I’ve only played one or two games of Hordes of the Things and I’ve been wanting to explore the rules a bit further. For a start, it’s part of my studiously ignoring the DBA 2.2+ vs 3.0 debate, and secondly it might actually solve the ‘which version’ problem for me as some people use HoTT to play historical games (although I’d try to add in troop types from DBA). One of the things I like about existing versions of DBA is that it plays well on a 24″ board, and HoTT still does. The new versions both need a 30” board to work, and the 24″ board was something I thought was really neat about the game. Anyway, what I’m doing this year is embarking on fairly minimalist forays into a number of game systems, just to allow me to play the games when I want to. If later on I decide that I’d like more figures for a certain game then that’s fine, but at least I can play them now.
For HoTT I’ve painted a dragon, a lurker, a sneaker, a magic user, and a couple of heroes. I plan to add elements from my DBA Early Medieval Europeans and Saxon armies to make a kind of gonzo Battle of Hastings, if you will.
The dragon is a Reaper Miniatures Young Fire Dragon which I picked up from the bargain bin at Mind Games. I really like the sinuous reptilian walking pose that it’s in. I was worried the base would look a bit plain with just grass, so I’ve added some burnt grass, as if the dragon has been doing his stuff.
Supporting the dragon is a magic user, out of a Tin Soldier fantasy set that was going cheap in a local model shop. They’re funny figures, the Tin Soldier ones, but they paint up really nicely. He is guarded by a couple of Essex skeletons. I couldn’t decide whether to paint their clothes as if they had just been dug up, or as if they were magically dressed in fancy uniforms. In the end I noticed that they had skeletal toes sticking out from their boots, so I went for a corroded ‘just dug up’ look.
I painted some Khurasan peasants and used them to replace some rather overdressed figures I had in some of my DBA horde elements. Now the overdressed guys are assassins disguised as townsfolk (sneakers). I’m not terribly happy about the guy with the shield and there might be further swapping later.
For the Saxon opposition I painted a pair of heroes, and a lurker.
The identical heroes are from the Magister Militum Saxon command set. In my head I’ve named them Hengist and Horsa but I’ve never read that they were twins, despite their very similar names (Hengist means stallion, and Horsa horse!). The irony of giving dragon standards to the side opposed to the dragon only occurred to me fairly late in the painting process, but at least it decided the colour scheme for me. The two heroes’ shields are from the Dark Age banner set by Little Big Men Studios. It’s my first experience with LBM and I found the shields to be quite unforgiveing. They are self adhesive and they stick pretty solidly so there is no room to move the shield if you put it on off centre. They look good though.
Elves are part of Saxon folklore, so after a bit of a think I went for an elves-as-little people theme and picked up some 10mm elves from Eureka. They will be lurkers.
I painted some Museum Miniatures monks & nuns to use in both Dux Bellorum and HoTT (as a cleric), so they complete the gonzo Saxons.
That gives me a gonzo Norman army of 1 x Knight (general), 1 x Dragon, 1 x Magician, 1 x Sneaker, 1 x Horde, 1 x Knight, 2 x Spears, and 2 x Shooters; and a very gonzo Saxon one of 1 x Blade (general), 2 x Heroes, 1 x Lurker, 1 x Cleric, and 5 x Warband (or Spears if I’m not feeling adventurous). I’ve still got the Strongholds to paint but these should be a good introduction to the game.