Salute 2017 – Fantasy & Weird

There was a distinct lack of epic Fantasy action at Salute this year, so I am combining the category with anything ‘weird’, like Lovecraftian horror and… other things.

The Sons of Simon de Montfort ran a skirmish game based loosely on Animal Farm, using the animated movie from 1954 as a guide for their scratch built terrain.

Farm buildings with anthropomorphic animals carrying swords

Animal Farm by Sons of Simon de Montfort

Farmland and buildings with skirmishing miniatures

Animal Farm by Sons of Simon de Montfort

Bexley Reapers Wargaming Club hosted a Jurassic Park inspired participation game with suitable special effects.

Helicopter in front of Jurassic Park entry gate

Cretaceous Camp by Bexley Reapers Wargaming Club

Military installation in a jungle with roaming dinosaurs

Cretaceous Camp by Bexley Reapers Wargaming Club at Salute 2017

Mierce Miniatures showcased Darklands on some very nice terrain.

View from behind classical pillars onto a green landscape and stone bridge

Darklands by Mierce Miniatures

Troll monsters fighting against spear armed humans

Darklands by Mierce Miniatures

Dark stone portal and white marble weathered pillar

Darklands by Mierce Miniatures

Modiphius Entertainment led the fight against the Great Old Ones in Achtung! Cthulhu, while Legion Wargames Club ran a demonstration game for Paranoid Miniature’s Mythos.

Firefight inside an industrial facility

Achtung! Cthulhu by Modiphius Entertainment

Pulp World War 2 soldiers and monsters

Achtung! Cthulhu by Modiphius Entertainment

Small 1920s American townscape

Mythos by Legion Wargames Club

Large beastman, giant snake and human figures on a cobblestone square

Mythos by Legion Wargames Club

Osprey Games themselves presented Dragon Rampant in Frostgrave, pitching a large warband of barbarians against a tribe of gnolls, while Chesterfield Open Games Society took the wizards and their gangs into a ruined city and deep dungeons.

Large wargames table with grassland, river and ruins

Dragon Rampant in Frostgrave by Osprey Games

Paved road across green fields with marauding bands of barbarians and gnolls

Dragon Rampant in Frostgrave by Osprey Games

Medieval city streets under snow with adventurers and undead

Frostgrave by Chesterfield Open Gaming Society

Large stone walled dungeon

Frostgrave by Chesterfield Open Gaming Society

The remainder was a collection of smaller tables for a multitude of skirmish level games. Of course there were more, but some I covered in previous years, missed, skipped or only took blurry pictures of…

Ruins on green fields with skirmishing medieval style figures

Fabled Realms by 4Ground

Board with race track and witches on brooms in front of a castle

Discworld Witch Racing by Grantham Strategy and Gaming Club

Savannah landscape with infantry figures and 1930s race cars

Tribal Primeval and Mad Maxillian by Little Wars Australia

Oil platform with submarine

7TV by Crooked Dice

Inner city buildings with super heroes

X-Men vs Avengers by Chelmsford Bunker

Suburban landscape with zombies

The Walking Dead by Mantic Games

Armed stock cars racing through a desert landscape

Devil’s Run: Route 666 by G3 Gamers

Unspeakable Rituals

After centuries of perfidious planning, the Cult of the Kraken Lord has finally gathered to conduct a ceremony that will spell the doom of humankind.

Group of ten humanoid creatures in red robes and with green tentacles for faces

The cult is gathered

Wielding the Staff of Many Eyes and reciting from the Cursed Tome of Conjuration, the cultists seek to raise their master from the depth of the sea to enslave our world.

Two robed figures with a staff and grimoire

Priests are invoking a sinister spell

Flanked by monstrous guardians, the High Priest observes his diabolical plans being enacted.

Figure on a throne in the shape of a kraken, flanked by two large robed guards

The ancient throne was carved by alien hands

This Kickstarter funded new range from Midlam Miniatures was entertaining to paint and will hopefully make for a colourful and challenging threat in a Cthulhu themed adventure at some point.

Since I have backed quite a few campaigns last year that have now mostly been delivered, I am trying to be disciplined with getting them finished also. Next up in the Kickstarter painting queue are some post-apocalyptic types, while for my Lovecraftian horror it is probably time to find a few fearless investigators who might save us from the predations of ancient gods.

Cultists of the Kraken Lord

I took part in Midlam Miniatures’ Kickstarter for the Cultists of the Kraken Lord since they were the perfect fit for my casual collection of Lovecraftian grotesques. Are they humans wearing masks, mutants, crossbreeds, an ancient race from the deep or travellers from a plane beyond consciousness? Nobody knows for sure, and if they did, such forbidden knowledge would probably have come at the cost of their sanity.

Three humanoid figures in red robes with tentacles in place of faces

The ritual begins

I completed the first half of the cult, going for a classic combination of dark red robes with contrasting green tentacles. The figures are fun to paint, and quick to achieve effective results with.

Two figures with tentacles for faces and wearing red robes in front of a stone wall

The cultists don’t look kindly on intruders

Prowling Pack of Ghouls

The other day I completed the remaining figures from Heresy Miniatures’ Ghoul Tribe, sculpted by Paul Muller. I’d originally bought them just because they are such characterful sculpts, then started painting them as part of a long term project to collect a range of creatures fitting into Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

I’ve also since read Brian McNaughton’s The Throne of Bones, following a recommendation by Somet. He wasn’t kidding when he said it makes for ‘often uncomfortable’ reading, but it indeed provides many intriguing layers to the background of ghouls that most fantasy settings would rarely venture into.

Two snarling ghouls, holding a heart and a severed head and sickle respectively

Ghouls with packed lunch

Two ghouls, holding a severed leg and cutting open a cadaver respectively

Ghouls preparing dinner

One ghoul with a meat cleaver, a second ghoul on all fours, ready to jump

Ghouls feeling peckish

A pack of seven ghouls in a ruined city scape

Ghouls out hunting in the derelict part of town

Ghoulish Appetites

A while back I bought the Ghoul tribe from Heresy Miniatures, originally intended for a Ghoul Kings army in Warhammer Fantasy Battles. The figures were sculpted by Paul Muller, who also created the last edition of metal Ghouls released by Citadel which I am using for my Vampire Counts.

I am just studying S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors from Chaosium however and been inspired to paint some of them up for my loose collection of creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos – an idea that has probably been festering in my mind since reading Shamutantis’ post on the set.

Three twisted humanoid creatures in front of a derelict cemetery

The graveyard is home to a family of Ghouls

These three make a great family group that will lend itself to story driven games. In their background it is unclear whether Ghouls are a separate species or degenerate from humans.

As I’ll be using them in a different context, I chose a separate colour scheme from my Warhammer Ghouls – necrotic pink over anaemic white.

Back view of male, female and child Ghoul

Searching for human flesh

The characterisation on these miniatures is brilliant, and utterly horrifying. I’ve painted the baby which the hag has snatched in a contrasting warm brown to show that it has just been stolen from an unfortunate family.

Female Ghoul holding a human baby

Newest member of the tribe – or supper?

Ghoul child holding a head with an eye hanging out of its socket

Eyes are ghoulish candy

Large male Ghoul swinging a shovel

The head of the household is bringing food on the table

Visitors from Y’ha-nthlei

I played Call of Cthulhu for several years, but other than a figure representing my player character (a private investigator carrying a revolver) I never painted any creatures from the Cthulhu mythos. However, the temptation to collect a range of Lovecraftian monsters in miniature form has been gnawing away at my sanity ever since.

The first H. P. Lovecraft story I ever read was The Shadow Over Innsmouth, so when I recently stumbled upon a small coven of Deep Ones from CP Models, my fate was sealed.

Miniature models of three humanoid creatures with fish-like features

Disturbing the Deep Ones during their ritual was a bad move

I followed their original description as having greyish green wet skin with white bellies and bulging, unblinking eyes.

Bipedal creature with grey-green skin and a fish-like head

Their wet skin suggests these creatures are water dwellers

Humanoid fish-creature raising its arms

Deep Ones are servants of Dagon and Hydra

Bipedal fishy creature viewed from the side with a staring yellow eye

The Deep Ones infrequently venture on land to seal dark pacts with humans

I’m not sure yet how I’ll use these creatures in games but my appetite is whet for a menagerie of Lovecraftian monstrosities.

Back view of a Deep One with arms aloft in front of a stone monolith with engraved spiral decorations

A strange monolith is the focus of the Deep Ones’ devotion