Excuse me, I've got a frog in my throat

The second new hard plastic sprue for the Trident Realms are the Riverguard - replacing the old metal models.

I already talked about the Dambusters (with the one riverguard rider), so let's look at this sprue.

Once again all the parts are numbered.  For other multi-model sprues the parts are given letters and numbers - the letters indicate the model (so all the numbers with A go with one model, those with B another, etc).

Unfortunately since they went to the new manufacturer for getting their sprues, while the models are great, the organization of the sprues leaves a LOT to be desired.  This sprue seems even worse than others, where at least parts with the same number (i.e. A1, B1, C1) were all the same part of a model.  Unfortunately these were not grouped into any discernable pattern, so it is always a struggle to find the pieces for a given model.  With this sprue, A1 is a left leg, B1 is a right arm holding a two handed trident (with the left hand), C1 is the front of a body, D1 is a left arm with a shield, and E1 is a left leg.

Looking at the bodies on the sprue, most are in two parts with a third leg piece (though C1 & C2 both have legs, so there is no separate leg piece.  I'm not sure if any of the legs are compatible between the different models.   The arms and heads should be swappable to any model however.

Ok,so lets find the parts for A
  • A1 - left leg
  • A2 - right arm with 2 handed spear (and left hand)
  • A3 - left arm w/ shield
  • A4 - left arm for 2 handed spear
A1, A2, A3, A4

  • A5 - banner (sentinel )
  • A6 - right leg
  • A7 - body back
  • A8 - body front
A5, A6, A7, A8

  • A9 - right arm w/ javelin
  • A10 - head
  • A11 - head (sentinel)
A9, A10, A11

Here is the sprue with these parts highlighted to help you find them

So, the base A model without variation, is A1, A6, A7, A8.
Treeleaper (2 handed weapon) A2, A4, A10
Riverguard (javelin upgrade) A3, A9, A10 (I'm going to use Alt 3)
Sentinel (hero) A4, A9, A11, Alt 2 (I prefer the back banner)

Assembly is very straight forward.  
Glue the body together A7 - A8

Glue on the legs A1 - A6.  One foot is flat, the other has a toe on the ground.  It is tricky to get them to balance properly (for some reason I can only get one to stand up if it is facing me - if I turn the model around it always falls over).

yes, I will clean up those shoulder joints before attaching the arms

Glue on the head of your choice
Glue on the arms (which have flat joints - yeah!)

Riverguard B

  • B1 - right arm w/trident and left hand
  • B2 - left hand
  • B3 - left arm w/ shield
  • B4 - right arm with javelin

B1, B2, B3, B4

  • B5 - head
  • B6 - body back
  • B7 - body front

B5, B6, B7

The two body halves go together, then attach the head and arms you want to use.  In fact all the riverguard are fairly simple to put together - first the body, then if necessary add any legs.  Then head and arms, and all the heads and arms are interchangeable.  The two handed weapons, like ALL two handed weapons, are a little trickier to do, but plastic cement gives you lots of work time to get things in place.

Body C

  • C1 - body front
  • C2 - body back
  • C3 - left arm for 2-handed weapon
  • C4 - left arm w open hand

  • C5 - right arm w/ javelin
  • C6 - head
  • C7 - right arm w/ trident & left hand

Riverguard D
  • D1 - left arm w/sShield
  • D2 - Body Front
  • D3 - right arm w/ javelin
  • D4 - left arm
D1, D2, D3, D4
  • D5 - head
  • D6 - body back
  • D7 - left arm w/ shield 
  • D8 - right leg
  • D9 - right arm w/2 handed weapon
D5, D6, D7, D8, D9

Ok, this is really weird, as there are two left arms w/ shields - D1 and D7.  In addition this is my least favorite pose, and in fact one of the issues that I see time and again and really hate - putting a wargaming miniature up on one leg - which is just asking to be broken.  Usually this is seen in female miniatures (some of them even go further, not only on one leg but also on her tip-toes).  Just for practicality - minis should ALWAYS have two points in contact with the base for stability.  Of course it is hard to tell with frogs, so maybe this body IS a female one,

WHY do we have sculpts of warriors on one leg with the other knee up - it really feels like a sexualization of the miniature - especially since the majority of these are female.  Female warriors are NOT trying to make they legs looks sexy, and would NEVER have high heels (maybe heeled boots, but more likely flats always to provide more stability for the fight).  Is this meant to be more dynamic?  I don't know, but I have had so many break that I no longer care about them being dynamic - I want minis that will work for the game and not break just lifting them out of the case because they only have one point in contact with their base.

Last - E
  • E1 - left leg
  • E2 - body front
  • E3 - body back
  • E4 - head
E1, E2, E3, E4
  • E5 - left arm w/ shield
  • E6 - right hand w/ javelin
  • E7 - right arm w// trident and left hand
  • E8 - left arm (for E7)
  • E9 - right arm (for E6)
E5, E6, E7, E8, E9

Alternate parts:

  • Alt 1 - quiver of javelins
  • Alt 2 - shield (w/o arm)
  • Alt 3 - head
  • Alt 4 - head
  • Alt 5 - head
Alt1, Alt2, Alt3, Alt4, Alt5
  • Alt 6 - poison frog body
  • Alt 7 - head
  • Alt 8 - poison frog head
  • Alt 9 - poison frog legs
  • Alt 10 - head
Alt6, Alt7, Alt8, Alt9, Alt10

The poison frog is parts Alt 6, Alt 8 and Alt 9, and go together easily.  I haven't decided if these should go on separate round bases as tokens, or to magnetize them and have them attachable to the unit bases.

Of course there are also the much smaller ones that come on the Naiad sprue.  These are going to be much more common now as a LOT more units can take them.

So out of the four sprues, I made two troops (one with the two handed weapons, the other with javelins) and a sentinel.

Of course you are asking how do these new hard plastic riverguard compare to the previous that Mantic has put out?  

League of Infamy, new hard plastic riverguard, old metal riverguard

1) The metal riverguard were approximately $6.66 each (you can still get the support pack for Vanguard - three models for $20), vs the new hard plastic ones are $2/each IF you buy the riverguard regiment for $40 - however the Ambush box is $45 for 20 riverguard AND 3 dambusters - definitely the way to go.
2) The design is very similar - you could freely mix the old metal models with the new hard plastic ones
3) Of course I prefer working with hard plastic minis over metal any day
4) The league of infamy riverguard model is pretty much something completely different - it has a blowpipe instead of a javelin and is crouching down (so if it were standing straight it would be significantly bigger than the new one).  However these are even more difficult to get (basically only being available in the Dungeon Adventurers: Trident Warriors box).
5) Being a hard plastic kit that has interchangeable heads and arms, there are effectively 1250 variations of Riverguard ( 5 bodies * 10 heads * 5 left arms * 5 right arms) and 250 variations of Treeleapers (5 bodies  * 10 heads * 5 arm pairs) - and that is without the additional variety you can get simply by posing the models.

So the new ones pretty much are superior across the board.

For assembly, they are actually quite easy to put together - once you find the parts for a given body.  When I looked for an old sprue of the Naiads, I noticed that is ONLY lettered the parts that need to go together (i.e. the pair of arms for the crossbows).  I actually think that if this same idea had been applied to this sprue it would have made it EASIER to find parts.  Essentially pair up the parts for the bodies (A-E) then the arms that need to go together (these could have been F-K (K being the one 2 part right arm)).  The rest, the heads, javelin arms and shield arms, are all interchangeable, so don't really need labeling.  That being said, it wasn't obvious until I was marking where the matching parts were on the sprue that I realized they did a fairly decent job of keeping the parts for a given model close together.  I personally still prefer the layout of having all of a type of part in one area (i.e. all the heads clustered together), but that is my preference.

My recommendations for those building units - first, of course, decide what you are building.  You can clip off all the heads, as well as the javelin and shield arms (there is one of each that is two parts, pay attention to that one).  Clip off the two handed weapons in pairs, keeping the ones that match up.  Not you have a LOT less on the sprue to find to match up the bodies and legs.  Assemble the bodies/legs, and then the rest is whatever you want (I tend to try to never put the same head on a body more than once when I can).

Now when I make troops/regiments, I prefer to put 4 to a rank, to give them some room.  Looking at these, I plan on putting the two bodies that are on one leg in the back, as they stand up a little taller than those in front.

Overall a really nice kit - now I just have to finish assembling enough for my demo army (to update it, and replace the metal riverguard).  Then I have to decide if I'm going to replace the Hellboy Frog Monster models that I'm currently using for Treeleapers in my personal army (these are base off of deep ones, as the entire Hellboy mythos has a strong Cthulhu vibe, and my army has a Cthulhu theme (the Trident Realms of R'yleh).  If I do replace them, I'll have to at least add some tentacles :-)

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. Thanks for this and the size comparison. Was wondering how they compare. I like the look of them but I am not really feeling them as an army, as they are not "dangerously enough"-looking. They look great for any skirmish game though.


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