Kings of War : Starting a Herd army
Its been an age since I last blogged. I have been giving my hobby lots of time and thought (when I wasn’t ill at least) and for 2017 I’m starting a new army that’s been brewing as a background project for a while.
With the Uncharted Empire’s book release earlier in 2016 I’ve been thinking about the Herd for a while. I’ve toyed with doing Beastmen as an army for quite a few years, but I wasn’t a fan of the way Warhammer was developing the army and the ruleset generally to justify investing the time and money. I started a Forces of Nature army a while ago and the first thing the Herd list did was highlight a number of units that they share (centaurs, melee and ranged types) and in my case other models that I already had that meant I had a head start with the army. Sharing the Pathfinder universal rule, its very easy to use Herd alongside Forces of Nature, so as I build up my army, I can use them as allies for each other and there will come a tipping point where I can swap over to Herd as the main force.
So what have I already got?
My centaurs look good I think, but perform terribly typically! You can see more of the centaurs here
My wolf unit was originally intended as unit fillers for the centaurs. Back in 1st edition kings of war there weren’t really any beast units so as this mix of models are pretty large, the Forces of Nature stat line for melee centaurs certainly wasn’t a stretch for what is essentially a dire wolf (GW’s Fenrisian wolves doing fine duty here, with an Otherworld Miniatures Direwolf and Redbox Games Fenris added for fun). With Herd and Varangur now offering beast units, these fine beasts will now have their own statline – I’ve already allied them into my Forces of Nature a few times.
Werewolves are part of the Herd list and I have a horde of these Mantic ones from my undead army. As the models aren’t half dead or mutated there’s no real problem with including them in a Herd army, although thematically these aren’t part of my core idea for the army (more on this later). My werewolf hero is very much half dead so he wont be joining his unit. I do have the Otherworld were tiger which is tempting to use here, but he is a bit smaller than I hoped so I’m not sure yet.
The last thing I have in the “something I prepared earlier” category is a bunch of 4/5th edition Eagles from my old Wood Elf army. This is the nicest of the bunch of 5 I have. They are all on removable bases, so I could make a couple of bases (a regiment and a horde base) and simply attach them as needed. They aren’t the greatest of models now we have things like the Lord of the Rings and the Gamezone eagles to compare to, but I already have them and they are painted.
So on to the new and dedicated units. I’ve been collecting and planning my first units for a while – the models I really wanted to paint were the Longhorns I’d pieced together. Here’s the completed regiment then – they took far longer than planned to get finished!
Its a mix of models from GW and Reaper, but I felt they went together quite nicely, ranking them up isn’t too traumatic either.
The command section is a Reaper beastman hero (Bones – that’s a vinyl model) and the musician and standard from GW’s plastic bestigor. I didn’t like the GW champion model so I stole his axe and gave it to the Reaper model as the larger Bones weapons tend to look bendy.
This fine selection is a mix of Reaper models, some are bones (the far left and right models) and old metals I found in a little shop in Norwich to my great delight.
This group is plastic bestigors from GW, pretty nice models, I picked them up at a bring and buy.
Finally then are some older GW metal bestigors. They are a bit smaller than the other models and sadly I have a lot of the same pose, but they fill the unit up as required.
So having completed a first unit and inspired by talk of a slow grow league at my local club I’m looking at the next steps in growing the army. As you may have noticed, my Longhorns have a Lion logo on their standard, I’m thinking of strongly linking my Herd to Narnia – one of my friends remarked my original Forces of Nature army was looking a lot like a Narnian force, the Herd list allows this to go a lot further with the Avatar of the Father practically screaming Aslan!
My next unit is probably more beasts. In an early draft of the Herd list during beta testing, the beast unit included the suggestion of giant weasels. Turns out Otherworld have such a model, so I’ve collected a unit of them! The 10th model is a Reaper familiar, I guess its a baby.
After the weasels its Minotaurs. I’ve been collecting these for a while as well, the mishmash I have for my horde is below.
Lastly on my painting table is Erimon also from Krakon games, technically a minotaur, but a bit smaller than my other minotaurs, so for now I’m going to use him as a beastman hero as I’m lacking characters.
This leaves me with all sorts of ideas going forward, some temporary and others looking for models to fill the gaps I want to fill.
I want Satyrs and Fauns to represent the basic Herd infantry – finding these is proving challenging (at least models I like!).
For Spirit Walkers I am sorely tempted to use my Dryads. From a rules perspective the stats are very similar and from a Narnian perspective these fit quite nicely (rather than crazed Fauns or something, far more Greek than I intend).
Instead of Chariots I’d like a big Rhino and perhaps a big polar bear. I know in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the polar bears and Minotaurs were actually on the witch’s side, but in later stories all the Narnias worked together again, sort of .
I really want to create some stampedes too. I’d like one to be wild horses, at gallop. I’m struggling to find suitable figures however. For the second I’d like a swarm of forest animals, including 3 bears (the Bugly brothers). I have hopefully found some bears (Northstar and The DiceBagLady so far), but I’m on the lookout for active looking foxes, badgers, owls and other critters.
I have various ideas about swapping out eagles for Hippogriffs and wanting to get hunting cats in the force (perhaps one in each unit of centaurs, I have loads of un-built ones from Mantic) but the main other idea I have is for the Avatar – I need a big lion. I have ordered a suitably impressive one from Mierce, but I’m told it suffered a terrible incident on the way to the molders, so still waiting to hear on that one! Mierce do some very nice beastmen and other beasts I might consider in future too.
I’m also tempted to use my Hordes crocodile models in the army, even if only temporary. I kinda like the idea of a swamp contingent. I have a couple of units of Gatormen posses which are certainly big enough to use as Guardians and I’ve got a selection of heroes and monsters who can bulk out some other unit and heroes choices too.
So that’s my ramblings for now, more as I paint stuff or find good suggestions from anyone who offers them!