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The Most Important Conspiracy Theory You haven't Heard...

Ok, so... I wrote this before I wrote the review, but posted the review before I posted this. Yes- I'm an idiot. No, I'm not ret-conning the posts flow.

It's ok... It'll all work out in the end. Best to embrace our Crayola moments, and just chug happily along until the end of the line.

Anyway... The post as I originally intended... Enjoy.

Today, I was getting ready to write this very script/post, and while doing my research to bring up the old kickstarter I’m going to reference, I stumbled on another kickstarter for the same product that I wanted to have back in 2013 when it went live.

Suffice to say, I’m a moron and I jumped in because HARDSUITS!

All that to say that the pull of the design is still there all these years later. I will do a follow up to those as they are legit (in more ways than one). In any case, there is a story that brings me to this juncture in my life, and I feel that it needs told both as a warning to those backing things on Kickstarter (like you need warnings, but maybe some of you do) and as a tale of how something so nebulous as a failed kickstarter can propel a person into a life they’d never thought of.

So, sit back, and continue reading or listening- whichever you are currently doing.

It’s 2013. I’ve fallen out of love with GW as the story line is just too dark for me, and I’ve sold off my entire Space Marine collection to purchase a rifle (her name’s Marie in case you’re wondering). I’m writing fan fiction material for a little company called Defiance Games, and I have a small collection of their UAMC Marines. They’re not the best figures on the planet, but they are cool, and I really like building figures and playing games. Their Alien Wars game is actually fun, has a neat reaction system, and the models are all proudly made in the United States.

They keep hinting at their next major release- the UAMC Hardsuits. Think of Terminators, but for regular human beings. All of their contributors to the forum are stoked- as in VERY stoked. We want us some Hardsuits- one of my biggest and baddest stories is about Hardsuits getting some on an airless mining colony. The kickstarter for the Hardsuits goes live. 686 of us pledged over $46,000 dollars to bring this idea to fruition. We’re all in- chomping at the bit for some powered armor toys- and in early 2014 the last update is posted, and none of us- not one- receives what we pledged to support.

We lose our cash. We lose our desire to support Defiance Games, and Defiance Games goes the way of the dodo (or more accurately the lemming by jumping off a cliff never to be seen again). It was sad times for many of us. One of the backers hand sculpted his own rendition of the Hardsuits and I bought some off of him (I can’t let such an effort go to waste), and we worked together a little to bring a variation of the suit to market for a short time as a Contemptor sized walker (I still have five of the models I cast from the 3D printed masters- they really are quite cool). None sold, and the only ones that exist are the ones in my collection and the ones I cast and sent to Dmytri as payment for the 3D printed masters. The molds exist, and in time, I may make some more.

And with that, our collective dreams of heavily armored support style suits for what amounts to Imperial Guard Formations dies an inglorious death. We resign ourselves to the reality that we will never see these come to life, and move on with our lives.

Kinda- I mean, I did get the .stl files, so my dreams ARE becoming a reality. Also- it led me down a long path that has yet to terminate to create my own miniatures for sale. Which is what this is about- so let me continue.

I mentioned the hand cast larger versions of the suits, well, I also cast Battlestar Galactica themed vessels for sale on Ebay, as well as a 28mm truck. The ships sold pretty well. Not great, but well. And for a while I had a hobby that was on the verge of turning into a business. Problem was, the way the production went was time consuming, and didn’t make enough to do much more than buy supplies and expand my selection. Production never got faster, and the price point I was charging couldn’t supplement or replace my job.

Where am I going with all this? Simple- starting a business that makes toys for adults (that came out weird, but you’ll have to deal) is tough. Finding the market, getting your wares exposure so people will buy them- it’s hard work. And when you hand cast everything by yourself, it’s ten times harder. I needed a better way.

And so I decided to pursue machining as a result. Cut my own molds, get an injection molding machine- make toys. Seemed a reasonable thing to do.

All these years later, and I still haven’t accomplished this goal. I have put stuff online for sale- mainly upgrade sets for kits that are already produced, but nothing totally mine just yet. And now I’m pursuing a degree in engineering. All this from a failed Kickstarter for a bunch of glorified toy soldiers.

And all because I realized one thing when this all went down back in 2014. You can’t trust anyone to give you what you want- except yourself. And sometimes other people- see those Hardsuit .stls.

It also gave me an appreciation for the work that the guys at Defiance went through to fail in the first place. In time I would contact Tony, the originator of Defiance Games, and have some interesting correspondence with him. In the end, the feelings I felt would wither and die, and I would come to forgive what had happened. However, this feeling would still be there, operating in the background when I saw things that reminded me of Defiance.

Now, to be honest, there is some inside baseball that I know that allows me to make the connections I’m about to make. And to be perfectly transparent, I have ZERO issues with the company that may or may not be influenced by one Tony. That being said, the similarities are quite astounding when we look at them. So, take all this with a grain of salt, and realize from the outset that I do support Wargames Atlantic, and look forward to purchasing more stuff from them in the future. They make great kits- and they span a wide range of topics- please go check them out.

Now, on with my analysis. Tony’s first company was Wargames Factory. Some of you may be familiar with them. They’re the same company that helped Mark Mandragon get his Iron Core line out the first time. They made a slew of really awesome miniatures that were high quality, well scaled, and sold at an excellent price point. If you know what you’re looking at, you’ll know that the Zombies for Warlord Games’ “Project-Z” game are, in fact, Wargames Factory zombies. The survivors too come from the same line. Currently more spendy than the originals, they are the same sculpts and molds. I’ve owned both zombie sets, and I can attest that they are very good quality. Not sure if they are being made in Europe now, or in China as before. Either way, Wargames Factory survives in a way, and Tony was the start of that company.

According to Tony, he was thrust out of Wargames Factory by what amounted to a hostile takeover. I never did find out if it was instigated by the tender loving embrace of a certain communist government, but it really wouldn’t surprise me. Either way, he founded Defiance Games as a direct result. In fact, the companies name is a big FU to the people who kicked him out. And the way that he was taking the company was similar to how Wargames Factory was going- varied figure lines for all sorts of collectors. If you look at the logos for the two companies, you can see the similarities.

Everything seems the same.

Which is where my feeling that Wargames Atlantic is either A) heavily influenced by one Tony or B) run by people who were a part of Tony’s two companies. Just because one guy is the head of two companies doesn’t mean he came up with all the ideas.

When I first saw the company’s website, logo, and offerings, it reminded me of Wargames Factory. And given that their stuff was made in China, I had a VERY strong feeling that many of the people involved with the previous two companies were involved with this new company. Again, the logos are similar, as are the product lines. Even the name is similar- Wargames Factory, Wargames Atlantic.

History doesn’t repeat, but it certainly does rhyme. I recall someone saying something like that… Wonder who….

Anyway, I had initial misgivings, even if the wares looked awesome. The first kit I got was the WWI Germans (prior to figuring out they were made in China). I was looking at making a Krieg army and I liked how they played. But, $50-80 for a single squad of guard was a bit much to stomach. So I bought a box of the Germans for $35 and got thirty. Good value, wanted to see what this new company could do.

And wasn’t disappointed. Sure, the models didn’t come with bases, but the quality was there right alongside the value. Ok, I thought, get your asses back stateside, and let’s start buying your stuff- even if you are run by Tony.

But I'm getting sidetracked- there's more "evidence" supporting my thesis that Tony is the progenitor of WGA. I had mentioned similarities in product offerings- but there are some definite rhymes going on that just have to be called out. Which also brings me full circle to the UAMC Marines and the short lived Hudson Bugs.

It's far easier to see the direct line between the Hudson Bugs and the Harvesters- but that echo of the UAMC is visible within the Ooh-Rah! figures (right down to the short sleeves). I really should buy a box or two and do a review on those to compare them to the few UAMC Marines I still have. My guess is that they rhyme really nicely. I mean- how close do you have to be with all the various pieces of evidence to see the line between the three companies?

I can't say for certain that Wargames Atlantic is operated by Tony, or that perhaps it was just people who saw what he was doing and thought, "Hell yeah." Or maybe there are a couple ex-employees of Defiance Games or Wargames Factory that went off on their own to conquer the mini-market. I feel there is a connection somewhere, but as to how that connection can be made I'm not sure. Either way, they're doing great work bringing awesome sets to market at a price point that makes all of us cheapskates happy, and I really do support what they're up to.

I'm entering a stage in my life where physical games are more important than table top games- I've ventured into the wacky and fun world of Airsoft/milsim with no aim to stop- and as such haven't had the time or funds to support my old plastic addiction. That being said, I've got my eyes on a nice army of The Damned as well as a support force for my Eisenkern of Ooh-Rah! figures that can clash on my wargames table. I may even have to get some of those pesky Harvester bugs. You know... For sport.

Anyway, I know this post is niche as hell, and most people aren't going to give two hoots for it. That's fine. Conspiracy theories aren't what people want to read anyway. They want reviews, and political gotchas nowadays. Some reinforcement of their beliefs, that kind of thing. Which I have no issue with providing, though I am currently rethinking HOW I go about doing it. Got some feedback that I'm taking seriously for once.

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Until next time. Buy Wargames Atlantic minis. Support their endeavors and keep your dice rolling.

Battle Specter, out.

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