I've been working on a Barbarian army for the Hordes of the Things rules for quite some time now. Here's the timeline so far:
- December 2012: I bought the first figures for this force.
- September 2013: The first elements were started.
- November 2013: I finished the first warband base.
- January 2014: 3 elements completed, another 7 or 8 started.
- December 2014: Possible mounts for barbarian cavalry come in a Mantic "crazy box".
- December 2014: Little progress on the warband elements.
- May 2015: One Hero element completed.
- May 2015: Another Hero base finished.
- October 2015: The Hero General is done.
- December 2016: After a long hiatus, I finished the basic 24AP Barbarian army and used it in my annual Christmas battle report.
This is all very well, but I had always intended that I would expand the barbarian army to 48AP or 72AP (i.e. 2 or even 3 Hordes of the Things armies) so that they could be used in really big battles. I will need many more bases, of course - but a larger force gives scope for something beyond the basic heroes/warband/shooters mix that I have right now. I'll start with some cavalry!
The Barbarian Cavalry
As mentioned above, I had acquired 10 giant panther riding animals as part of a Mantic "crazy box" some years ago. These seemed like a reasonable starting point for my cavalry; I could make 5 elements from these if I followed my usual HotT convention of 2 mounts per base. But I would need to find riders from somewhere...
Eventually, after much dithering, in December 2016 I asked for advice on The Miniatures Page. There were a number of ideas as to where 28mm barbarian cavalry could be obtained, but the most useful one was a suggestion that Gary Tate of Forlorn Hope Games might be prepared to sell separate riders (i.e. without the horses, which I didn't need and which would add to the cost).
After several exchanges of emails between Gary and myself, I had my 10 figures. I'm not entirely sure of the provenance of these models, but they have the look of one of the old Grenadier ranges to me. It doesn't really matter too much anyway; the main point is that these are nicely sculpted, appropriately detailed and well cast figures.
I think there were 7 distinct poses in this set, but I cannot remember for certain. Many of the figures came in 2 parts with legs and body separate. This allowed some of the identical casts to be positioned differently, so hopefully the repetition isn't too obvious.
The riders were all I had hoped they might be. However, the panthers are a little bit of a disappointment, to be honest. They have only 2 poses, one of which has a much longer body than the other. In addition, they're cast in Mantic's "restic" material, which may be cheap but is both soft in detail and hard to clean up when the pieces have flash on them.
I did need to carve away some of the mounts' harness to allow the riders to sit on their mounts, but apart from that they seem to fit quite well. I didn't bother trying to create saddles for them; it would have been a lot of work and would probably only be noticed by the purists. Anyway, who says that giant pumas need a saddle to be ridden in comfort? Or maybe the barbarians are so tough and inured to pain that it's not an issue for them...
I haven't quite finished these models. Firstly, they're not sealed yet. Secondly, those of you with particularly sharp eyes or good memories will have noticed that I like to label my HotT elements so that we can tell at a glance to which army they belong and which type of element they represent. The former is easy (they're Barbarians), but the latter has me wondering: should they be Riders or Knights? Here are the rulebook definitions:
- Knights: "all heavily armoured or magically protected warriors on...riding animals...who charge at first instance without regard for...death"
- Riders: "...all riders depending on their own weapons mounted on other swift ground creatures..."
[Yes, I know that technically they could also be classed as Beasts, but that doesn't really fit my idea for this army. For now, I'd prefer to discount that idea.]
My barbarian cavalry don't appear to have the armour that is normal for a knight, though a frenzied, berserk attack with a disregard for injury could possibly be classed as "magical" protection. On the other hand, assuming that the panthers join in the attack then they don't quite fit the definition of Riders either ("depending on their own weapons"). So, what should it be? Any opinions?
Haven't played HOTT in ages. Maybe some of the Frostgrave barbarian stuff might be is use. I can see a cleric, mage and maybe a lurk Dr stand in there somewhere.ReplyDelete
Hmm, Barbarian lurkers? How would that work :-) ?Delete
I had in mind things more along the lines of a Norse giant (God or Behemoth), woolly rhino or mammoth (Behemoth), or possibly chariots (Knights or Riders) as my next expansion to the core army.
Well worth waiting for, they look superb!ReplyDelete
Thanks Michael. As I said, they haven't been sealed yet, so they're not quite finished.Delete
These look amazing! I love the idea (a bit He-Man). I've never played HotT or even read the ruleset do not much use to you I'm afraid but I would say whatever allows the panthers to attack would be the classification I would use - they wouldn't be passive in a melee would they?ReplyDelete
He-Man, Conan - not really a whole lot of difference, I suspect (other than the suitability for small children!). The real question is this: do these cavalry charge hard or do they skirmish and scout around for unguarded flanks?Delete
Fab looking cavalry unit. They are old grenadier Barbarians. There are some cracking sculpts amongst the infantry as well.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Simon. I suspect that I'll look for some of the infantry when I've finished off my current batch of Black Tree foot warriors.Delete
Very smart figures.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Irqan. These were painted much faster than most of their foot compatriots.Delete
Have I ever mentioned how much I like your "Hordes" armies? If I have not I really do like them a lot.ReplyDelete
Cracking Cavalry. Fearsome and Barbaric at the same time.
No, I don't think you have mentioned this before, Clint. Thanks very much!Delete
They look excellent to me, your quibbles really don't show and the camera is a harsh mistress so rest easy ;) I imagine you could get away with calling them Knights - that way you could get horse mounted figs and call THEM Riders later!!ReplyDelete
Now that is an excellent idea! Let these be impetuous-charging Knights and any later, horse-mounted barbarians can then be Riders :-) .Delete
I bought these minis back in the day to use as mounted chaos thugs. I still have them, mounted on the modern GW marauder horse.....still unpainted :(ReplyDelete
They look gnarly mounted on the panthers :) Awesome stuff man!
Still unpainted? I know that feeling all too well :-( , though obviously that's not the case for these particular models. Thanks!Delete
Absolutely adore those old Fantasy Warriors, had no idea that whole range was still available! Great choice for those big cats!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Argonor. The big cats were simply some models that I had alreadt, else i'd just have used horses instead. Still, it makes my cavalry a bit different, doesn't it?Delete
Very impressive fantasy force and surely you can go with either label as it suits you.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joe. I'm leaning towards classing them as Knights because of the impetuous, hard-charging nature - but I still haven't decided for certain!Delete
Great looking figures, with excellent balance between beasts and riders.ReplyDelete
Many beast rider sculpts seem to emphasize one to the detriment of the other, but here both look equally fierce.
I certainly wouldn't want to be in the way of their charge.
As for classification, I don't have HOTT, but do have DBA where there are Knights and Cavalry.
Kn: Horsemen who charged at first instance - no specific mention of armour - and had no ranged ability. Impetuous, Able to deliver a range of quick kills, but also vulnerable to some.
Cv: Horsemen able to engage at range with javelin or bow, but also willing to fight hand-to-hand.
Non impetuous, slightly faster than the knights and with no quick-kills for or against.
Based on your photographs I 'm inclined toward the Knight rating.
The riders are heavily armed, but with no obvious ranged ability.
Add in the teeth and claws of the mounts and you've a unit that can hand out plenty of close range punishment, but might struggle against shooty types, or well set spear lines.
Yes, I think you're right: these are Knights in behaviour. As to the armour or protection - perhaps it's not that these guys are shielded from wounds, but rather that they just come on regardless of how much injury they take :-) !Delete