Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Trolltooth Wars: Regular Joes

So on to the last of the regiments of Zharradan Marr's legions to be featured as part of this project - a unit made up of the most exotic and strange creatures to be found in all of Titan and... well everywhere really. It's the Humans...

I don't mean to be disparaging but after all the other weird creatures that make up Marr's armies, Humans might seem a little bit humdrum. In actual fact I had a great time sourcing suitable minis to represent the men and women who would be willing to work for the great Necromancer.

I had originally thought of the Advanced Heroquest henchmen as legionaries. Firstly because they had a nice Fighting Fantasy feel and weren't identifiable as Empire or Bretonnian troops as a lot of my other human minis were. Secondly, I'd picked up a copy of AHQ cheap because it had no minis with it! However, they just didn't cut it as private soldiers for an evil sorcerer and looked much better as the Strongarm mercenaries that were hired to replace fallen legionaries from the Cunnelwort Caravan at the beginning of the novel.

You'll be sick of the name now but Ral Partha had a number of interesting options...

All the following pictures are from the Ral Partha website and not my work and almost all are from the Dark Eye range - which is obviously becoming a bit of an obsession of mine!

Wehrheimer Pikemen - nice simple figures with a uniform look. Might be good for my 3rd ed Empire army...

Black Tobrian crossbowmen - similar to the pikemen but no good for Marr's army because of their equipment - might make nice Tilean crossbowmen - especially at just over £2 a mini.

Black Dragon Guards - a bit shonky but lots of fun. Ultimately a bit too ornate for ordinary legionaries in my opinion.

Pikemen from the Heroes and Horrors range - now we're getting somewhere! The Kulad Khud style helmet reminds me of the armour you often see in Chris Achilleos' paintings. 

Horasian Guard Pikemen - again a slight Eastern flavour although this time more European? Love the quilted armour!

Tulamidian Warrior - another mini with hints of the East about him. Unfortunately he was the only example so it would have to be a monopose unit.

As you can see I was headed toward the Orient by way of Wallachia in my search for the perfect legionary - perhaps influenced by such place names as Fang, the Chiang Mai river, Zengis, Kay Pong and Shazaar?

In terms of equipment, I think in the novel the Human Regiment were described as swordsmen but my imagination had already been fired by these minis, and a pike or spear armed block was what my heart was set on. Plus the Rhinomen's spears weren't really long enough to satisfy my want to get some proper pikes on the table!

Now a while back I managed to procure a copy of Fantasy Warlord for a reasonable price - a game I became interested in after chatting with a certain Chris Cale about our shared love of (and future plans of playing) the Lone Wolf board game, Battle for Magnamund - the one that had a rather bad time of it on kickstarter and is based on the Fantasy Warlord mechanics - as I was reminded of in a convoluted conversation of my own making on Facebook yesterday! We plan on pooling our copies of the boardgame and the card miniatures of Gary Chalk's amazing artwork and playing Chris' homebrew rules as the ones provided are a little maths heavy shall we say...

Anyway, limping slowly back to the point of this little diversion, my eye was caught by some of the photographs of the original line of minis in the Fantasy Warlord rulebook - notably this Elven pike block featured on the back cover.

A quick search around and it appeared that Alternative Armies stock the old Fantasy Warlord range - and then I found my perfect legionaries in the form of the soldiers of the Scarlet Empire.

They were nice and uniform, had five different sculpts which weren't quite monopose and had that little touch of the East that I'd decided I wanted. They didn't look overtly evil but could easily be painted up to look the part - from various tidbits of information in Creature of Havoc, I'm not convinced they were all willing recruits anyway...

They also fit quite well with the two Legionary champions I'd already painted and it was easy enough to emulate the black and red uniform with the white helmet plume to tie them all together.

The minis aren't supplied with weapons and they have to be bought separately. There is a great selection from Orc, Elven, Dwarvish and Eastern weapons but you have to buy a mixed set meaning that you either have units armed with a real miscellany of ranged and close combat weapons or you spend a small fortune to get enough spears or swords or whatever to equip everyone with - spare weapons always come in handy so this isn't necessarily a bad thing!

I was already blowing my budget on Ral Partha minis and the base cost of the Fantasy Warlord rank and file at £2 a go was very tempting so I decided to track down some cheap (and lethally sharp when you reach down to move them across the table!) metal pikes on a well known auction site and buy some plastic shields in. Wish I could remember where the shields came from because they were cheap as chips!

I have to say these minis ended up being a lot of work with the large amounts of flash on them - I wonder how well the moulds have fared over the years. The right hands needed a lot of drilling and filing for those minis levelling their pike for combat like the one on the left - luckily most of the regiment ended up carrying their shields in their right hands! However, they are lovely minis and look great ranked up together. My only regret is that I only needed twenty for this project as the pike block would have looked even better with a few extra ranks. They also have the added bonus of being a start to a small Cathayan force I've been wanting to get on the table for some time and will be fielded as troopers of the Imperial army (like the ones you see in films like Crouching Tiger) to go along with my Foundry Samurai and Ninjas.

The two D&D paladins who act as leader and champion of the unit you will have seen already. The chap in the middle is a Hero of the Scarlet Empire - another Fantasy Warlord figure.

I must have been pushed for time to be ready for BOYL as I only painted his back banner, rather than giving him a full regimental standard like the Rhinomen and Lizardmen.

He may get one in the future or he may not - without one it does make the unit more flexible for using in Warhammer games - unless I look in to detachable (magnetic?) banners?!

And that folks is nearly all for the Trolltooth project - just the small matter of Marr's flagship to go...


  1. Great stuff again! I'd have been tempted to reach for something like Fireforge's plastic medieval Russian infantry or steppe warriors, but these look grand - and a perfect way to use those old D&D paladins.

    Those shields look like the EM4 ones that go with the (extraordinarily cheap) Fantasy Warriors plastic orcs and dwarves.

    1. Cheers! Now then - those Fireforge models are great. I particularly like the Mongol stuff. I forget who it was now but I recall ages ago someone putting Orc heads on plastic Mongols to make Hobgoblins - the Fireforge cavalry would make some great mounted vassal troops from a minor tribe - great price as well! Think I might have spotted a suitable General for my Cathay force too...

      Yep - Em4 - bought a load of bases off them as well so that would make sense! I've always felt like I should take advantage of those cheapo Orcs but never brought myself to do it!

  2. You've been a busy boy, well done, lovely jobs.

    1. Thanks but busy about a year ago - only just getting the painting posts up ;)

  3. Some brilliant choices of figures here. The paladins look the part as leader and champion. I'm looking forward to seeing The Galleykeep up close.

    1. Thanks - it was quite refreshing to have a ratch through some different lines of human figures rather than the Old World types I typically use in Warhammer games. Just typing up the first Galleykeep post as we speak...

  4. These guys are fantastic. I'm very interested in your plans for Magnamund mass battles - I have a small mass of giaks and hooded rangers in front of me, but would like to figure out some Drakkarim and see what else we can do...

    1. Cheers GP! Yeah the Lone Wolf game should be loads of fun. It's a setting I've always wanted to get on the gaming table having loved the game books as a kid. We'll be pooling the card miniatures from both our sets and using the extra board pieces we got with the Kickstarter sets to create a larger playing area. I'm not sure what Chris has planned with his homebrew rules but they'll be a lot slicker than the ones thgat came with the game! It was a shame the Lone Wolf game got in to problems as there were plans and artwork for card miniature expansions like the Drakkarim but I guess we won't be seeing those now. Have you looked at Ral Partha's Chaos Imperium for potential Drakkarim miniatures. Very jealous of your Giak horde - got a smattering of characters and one lone Giak myself. I believe there is a kickstarter for some new Lone Wolf miniatures on the horizon though...

  5. Stunning work and careful choices... yes, those shields look like EM4 to me as well.

    1. Thanks! It was great fun whittling down the competition! Nice one - it was a source of cheap shields I didn't want to lose track of!