So those of you who’ve been following along will know I got very (VERY) excited about Nic Wright’s excellent Song of Shadows and Dust (a reimplementation of Andrea Sfiligoi’s A Song of Blades and Heroes). Song of Shadows and Dust focuses on street violence in urban areas around the Mediterranean circa the first century BCE (plus or minus) – Think of HBO’s Rome series or the more recent Spartacus series. Though I haven’t got in a game in the last few weeks (er… MONTHS!?) I am still very excited about it and an planning on running a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign for my 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend coming up in February 2015.
Unlike previous events I’ve run I will likely not be providing everyone with forces to play with – I’ll be providing 3-5 urban game tables (that’s a LOT of buildings) – and, really, that should be enough! But I thought to help inspire those that are coming to the event – or anyone else interested in the game, but are unsure where to source figures – I’d try and put together a few quick, relatively inexpensive factions in 28mm. (I figured I could also sell these factions I build to other who really want to participate but absolutely, positively refuse to make any attempt to assemble and paint their own!)
Factions are predominantly armed civilians and there aren’t a lot of ancient armed civilian figure currently available – the lovely Ancient Civilians Collection from Wargames Foundry being the happy exception! There are ancient light infantry with slings or bows or javelins are available could be used, but most other light infantry generally have shields – which generally wouldn’t be carried around in the street as it would attract a bit too much attention. After much searching around I settled on the Numidians from Wargames Factory
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):
The pack contains 28 plastic figures. Most of the 300 point factions we’ve used in our games so far have had 6-8 figures. As I am planning for a campaign where the factions could potentially grow larger the factions people bring to the campaign would need to be larger. So the box could easily make two factions of 13-15 figures totaling 500-700 points each.
In the box, there are seven sprues with bodies and LOADS of arm options!
There are also seven sprues with an assortment of weapons.
I’d originally planned to do this as a step-by-step how-to sort of post… but after sticking the bodies on the bases I realized this was going to take more time than I have to spare at the moment… maybe next time.
After sticking bodies to bases I thought I should probably go about this with a plan rather that sticking random weapons on willy nilly. So, I sat down and worked out two factions. Both had to have a starting faction of 300 points and include extras that could be added as the faction expanded it’s influence and grew in numbers ( I should say “IF the faction expanded it’s influence and grew in numbers”!)
For the first one I wanted to do as little converting/sculpting as possible – to illustrate what can be accomplished by simply assembling the figures out of the box. Here’s what I came up with:
1x Faction Leader 60
1x Boxer 83
4x Henchmen @ 27 = 108
1x Henchman with Sling 36
This is a total of seven figures at 387 points (the number in the faction was important as one of the rules I was considering using, at the time, from Song of Deeds and Glory</a> was that the maximum warband/faction size is limited to the number in the initial warband/faction x2)
The additional figures that could be added to the warband – or used as different options to replace lost members)
1x Armed Henchman (with sword) 36
2x Retired Vetrans @ 52 = 104
1x Henchmen (with cudgel) 32
1x Cruel Henchman 27
2x Henchmen (with Slings) @36 = 72
1x Henchmen (with javelins) 27
For a total of 14 figures at 685 points (I think a faction would have to be doing REALLY well and not taking ANY losses to get that big in the course of a 5-6 game campaign…)
So here is what they ended up looking like.
The Whole Faction. I painted them all is various shades of blue (or blue-ish greys) to make them a little more easily identifiable from other factions. When (if) I get to doing another
The Faction Leader – he could just as easily be fielded as a Guild Master (for less points) or a Demagogue (for more points) - done in darker more vibrant colours to make him stand out a bit.
The Boxer – the taping on the hands was just painted on. Could also be fielded as the “Punch Drunk Boxer” for 46 points…
Four basic “joe-shmoe” henchmen – I gave them rocks and knives. Anyone in the game can pick up rocks and hurl them! Knives are small and easily concealable – to help maintain their “grey” ability. The could also be fielded as apprentices or even a “Savvy Henchman” (at 48 points)…?
Some henchmen with missle weapons – two with slings and one with Javelins
The two retired Veterans (in helmets) and single sword armed henchman - for when the faction gets a bit bigger and BOLDER! (note the swords are a bit thin and fragile - one already broke off before I even finished painting!?)
Henchman with “cudgel”. Perhaps that a bit big for a cudgel… whatever – big stick that gives him the bludgeon special rule!
Finally the “Cruel Henchman” I gave him a bloody stone and knife to make it easier to differentiate him from the regular henchmen. The “Cruel Henchman” has the Savage special rule…
And that’s that… Hopefully it’s inspired one or two of you and filled your heads ideas and possibilities.
The next faction I was planning to do with the remaining figures from the box was to be lead by a Young Politician or Disgruntled Aristocrat – I can’t quite remember which – that I planned to try and model a toga over with some green stuff. Possibly an Assassin with a hooded clock – also modeled from greenstuff…? I may not get to those for a week or two however – I have some other stuff to get going on – Great War stuff… play-testing Song of Galleys and Galleons… other stuff…
Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
More on my plans for the Song of Shadows and Dust campaign in February and HOPEFULLY some game reports of Song of Galleys and Galleons!!