Friday, December 31, 2010

We The Undead

I'll be posting in the next week or so about the recent game of Armies of Arcana that Des and I played (my first miniatures game in over 18 months!) and my planned 2011 miniatures project, but in the meantime I wanted to take a couple posts to share pictures of the fantasy armies I finally finished painting in 2010. These have been projects long in the making that grew out of our Fantasy Warriors games and a desire to start fresh projects. Since Des is more into playing miniatures games than painting the minis themselves, I took up the brush for both our armies. Today's post features my Undead army. Tomorrow's post will feature her Amazons.

This Undead army is, in a lot of ways, a return to my earliest roots of both miniatures painting and interest in the fantasy genre in general. Like many gamers, I was inspired at an early age by the works of Ray Harryhausen and in particular his animated skeletons. Accordingly, when I was first getting into miniatures painting at around the age of 12, I was particularly attracted to skeleton models. I had a skeleton chariot, a skeletal war mammoth, and, a couple years later, my first Warhammer army was an Undead force comprising the contents of the great Skeleton Army plastic boxed set. So when I set out to build a new army from scratch, I pretty much had to do another take on an old favorite (particularly since the aforementioned undead war mammoth was once again available!).

I've posted pictures of some of these models before, but in the interest of completeness I'm posting every unit in the army here:

Starting with the centerpiece of my army, the Undead War Mammoth, a recast of the classic Grenadier figure. You have no idea how happy I am to have this miniature again and to actually be able to use it in a miniatures game. That's one of the great strengths of AoA, the ability to stat up any miniature in your collection. In our game last weekend I was quite pleased with the performance of my mammoth and I look forward to it looking good and kicking ass (a combination often woefully lacking in my armies!) in future games.



Next up is my "other" centerpiece, my Necromancer Riding Undead Troll, a truly excellent sculpt from the always amazing Hasslefree Miniatures. Although AoA doesn't have rules for generals, I consider her the de facto leader of my army. In deference to her rather ridiculous lack of clothing and outrageous headgear, I have dubbed her Germanotta. Des and I have worked out a rough narrative of Germanotta being a pale, sickly Amazon who turned to dark necromantic arts as a means to strike back against the society she so hates and resents. Works for me!




My last "character" model is a Great Reaper, no doubt Germanotta's boyfriend from the nether realms. When we expand our armies from 3000 points to 4000 (Project 2012?) I hope to give him his own escort unit of Reapers, but for now he roams the battlefield alone, lending his weight where needed.

On to units proper. I have two melee units, a group of 30 skeleton warriors...


...and a block of skeleton hoplites (resurrected Amazon phalangites, no doubt!).


(The fine hoplite miniatures are from another favorite manufacturer, Australia's own Eureka Miniatures.) These two units advance behind (and then through) a screen of skirmishing skeleton archers (another awesome feature of the AoA rules, being able to deploy units as skirmishers...).


I also field a unit of 10 skeleton knights (who, unlike the mammoth, looked good but didn't kick much ass in our last game...).



And finally, a skeletal catapult rains death from above (very much so, actually - I was quite impressed with the catapult's hitting power in our game).


And that's about it - Undead are pretty dear, points-wise, in Armies of Arcana owing to their Missile Immunity and Fearlessness. As I indicated above, I'm already pipe-dreaming about expanding the army. I intend, however, to keep the skeleton theme central. At most, I can see adding a unit of Ghouls (to help Germanotta dig up bones of course!) and Reaper buddies for my Great Reaper...along with a Skeletal Dragon. A true hobbyist's projects are never really finished...

Tomorrow I'll post pics of Des's (NSFW) Amazon army and hopefully get a battle report up this weekend as well. Stay tuned!

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