Following on from a recent small crowdfunding campaign to release the hedgepig pixie cavalry and a wulver, Oakbound are back with a new Kickstarter. This time round its the turn of the fae – The Courts of Annwyn.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of the Woods setting, here’s a link to an article I wrote after getting my hands on the second edition. Essentially, the world of Talamhlar, is a dark fantasy land where we have not only humans, or Tuatha, but a plethora of whimsical and fantastical creatures and peoples.
The Fae are a haughty, distant, and alien people. Hiding within their magical realm they politick and scheme, masterminding Machiavellian plots and exercising control over other races who they see as merely puppets in their games. For some, the game becomes deadly sport as they carry out their great hunts chasing down either Tuatha or more exotic game.
With a modest target, Oakbound’s campaign is taking a relatively novel approach. For each £1 pledged a backer will get a ring. Each model has an associated ring ‘cost’ which you can select from at the conclusion of the campaign. Sure, you could simply just allocate a cost in £’s but where’s the fun or flavour in that?
Model wise, there’s three groups to chose from. You have the nobles; both fair and foul. Sculpted by Charlie Earl and Geoff Solomon-Sims these individuals might find there way on to a wide range of gaming tables. Obviously intended to fulfil the roles in The Woods, these models could also, as intimated in the campaign blurb, make spiffy fantasy pirates. For those with a more oldhammer interest, how about some alternative harlequin types?
Along with the nobles, we also see the mighty Alvi D’Arme Halberdiers. Where the nobles are clad in ostentatious, fancy threads, the halberdiers come ready for battle. In saying that, their armour is anything if not ornate. With four alternatives, there’s enough here to satisfy your Woods needs as well as a handy number for a hearthguard unit in Saga maybe?
Its great to see fae, or elven types, that are distinct from the usual tropes. As a fan of the likes of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and more modern fantasy these are right up my street. I’ve plans for an upcoming role-playing game where these could be very useful. Perhaps those fans of Dresden or Modern AGE might also find some use in these.
Rounding out the campaign are the Rade Servants. These are indentured creatures forced by one means or another to serve their fae masters. There’s a solitary brownie, jovial folks who unfortunately are easily manipulated, and a group of hobyahs. Weird and wonderful, the hobyahs resemble a type of donkey-headed beastman. Lacking intelligence, but bringing more than a touch of brute strength, these monstrous individuals are a real stand out for me; I’ll definitely be looking to get a bunch of these to paint up and game with.
But wait, there’s more
In addition to the core miniatures in the campaign, Oakbound have some stretch goals planned with a painted example shown below. A fae noble, or maybe even high royalty, borne upon a litter. So the hobyah are pulling double duty and the resting club or weapon over shoulder look makes far more sense.
On top of that, should funding hit the required targets, we’ll also get the chance to pick up some Alvi D’Arme cavalry or the really nice Rademaster on Fianna Bana – a noble on a giant elk like beast.
The fae themselves seem a slight departure from the ‘earlier’ aesthetic of the Woods range but given their fantastical nature it’s not a major issue. If I were a bit more selfish I’d have liked to have seen costume and attire more in keeping with Dark Age Britain but as they are, I can see a lot of crossover potential as mentioned above. The hobyah are novel and a real standout – very much looking forward to getting my hands on some of these.
What about you though? Are there figures here of interest; maybe even tempting you to go and try out the Woods setting itself? Either way we’d love to hear from you – below in the comments or over on the Facebook page. You can also find more info and chat about all things Woods related at the Oakbound gaming group.