Friday, 3 January 2020

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Kings Of War" January 2020

"The souls of the damned are released from their prison to drive the unit towards its foe."
This month's themed attempt to reduce my mass of metal, plastic and resin models has been significantly fuelled by the BlackJack Legacy Slow Grow Army Challenge over on “Facebook”. Weighing in at over two hundred participants the eight month long event has been created to inspire gamers to paint a 2,000 point army for “Kings Of War” by “Mantic Games”, and will see me desperately try to pigment an Empire of Dust force at a (probably overly-ambitious) rate of 250 points per month.

For once though, I’m actually off to something of a quick start, having already finished a metal Casket of the Damned for my first unit of Skeleton Warriors. Costing 10 points, this army special upgrade will accompany my ten-figure strong infantry unit across the battlefield, and once per game, allow me to "roll an additional six dice" when "this unit is targeted by a Surge spell..."
"Kings Of War" WIPs - The Ahmunite Pharaoh is slowly having all his details 'picked out'
The 28mm scale miniature comes inside every "Mantic Games" Skeleton Regiment box, and was primed using a double layer of "Vallejo" Gold before being heavily washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. I then dry-brushed it with some (more) "Vallejo" Gold and gave parts of its relief sculpture a splash of colour using a lick of Turquoise and "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade. Lastly, in an attempt to show the ravages of the desert sand upon the 'prison', I dabbed (even more) "Vallejo" Gold over the container's front facing, so as to give the impression of its pigmentation fading across the aeons...

Of course, every army needs its leader, and considering the decidedly Egyptian feel to the Empire of Dust, I have gone for an Ahmunite Pharaoh. The multi-part figure was actually something of a pain to assemble, as its kit comes complete with the additional components to turn it into a High Priest; and all of them are unbelievably delicate to handle. Indeed, I actually ended up having to significantly pin the fellow together, as super-glue alone simply wasn't providing a strong enough bond between his limbs and torso to survive even the most timid of touches.
Wargame Hobby Bingo
Disconcertingly, I've suffered similar problems assembling my actual Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Spearman too, where the generic plastic undead legs and torsos don't really seem to like being bonded with the Empire of Dust metal components. Each separate body, head, shield and even occasional arm, has literally needed to be left overnight before I have been able to add an additional piece to the precarious ensemble. And such a long-winded build has proved both incredibly time-consuming and deflating...

Assembly frustrations aside, I'm also hoping to maintain my positive progress with the Wargame Hobby Bingo Challenge squares I set myself five months ago. I've somehow managed to haphazardly complete ten of the tasks without paying particular attention to the trials themselves, and most recently successfully achieved both 'painting a new unit that can be used in multiple game systems', as well as 'adding a new unit to your army, and completely painting it before using it on the battlefield' with my "Games Workshop" Iron Golem warband for "Warcry"/"Age Of Sigmar", and some (as yet unposted) "Lucid Eye Publications" Grove's Shrubs for "Dragon Rampant.

16 comments:

  1. Not Tomb Kings at all, o no. LOL Mantic really won out when GW killed off WFB and moved to AoS.

    Fun stuff. Hope you'll have some fun King Tut leader types and so forth.

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    1. Thanks Dai. I've got the range of Empire of Dust, so there certainly are a fair few King Tut type minis to come :-)

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    1. Cheers Michael. The casket proved to be a nice simple starting piece tbh.

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  3. Cool! New army new year. It's nice to have a "pillar" project that you can keep at and a bunch of other minors to recharge your batteries if the same old ever feels grim. That's been my MO for the last few years and it's my favorite hobbying method. It rarely goes as planned but them's the breaks 😁. I may have to steal that bingo thing from you that's been making the rounds. My start has feels more like a loose conglomeration of flying parts than a proper takeoff but I've had some last minute projects fall in my lap, deadlines imposed by my gaming group on other junk I'd classify as second string and a bit of a real life interruption that has been jarring my hobby zen. I looking forward to following along and wish you the best for 2020 😁!

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    1. Many many thanks indeed Horridperson. Very much appreciated. I'm actually hoping to do two 1,000pt Kings of War armies rather than one at 2,000pts, so I have two forces to fight against one another - should someone fancy a game. Fingers crossed I achieve this over the next eight months as per the challenge ;-)

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    2. I feel that trying to motivate people to play something a little different for a change. Last years centerpiece project blew out hard because no one else painted a single model. I jacked my Soviet army and also painted enough Germans to accommodate the rest of the group's desire to play western front games of Bolt Action. Wasn't terribly impressed but luckily I'm a painter first. Still I'm looking at this year and trying to determine what I want to do.

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    3. Yes. I think that is one of my main hobby hurdles, in that I always like to have two opposing forces painted for any game; even when I know someone else is painting one. And bizarre as it may sound, I actually much prefer playing to painting, but really can't stand playing with unpainted minis.

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  4. I think Mantic miniatures are very hit and miss. Some are stunning while others are naff which is why I can't get excited by their KoW stuff unfortunately. 8 months to paint a 2000 point army is a tough challenge so I will be interested to see your tally at the end of August, especially with all your other interests and projects as I can't see you not painting Toon Realms and Heroclix stuff during that period. Good luck as I can't wait to see the two 1000 point armies in August. What is the second one by the way?

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    1. Cheers Undercoat. I'm hoping to do Dwarves as the second 1,000pt army, as I have an old army box of them, as well as their original metal characters. But I could do Elves, as I own a similar amount of them too.

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  5. Like the Egyption feel to the Mantic pieces, but don't like the sound of the time consuming builds so will give them a miss.
    Congratulations on all the Bingo squares achieved

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    1. Thanks Dave. The build time for the Empire of Dust skellies is awful imho... I'd rather do "Games Workshop" hard plastics any day. Still, I think I've assembled enough for this month's target.

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  6. Excellent start of the project, I need to treat myself to one of these caskets as well.

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    1. Cheers Wouter. The casket seems to come with every Empire of Dust Skeleton Warrior box.

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  7. Sticking and glueing (or not!) would frustrate me no end and whilst I admire your patience I do wonder if the manufacturers have thought this though (mixing metal and plastic components ?).
    I'm sure given your doggedness it will all turn out well in the end !
    The "casket" looks really good too btw

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    1. Thanks Joe. The "Mantic Games" Empire of Dust skeletons are really frustrating imho, and as you say, I think the idea was probably a sound one on paper but in reality..?

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