Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Battlelore Minis for 1/72 scale

Interested in these figures? I'm selling a bunch on my sales page, along with other minis, including from the recently-fulfilled Bones 3 Kickstarter!

Battlelore is a tactical minis board game produced by Fantasy Flight games that's gone through a couple editions. The first edition was set in a generic fantasy world, while the current second edition is set in the slightly less generic world of Terrinoth, home to Fantasy Flight's Runebound, Rune Wars, and Descent games. The core game and its expansions were on sale at huge markdowns at Fantasy Flight's webstore and at Cool Stuff Inc. at the end of last year, leading to some speculation that Fantasy Flight intends to stop support if not production of these games. But it was an excellent opportunity to stock up on some very interesting fantasy minis.

Why the interest? Because I knew that the minis were sort-of-kind-of close to 1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog. How close? Let's take a look.

The core game comes with two factions, the first of which are the noble paladin-people, the Daqan. Shown here are minis from the core game and from the Daqan expansion, "Hernfar Guardians."

An Ironbound, Greyhaven mage, Citadel Guard, and Yeoman Archer. The core game comes with the guards and archers; the expansion has the Ironbound, mages, and extra guards. They seem close in size to Sven, with similarly proportioned features, but note that Sven the comparison viking is on a taller base, meaning the Battlelore minis are actually a bit larger. But they're close!

A Rune Golem, Riverwatch Rider, and Citadel Lancer, with an Eagle Games horse for comparison. The golem and rider are from the core set, the lancer from the expansion. The horses are noticeably bigger, though their human riders are actually about Sven-sized.

The large "Legend" figures: a Siege Golem from the expansion and a Roc Warrior from the core game. The riders are almost exactly 1/72 scale, and the large critters they ride look great next to Sven.
The other faction from the core game are the Uthuk, barbaric chaos-types who are into blood magic, demons, and other such ickiness. Shown here are figures from the core game and the Uthuk expansion, "Warband of Scorn."

A Viper Legion, Blood Sister, Berserker, and Blood Harvester. The core game includes the Legion and Harvesters, while the expansion includes the Berserkers, Blood Sisters, and extra Harvesters. Like the Daqan, these human figures are actually just a bit bigger than Sven, though perhaps they are close enough.

A Grotesque, Obscene, and Flesh Ripper Brute. The Grotesque is from the expansion; the Obscene and Brute are from the core game. These larger creatures look fine next to Sven. If anything the Obscene almost seems too small!

Legends: The Chaos Lord from the core game, and the beetley Doombringer from the expansion.
The third faction, the necromancy/undead themed Waiqar, is available in two expansion sets. The first was Heralds of Dreadfall, the second was Terrors of the Mists.

A Skeleton Archer, Reanimate, Necromancer, and Bone Horror. The first set includes the archers and Reanimates; the second has the Necromancers, Horrors, and more Reanimates. Included here for comparison are two painted skeletons from Caesar Miniatures undead set. The Caesar figures are just a bit shorter than Sven, but are noticeably shorter than the Battlelore figures. This perhaps shows why I'm hesitant to recommend these figures as complements to a 1/72 scale fantasy collection. On the other hand, the Bone Horror looks just fine as a 1/72 scale boney aberration.

A Wraith, Barghest (actually two figures per base), and Death Knight, with an Eagle Games horse for comparison. The Wraith and Knight are from the first set; the Barghests from the second. As with the Daqan cavalry, the Death Knight horse is much bigger than the 1/72 scale horse. The Wraith is huge! You could probably mod it so it isn't so big, though you'd probably lose the cool bands of tattered cloth in the process. Or it can just be a really big ghost.
Legends: A Banshee from the second set, and a Barrow Wyrm from the first. The Banshee is about as big as the Wraith, and its skeletal minders are closer to Sven-sized than the Reanimates. The Barrow Worm looks just as big as an undead dragon ought to.

Conclusions? These are some great-looking pieces, and the larger figures are for the most part unobjectionable. How you feel about the humanoid and cavalry figures for 1/72 scale is pretty much a matter of taste. They are just a bit too big for my taste, but I'm decidedly a pedant about scale. If you like the look of these, it's definitely worth picking up, especially if they go on sale again.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bones III for 1/72 scale

Since starting Cheap Fantasy Minis a few years ago, I've gone through 3 Kickstarters expanding Reaper Miniatures excellent Bones line of cheap plastic minis. While they are standard-sized gaming minis, I've found that many of them are readily adaptable to 1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog. For this most recent Kickstarter, I skipped the core set and went for the Stoneskull and the Graveyard expansion, plus a few extra add-ons. The expansions had a lot more small minis and terrain pieces, which I find are best for adapting to 1/72.

My sets arrived last week, so I've taken some comparison shots of the more interesting minis.

The Stoneskull expansion includes six new kobold sculpts, four of which are shown here. I was worried that they might be too large, like the kobold leaders from the second Bones Kickstarter, but they look great. If anything they are a tick smaller and more delicately featured than the original Bones kobolds, making them even better suited for 1/72 gaming. Shown for comparison are one of the original Bones kobolds, plus an unpainted kobold from the Wrath of Ashardalon game.

Other small critters from the Stoneskull set include the gremlins on the left and the "veggie-pygmies" on the right. A Caesar Miniatures goblin is shown for comparison. I'm not sure what a veggie-pygmy is, or what use I'd have for them, but they're just a little under human-sized even in 1/72 scale.

"Stitch golems" on the left; "grave minions" from the Graveyard set on the right. The stitch golems are a little chunky-looking but just about the size of Sven. Similarly, the graveyard minions have somewhat large heads and hands but are otherwise human-sized. As mockeries of human form, they look just fine!

Plant monsters: A "saproling," and a couple of "death star lillies." The saproling is just a bit bigger than Sven, which is what I'd expect from a modestly-sized tree monster. The lillies look big enough for Sven to fit inside, if he gets too close.

Getting a little bigger. Here we have a naga from the Stoneskull set and a "carrion worm" from the Graveyard set. These would be just a little bigger than Reaper-sized humans but look suitably monstrous next to Sven.

Even bigger: a flesh golem, minotaur, and larger stitch golem from Stoneskull, plus one of the ogres from the core set. I always like when large minis are looking down, like the minotaur is doing here. It makes it look like they're sizing up smaller adversaries like Sven.

Finally, the biggest: an absolutely titanic iron golem, and a clear plastic air elemental. The latter should make a fine companion to the fire and water elementals from the previous Kickstarters.

I expect that soon after Reaper finishes fulfilling the current Kickstarter, the Kickstarter for Bones IV: I Can't Believe We're Doing Another One will launch soon after. I'm not sure I have the scratch to back this one (depends on how well I do on my sales page!), but I'll definitely keep an eye on it and live-blog updates. In the meantime, check out this gallery for a preview.