Friday, 26 July 2013

A Throne of Games!

ZOMGZ! Another update?! The end is nigh! Repent! REPENT!

Ok, so many not that extreme. I've just been busy the past few days building Westerosi Warbands for SAGA. For those of you penguins unfamiliar with SAGA, it is a Viking age Skirmish game produced by Gripping Beast that makes use of randomly generated abilities. Each faction has a unique "Battle Board." If you fancy getting into Historical stuff but don't like the prospect of buying a huge army, as is needed for a lot of Historical games (I'm looking at you Hail Caesar!) then SAGA is well worth having a look at. It is easily one of my favourite games.

And Game of Thrones is one of my favourite series of books/TV show.

So imagine how excited I was when I found out that someone had created SAGA Battle Boards for the Starks and Lannisters?

That's right. I just about peed myself with excitement, bouncing up and down on my chair!

I've wanted to do Stark and Lannister armies for a while now, but I've not had a solid basis to work from, and I've found that if I build an army without a list (or at least a vague idea of a list) then it tends to get abandoned and will sit, half finished in boxes.

To that end, I am building what I've been calling "Starter armies" for SAGA. In the SAGA rulebook there is a suggested list (12 Elites, 16 Warriors, and 12 Levies) and I've found it's a really good list for learning and showing other people how to play, which is my end goal. When more people at my local club play Saga, I'll start building bigger, more competitive lists.

So I should probably start posting some pictures. Let's start with the Starks, just because they're awesome.

And who better to begin the Starks with than the Lord of Winterfell, Eddard Stark!

Wolf fur trimmed cloaks for everyone! Ok, maybe just for the Lords

The Valyrian steel greatsword, Ice, heirloom of House Stark

Converting Eddard (Or Ned) was fairly straightforward. The body, head and cloak are from the Fireforge Games Teutonic infantry box. The sword is from an old Bretonnian model from GW. I had to completely destroy it to get the left arm (the right arm and sword were already separate.) LOTS of clipping, filing, sawing, cutting and more filing. It took a while, but eventually it was freed and well worth the effort.

For each faction I'm also doing three different Warlords. One mounted, and two on foot, one of which will have a great weapon. To that end, here are the two Warlords on foot.

Harrion Karstark

Greatjon Umber
The mounted Warlord (who is probably going to be a Bolton... maybe) is still in bits on the sprue. Aka, I haven't built him yet.

So that's the Warlords. Now onto the Elites.

Knights of House Stark
These guys are still WIP, but they are close to being done. I need do their bases and hit their shields with a matte varnish so they're not super shiny. I use gloss varnish when using transfers to hide the transfer film and to fix them in place. Again, these guys are from Fireforge Games. I absolutely love Great Helms, hence the decision to give them to my Stark Knights.

Moving on, we have the first eight Stark Men-at-Arms (Warriors)

These guys are more WIP than the Knights. I need to tidy up the metal work, add a few more colours, hit them with a wash, then add the Stark sigil to their shields.

Next on the build list is the other 8 Men-at-arms, then the 12 cabbage eating, longbow-totting peasant levies, and finally 4 mounted knights. Then I just need to paint them.

So, that's the Starks done for now. I suppose we should move on to the Lannisters. And let's start in the same way we started withe the Starks. With Lord Tywin Lannister

Like Eddard, this conversion was pretty straight forward, but intricate at the same time. His hand needed to be replaced, as I don't think Tywin is crude enough to use a hammer. The horse's harness needed to be filed down some to fit the armour and the head.... The head is from the Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors box, with all the hair flied off. 'Cos, ya know.... THAT's easy to do on a head that's smaller than your fingernail.... The hair then needed to be sculpted on with Green Stuff. I'm not the world's best sculptor, far from it, but I think I did a pretty good job.

Yes, he IS sitting on a blob of blu-tak

I chose this horse for Tywin because I don't see him riding into battle like Jamie might. Tywin is more likely to sit at the back directing his troops, and only drawing steel when he needs to.

But of course, Lord Tywin, being the head of the most powerful house in Westeros is going to have pleanty of other lords to call on to lead armies in his name. Which brings us to the other Warlords for the Lannisters.

As I've said before, three Warlords; One mounted, and two on foot.

This guy was a bit tricky. He's the Warrick "Kingmaker" miniature from Perry Miniatures with a few minor conversions on him. The head swap was from an earlier project (One of those ones without a list) and the barding was added recently, as was the shield. You can see where I've had to cut the barding to fit his foot and leg. It took me an hour or so, taking my time in cutting and filing. It's not perfect and I need to fix it with some green stuff, but it turned out better than I hoped.

Lannister Warlord with Great Weapon

Lannister Warlord (Perry Miniatures Warrick on foot) I love the pose of this guy

That's the Warlords done, now onto the Lannister Knights!

Apologies for the poor picture here. These guys are from Perry Miniatures and easily some of my favourite models of all time. If I had to choose a favourite helmet, it would be the Great Helm, but if I had to choose a favourite armour style, it would be 15th Century Gothic plate, and I think that style fits the Lannisters wonderfully. So, naturally, there's going to be a lot of full plate and visored sallets in my Lannister Warband.

The poll-axe is also one of my favourite medieval weapons, and didn't appear until the latter part of the medieval period. It's basically a giant, two handed tin-opener! So it seemed fitting that it would be carried by Lannister knights. I also think these are some of the Perry's best miniatures. They're stunningly gorgeous.

Right, last pic, I promise. Lannister Men-at-arms.

Again, from Perry Miniatures (Oh how much I love their stuff!) but this time Pavesiers from their Agincourt range. The shields are from the Fireforge games foot Sergeants.

I still need to build four more mounted knights of teh Lannisters, four more Men-at-Arms and 12 longbowmen. So as it stands, both Warbands are pretty even. Hopefully I'll get them both done in the next 2 weeks.

Phew! I think I'm done. If you're still reading and haven't got bored yet, then congratulations! Give yourself a cookie and/or a pat on the back.

I'm pretty on board with this project, so I doubt I'm going to leave it alone any time soon. But then again, I do have an apocalypse game on the 17th of August, so I might have to spend some time repairing/adding to my Chaos forces. We shall see...

Oh! And before I forget, here's the links to the Westeros SAGA Battle Boards

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