Monday, July 17, 2017

The Empire (of Dust) Strikes Back

There is an old joke that says if you ever finish painting your last miniature, you'll die.  If that is the case, then I figure I'll live forever, even if it will be as a dry, desiccated skeleton slowly painting away every night.

Last September, I was so excited to get my Empire of Dust Mega Army after Gencon.  I took pictures of all the sprues and metal parts, and got my Shogun bases together.

And much like the mummies and skeletons, they then sat in my stack of army bins that need painting, not even built.  The bases got re-purposed for other armies. Origins approached and sped by like a lightning bug flitting about in the desert.

And then I got a chance to proof read the new campaign supplement for Kings of War - Edge of the Abyss (it is good to know (at least some of) the Rules Committee).  It isn't officially released for another week yet (July 24th), so I can't say much, but if anyone has seen the army deals on the Mantic Web site for the campaign you will notice the special character and new unit - Arkhanten and the Restless Souls of the Raia, as well as the two formations, the Ahmunite Deadeyes and the Dunestalkers.

Well that got me to blow off the dust and finally get mine painted up for Gencon.  One of the events we are running, that was very successful at Origins, is the "How You Use It!" tournament. This is a 1000 pt tournament where all the armies are pre-set but the players change tables each game.  I thought it would be fun to actually do some of the matchups described in the fluff of the book - which meant that I needed an Empire of Dust army to battle in REDACTED against REDACTED who are trying to REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.  It looked like too much fun not to do.

Ultimately this is still a demo army for me, so it is just a tabletop standard for the paint job - base coating and a wash.  The idea it to be able to show off the miniatures, but also show a paint job that is easily achievable to almost anyone.

My plan didn't quite work as well as I had hoped.  I did a white primer on everything but the enslaved guardians and the swarm.  The mummies bindings were painted bone, and the armor painted silver.  I used turquoise for the cloth, brown for the wood, and leather for the straps.  Then a sepia wash over everything.  This brought out all the detail and turned the white bones into the color I wanted, but the mummy wrappings ended up being very close to it, and even the armor, which looks appropriately aged, is a bit too close to the same color.  But otherwise I'm pretty happy with just a couple of weeks work.

First up were the archers.  Now a note on the basing - my son (from whom all my good ideas come apparently) strongly urged me to match the bases of all my demo armies - so they are in fertile, muddy dirt with green grass - rather than the desert sand with some tufts of dead grass that I would normally expect for an EoD army.  I guess that means that REDACTED REDACTED defeated REDACTED and the REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.
Skeletal archers
On other note - I have found that I don't have a source for sand unless I buy it.  No beaches, no sand boxes at playgrounds - nada.  I've bought some at various places, and some is too fine.  My wife recently picked up a bag (I'm not sure from where) which she put in little baggies to weight down paper bags for a silent auction (held outside, so with a bit of a breeze to deal with).  She then gave me the left over sand (by dumping it into my existing sand bucket).

So I painted my standard watered down white glue, and dipped these in the bucket, then set aside to dry.  It wasn't until the next day that I went to paint them that I realized how thick and coarse this new mixture was.  This was more than texture - there were large rocks all over.

So I spent the next evening sifting out all the larger pebbles - keeping those for when I actually needed them.  Thus the rougher texture on these bases.

So on to the Revenants.  I do wonder a bit why all the Revenant kits (both Undead and EoD) are only the 2 handed weapon variants.  It might be nice to actually have a choice on the sprue.
Revenants - exchanging shields for 2 handed weapons
Mantic's mummy models are interesting, as were the reactions toward them.  They are not your typical shambling piles of rags - but are instead armored warriors (of course still in rags).  Back when they first came out for the Undead list with the first Kings of War kickstarter they were fairly unpopular and all the talk about them was pretty negative.

Jump forward a few years, and they release the EoD army, which of course includes the exact same Mummy models.  However now all I hear is praise and excitement for them, and how people love the new and different take on mummies.  Go figure.

If these are mummies, then are the skeletons deadies?
Of course you have to have your base warriors.  I have always preferred spearmen, so I built them with spears.  It wasn't until later that I actually checked the list I had made - which DID NOT have them with spears.  This required a bit of re-jigging the list - which is why I have a regiment of archers instead of two troops.

Horde of skeletal spearmen
The Enslaved Guardians are some of my favorite EoD units.  I love the giant statues - and the ability to have some with crossbows (pretty much ogre shooters) and some with hand weapons is a great option.  Plus the ultimate surge shenanigans with these.  If someone makes the mistake of getting too close to these guys - shoot and then surge them into combat for a double punch.  Not many armies can pull this off (Undead, EoD and Nature), but it is fun when it works.
Enslaved Guardians w/ crossbows
Swarms of scarab beetles and other creepy crawlies.  I don't really care for my paint job on this - but it is a demo army after all so it falls under the "good enough" category.


The box comes with an army standard.
Army Standard Bearer.
and a cursed high priest (with surge, of course).  The priests staff was very fiddly, and the bottom broke off within a day of assembling him.

Cursed High Priest
Lastly, units in the EoD have an option to take a "Casket of the Damned" - which adds 5 to the surge roll once a game for the unit.  The mega-army box came with two, so I have added them to the revenants and mummies - just to make sure they get that flank when they need it.  These actually still need magnets to keep them from moving around in the case during transport.

Caskets of the Damned.
The full army list is here.  One problem with it is the special rules actually go to 2 pages (just the one rule) - so I'll have to do some old world (i.e.scissors & glue) cut & paste to make this a single 2-sided sheet for demos.  I don't have unit cards for them yet either - time to check with Matt on those. However they are now ready for Gencon (at least for the "How You Use It!" tournament (which there are still plenty of tickets for)).

Because it is all fun and games . . .

3 comments:

  1. How did you find assembly? I got mine, saw the piles and piles of metal pieces, and shelved it...

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  2. Not horrible. The army standard was bad - body, two tiny arms and the flag. At one point I lost the left arm, and ended up replacing it with alternate one from the priest.

    Some of the bodies didn't fit the legs well, and the bows should have pinned on the archers.

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