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The Saga of Symbaroum

The Saga of Symbaroum

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Faction - Ambians - The Nobility & Military

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Ahead of our last gaming weekend I was asked to provide miniatures for various sub-factions within Ambrian society – notably Priests, Inquisitors, Templars, Queen’s Army and the Ordo Magicka.  Knowing that this would be a long term campaign I had decided that I might go beyond that and try and get most of the major Ambrian factions represented in miniature, at least those who would be likely to be seen in a fight.  My aim was to try and stick to 28mm “true” scale where possible because I think they do the artwork more justice, and this means a lot of the miniatures can be drawn from historical miniatures ranges.  I also happen to prefer the more realistic proportions and of course they do tend to be a bit (or a lot) cheaper than their heroically scaled counterparts.

This article will focus on the miniatures and colours I chose for the military factions, which fall into three categories.

  • Queen’s Army
  • Queen’s Rangers
  • Local Military

Based on the artwork in the books I get a very medieval vibe from the Ambrians, and to be more specific a more early-mid medieval.  However, contrary to much of the artwork the more well equipped units within Ambria are known for wearing plate armour, which pushes them more towards the latter part of the medieval era.  However the great thing about fantasy games is that you can, to a degree, get away with mixing and matching from different eras of history, especially if you select periods in history that are relatively close together.

Queen’s Army

Starting with the Queen’s army, which are the largest and best equipped fighting force, I have gone with a pure medieval look and got hold of some Baron’s War sergeants.  The reason I went for sergeants, as the lowest level of the soldiery, is mostly because I liked the Kettle Helms.  However I also wanted to keep some of the down to earth feel and not intriduce elit units like knights too early in the campaign.  I did paint a single knight to use as a faction leader though.  However the plan is to add additional models in the future to represent better trained and equipped units.  I have to say the Baron’s War range has provided me with a lot of ideas of where I want to go with the Ambrian faction, I am sure there will be some historical wargaming enthusiasts will be thrilled to see this act of wanton desecration.  However from my perspective, although I am not actually going into historical detail, there is still an amount of research involved in looking at different periods of history to try and create themes throughout this project that while they may not look entirely consistent with each other at least look like they could plausibly co-exist.

Because these are, for the most part, just grunts, they were treated to the Contrast Paint treatment with a brown wash at the end to mute the colours and hide any mistakes.  They were based using the ready base mixes from Geek Gaming Scenics and I turned these around in a couple of evenings, plus an extra night when I did the transfers (which are actually from the old Bretonnian knights box).  Despite the speedy work, I think they will look absolutely fine on the table top.  The champion model wasn’t contrast painted, I actually spent a couple of hours painting him on his own just because he’s the model people are most likely to look at so it’s worth spending a bit of extra time on him.  But the basing technique was exactly the same, a pre-made base mixture.

Thistlehold Militia

Thistlehold is a large, walled town on the edge of the forest of Davokaar ruled by Mayor Lasifor Nightpitch.  Lasifor is an exceedingly wealthy and powerful man, who earned a Queen’s reward for saving the life of the Queen Mother following a poisoning attempt.  With that reward he was also made a Prince of the Realm, granting him the rights and privileges of a Duke but only within a single town or City and he used his newfound wealth to found Thistle Hold.  It is the main staging ground for almost all people venturing into Davokaar and as such has grown rich and powerful beyond it’s small size.  Here you will find merchant caravans, religious and diplomatic missions, adventures and treasure seekers all heading to or from Davokaar.  There is busy trade within the town with buyers for almost any kind of goods from the forest; herbs, animal parts, ancient ornaments or artifacts, if you can find it in the forest, someone in Thistle Hold will likely buy it.  The Curia and the Ordo Magicka both maintain strong presences is the Town although the defence of the town falls to the Thistle Hold Watch, a body of 150 soldiers funded directly by the Mayor of the town Lasifor Nightpitch.

Rather than painting the armour in silver, I decide to paint it in greens and browns but give it a silver dry brush at the end, just to catch some of the edges.  I was trying to make what is obviously plate look more like Brigandine with green and brown material covering.  I’m not 100% certain I managed to achieve that, however I do think that it at least doesn’t look like full metal armour and I can live with that.  To lead them I borrowed another miniature from the Baron’s War miniatures that I already owned from a kickstarter, although at some point I might decide to buy a Gondorian character from the Middle Earth range.  It’s not really high priority though as I don’t see any real use for them in the long term; they served a purpose within an RPG session but I probably won’t expand them into their own Saga Warband.  But who knows, never say never and there are plenty of 3rd Party miniatures in the 3D printing market that could be used to take this in a slightly different direction from than Gondor.

Faction - Ambians - The Nobility & Military

Local Military

The last branch of the military is the local soldiery.  I didn’t want to spend too much time or money on these as once again, they may not ever get used.  So I purchased a couple of sprues of the Perry Agincourt foot knights from ebay, swapped a couple of the shields out used them.  Because of the tunics and tabards, it hides quite a lot of the armour making it slight more ambiguous as to what they’re wearing.  Obviously they’re wearing either plate or brigandine but I think with the right paint job it they can be as heavily or lightly armoured as they need to be for the story

Faction - Ambians - The Nobility & Military

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