As kind of a last dance to end our latest gaming weekend I brought out once again our beloved Argonauts. Instead of just another run of the four scenarios played at the Tactica show, I came up with a completely fictional encounter, loosely based on Greco-Roman mythology. As a matter of fact, this gave me an excuse as well to paint and deploy some miniatures I had owned for quite some time.
The general idea was to stage a 'contrafactual' or untold part of the myth by borrowing some elements from a surprisingly closely related story: Homer's Odyssey.
Hence, first off was a cyclops. It had been unexpectedly hard to find a model that wasn't too 'fanciful', i.e. nothing with horns, hooves, four arms etc. Just a big-sized humanoid with one single eye like featured in Ancient art. Then I hit on this DSA miniature, licensed by Ral Partha. For a mere tenner (that's GBP) you get there a massive model of about 7cm to the eye. And as you can see he stretches well beyond that.
Actually, the cyclopes were best known for their skills in architecture and smithing: They built the walls of Mycenae and were working in Hephaistos' forge. However, the most famous of them is arguably Polyphemos, portrayed as a half-barbaric herdsman in Homer's Odyssey. The model itself wears a sheepskin rug, so I emphasised this aspect by the addition of a she-goat from the now defunct Mega Miniatures range (unfortunately, no sheep model was at hand).
The cyclops named Brontes (after one of Polyphemos' brothers) featured as the end boss in my two-step scenario. Before he appeared the heroes had to face a few minor foes. One of them was a centaur called Abas.
According to Ancient mythology Abas was one of the few centaurs that escaped the wedding ceremony of Peirithoos, a party that went terribly wrong: Drunken centaurs tried to rape some female celebrants, even the bride herself. The male guests, among them heroes like Theseus, came to aid and slaughtered most centaurs. Therefore, in terms of our game, it would be quite hard to convince Abas of the Argonauts' noble intentions - the more since the player had included Theseus in his band…
In order to save the day heroes need something to rescue. Best someone. Even better: a lady in distress. This poor maid is clearly in an unfortunate position, and what self-respecting hero would literally let her down?
This model would fit many scenarios as an objective marker. In our game it represented Galatea, a nymph engaged or married to the aforementioned Polyphemos. As Ovid tells us, she fell in love with Akis, a young human shepherd, who was then killed by the jealous cyclops. Most likely this caused some marital problems, and in our game Brontes had decided to sort this out for his bugged brother in a most definite way.
In the end the Argonauts rescued the fair lady. Driving off Brontes had been a costly affair with one man dead and most others severely wounded. However, Galatea's gratitude would be quite useful during the sea journey ahead.
Certainly, the beasts - and to a minor extend the beauty as well - are also suitable for my slowly gathering Beastmen army. This already has an Ancient mythology theme, and I'm always in search of new models fitting the bill. At least, now I don't have to bother about an alternative, yet appropriate giant model.
Painted June to December 2011. Models by Ral Partha (cyclops), Mega Miniatures (she-goat) Otherworld Miniatures (centaur) & Reaper Miniatures (lady in distress).
Since this may well be the last entry before the holidays, I want to wish all visitors, both regular and casual, a very happy Christmas and all the best for starting into the new year. The current year has seen ups and downs in regard of my hobby experience, but this place and all the feedback I get from you has been definitely a major encouragement. So thanks a lot for that!