Who you gonna hire?

When playing a campaign in Mantic Games Kings of War: Vanguard one of the options when building your company is to hire a mercenary.  These can help you when needed, often offering a vital ability your warband might be lacking.

They come with a cost however - you cannot just add them to your warband.  You must pay a hiring fee each game for them - equal to 1 CG per five points of their cost.  They don't gain experience, and similar to grunts, once you have one in our company it is always available (if it was injured or killed then another mercenary takes their place).

The Vanguard Kickstarter included four mercenaries:

Blaine the mascot for Mantic kickstarters.  He hasn't appeared in all of them, but has in the vast majority (those based on external IP's - The Walking Dead & Hellboy - generally don't care for a company putting in their own character (though there is on in Mars Attack!).  He was not included in the first kickstarter Mantic did (for Kings of War first edition), nor in the one for Riverhorse games that they ran (for Loka).

So of course they had a new version for Vanguard - but this time they also included a card so that he is playable in the game.

Of course you could use any Blaine model for this - the Dungeon Saga one would work quite well, and if you wanted to spend the points to mount him (I'm not 100% positive, but I can't find anything restricting this) then you could use the mounted variant that came in the Kings of War II kickstarter!

Ronaldo the Bard
Speaking of the Kings of War II kickstarter, one of the stretch goals was to create a bard hero of the man Ronnie Renton himself  (Ronnie has said that he hates bards, and the idea of a musician wandering around in a dungeon is stupid) for Kings of War, a Rentacular Metal Miniature.  It took a while, but he eventually even got rules.  The original figure is still available via Mantic Points.  This isn't the first time that Ronnie has been immortalized as a model in a game - they have also made him a Dreadball Coach and while they wouldn't break the IP to allow Blaine, Skybound had no problem allow a walker model to look like the head of the company.

Since they stated they would do this, it actually surprised me that they didn't include the original Ronaldo sculpt, instead adding in a new one of him for the "Kill the Bard" scenario and added him to the objective packs.  (They may have said this, but I missed it :-) ).

The original Ronaldo sculpt (primed) and the new Vanguard one.

Firebrand was one of the very few unique heroes created in the original Uncharted Empires release.  She is part of the Salamanders army list, and reading her description it makes me wonder if she was inspired by the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride.  (And if not, well when (ok, if) I paint the model up I think it needs to be all in black as a tribute to the movie.

Kuzlo & Madfall
I'm not sure where the inspiration for a goblin riding a big lizard came from, but it just looked like a fun miniature.  I'm not sure that I will ever use him (either in Vanguard or maybe in Kings of War, if he were maybe given a profile in an upcoming supplement?) but there is so much character in this model I had to have him.  (Ok, full disclosure - when I back a miniature kickstarter I always try to get all the new miniatures).

He is as good a sculpt as the goblin heroes - the wizard is simply one of my favorite models Mantic has ever made.  If the other new models for the upcoming Goblin warband are as good then I'll definitely have to get them.  There is part of me that hopes that the new goblins (and yes, Mantic has said they are next after Dwarfs (and then I believe it is undead)) would include an new HIPS goblin sprue (that includes hand weapons, shields, and spears (as well as the bows)).  Much like the basilean Man-at-arms, the goblin spitter sprue is are one that desperately needs to be updated.)

This model did not go together as well as I would have liked.  The four legs were all flat joints - so there was no guidance as to get them angled correctly (or even to get the correct legs in place).  So it will need a little green stuff, but is still a pretty cool model.

It is interesting (to me at least) that even though he is on a 50mm base, he does not have the "large" rule.  Also, having Kuzlo molded to Madfalls back also makes is much less flexible of a model than it could have been otherwise (it is a little small, but could have been a slasher after all).

So what additional mercenaries do you think Mantic should make next for Vanguard?

Because it is all fun and games . . .