Scales here, scales there, scales everywhere

While it seems to be a bit overshadowed by the upcoming Halfling army release, Mantic has just released the Salamander army.  This means they now have a Mega-army box available.  (There is also a smaller army box, but I don't have one to review).

The Salamanders hard plastic sprues actually came out back with the 2nd edition kickstarter for the Forces of Nature army.  But for for a refresher, here are new pictures of the sprues.

You might notice there is one major piece missing from this sprue - bodies!  The sprues came in individual bags, and in the bag was a smaller bag with 5 bodies, 6 two handed weapons and 2 additional hand weapons (one flaming!)

It is just speculation on my part - but I'm guessing that these bits are half of an additional sprue - and that it was cheaper and easier to cut them off and bag them than to always have two of one sprue and one of a second for every 10 models.  This would also mean that for a regiment box, it would have 6 sprues instead of the standard 4, and six may not have been able to fit in the boxes they had.  It does save you a bit if you hate clipping parts off sprues.

The sprue is enough to build 5 salamander primes.  There are currently no announced upgrades to make ancients, so for mine I chose to only use the heads with the larger horns, and the flaming swords.  The primes can be built with the standard sword & board (i.e. hand weapon and shield), or two handed weapons (for greater crushing strength at the cost of a bit of defense).

Sword & Board

Great Weapons


If you haven't guessed already - I'm using these to make a new Salamander 1000 pt demo army - that I may have ready for Gencon in a month (it is assembled, just needs painted).

For my list, I have a regiment of primes with 2-handed weapons, a troop of ancients, and a regiment of unblooded.  The mega army comes with conversion bits to make unblooded - these are alternate metal arms.

Unblooded have more attacks than primes and Wild Charge(D3) - representing their wild nature wanting to get into battle and prove themselves.

Looking at these arms, it is interesting that there is one of them on the plastic sprue - so this can give you a little more variety.

I have to say that it is unfortunate that Mantic decided to do the conversion bits as metal.  I had hoped that the days of metal to hard plastic conversions were long gone - they were MUCH too common in 1st edition, and I don't know of anyone who actually liked them.  The metal bits are significantly heavier, and even with superglue don't stick as well.  I don't mine the conversion bits idea, but much prefer resin to metal.

Also, there is one right arm that is sticking out at a right angle to the body, instead of being in front.  This doesn't look great to me - more like he is giving directions where to go (I can see him holding a pair of glow sticks to show a horde of scorchwings where to land).

I do want to mention the 2 handed weapons - these are the weapon with an arm on it (and a hand), then another loose arm.  Since they are hard plastic, they are a bit easier to assemble than if they were resin or metal - simply because you can put a bit of cement on the three joints, then have plenty of time to work and get the placement correct before the cement sets (unlike what you can do with superglue).  

What is unfortunate is that because the arms and the 2-handed weapons are not both on the sprue, there is no way to indicate which arm fits with which weapon.  So each one has to be carefully fit to see how it works and at what angles.  The bodies can make a difference as well.  A bit of care needs to be taken to make sure everything fits correctly - but again this is at least easier than with resin or metal.

There is one character - a Mage-Priest in the mega army.  The resin pieces are all numbered - though this isn't really needed for a single model, and it simple enough to put together.  The labeling took me a while to figure out - then I realized it was "Forces of Nature : Salamanders".  It seems a little odd to me that they would mark these as such - the hard plastic are part of the FoN nature, the there new resins are not.

The Mage-Priest is an Arkosaur - and we have seen one before - the new necromancer that came out with the Undead Vanguard booster set.  So I wanted to compare them.  One difference is the size - necromancers are on 20mm bases, while most of the Salamander army (and the Mage Priest) is on a 25 mm base - so he is bigger.  But you can see a lot of similarities, and they are definitely the same race.  Or maybe raising the dead takes so  much out of you that you physically start to shrink. :-)

Oh, yes, there is something else in the box that is part of both the Forces of Nature and the Salamander army - Fire Elementals.  

These are the one unit in the box that I am NOT using in the demo army, so I haven't put them together.  There are three bodies, then two sprues of 'hands' - since I haven't put them together, I'm not sure how easy it is to identify which hand fits with which body.

The next thing are the Tyrants - these are the large infantry lizards with a ton of attacks, CS(2) and WC(D3).

The spruelettes (I just made that up for the little resin sprues) are all labeled FNST (Forces of Nature Salamander Tyrants) 1 - 13.  Now I had two spruelettes that the pieces had broken off of, and a third piece that was missing it altogether (#3).  However I managed to figure them out.  The models are not broken out into A/B/C like they have done with other kits in the past (so you can see which parts go with each other), but they do seem to be in numerical order.

So the first tyrant is spruelette 1-4.  It has two hand weapons that it is holding over it's head, ready to bring them down on anything that gets in it's way.

Each of these models are set up the same way - the main body, two arms, head (with a separate jaw) and tail.

The bodies were the first for each of the others, so I assumed #1 was the body

This piece had no spruelette - I figure it is the missing #3

The second one is bending down, holding one weapon low and the other over his head.  Spruelettes 5-8

This piece was also not attached - so I figured it was #8

The final Tyrant actually has an alternate arm - his right arm can either hold a club, or a flaming standard.  I like this, and am going to use the standard with the regiment in my army.  If I were to build a fully army, then of course I would take a horde, and this model would use the other weapon in the back row.  (Spruelette 9-13)

With the right hand weapon (thanks to handy blu-tack)

Or the standard

And a shot of the unit

So that is the mega army.  It comes to about 750 points, though for me it is 630 because I'm not using the Fire Elementals.

I'm using Salamander Clan Lord model that is on the Mantic site - this was originally the legendary version of the Hraith the Salamander from Dungeon Saga (in either the Heroes of Renown collection, or the Warlord of Galahir expansion).

So whatever can I fill in the remaining quarter of my army with?  Well keep watching this spot and you will see!

Because it is all fun and games . . .