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Undead minis: suggestions for two armies
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TOPIC: Undead minis: suggestions for two armies
#54466
Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
For an upcoming campaign I need two create two different large undead forces/armies -- two opposing forces and the PCs base of operation is about to become ground zero in an ancient grudge resurfacing.

I'm looking for people's thoughts on
a) some of the best undead mini's out there
I have Reaper Bones coming, plan to have Kally and Nethy as the two leaders. I have a large Kings of War undead army from their KS that's forming provides a lot of skellies and zombies. One of the reaper Giant Skeletons.
What other minis are just awesome? Probably going to grab some of the GW Tomb King larger skellies (but not their giant ones)

b) thoughts on army composition to keep the two somewhat distinguishable? I was leaning toward one being skeletal and ethereal (skeletons, lich, ghost, wraith) and one being fleshy (zombie, ghoul, mummies, vampire, etc) Other suggestions?
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#54467
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Sounds awesome!

As for minis -- I posted at length about the GW vampire counts skeletons in another thread. For pics of them in action, check out this thread:
www.dwarvenforge.com/forum?func=view&catid=3&id=53291

These are, IMO, some of the best skeleton minis ever. They're cheap, when you break out the per-mini cost of a set, and they're super-easily customizable. The legs are pre-posed, but you can put the arms however you want them, the head however you want it, with lots of varieties of weapons and skulls. The figures have the barest hints of armor or gear, so you could use color palattes to distinguish between armies -- note how for my "ancient kings" army I've used a turquoise hue to unify the group.

There are also "Grave guard" kits that give skeletons more fully armored and in tattered robes, with more elaborate headgear. If you want, you can either use those sets to create a more easily identifiable "opposing force," or you can mix and match all the pieces (which is what I did) to give some of your skeletons more elaborate helms, or some of your heavily armored skellies no helms at all.

Even if you aren't crazy about painting minis, these are great sets, because they are so easy to paint. A quick base coat of some bone color, a quick brown inkwash, and you've got at least table-ready minis. Add a layer of drybrushing to bring out the details and then touch up the armor, weapons and so on, and they're stunning.
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#54468
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
An alternative for army differentiation might be to have liches, mummies, zombies, and skeletons on one side, and vampires, ghouls, and wights on the other.

Liches, mummies, zombies, and skeletons represent varying levels of animation, decay, and awareness. They don't really have any supply needs, but they also can't replenish their ranks very easily unless there is a convenient graveyard nearby. This is also the more reasonable of the two armies, since they probably only care about the living if the living interfere with their goals. Ghosts might go on this side, perhaps accompanying their own animated bodies.

Vampires, ghouls, and wights feed on or drain the living, converting those they kill to their own ranks. They require living victims to sustain them, and those victims will end up joining their ranks. This is the army that also wants to kill every living person they find. Spectres and wraiths also drain, and their victims become undead.

I don't know if this suits your needs for the campaign you have planned, but it is a different way to go.
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#54470
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
@Law,

yes I've seen those and they are awesome, however given that I have ~40 KoW skeletons and the skeletons from Bones I think I may be set with enough skeletons for now. The GW Ashbati's are the ones I'm tempted by to provide some larger than humanoid forces. There's also a part of the campaign I could explore better if the armies suggest "assimilation" of several previous civilizations/cultures, so mixing some Egyptian themed, not quite human skeleton in as the oldest troops would be nice.

@jackattack,

That's another very interesting suggestion. Going to have to think about it some more. Results in as you say a more "reasonable" near-automaton army of skellies/zombies, and a more directed/thinking army of generally higher powered creatures. With few living creatures around, I could see them stalemating, but now that there's a fresh supply of living creatures for the later to convert.... I'll need to double check the various conversion rules, (or write my own), since the initial encounter really wants the encountered forces to be near mindless.
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#54472
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I see the problem -- one side has all the brains.

Would it help if new vampires and ghouls don't become intelligent until they have fed for the first time? Or if they lose INT (and/or other stats) over time, and get them back when they feed?
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#54473
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
The undeads i use are the ones from d&d miniatures. They are very nice but are quite hard to find nowadays. Check on ebay for undead miniature lots.
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#54930
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
While I really liked jackattack's idea, I think I'm going to stick with the two sides being more "balanced" in terms of which once convert living humans.

I still want the original combat to be between more mindless forces -- possibly even just skeletons v skeletons. (Since while zombies are normally mindless, I think they'd still be too attracted to living beings in their midst regardless of their "orders".

However with an intelligent observer or two on each side, news of the new fodder should get back to the generals and now we have the two sides fighting over who gets to claim the living.

So I think I'm still looking for interesting variations in force composition for two undead armies -- that an astute PC could pick up on as two possible hints to the controlling power's mindset/motivation, etc. I'm assuming both use skeletons since its the "easiest" and most re-usable necromantic unit.

I don't have the pre-history for this region pinned down, so I can fit almost anything into the world history.

I'm thinking that avoiding vampires might be good -- of the "converting" undead they are the smartest and I'm not sure any necromancer/demon/whathaveyou would trust building an army of them. Whereas wights/ghouls/shadows seem unlikely to challenge the master (assuming the master isn't convertable).
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#54933
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Fair enough.

What if the skeletons and zombies on one side were mostly humans (and other mainstream player races), and the skeletons and zombies on the other side were mostly other creatures? It would be undead people against undead monsters!

D&D minis had a skeletal orc, gnoll, minotaur, wolf, four-armed tomb guardian, cyclops, horse-head equiceph, and naga. It also had a zombie kobold, ogre, hobgoblin, and troglodyte. And there was even a beholder lich.

A skeletal horse could be fitted with a skeletal human torso to make a skeletal centaur.

Is that a viable option, or is acquiring the minis too much of a hassle?
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Last Edit: 2013/07/23 00:47 By jackattack.
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#54934
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Definitely a viable option! I'll play around with it for a while. I have a pretty good collection of the WoTC D&D minis, but I've been switching to Reaper/Mantic/GW for most needs these days. So I'll have to see what I have or can kit-bash.

Undead non-human, but still humanoid would have been great (kuo-toa, or dwarf, etc) but I don't think theres enough variety out there. Staying more general not-human and monstrous might be easier as you suggest.
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#54935
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
If you can find 15mm undead, they might pass for gnomes and halflings. 32mm undead might do for high elves if they are skinny enough.

Or 32mm might work better as ogres, and any 54mm undead you can find should work for undead giants.
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#54970
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
Hi there!
In this regard you might want to take a closer look at the GW Vampire Counts miniature range. They have an assortment of single plastic miniatures, which would be perfect for your theme.
They have a bainshee, a necromancer, a wraith lord, a ghost and also some other cool single miniatures in finecast (resin).

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#54972
Re:Undead minis: suggestions for two armies 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
otherworldminiatures.co.uk/shop/undead/ud4a-demi-human-zombies-i-3/

OtherWorld Miniatures has a set of three demi-human zombies (dwarf, elf, and halfling).
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