Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another Dilemma, Of Some Weight!

Some of Phil's Mu'ugalavyani, from our photo inventory of his miniatures;
The crossbow unit is in the yellow tunics, on the right.

Bob Charette's "Chaos" figures, Ral Partha circa 1995; left to right,
 02-104a "Warrior", 02-107 "Pikeman", 02-105a "Bowman"

Legion I of the First Palace, "Victorious in Vimuhla";
twenty years' worth of production runs seen here;
pikes from North Star in the UK, and very, very sharp!!!
This is a dilemma some thirty years in the making; it goes back to 1982, when Phil asked me to paint up some of his stock of Mu'ugalavyani heavy infantry pikemen for him, but as a conversion to a crossbow unit. The unit is one of the ones from the Second Palace - I'm sorry, I don't recall which one at the moment, and I'll have to look it up for you - and Phil wanted them for the "Fortress Chalukolumel" mini-campaign he wanted to run as a part of our game sessions with him in the original Thursday Night Group.

He provided the figures, weapons, and color scheme, and I provided the time, paint, and skill. The top photo shows the figures in their original box - Phil used cigar boxes he got from the shop where he got his Swisher Sweets to store his miniatures.

I have the First of the First in my collection, built up to full strength over the years, with fifty figures or pikemen; they are seen in the bottom picture, armed with the deadly North Star wire pikes. These pikes are real weapons - they have lovely leaf points with needle-sharp tips, and will draw blood if one is not respectful when handling the troops.

I also have over fifty of Bob Charette's sculpts for Ral Partha, the 02-107 "Chaos Pikemen"; these were inspired by the many drawings that Tekumel artist Craig Smith - who did the drawings for the first three of the "Armies of Tekumel" books - provided to Ral Partha at the request of renowned sculptor Tom Meier. (Note 1) I also have some of the matching 02-104a heavy infanty axemen from the "Chaos Warriors" set, and also some of the matching 02-105a archers from the "Chaos Bowmen" set. The former is relatively easy to find, but the latter set is very rare and hard to get! (Note 2)

So, here's my dilemma:

Part the First: I received some 75 more of the Mu'ugalavayni heavy pike from a old friend, and I am not sure who I should paint them up as. I have First of the First already done, and my initial thought was to paint them up as the crossbow unit so the Red Hats would have a few more missile troops in my little army; I'd like to fight out the "Chalukolumel" mini campaign at some point, as Phil spent so much time setting it all up for us. However, I'd also like to have my own legion, the non-Imperial - we're Bednjallan, actually - Legion of the All-Consuming Flame, so we can fight out my own adventures; we're a heavy infantry pike unit, with some attached small units.

However...

Part the Second: Seeing as I also have the "Chaos" figures, with a lot of them already in Vimuhla color schemes - taken from Phil's own paint schemes - it occurred to me to leave the Red Hats alone, and use these troopers as my legion; heck, a lot of them are already painted!

However...

Part the Third: My original thought, from decades ago, had been to use the "Chaos" figures for Ghatoni, as they look the part with their beaked helmets. I had used some spare Mu'ugalavyani to make a few back in the day, but now that The Tekumel Project has Ghatoni armored Serudla, this issue has come back to the fore. Howard, bless him, mentioned that he wants to do real Ghatoni at some point, as part of his wonderful miniatures line...

Soooo...

My thought is to paint up the heavy pikemen as the crossbow unit, as per Phil's command; paint up the "Chaos" figures as my legion, per Phil; and wait patiently for the Ghatoni from Howard, so I have the best possible figures for my games.

Comments? Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

(Note 1: As a historical side note,  a Tekumel fan claimed some time back on the Tekumel Yahoo group that these figures were part of 'a secret line of Tekumel figures' made by Ral Partha in order to avoid paying Prof. Barker any royalties. He claimed that most of the Ral Partha figures of elves and some twenty other figures had been sculpted from Prof. Barker's designs, and in effect were 'stolen designs'. This person also made these same claims in a communication directly to Prof. Barker, which led to a thorough investigation of the claims; they were proved false, and both the ex-Ral Partha and current Iron Wind staff was not amused. Oddly enough, this same person was more then willing to sell these supposely 'illegal' and/or 'pirated' figures to Tekumel fans, which Prof. Barker was very - and I mean very - unhappy with.)

(Note 2: Catalog numbers are from my internal database of both my and the Professor's figures; I use the original manufacturers' catalog numbers as the basis for these, with notations as needed. The figures marked with additional letters were originally sold as multi-figure packs.)

12 comments:

  1. I think that I would prep for Phil's old mini-campaign first.

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    1. I'm thinking the same thing, myself. I'd really like to run this 'micro-campaign', using Phil's "Fortress Besieged!" rules.

      I will have a longer post on all this, after I get some stuff scanned; I get the idea that folks are interested in this... :)

      - chirine

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  2. are you saying Phil's "Fortress Chalukolumel" mini-campaign never made it to the table?

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  3. Yes, you are correct; I should have been more clear. This little 'micro-campaign' was a part of our adventures up on the Northwest Frontier, over on the west side of the heights. We got 'volunteered' by the Imperium to go have a look to see what the Red-Hats might be up to, and we certainly did find out!

    Phil had written a set of siege rules called "Fortress Besieged!", some 435 pages long and very detailed, and he wanted to use all of his model walls and engines - he'd never really had the chance to show them all off! So, he worked up this little scenario, and the idea was that we'd set up the game table and run the thing for however long it took to play it out.

    Unfortunately, some of the players in our group objected to the idea, as it didn't fit in with their 'power gaming' idea of getting the gold and EXP; they raised enough of a stink that Phil and the rest of us gave up on the idea.

    I saved all of the maps, troop lists, and other information - Phil had really worked up the surrounding area in some detail, and gotten Ken Fletcher to map out the fortress itself. It would be a very easy model to make; I've been stockpiling all of the components.

    Phil's idea was that we would lead a relief force, and rout the besieging Red-Hats before the place fell to them. Simple, but really challenging!

    I'll do a much longer post on this, after I get some stuff scanned!

    - chirine

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  4. Wow! That's a lot of figs! I'd say go with the mini campaign. I'll be honest: I want to see the videos of it! It will be interesting to see the chaos troops painted up as your legions as well. Speaking of which I'm in the middle of building up an Aztec horde for skirmish gaming. I don't know what it is with pre-Columbian Central America, it just intrigues me. I don't claim to be anything other than an enthusiast about it, but some of those words just click with me. Probably one more reason I like Tekumel!

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  5. Er, well, yes; I do have a lot of figures... There are roughly five thousand Tekumel figures in the game room, not including the scenery and terrain items. (Assumes a slightly chagrined look, here.) This is what comes of gaming with Phil for fifteen years, and making stuff for his and my campaigns for over thirty years - the stuff does tend to accumulate!

    I used to build the military units up to full strength, at the 1:100 ration I used in my rules, but these days I do a lot more 'skirmish' gaming and build up 20 figure units.

    I think I will do the micro-campaign; it be a way to have some fun and get stuff on the table!

    Great that you are doing Aztecs - so is El Grego, another regular reader. Oddly enough, despite being an expert on Meso-America, Phil never built a miniature army for the area. I wonder why?

    - chirine

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  6. Maybe he liked his idea better? I know I would. The whole idea of right action and sacrifice seems very much like an Aztec influence upon Tekumel. well that and those huge temples!

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  7. You know, that may very well be! Meso-American does indeed have a very strong influence on his view of how Tekumel worked; I am just a little bit surprised that he didn't game it - he preferred 'Ancients' an 'Medievals', more then anything else. I think it may have been partly due to his antipathy to gunpowder weapons on the game table - he staunchly refused to play anything with black powder in it. (He claimed that it would dirty up the green carpet on the table and make the drapes in the game room all smelly.)

    - chirine

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  8. So, can we see more photos of these old figures Please. I would also be interested in seeing a mini campaign. What rules would you use for this mini campaign? By the way I did a head swop on the chaos figures to get two new legions. Hunlion

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    1. I am very sorry that I missed this - I will have a long answer for you this weekend!

      - chirine

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  9. Hi, how can I gets some Ghatoni figures?

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    1. Please e-mail me at: chirine@aethervox.net

      The figures are not for sale, for reasons I shan't go into here, but I may be able to fix you up with an introduction... :)

      - chirine

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