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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Battlefront's Train Tracks

For a long time, my battlefields have sorely lacked any sort of rail road tracks.  Why is this?  Because I am lazy.  I hate making terrain, and if I have to go above and beyond to do some custom modeling- forget it.  Battlefront's pre-painted train tracks came like mana from heaven, descending triumphantly while a voice boomed "THESE TRACKLESS BOARDS WILL NOT STAND!"

The box itself is much smaller than the picture implies.  The foam inside is sturdy, which was great- it means I can keep the box for storing the tracks when not in use.  As for the contents, it's pretty straightforward (no pun intended): 8 12" straight track pieces.

Honestly there's not much to say about the pre-paints that the pictures don't already say.  The pre-painting is very nice.  Up to a high painting standard (especially for pre-paints).  The quality of the material is great- flexible yet sturdy.  There's truly nothing not to like about the tracks themselves- they look great.  For our first game with them I literally ripped the cellophane off the box, pulled them out, admired them for a second, then laid them down before rolling dice 2 minutes later.

Alright I know what you're thinking.  Get "straight" to the point.  Sorry for the puns, I'm feeling saucy!  No curved sections?  So the obvious major drawback here is that there is no variety in the set.  This is pretty serious considering the rules for laying train tracks absolutely require the ability to curve around certain terrain features.  I do like these tracks a lot, but until curved pieces come out they're just terrain.

So to round out the review, I just can't find anything not to like about the tracks themselves.  Taken for what they are the tracks are very good and a good value.  But the lack of any curved sections, or even a promise that curved sections are to come, is a pretty big detriment to these guys.  I do really like the look of them and the price is right, so hopefully curved sections are quick to follow.  But in game terms, the main reason I'd want these tracks are to fit my armored train.  But They don't really fit that bill with no ability to curve around hills.  So, for now I'll say these are great terrain, but not yet a good game option.  Once curved sections come out, there won't be any reason for armored train owners not to own these- so hopefully those are on the short to do list!

update 1/26: There are quite a few alternatives to this track that come pre-painted, usually all resin, that have a more robust offering.  Until BF release curved sections, it's hard to buy into these when using the Flames of War Rules.  I do like them, and I like how sturdy they are, but I think it's worth investigating some places like Armaments in Miniature, and Total System Scenics.

8/10 BP44 Trains
In a recent game


Vertrucio said...

Have they even said they'll be making a curved set? Because if they want me to buy the straight set, I need to know if I can get a matching curved set to go with it.

cbaxter said...

thats what i would want is a curved set

Anatoli said...

Just seems weird to only release straight sections...

Phil Gardocki said...

What terrain effects would the tracks count as? I imagine a bog check for vehicles, and I can see cover for foot that is at the edge of the feature.

Vertrucio said...

Actually, unless they have a set definition for V3, in the current rules, train tracks are cross country.

However, there is an optional rule to use them as difficult, requiring a bog check, but only if they have an embankment. There also some other optional rules that the embankment is bulletproof cover and units can be concealed behind it.

I'm assuming that if you decide to place tracks down as terrain instead of using the train, then it's safe to use them as a bog check.

However, if I'm using the armored train, it can be a bit unfair to allow the train player to place down a table long bog check at whim, so whenever I break out my armored train we do not use the terrain rules for the tracks.

The Lord of Excess said...

Cool yet outrageously expensive as almost all gale force nine and battlefront stuff is. I can just buy HO scale train track ... if someone really wants to bust out tape measures and do scale conversion calculations ... ya. But for people that anal they probably aren't even playing FoW which is the "warhammer" of historical games anyway. For about 10 bucks I can get N or HO scale track (hell I could probably even buy actual TT scale). Mount it flock it and be done ... have switches, curves what the hell ever I wanted. For an extreme fraction of what Gf9 is charging. I'm done giving these guys a free pass ... GW is gouging .. GF9 is gouging and so is Battlefront. I love FoW, I'll keep buying the rules ... but other than that I'll either make my terrain or look elsewhere ... same with the models. Plastic Soldier, Zvenda, PoC, etc. etc. all just as good at far lower prices.

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