|The Night is Dark and full of Terrors.|
In my last Kingdom Death post, I suggested that the Showdown phase (where you fight the monsters) felt a little pedestrian. After some additional reflection, I think that some of this dullness might come from the initial monsters the game sets up against. They are all creatures that function upon instinct alone, and don't base their actions on some higher intelligence. Presently, I have fought against the White Lion and the Screaming Antelope. And as horrifying as the antelope is due to the gaping maw on its belly, it is still just a beast, driven by base instincts rather than a malevolent intelligence. The hulking armored Butcher, on the other hand, is actually a person, with their own motivations, which got twisted with cowardice and rage. Now they stalk the nightmare realms of Kingdom Death murdering other humans, and stretching their faces over their fallen lanterns. I am hopeful that the cold, calculating menace of such a being will add the tension and motivation into the battles of Kingdom Death. And honestly, it was weird knights like the Butcher that originally attracted me to Kingdom Death in the first place, not the lions, scantily clad survivors, and certainly not the pin-ups. With that in mind, I began to assemble the humanoid monsters that were included in Kingdom Death: Monster. I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to show off some of these figures; and to celebrate these excellent models, I would like to hold a contest. My Survivor Kickstarter pledge gave me a few extra Kings Men models, and I want to give some out. Leave a comment below, and on November 15, I will randomly pick two winners and send them anywhere in the world!
Speaking of weird and interesting knights, I took some time away from the components of the base game of Kingdom Death and assembled one of their limited resin releases of the Gold Smoke Knight. It is an excellent model sculpted by Thomas David with the concept art by Yasmine Putri. Like the Storm Knight that we showed earlier on this blog, there is little to no background for the knight itself. The short description about the character on Kingdom Death’s website suggests that he is an ancient guardian of a long since corrupted and destroyed city amidst a field of golden grass. As the city fell to ruins, the knight slowly withered to a husk of his former self, smoke taking place of his hair. The Gold Smoke Knight has a really interesting design with many contrasting visual elements, his bulbous armored chest is held aloft by almost comically thin legs that end with armored boots that are long and tapered almost like that of a jester’s shoes. The knight wears what looks like the pelt of a lion for a cape and dons a stylized lion mask with a tortured and sorrowful expression. Billowing smoke leaks from many of the seams of the knight’s armor, the most prominent at his head, completely replacing his hair. Finally, he drags a massive two handed warhammer, the pose reinforcing the model’s sorrowful and defeated expression. The ages have not been kind on this warrior.
|The Gold Smoke Knight collects together an interesting array of visual elements from prideful lions to sorrowful apparitions (I could see using him to convert a Nurgle Chaos lord...).|
As with any resin model, the knight had a number of air bubbles and mold shifts that needed to be fixed with modeling putty. Additionally, many of the components, his arms in particular, did not really fit properly (sort of a common theme with Kingdom Death models plastic or resin). While there are pegs on all of the components to help with their positioning, all result in major gaps when the pieces are seated together. When looking at pictures of their assembled models online you can see all of the same gaps, suggesting that this is a problem with how the model was cut and cast rather than improper assembly on my part.
|The Gold Smoke Knight next to the ephemeral Storm Knight.|
As for models that came in the Kingdom Death boxed game, I assembled both the Butcher and the King’s Man. Both were quite straightforward, going together with less jarring seams than the initial 4 survivors. And while I did some green stuff work to fill in some gaps, unlike the aforementioned survivors, it would not be absolutely necessary here, since it sort of fits with their segmented armor. The Butcher was a bit more complex to assemble due to all the tiny parts on his helmet and the intricate skull on his shoulderpad, but with a little patience (neither had any of the pieces numbered), they went together without issue. I would go into more depth about both characters story wise, but honestly I just got to the Butcher in my current game, so he is still somewhat of a mystery to me too! Having said this, just glancing at his A.I. and Hit Location deck, he looks far more menacing than the lion or antelope, with many passive abilities that set him apart from those more mundane beasts.
|The Butcher's collection of lanterns, many with the skinned faces of those he has killed stretched across them, is quite an imposing model.|
|Although very simply posed, the Kings Man, at attention stance serves to add an additional layer of mystery to the model, making you wonder if there is a man at all underneath the armor.|
Overall, I have been having a great time putting together all of the creepy and mysterious armored warriors of Kingdom Death. While still having some of the finicky assembly issues (primarily gaps) present with many newer model companies, they were still significantly better cut than the white lion and screaming antelope. I look forward to reporting back shortly about how our survivors do against these foes in upcoming games, but I could not wait to show the actual models off because of their awesome and characterful designs. I also wanted to give readers the opportunity to win one of two copies of the Kings Man model. As I said above, just leave a comment below, and I will select two random winners by November 15th!
|The two Kings Men looking for new homes!|
Update: We would like to congratulate our two winners!
Apologist and Lasgunpacker
We hope each of you enjoy the model!
- Eric Wier