One (very, very) minor issue with Mantic is they currently do not make miniatures for all their armies. So this means if you want some units you have to look elsewhere. And for many armies (I'm including Uncharted Empires here) they don't make any miniatures at all.
The one that has been around the longest is, of course, Kingdoms of Men. Ronnie himself has said that there are so many good historical armies that can be used for a human army - it isn't worth it to try to compete with them.
Several years ago, as I was preparing for Origins and Gencon, I was looking at how I was going to be able to come up with enough demo armies. I remembered that we had a copy of an old board game that used miniatures - Lionheart
. I pulled it out, and it didn't take long to create about 600 pts of a 1st edition Kingdoms of Men list out of the box. I painted them up, added an old GW dark emissary figure for a wizard and built a cannon out of bits, and bought some foot knights from Eccentric miniatures
and was off and ready. They weren't good looking, but worked.
|Horde of Footguard w/ banner & musician|
|Horde of Spear Phalanx w/ banner & musician|
|2 Troops of Missile Troops Block|
|Troop of Milita Mob*|
|Regiment of Knights w/ banner & musician|
|Wizard and Army Standard Bearer|
They worked, but were fairly brittle. Eventually all the lances on the cavalry broke, and many of the figures came off their bases more than once. And when second edition hit, the army needed to make a few changes.
Around this time my oldest son was working on an idea for an army - he wanted to use the abyssal list, but make the army consist of fallen angels. Mantic had Basilean Elohi, but he wanted more sculpts. He got some reaper models, but while searching the web I found the Ex Illis
angels, and ordered him a couple of boxes.
When they came in, the company (Bastion) threw in an addition hero model as well (which I kept for myself). If anyone has actually paid attention to my history as a Pathfinder, it seems that the worst thing you can do (for my wallet) is to give me miniatures. It was when I won a box of skeletons and balefire catapult (Mantic used to sell them together) that got me to build an undead demo army - and to do that I picked up the old undead/dwarf starter box - which built the undead but now I had dwarf models just sitting around - so I picked a dwarf army box - and now I have 12 1000 pt demo armies, with five more in the queue (2 of which are historical).
Bastion had created the game Ex Illis, and subtitled it as Wargaming 2.0. The idea was you would use your computer to calculate all the hits/damage instead of having to actually do the math. However you had to register each model on their site. In addition, it was played on a mat that used 4" squares - and all that mattered was what square you were in, not where you were facing or any of that (because that would be too much to enter into whatever computer (phone, tablet, laptop) you were using.
They tried a kickstarter to reboot the game, removing the requirement for you to register and use a computer to play - but this failed and the company eventually went out of business. There is still a web store up, but I do not know if there is still anything behind it (I did not feel comfortable ordering from it any more).
A few months later, a friend asked if I had a hero she could borrow for her Basilean army. I pulled out that hero, and painted it up. Afterward, I liked the model so much that I repainted it to match my KoM army and added it as a mounted ASB.
For some reason, I just really liked this model. As I mentioned, the lances were breaking off of all the cavalry - and even though I repaired them, they were stumpy and looked even worse. So since I liked the hero - I ordered a couple of boxes of Ex Illis cavalry. I then found that these were essentially mono-pose models - the only variety on them being the shields and lances. However compared to the ones I had been using they looked great.
|The new regiment of Knights|
Each box had 4 knights and 4 hobelars. The new edition of Kings of War now removed the move & shoot penalty from nimble units - making fast cavalry with bows a viable option. Back to the bits box, and I was able to come up with eight bow arms - so reworked the list to include two units of mounted scouts.
I really liked the dynamic pose of the hobelars, so put them a bit unconventionally on the multibase so they were all circling and shooting at a target. I really like how you get the fast, maneuverable feel out of them.
|Two Troops of Mounted Scouts|
One thing I hadn't counted on was the cavalry sprue included a fairy hero - a good way to replace the old GW model I had been using as a wizard.
With these new models, the infantry was looking even worse - so I looked at infantry options for Ex Illis (to keep the same style), and they had bowmen, crossbowmen, villeins and billmen. A bit of looking around on ebay found some starters being sold - and eventually I bought all of them. (I may now own more Ex Illis models than anyone considering how poorly the game sold).
One of the 'starter' sets I picked up actually wasn't the starter, but was the combination of two starters, with the rules, software, and double the cavalry with none of the infantry. Of course what I wanted was infantry (thus me getting the third box).
I now had enough infantry to fill out my army with consistent models - though these are waiting for paint.
|Two troops of Militia Mob*|
|Regiment of Pole-Arms Block|
|Regiment of Crossbowmen|
I was 70 pts short, so I pulled out an Eccentric Miniatures great crossbow, cut the weapons off of two of the villeins, and thus have a ballista for the army.
So I now have sixty three ( counting the ballista as 3 models) to get ready for next year, and the entire army will be replaced with nicer, more consistent models.
However this also meant I had a lot of cavalry left over - sixteen knights and sixteen hobelars, plus multiples of the fairy hero (not to mention a ton (40) of the ymps and eight of monsters, and four of the angel hero). It got me thinking - what could I do with all this cavalry? It isn't hard to see where this is going.
Because it is all fun and games . . .
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