Thursday, May 10, 2012

Alfyn Crowkiller

I mentioned a while back when I completed Jon Snow that I did not relish the idea of painting an entire unit of rangers of the Night's Watch for gaming.  Well, since that post I've had a change of heart and started working on a small unit of rangers that will be sent beyond The Wall to search for signs of Mance Rayder.  The thing is, if I'm to do a bit of Westeros wargaming, I better have a few opponents for the Watch to face.  And who better than their long time enemies, the Wildings?

I thought I'd start my Wilding warband with Alfyn Crowkiller (DSM5021).  Although Alfyn is not a major character in the novels, his name is mentioned several times and it is quite apparent that he is a man feared and respected by the Night's Watch.  It took the fabled ranger Qhorin Halfhand to finally bring down Alfyn in A Clash of Kings and end his murderous ways.  We shall see if the rangers of the Watch are able to repeat that feat on the game table.

I started with Alfyn not only because I needed a leader for my Wilding warband, but because I absolutely love the sculpt.  Jeff Grace has done a wonderful job capturing the essence of the GRRM novels for Dark Sword Miniatures.  The Wildings he has completed all feature dynamic and fluid poses, which always grabs my attention....and this one is certainly no exception.

Although not much is written in the novels about garb, I had to assume from the descriptions of their spartan lifestyle that the Wilding culture is based off the land.  As such, I painted Alfyn wearing leathers and furs with lots of earthy colors.  Even the metals were mostly muted, with the exception of the maile and sword. 

With such a limited color palette, the miniature was fairly easy to paint.  And with the extra time, I was able to do a bit of wet blending on the shield.  The color gradient on the shield surface came out fairly well but the metallic decorations were another story.  With the limited space and metallic color options, the gradation was too abrupt and easily noticed.  If I were to do it again, I think I would have chosen to use non-metallic metals to help with the blending.

As for the gaming rule set, I've been tinkering with the old LotR SBG rules from Games Workshop.  They are easy to adapt and perfect for the small scale skirmishes that characterized warfare between the Wildings and Night's Watch.  For now, I'll basically use the rules as is, and simply substitute warrior profiles where appropriate.  With time, I'll work on adding special rules that more closely represent the world George R. R. Martin created.  Ideas and suggestions would be very welcome!


  1. The LotR rules are perfect for this type of gaming. For the Rangers you might want to use rangers of gondor but with better armor. The wildlings might work well as Dunlendings.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with this.

  2. Great looking paint job!

    I agree, LotR SBG would be a good rule set to adapt. It is a pretty solid rule set and would work well in this type of setting

  3. Nice painting.


  4. I have to admit, that I am not a big fan of the Dark Sword mini since I had a completely different look in my mind for every character thwn reading the books, but you have createda fabulous paintjob here!!!

  5. @AHunt: I was thinking the same thing about the Dunlendings. I think the rangers would work for some of the better rangers but I also want to represent the men of lower class pressed into service. I've been shifting some stats around to create a balanced group that would have been sent out for ranging. I'll keep you updated on my progress but would also appreciate any ideas you might have on the project.

    @Kingsleypark: I really did not even think of using another option. I know there are alternatives but LotR seemed to fit right in. The system is so very adaptable...which is probably why I'm so happy with LotHS and LotOW. Thanks for reading by the way.

    @Tony: Thank you sir!!

    @DHC Wargames: I agree with you somewhat. Some of the sculpts are spot on for me while others are way off base. I guess we all take away something different from the written word. Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on the Wildings? How do the DSM minis differ from your view? I'm asking because I'm considering using a few proxy miniatures to build up the Wilding force and am torn about what to use.

  6. Very nice, a suitably inspiring pose.