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!