Let Slip the Rocks of War – Artillery from Alternative Armies

A while back I got my grubby hands on a 28mm torsion catapult from Alternative Armies Fantasy Warlord Range. After sitting in its baggy, I finally get a chance to share my thoughts with you lot.

The assembled example

What is it!?

Surely any gamer worth their salt will have encountered artillery at some point. For those that haven’t, a staple of many a fantasy and historical tables is the torsion catapult. Constructed around a wooden frame, a throwing arm is pulled back under torsion to release a load with height and velocity. Essentially, these are a means of raining death and destruction upon your foes in the form of boulders and such like. I’m pretty sure even flaming cows have been mentioned at some point.

As it would appear in your Artillery special of Autotrader…

Anyhoo, this example from Alternative Armies Fantasy Warlord range is fab. Having been supplied a sample for review I’m not just saying that! First up, it’s very affordable. At just £5 this is a far old chunk of metal and even if it were very simplistic, it’d be worth it. The good news is that it’s pretty well sculpted with plenty of detail. Whilst the lack of of dedicated crew in the pack might not be everyone’s cup of tea it doesn’t bother me particularly as I’ll explain below. Alternative Armies do have some spiffy looking Goblin crew folks to cover you though. Lets get a look at the one I was sent then…

Good clean casting

There’s always a bit of banter these days over painting vs. playing and what does ‘hobby’ mean to everyone. For me, the focus is and probably always will be on playing games. I acknowledge my limits for painting and appreciate the limits of my patience when it comes to assemble and such. I’m sure many of us have purchased some nice looking models only to have to spend an age cleaning them up and then losing several layers of finger to superglue mishaps.

There was very little flash or mould lines observed and any minor bits and pieces were easily removed. No time needed to muck about filling gaps or repairing blemishes. A word of warning for folks though, this build comes with no instructions. I’m not trying to be pithy, it looks and is simple to assemble but I know folks who grumble about lack of assembly instructions for single piece models…

I was pleasantly surprised when conducting a ‘dry fit’ that it stayed together well; being on the chunky side. I believe the building terminology would be ‘solid’. You can see a couple of minor gaps around the upper torsion arms but these are artefacts of the dry fit and not nearly as prominent when fixed in place. Once its undercoated, painted, and on the table I’m not sure it’d be noticeable.

This kit is pegged for use with evil or barbarian style armies. I won’t disagree as it’s solid construction and wheel motifs do have a touch of the chaotic about them. That said though, I think it’d be easily pressed into service in a range of themes given the right paint job.

Artillery with style

Scale wise, its not an imposing piece for 28mm and feels like it’s the right size. I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s fun here but certain companies have gone down the bigger is better route and I find the idea of centrepiece models lost on me when you want to field three or four. I’ll actually be putting this to good use in my return to Warhammer project. I’ve been slowly (very slowly) amassing figures for gaming with older skool flavour. I’ve a particularly fondness for the grumpy short folks with beards. Perhaps owning to my stature, temperament, and choice of facial hair.

Not the usual crew but they’ll do in a pinch.

As you can see from the pic above, the catapult scales wonderfully with these GW dwarves. I’ve got plenty of black powder artillery for them but harking back to earlier editions of Warhammer as well as the plethora of rule sets out there, I wanted to add some grudge throwers. I’ve a bunch of crewmen from a mix of ranges which have been awaiting the right warmachines to get painted up. In this kit from Alternative Armies, I think I’ve found the target!

What do you make of this artillery piece from Alternative Armies? Have you got any examples of painted versions that you want to share? Drop a comment below or join us over on the Facebook page. Be sure to stop over at Alternative Armies web page or see what other gamers are up to with their rules and models at their group.

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