Saturday, August 31, 2019

Best Kept Secrets: Ral Partha Europe, part 2

Irregular Archer #1

Irregular Archer #2

Continuing my look at the Divided Kingdoms range, formerly Crucible, offered by Ral Partha Europe. IMO these figures make great proxies for Tekumel gaming. I manufacture Tekumel miniatures, but with Tsolyanu alone having around 90 legions that task of making all the required (desired?) miniatures myself is plainly impossible. Hence: proxies to the rescue! :-)

In the first part of this Ral Partha Europe piece I skipped over the archers. This is because I haven't spent that much time trying to sort out which legions or nation's forces they might proxy. The closest I've come is for these "Irregular Archers" who are wearing a sort of Brigantine armour. My current thinking is that this could be painted in red and black checks, possibly, to represent the Red Horde of Kilalammu.

Regular Archer #1

Regular Archer #2

These could be part of the same legion, or two different ones, as there are differences in the armour and really it depends upon how uniform you think each particular nation would be. Professor Barker once told me that the Yan koryani were less uniform than the Tsolyani, and suggested that within a gurek each trooper could be wearing differently styled armour. Some might be newer styles, but others might be wearing family heirlooms, that sort of thing. When I commissioned the Yan Koryani figures the way I handled that was by getting three helmet variants made. There were already 2 male and one female pose for each troop type so adding the helmet variations gave nine variants. And there are at least nine troop types, including heavy scale armour and medium armour (in chlen hide cuirass) as well as weapons: overhand cutting, underhand thrust, 2-handed pike or halberd, etc. This means that there are around 80+ Yan Koryani figures. Normally I just add the variation via the helmet variants but latley I have been thinking of mixing scale armour and cuirass in the same units. All of these figures are those wearing the khil, that distinctive Yan Korynai helmet style. Not all Yan Koryani use it, however, and one could argue in favour of mixing other helmet styles in the same gureks. 

But I digress. These Regular Archers could be Yan Koryani, or perhaps Mu'ugalvaynai or Salarvyani. I am leaning toward the latter two nations. But which one...?

Mercenary Berserker Swordsman

Mercenary Berserker Axeman

These have a really wild, ragged look to them. I like all the sculpted faces on the various bits of armour. This is a feature throughout the range that is an added "plus" for me. These figures are obviously less "disciplined legion" and more "wild tribesman". My thinking is Haida Pakalla, maybe, or maybe Ghatoni. The braided hair of the swordsman does say "N'luss" in a way, but think the figure is not large enough to be a proper N'luss. But the hairstyle could be a regional thing and Ghaton is just adjacent to N'lussa. I might end up using them as Ghatoni tribal levy, hillfolk following the army in search of loot. And I might still add the odd figure, differently painted, into my Haida Pakallan pirate crews. My idea for them is for a very mixed lot of savages.

There are a couple of other Divided Kingdom figures I want ot comment on, but maybe I will do an edit this evening. Tomorrow, I'll comment about the Chaos Imperium range...

Friday, August 30, 2019

Best Kept Secrets: Ral Partha Europe

Pikeman #1

Pikeman #2

Former Crucible range:

Pikemen #1 & #2 – these figures both have heavy armour, but of different styles. They could be combined into a single unit but I have decided to use them as two different, but related Yan Koryani gureks: the Purified City of Krel (#27 IIRC) and its sister unit, whose name I forget (#7). Both are pike units “that fight in phalanx formation”. I am not sure why this has to be stated. Maybe it is just filler text, or maybe some pike units on Tekumel do not fight as a phalanx. Maybe there is a distinction being drawn between pikes used in ECW or 30YW fashion and Macedonian-style pikemen? Anyway, IIRC one unit is stated to be in full plate armour, the other in heavy armour. Both gureks have other troop types of course but I haven't figured those all out yet. Except one has heavy armoured crossbows, for which I think I am going to use the Reaper Crusader Crossbow figures, from the Warlord range.

Swordsman #1

Swordsman #2

Swordsman #1 & #2 – I like these figures a lot, with their demon-faced shields. I am not completely decided who they fight for, however.

Halberdier #1

Halberdier #2

Halberdier #1 & #2 – Again, I haven't decided which Empire these are part of yet. (I'm leaning towards Salarvya currently...)

I should note that I am probably going to end up inventing new legions. I don't have a problem with that. It seems to me that a lot of the existing legions were created to accomodate Barker's players. And some nations seem a bit sparce on the ground; Salarvya, in particular, has few troops compared to the expanse of land it occupies. I suppose a lot of the land could just be wilderness, ownership being more theoretical than actual. Or there could be a ton of Feudal Household troops.

Testudo Spearman #1

Testudo Spearman #2

Testudo Spearman #1 & #2 – I really like the shield these guys have, with the female face on it! The one pose with his arms in the air is no good as they depict it, holding the shield aloft as well. No worry, this is like getting a free shield as I will use it elsewhere. I think these are Salarvyani troops because the face has to be that of the Goddess Shirringayi! I think they fight with the shieldbearers in the front rank who make a Persian style wall of shields, and the other ranks press in behind, hence the overarm pose. This means the shield from the second figure can be used somewhere else. Not sure where yet. A Salarvyani pavise shield perhaps?

Thane Bodyguard #1

Thane Bodyguard #2

Thane Bodyguard  #1 & #2 – They have demon-bladed axes and wear the hide of a great ape over their helmet and armour. I think the apes are the Great White Apes as found on Barsoom. I think they live in the mountains, so these figures perhaps represent Saa Allaqani or Pechani warriors. Not sure which yet. I don't think there is a unit description that matches fully, though 2-handed axes are a Saa Allaqani thing, it seems.

More to follow...

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Káchor Páh

Created by Printable Scenery.

The tall pieces stand about 3" high,
 and the medium sized ones are about 2".

The smaller sections are about 1" high.

L-to-R: Gringo 40s Maya, Lucid Eye Maxzan, 
Jaguar Tribe, and Wargames Foundry Aztec.

L-to-R: Lucid Eye Jaguar Tribe, Maxzan and 
Gringo 40s Maya.

L-to-R: Lucid Eye Jaguar Tribe and Maxzan.

The ruler shown is 6" long.

The table is 42" in diameter.

The Káchor tribes are described in a single line entry in M.A.R. Barker's novel "The Man of Gold", where their brightly feathered costumes are mentioned. Beyond that we know they live in the Chákan forests and that, as they are apparently clients or tenants of the Temple of Thúmis, they are possibly opposed to their neighbours, the Íto clan.

Because of their description I use Maya and Aztec figures as proxies, which I source from Gringo 40s, Lucid Eye (Jaguar Tribe and Maxzan ranges), Wargames Foundry and Outpost Wargames Services. There may be others out there that I am forgetting. Like: Paymaster Games, for example!

The Maori Pa is designed by Printable Scenery, but as I don't own a 3D printer I used the "Get It Printed" button which took me to Grym Forge here in Canada. I ordered the full palisade set which is what you see arrayed on my table. I forgot about that nifty gate! I'll have to ask about ordering that...

I don't know how I stumbled on it, but as soon as I saw Printable Scenery's Maori Pa I realized it would be perfect for my Káchor tribes. I've changed the name to Páh, which in My Tékumel will be the Káchor word for home or something like that. Note that Pa! actually means "Look!" in Tsolyáni.