By David Kuijt
The wild borders of civilization hold many monsters, and some of them are fierce enough, and clever enough, to band together to prey upon their neighbors. Some of the fiercest are those races of humanoids who live in the mountains - bugbears and gnolls. With the promise of loot they can often bring allies into their armies; the huge solitary monsters who are nearly an army unto themselves. This is one such array.
Home Topography: Hilly or Mountainous.
Note that the Bugbears are mounted as Large Warband (LWb). The special rules for LWb can be found here. If you are playing without these special rules, simply play them as Wb or Blade at your preference.
The Mountain Troll may not be the General. Trolls are very tough, and very thick in the skull. Mountain Trolls even more so than regular Trolls. They are far, far too stupid to be able to keep together an array of violent warriors like this army.
The Mountain Monster army is an appropriate enemy for any civilized nation, especially humans, dwarves, and elves. Within my own armies, they often ally with (and sometimes fight against) the Beastmen of the wild northern forests. Like the Beastmen, they often raid the Centaurs, Not only because of philosophical differences (the Centaurs are philosophers, as well as warriors; Gnolls and Trolls and Bugbears are rednecks drinking moonshine, with little respect for augury, philosophy, and practitioners thereof) but also because they really like the taste of roast Centaur.
All the figures shown are DDM plastics. As you can see in the main army image at the top of the page, there are several different Gnoll and Bugbear poses. In addition, some of the Gnoll poses are well-suited to modification. A particularly good one is the Gnoll Spearman shown to the right. Note that two elements are shown -- the large figures look and balance better when they are on Wb depth bases, even though they fight as spear, so that is how I mounted them.
The DDM plastic figures are made of a plastic which takes surgery and pinning-and-gluing very well indeed. For figure modifiers they are a joy to work with. Some examples follow.
To the left is a Gnoll Warrior created by modifying a Gnoll spearman. His spear was amputated, hand drilled out, then slit carefully to separate the fingers and thumb (so it could open up). A GW weapon (some sort of Skaven knife, I think) was inserted, fitted, and glued in, then painted to match the other weapons. Instant Gnoll knifeman.
To the right are two modified figures. One is another Gnoll spearman. His spear was amputated and a pin inserted (literally a pin -- no need to buy brass rod, just snarf a pin from somebody's sewing supplies, push it carefully through the hand (or predrill and insert), then chop it off at the appropriate length sticking out both sides). Another GW weapon, in this case a Beastman axe, is chopped into two pieces, carefully drilled at the handle to make a hole for the pin, then glued on both sides. The end result is an axeman. In the original arm position his axe would be forward, like the Gnoll knifeman shown earlier; the same amputate-pin-and-glue technique was applied to his shoulder joint to pivot his arm position so his axe would be threateningly overhead.
The second figure on the same base is a Gnoll clawfighter. Some quick surgery on his hand, and another Skaven knife, gets a new pose of knifeman.
To the left is another modified figure. Click on the image to see the original Demonic Gnoll Archer figure before modification. With only a single archer figure I wasn't inclined to make a whole stand of shooters. (Actually, I may do that yet, but I didn't do it at that time). By amputating the bow, adding an axe (as before with the Gnoll spearman), and gluing on a primed GW Beastman shield from my spare parts after producing a Beastman army, I now had an excellent and fierce-looking axegnoll to add to my array. An image from the other side of the same modified archer is on the right, below.
All of the figures shown are inexpensive if bought individually through various DDM online sellers; most of them are around $1. The only exception is the Mountain Troll, who is really major cool. I got him for about $5, because I am a sly hunter of the ebay savanna. The cost of the whole army was less than $30.
In addition to the surgery described above, I did a bit of repainting on a few figures. Some figures come painted really quite well, and require no work. Some aren't so good, paint-wise. The Bugbear Lancebreaker (armored bugbear closest to the Troll in the whole-army picture, on both sides) is an okay figure, although not as good as the other three Bugbears used (the gang leader, headreaver, and footpad), but his coloring (vaguely fleshy) and paintjob was mediocre, so I repainted him to match the other bugbears. The only other painting I needed to do for the whole army was the weapons added to the various surgical candidates mentioned earlier.
Page created December 1, 2008.
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