Friday, October 15, 2010

An update from Victrix

Victrix have cleared up where they are at on various projects from their announcement:

This is just a quick update to keep you informed of our current production schedule.
We are a bit behind on our release date for the Old Guard Chasseurs at present and the 2 sets of French 54mm, Grenadiers and Voltigeurs. We were expecting the Chasseurs to be out in September but we had a few unavoidable delays during the summer months. We are currently a week or two away from getting test shots of the Chasseurs and 54mm test shots should be following a few weeks after that. We think mid November will be a realistic release time for the Chasseurs and late November for the 54mm.

These delays have had an inevitable knock on effect with the release dates of the Greek Hoplites and the Austrians. The Greeks wont be out this side of Christmas, we are looking at getting them out as soon as possible in January. The Austrians are next in the queue after the Greeks but no firm date yet. Disappointing news I know for all of you have been waiting eagerly for the Greeks to be released. Even more disappointing for us! But rest assured they are being released and they will be some great sets, full of character and positional options.

We will be showing off some pictures of the Austrians next week. The sets are looking great and we can’t wait for these to be released, Bob Naismith has done a really lovely job on these miniatures.
There will be 4 initial releases for the Austrians.

1)      Austrians in Helmets. These can be used from 1805 to 1809
2)      Austrians in shakos. These can be used from 1806 to 1815
3)      Austrian Grenadiers. 1805 to 1815
4)      Austrian Landwehr. These are in Corsican hats and can be used for the Volunteer battalions, Landwehr and Militia of 1809 to 1814.

These sets have a battalion of 36 in a box plus a plastic mounted field officer and flags. We have chosen to do these in March attack poses and have a nice balance between easy assembly whilst retaining the options for adding character to your units.

We will look at Hungarians in future releases.

We are currently working on the metal Command packs for Russian Grenadiers and Pavlovski command plus flag sheets for the Russians

Being positive about things for a moment, the Austrian specs. sound very good, covering the mid/late period, there is I am sure a huge demand for 1806-1815 Austrians, I certainly will build an entire army if they release them. Line, Grenadiers and Landwehr are a good start but we need more, much more, cavalry, artillery etc. but good to hear at least Hungarians are planned though how many years in the future? Not much to say on Chasseurs,we have seen the Grenadiers early in the year and these are just really a variant of those, a good set, excellent sculpts one of the best infantry sets to date.

It's also good to see that Victrix have heard people's views on the 'assembly' issue but are still trying to seek a balance between speed of assembly and customization, hopefully they will steer clear of the WG style 'one piece' design but I think two or three piece is fine.

However I guess reading between the lines we shouldn't expect the Austrians until June next year and Victrix are just so horribly unfocused you wonder if you start building an army with them will much of it ever appear.

Example, for 6 month's now we have been waiting for a limber team to accompany their British Artillery set but to no avail, and I for one will not buy even one set of their's until they do have the team available. Tell me just how much and how long does it take to produce 6 horses and two riders ? If they hadn't produced the limber I wouldn't be complaining but they did and it makes the current set a 50% waste of money and leaves a lot of existing customers well and truly stuffed. I will admit a couple of month's back I did consider having someone sculpt the team for me but that's shear madness! How can anyone have faith in the Victrix line if you are just going to produce bits of units and then move on to something else and maybe leave people with half complete units for several years.

Last xmas I bought some of their 54mm British, I thought it would make for an interesting skirmish game, and they spoke about producing 54mm version for all their sets going forward, so I waited for the 'opposition' and waited and waited, now here we are 12 months later the second set finally appears and my Brits are still packed in their box, I would sell them but I doubt they are worth the postage, I have long since lost interest in this project and faith in Victrix so I won't be buying the new set.

How can you release some early Russians infantry one moment and then the next moment announce you are working on late Austrians, and in so doing dash any hope on seeing an expansion to the range for at very least a couple of years. Even though I think early Russians were the wrong choice in the first place having done so they should be expanding that range to at least enable you to build a viable force, I can only see them shooting themselves in the foot in just releasing a random and unconnected unit every 6 month or so.

It would be different if the figures were compatible with other ranges but they are not really compatible with either Foundry or Front Rank style figures, these small 28mm Napoleonics of Perry, Victrix, and WG are only compatible with each other and as such it makes it important that a range is coherent with at least some cavalry and artillery early on, otherwise people wont buy the infantry as they have nothing to make up an army to play with.  Just look at WG, they release something and very quickly there are 'add ons' available and you know they are hard at work trying to round out the range as quickly as possible

But not Victrix, hopeless is the word that springs to mind when I think of Victrix these days!

What makes all this so frustrating is that the work that Victrix does release is so good, really excellent sculpts and well executed in plastic. If this was Wargames Factory I wouldn't care, their quality is by and large so poor that you wouldn't want to buy it anyway but that isn't the case with Victrix, you actually do want to buy their stuff, your just put off buy the way the company apparently runs it's business.

I know it can't be easy establishing a new business and there must be reasons for them doing what they do but I can't see it, and I don't think they are making the best use of the obviously limited resources they have in hand.

The only hope is that they some day see the light....

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