22 January 2012

By Fire & Sword: Polish Dragoons box review

My order of "By Fire and Sword" miniatures arrived this Friday so expect a lot of posts related to that game over the next couple of weeks. I will make a review of each box separately (Dragoons, Winged Hussars, Cossack style cavalry and Pancerni cavalry) - but they are essentially all the same in terms of packaging and quality from what I could see.

I decided to begin with the Polish Dragoons since this is my only infantry unit at the moment and it contains both mounted and dismounted miniatures - which would be perfect to show how both types look and paint up. Also the rules for Dragoons and the artwork was quite intriguing, but don't worry all the pretty cavalry units will follow shortly :-)

This is how the boxed sets look like, they have both text in Polish and English on front and back, describing the unit and box contents. There are also a number of "blisters" in the range, and they come in the typical hard transparent plastic container.
The box is made out of hard cardboard, and has foam pieces stuck to the top and bottom keeping the contents in place.

Infantry, riders and cavalry are separated in zip bags, you also get metal bases for the unit stands, banner poles/lances/spears and unit banners.

Quality of the sculpts is very nice roughly 4-5 poses on the troops with unit commanders having a unique look/pose. The metal itself of decent strength, neither too hard to make it hard to trim, neither too soft to bend easily. But you should be careful with the sword hilts and other stuff - which are all perfectly cast but quite thin. I could not see any horse, rider och infantry figure in this first box to have any defects due to bad casting.
As far as mould lines go, there were fine mould lines on all models but nothing that you could not trim away by one stroke of the hobby knife.

The molded bases are a bit thick but not as crazy thick as Battlefront infantry bases. I managed to mask the bases by applying 2 layers of sand instead of 1 onto the base. I tend to avoid using modeling putty and such as I am too impatient.

The horses have great size, they are actually as big and imposing as real horses would be, seemed to be 3-4 variations of sculpts on the horses - none of which was completely static (standing still).

I asked what the deal was with the metal bases provided with the boxed sets (and which can also be bought loose) from Wargamer, the answer I got was that the metal bases were used with magnets for easy transportation between games. It does sound like a clever idea - but I thought really long and hard about all the pro's and con's of metal bases and could not really convince myself to use them. As such I will be using alternative bases of the same dimensions.

Lastly the flags, you get flags with all boxed sets, the Winged Hussars also get pennants for their lances. The flags are based on historical sources according to the notes, and they are the same company banners that are used in the Order of Battle of the By Fire and Sword rulebook. Beside looking very nice the flags are actually stickers, that you cut out and then double fold and shape into desired look, so no need to use glue or anything like that.

All in all I'm quite impressed. With the metal bases, brass poles for lances/spears/banner poles and sheet with flags the price tag seem to be quite reasonable. The contents of each box also match how the units and companies are built in the rules. So you do get "complete blocks" of cavalry and infantry, making it easy to plan your purchases and army building.

Stay tuned for some painted Dragoons, and more By Fire and Sword reviews!
And if you have not checked it out yet, the  3 part rulebook review for this game and these models can be found in the "By fire and sword category".
Models are bought straight from the Polish store "Wargamer", on their site you can also find alternative retailers such as Frontline Games. More information on where to buy these models can be found by clicking on the "Wargamer" banner. The "Wargamer" site can be toggled to be in English.

Additional information

"Wargamer, producer of 'By Fire and Sword' ruleset,  created special email address for all enquiries about their game in English. If You have any questions in regards to 'By Fire and Sword' game, rules or minis please write to:
and we will answer asap."

And also - make sure to check out fellow blogger "Yori" and his By Fire and Sword blog for awesome pictures of painted models and AAR's. His blog is both in Polish and English: http://yori-hobby.blogspot.com/


  1. Looking good!
    I wonder though, why they have translated the name of the game as "By Fire ..." instead of "With Fire ...", which seems to be the standard translation of the Sienkiewicz's work ...

  2. Because sense of original title in Polish means 'By Fire and Sword' not 'With Fire and Sword' ;)

  3. Great review. I am impressed with By Fire&Sword miniatures and rules (great rules indeed).

    "By Fire and Sword" is a better translation. More accurate.

    For more bF&S photos:


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