Saturday 13 May 2023

The Ruin Within: Bandits and brigands for Five Leagues from the Borderlands

I've been a bit distracted from playing my Five Leagues from the Borderlands campaign, because I got into sorting out and painting figures. Some of the figures here were first painted in the the early 90s. Some others of them were bought then and have languished in the Unpainted Lead Pile until now. Thank goodness the desire to play Five Leagues from the Borderlands took hold, as it means I am really making progress on clearing up the unpainted figures of the past.

The Ruin Within

The bandits and brigands who seek an easier life than one of honest toil tilling the land to provide for their families can be found in Utavoll too. Not everyone who came here came with good intent or for an opportunity to improve their lives. Some were fleeing the judgements of the Thing, the parliament in their homeland, or the vengeance of those they had wronged. These people are The Ruin Within. Even in Utavoll one can gain bloodstained gold for the bounties on their heads or bribe one's way out of a fight with them. As long as they get gold for carousing and wenching, they don't really care, and they will happily milk you for gold another time, if you do not annoy them too much now.

I did not really need to paint up these guys as a faction. They are the dregs of all the other factions so I can happily mix in any suitable figures from every faction to represent them on the tabletop. However, I needed to push myself into painting a bunch of figures from the Unpainted Lead Pile, so here is the result of that. The figures are from Two Dragons Productions. As usual, the humans are all Viking Age humans and the force mixes Vikings, Normans and peasants. As the forces for this are fairly generic, I have simply divided the bandits into unarmoured, light armoured and armoured groups and will field the appropriate ones according to the armour and toughness of the hostile force. The numbers present here are based on the maximum number of hostiles I can encounter with a party of 6 heroes.

So, who are these poor souls, who never got a break and could have been someone if only their village leader had not been jealous of their talents and pushed them out? The Desperate Mob and Sneaky Thieves are peasants whose abilities were not appreciated in their homes so now they roam the countryside and take what they need. Some of these are people who lost everything to other raiders, while others are just malcontents. They have no armour and carry an assortment of improvised weapons.

Unarmoured melee troops (Two Dragons peasants)

Next up in the pecking order are more organised group of Slave Raiders, Outlaws and Blood-stained Renegades. They have proper weapons and light armour or shields. They may have been peasants at one point, but now they are moderately experienced practicants of the idea that wealth is for circulation and redistribution, especially when it is circulated in taverns by them and redistributed to them.

Light armoured melee troops (Two Dragons Vikings, Normans and townspeople)

At the top of the tree are the Grim-faced Rebels, Deserters and Well-armed Brigands. They have good weapons, armour and shields, and have prospered at the expense of those that spurned them in the past. Some are leaders of communities who went too far. Others were members of local and invading armies, who tired of being told what to do by the nobility. All are focused on enriching themselves further.

Armoured melee troops (Two Dragons, Vikings, Normans and Rus)

Finally, there are several groups who don't really belong in the other categories. The Hired Murderers are assassins and killers, who are in it for the blood and gore. Their business is killing, and they are killing it. The Murder Cultists and the Order of the Snake are similar to the Hired Murderers, but they are in it to appease their nameless god with the blood of those that reject it. The last group to mention is the Penitent Zealots. They are going to save the world and everyone in it, no matter how many they have to kill to achieve their goal. They don't really have a uniform but can be recognised by the tin stars they were as pendants around their necks (conveniently not visible in 15mm!).

I may swap out the various assassin and cultist types with more berserks and ulfhednar figures, once I get them tarted up, because that will mark these guys out more and the mythology that has built up around berserks since they became a part of popular culture kind of fits these groups.

Penitent Zealots (Two Dragons Vikings and townspeople)

A selection of missile troops are available to provide ranged fire support. Slings and bows are most common, but the assassins and cultists have a thing for throwing knives.

Unarmoured slingers and archers (Two Dragons Vikings and Normans)

Light armoured archers (Two Dragons Vikings)

Armoured archers (Two Dragons Vikings and Normans)

'Knife' throwers (Two Dragons Vikings)

The brigands also need their leaders, so I have a small selection of command figures to throw into that role when the dice call for them.

Leader figures (Two Dragons Vikings)

No comments:

Post a Comment