As I mentioned in the post about Alfyn Crowkiller, I've been working on painting up miniatures for a bit of GRRM skirmish warfare between The Night's Watch and Wilding raiders. Warbands on both sides of The Wall have been coming along nicely and I've been slowly replacing LotR rangers and Wargames Factory vikings (which have been serving as proxies) with more appropriate miniatures as they are painted.
Here are two such Wildings that are ready to take their place on the table. Just like Alfyn, both are from the George R. R. Martin Masterworks line produced by Dark Sword Miniatures.
Of all the Wildings in the line, the Wilding Warrior with Longsword (DSM5015) is my favorite sculpt. The pose is quite dynamic and just looking at the miniature head on, one can almost get the feeling that this fierce warrior is about to strike a killing blow. Kinetic energy seems to be bound up in the stance, with devastating power about to be unleashed from the sword arm. Now that's what good sculpts are all about!
To honor Martin's vision of his fierce northern warriors, I painted the miniature using mostly organic earthy colors. Living off the land as they do, I wanted their garb to reflect their harsh life. However, being Wilding raiders, they are bound to find, steal, and pillage equipment and arms during raids south of The Wall or take items from vanquished Black Brothers. To illustrate this fact, I painted the shield and armor in stronger, less natural tones to suggest items foreign to their culture.
Readers familiar with GRRM's works mostly through the excellent HBO series may take issue with the bases of these minis (and the others in the project). In the TV series, everything north of The Wall is depicted almost as an arctic wasteland. Basically the scenery looks like it was filmed on a glacier. However, in the books, the lands of the north are not necessarily always covered in thick snow and much of the action takes place in the Haunted Forest. I chose to base the warbands with the books in mind rather than the television version. Plus, I'm a huge fan of double-duty miniatures. Basing the figures on snowy bases makes them much less usable to me for other types of gaming.
Dark Sword Miniatures calls this next figure Wilding Warrior with Great Axe (DSM5016). I painted this warrior in many of the same colors as the one above to build upon the raider theme. The garb is different but I wanted to use the same colors to suggest that a successful raid over The Wall garnered the raiders with a couple of bolts of cloth that was later sewn into garb. Plus, by using the same colors but in different places, the warband looks like they belong together on the table while still looking chaotic enough to suggest a highly irregular force, as opposed to the Night's Watch regimental-like livery.
The painting of the two forces is not the only facet of the project getting attention. I've been slowly experimenting and tweaking the LotR skirmish rules to use with my Westeros wargaming. Most of the rules are just fine as is, but the magic and hero systems definitely need work.
Profiles are taking a bit of time as well. Getting the right numbers to balance the forces and do justice to the individual heroes is not a matter to be taken lightly. Special rules are also worthy of deliberation. They are a major part of the game and definitely important to the overall flavor and theme of the participants. With time and additional battles, I'll be able to zero in on the right mix.
I'm fairly happy with the profile for Wilding warriors/raiders however. It's a solid stat block that fits well with the description of the Wildings given in the books.
F S D A W C
3/5+ 3 3 1 1 3
Special Rule: North of the Wall
Wildings are at home in the harsh climates north of The Wall and are masters of ambush tactics. As such, any Wilding warrior may move through difficult terrain without penalty when fighting on home terrain.
I'll be posting more stat profiles as additional miniatures are painted and added to the character list. I'll also try to get a battle report up as soon as I work out the remaining bugs and kinks.