Monday 31 May 2021

Kings of War: Water Elementals

Ironically we had a one in a hundred year flood event just as these Water Elementals arrived on the  painting schedule. Fortunately there was no damage where I live, but some of my staff had to be evacuated.

Water Elementals appear in both Trident Realm and Forces of Nature (both of which I have), though a few other armies also have access to them. These are Mantic models.

I wasn't really sure how to paint these, but in the end ended up going with successively lighter dry brushing with mixes of with Vallejo Magic Blue, Sky Blue, White, and some Blue Ink Wash. This turned out well enough I think.

Elementals were available back in earlier Warhammer Fantasy days, the models looking like this. I think the Wind Elemental was the best of the designs. They were removed from Warhammer at the same time as Slann were after 3rd edition.

This is the old Games Workshop Water Elemental sculp, pretty anthropomorphic from the waist up. 

Here's a closer look at the Mantic versions, which have less of a human in a skirt look, and more of a watery sploosh look to them.

These are metal models, not yet having changed to resin unfortunately. Therefore they are quite heavy and will need good storage and transport! Also more prone to chipping, so won't be getting any more of them unless they make them in resin.

I painted them up as two regiments which can also be combined to make a single  horde. 

As can be seen they have little details like fish and an octopus in them. There are three different models in each horde and I removed some for the details so they all looked a bit different.

My favourite model is the Greater Water Elemental though. A very imposing model and fortunately it also resin!

All water elementals are pretty tough and fast, plus they regenerate damage and ignore terrain penalties. They are shambling though so need a surge caster to get the best out of them.

Details on this one include the broken frame of an old boat and tentacles, plus a rope and anchor on the other side.

And lastly next to a human size Riverguard Sentinel to show the size.

Saturday 29 May 2021

The Riverguard Deep reinforcements

Some last additions to my Riverguard Deep Army. Bringing the total to 3000 points here are some giant frog swarms and a fourth Froghemoth!

For swarms I found these "mini-frogs", which turned out to fit the bases perfectly as a giant frog swarm (counting as "Tidal Swarm's").  Cheap chaff units to get in the enemies way and be annoying.  They are not that fast except that they get to jump forward with their 10 inch scout move before turn  one, plus they are Nimble.  They also have ensaring (-1 to hit them if charging from their front) same as all the other Frog units. This makes them slightly more resilient, though opponents will be wounding them on 2+ if they hit.

These are cheap models (about $1 each NZ), but quite good quality sculpts. They are cast in that annoying rubbery plastic which it is hard to trim mold lines off. A sharp craft knife blade does the trick though, and the lines are not that bad in any case.

Here they are with the Riverguard Sentinel for size comparison. Being height one they are easy to see over too and so won't block charges from my Riverguard.

And lastly the new Froghemoth, the mother of all Froghemoths... An even crazier model if that is possible. I don't like it quite as much as the other ones, and it is less poseable compared to them. However, you are allowed four Froghemoths at 3000 points so thought I'd add this huge Momma Froghemoth for big games! :)

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Sunday 23 May 2021

The Riverguard Deep

It is done, my new Kings of War Trident Realm Riverguard Army is finished. 2500 points of frogs!

This army was inspired by the new Mantic Riverguard models. These have a great look to them, with more 'realistic' proportions and equipment  (if that's possible), that I prefer to other currently in production fantasy frog offerings. I had a few Warhammer Slaan figures (see here for example of these)  many years ago, and always wanted this 'ancient amphibian' style army. But they were written out of that game, and then the game itself was then written out of existence (though some commendable fan efforts continue).  In any case, I'm very glad this new imagining of a classic fantasy trope has been created.

While these excellent Mantic Riverguard figures make up most of the army, I also took the opportunity to go 'full frog', by adding some D&D Slaad and Froghemoths to represent Depth Horrors and Kraken respectively. More pics of everything below!

For colour pallet I experimented far more than I usually do in order to come up with something I was happy with, and felt was appropriate to the ancient alien feel of this realm.  In the end I deliberately restrained the selection to a variety of greens, plus earthy browns, yellow ochre (for contrast), bone, stone and bronze, with an occasional splash of pink for mouths.

Colours were the following, which I list here as much so I can recreate it in the future if needed as for any other reason!

  • RiverGuard Flesh: GW Moot Green washed with Vallejo Green Ink and highlighted with Moot Green.
  • Dambuster Frogs: Vallejo Black Green, drybrushed with Vallejo Deep Green, washed with Army Painter Strong Tone Wash, drybrushed with Vallejo Intermediate Green.
  • Depth Horrors: Vallejo Black Green, drybrushed with Vallejo Uniform Green, washed with Army Painter Dark Tone Wash, drybrushed with Uniform Green again, and then Vallejo German Camo Light Green.
  • Froghemoths: Vallejo Deep Green, drybrushed with Vallejo Goblin Green, drybrushed with GW Moot Green, washed with Vallejo Green Ink, drybrushed with Moot Green.
  • Shields: Vallejo Refractive Green, drybrushed with mix of Refractive Green and Ochre Brown.
  • Brown: Vallejo Leather Brown, highlighted with Bestial Brown. Wash with Army Painter Strong Tone Ink.
  • Yellow Ochre: Vallejo Ochre Brown, highlighted with Vallejo Yellow Ochre.
  • Stone: Vallejo Azure, drybrushed with Vallejo Pale Grey Blue
  • Bronze: Vallejo Bright Bronze, washed with Vallejo Strong Tone Wash.
  • Pink: Vallejo Warlock Purple Crimson highlighted with Vallejo Squid Pink, washed with Army Painter Softtone wash.

Army Unit Review

First up the Riverguard TreeLeapers. These are metal models that require quite some assembly, but I think they look great and worth the bother.  I have painted up two regiments and two troops (so far). With the two handed weapon upgrade packs it was challenging even to fit a dozen models on the base. They would be an absolute nightmare to rank up if not multibased. Even multibasing was something of a jigsaw puzzle!

I prefer that models do not overhang the edge of bases, as it can interfere with play by making it hard to position them next to other units, plus it also significantly increases risk of damage to the models. This is especially the case with quite slender models like these Riverguard. Nonetheless they fill up the base nicely and still look like a solid unit, with much animation in the poses.

Riverguard Treeleapers move fast and hit hard, and can jump over enemy units, but like the army as a whole, are also rather fragile... 

Here are the two Troops. These I did with half the models with the javelin quivers in case I want to use them as standard shooting Riverguard rather than TreeLeapers.

Next here are the Riverguard Dambusters, some truly excellent resin models. In game they can hit like a truck, but are also very expensive and not that resilient.

The Mantic box art has the frogs mounts done in red, which looks great and I did also try this at first. However I decided it was out of place with the rest of the theme, so went with this dark green instead.

You get a lot of extra bits with the Riverguard kits, so I converted the left and right models slightly by using some of these. The models cry out to be posed in various stages of leaping, and so I did so.

Theoretically being a horde you should have over three models on the base, but given the huge frog models, and what I said about the footprint of the base, I decided to just add some normal Riverguard models to the base for the other models. These also have large tridents suitable for prodding the frogs forward...

Here's a side profile of the unit showing the size of these models.

And top view.

Next the characters. RiverGuard Sentinel and Riverguard Sentinel Dambuster on the left. The two right models are a D&D Slaad who will be used as a Depth Horror Eternal, and the Reaper Bufo Figure who will probably be used as the special character Ekter to provide some much needed inspiring ability and resilience.

The Bufo figure is appropriately very stout compared to his Riverguard compatriot, so looks like he would not be jumping over any enemy units. This also provides some  justification for the extra Defence Ekter's profile has I guess. Here too are some Poison Frogs (that you get on the Mantic Naiad's Sprue), in case I want to take that upgrade. It's a one use item in the game that gives you Brutal ability for a turn.

Next up the Depth Horrors or Deep Ones. These are D&D Slaad figures from a variety of manufacturers, including some resin prints. I just googled "Slaad miniatures", "Slaad 28mm" and started buying what showed up. As they started arriving from around the globe, I realised there were dramatic variations in size of the models, but this just adds to the chaotic look of these hordes, so I happily just stuck them all together!

Terrifyingly cheap and furious in close combat, though also quite vulnerable to archery and spells.

And here with the Depth Horror Eternal, inspiring them with the promise that if they follow him one day they too shall be able to wear pants.

And lastly the Kraken, represented by D&D Froghemoths. Quite a goofy monster, a mess of frog, tentacle and gaping mouth that was a joke at first, but then became part of D&D lore due to popularity. Much repositioning of tentacles occurred to make the poses different. In Kings of War, a scary  crushing, ensaring, wild charging, regenerating beast. The only thing that could be better than a Kraken is three Kraken.

Likely Bufo/Ekter will have the job of looking after this lot in game... what an honour for him.

So pretty pleased with how these turned out, definitely one of my favourites amongst projects in recent years. I'm looking foward to getting them on the table, including at the local Oamaru Muster event next month.  I also have have many questions about how to use this army effectively. In Kings of War it has many unique but expensive abilities, that will require quite some finesse to use well. Will it hop to honour? Or will it be shot down by Archery, ridden down by Knights, smashed by Giants, and crushed by Dragons? And speaking of Dragons, will it feature on the Death by Dragons community update? :)

Only time will tell, thanks for looking! :)