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Ik-tornado

Ratcatchers: a pick up and play review

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So last week I went to the Spring Fling. As I said before on the Anatomical Precision podcast I planned on getting the ratcatchers the morning of the event, since Cincinnati lacks reliable LGS to get products. I ended up going 5-1 and you can hear more about that whenever Mike releases the cast. 

The point of this post however is to review the new OPD approach of allowing unpainted plastics, and that "Christmas day test" SFG is fond of. And spoiler alert: it's excellent.

I've been excited for rats since their rules started rolling out, had planned on getting them at adepticon early release and painting them up by spring fling, but as we all know things happened and the prerelease fell through. Bummer! Fortunately I knew Huzzah Hobbies in Virginia, where the event was being held, was a reputable store and could get things in a timely manner so I placed a pre-order through them from my home 8 hours away.

Friday after work I pack my bags for the weekend. I borrow a Bonesaw (for some reason) and vGraves from my friend who I painted them for earlier in the year, and the only nerd stuff I bring along is my laptop full of half finished final reports, dice, and measuring widgets. 

Saturday morning of the event I bought the Ratcatchers just as planned, start opening the box and filling out my roster. I take some time to admire the improved plastic quality and then the first games are announced and it's to the table we go. We get to the table and set up per normal. The plastic toy holder of the box served as a nice tournament tray, but without room for vGraves and that weird 50mm ball and chain I opted to use my little dice tray per usual. Had I used the box though the space under the toy holder conveniently has enough space to fit all the widgets, dry erase markers, and cards I used. 

Having exactly enough influence in the cardboard tokens was nice. Meant that I could just proof count after popping them out. Influence was a bit smaller than I like, and I'll probably upgrade tokens when I'm somewhere that I can purchase them. That said the cardboard was more convenient than a package of premium tokens unless you also own a tackle box to separate the tokens into types/players. At the end of every game I would pop all of the tokens back into the carboard sheet for maximum convenience (no rifling through the box during set up). I could see the lack of measuring widgets being less than convenient for a 100% new player Christmas day test, but I knew they wouldnt have them included going into it and prefer hard acrylics anyway. 

With each game the cardboard became looser, which never became an issue over 6 games, but long term I could see popping them back in would stop working. I also opted out of using cardboard dials since I own a dry erase markers and 6 sleeves and I think cards provide MUCH cleaner play than apps and dials. The dials were a much tighter fit this time compared to kick off. The tighter fit is a good thing since I could accidentally move the kick off dials when picking them up, while these I would have to intentionally turn. No idea how long they'd stay tight. 

The lack of painting requirements is a god send for my busy college+full time employment life. The plastic quality is better than it's ever been and the consistent improvement sounds good for future releases. I'll still paint them once summer rolls around in a few weeks, but for now and for the purposes of playing a tournament straight from the box it works great. The widely varied sillhouettes of the models made it impossible to mix up who was who.

Overall if the Christmas day new guild baller knows going into it that they need measuring devices and dice they get a good experience. Setup and clean up is super easy and quick by popping tokens back into the sheet. This new approach is brilliant and thanks to SFG for dropping the paint requirements in the OPD so I don't have to either shirk my real life responsibility in order to paint, or be stuck playing boring old Corsair again.

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