet Wars provide are STRONG. Really good quality neodymium magnets, so strong that even after assembly you can pick up one wound tracker with another. You won’t actually even need to use them all, but we’ll get to that in a sec. If you try to match up the polarity before your superglue has fully dried then you WILL just rip the magnet straight out again. I actually found the best way to do the single ones was to glue the magnet into the housing and then you can actually check the polarity from the other side through the resin to ensure your dial has the magnet facing the right way.

With the double number ones you really just need to make sure that the numbers line up correctly so you don’t have one upside down. I forgot but somehow by sheer luck and perhaps the Emperor’s  guidance they all lined up anyway.  When it comes to the magnets you would normally use four, one for each dial and then one for each side of the housing. I actually found that the magnets are so strong that you only need a magnet in one side of the housing (which gives you less chance to screw up the polarity!) and the Dials will grip just fine. For the record I did try using NO magnets in the housing and while the magnets in the dials ARE strong enough to hold the dials together through the resin they were a little looser that I would have liked and i decided against it. Still, free magnets! My Knight weapons thank you Puppet Wars.

Once cleaned the resin takes paint just fine and then it is up to you what you want to do with them. I’ve opted for something a bit different and used Black light paint! Works pretty well too, (see pic)

So overall impressions:

They are a great product, they do their job superbly, are well designed and really look the part. On the down side the quality is slightly subpar and they are by far the most expensive option (about 30 Euros for 5 single and 5 double markers.) However they are so superior to all the other options that we explored above that I do actually think that they are worth it, the 20 magnets that are supplied alone would cost a fair bit. In addition PW have now produced a variety of designs so you have even more choice.

Check them out here:

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