The Protofubarnii is quite an unusual twilight sculpt… He isn’t really a ‘beast’, he doesn’t fit within any of the existing cultures and he isn’t a member of what the Fubarnii Engineers refer to as ‘civilised species’ (a rather limited group of 3, or arguably 2 species, as many Fubarnii would believe that the Enarii are altogether something different).
He’s something new and a forerunner of a larger project within Twilight. The race/species hasn’t even really got a name yet…
This spotlight seems a good opportunity for me to ramble a bit about the background and also show a bit more of the creative process I’m going through!
The vast forest to the north-west of the empire is a forbidding place. Many explorers have ventured into its depths, but few have returned. Those few that survived tell fantastical tales of monstrous beasts, leathery wings and darkness.
The edges of the forests are more habitable, but those that live there know not to venture too deep. These fubarnii have known of the protofubarnii for a long time – primitive creatures who climb trees and watch the fubarniii villages from afar, hooting and howling as they retreat into the forests. Some engineers have studied the packs, one famous engineer even lived with them for a while, watching their behaviour and documenting their simple use of tools.
One such engineer managed to capture a specimen, transporting it back to the empire and presenting it as a gift to the Emperor himself. The protofubarnii is quite a spectacle at the palace, dressed in mock-finery and trained to perform simple tricks. The protofubarnii are simple creatures though and it is widely accepted that they are little more than beasts. Certainly not capable of fashioning weapons or any form of true organisation.
This is very much a test piece to get a feel for the species. Strong toes and hands for gripping onto trees and a long (possibly prehensile) tail for balance. The prominent eyes were a deliberate choice, but might get toned down. I also wanted to experiment with a reasonably subtle scenic base and I’m happy with how it turned out. I’ll have to think how best to adjust that to fit in a unit though. The final sculpts may well have spines or hair, along with maybe a bit more jewellery.
I hope you like the model – I expect he’ll change a fair bit before the design is finished off, but he’s a sign of things to come. I would love to hear any thoughts you might have. It’ll be a slow process, but at some point the fourth culture will arrive!
As an aside, this version of the mini will probably only be released in a very limited fashion, before becoming a piece of Twilight history.
In this, our first spotlight, we delve into the background, design notes and tabletop tactics for one of the newest releases from the World of Twilight; the Grakukan Captain from Orelan.
Background: To the south west of the Central Empire there lies a wild and untamed land known as the Argoran wastes. It is into this inhospitable desert that many of the Devanu fled when the Empire formed. The knights have never managed to eradicate the threat, but it is at least contained for the most part. Those clans that live around the wastes face a constant threat from the desperate Devanu and either rely heavily on the Knights or rely on their own militias.
Far from the Empire, the Fubarnii of clan Orelan have often had to fend for themselves when the knights have been to slow to respond. The militias are well organised and those within the clan refer to them as the Knights of Orelan. This name is not kindly regarded by the Knights of the Empire.
The Knights of Orelan are well trained and organised and small bands are seen across the Empire where they act as well regarded mercenaries. The bravest and most powerful Knights of Orelan seek out the large Grakukan as mounts. Many a young knight has lost his life venturing into the wastes in search of Grakukan eggs, but those that succeed are treated with great respect.
The Sculpt: The Grakukan came into being by a rather random sequence of events. In 2011 we initiated an ongoing ‘design your own Empire clan’ challenge on the forum. Chris Parry came up with the original ideas for Clan Orelan [link?] and started pestering me about giant Graku that he wanted them to ride. I was a little bit skeptical at first, but did him a little sketch to keep him quiet. When he then posted his Grakukan conversion/sculpt a while later I was finally won over. It was a great sculpt, but needed some refinement. I asked him to send it over to me so I could finish it off and get it cast, so we ended up with a collaborative sculpt that we are both very pleased with! I was then inspired to expand the little range with a few more conversions, but that’s another story…
In Game: The Grakukan Captain is the centrepiece of a Knights of Orelan force. With 5 combat stones, Combat Trained and Powerful he is currently the single most effective combatant available to the Empire armies, capable of standing toe to toe with even an adult Devanu. The lack of Charge or Assassinate does make it harder to ensure you get to engage your enemy, but the combination of Aggressive and Pounce helps to mitigate that problem, especially when facing large numbers of smaller models!
If for no other reason than we can we present a “brief” overview of how Twilight plays. Please note that this is not a review and we have, for the most part, left out our impression of the game as we feel that the rule set speaks for itself. Should you wish to view the full rule set it can be found, for free, HERE.
Setting up: Each game of Twilight is set around a specific scenario with stated objectives, force numbers and deployment. There are a number of scenarios supplied with the rulebooks and the traveller e-zine with more planned for future books. That said, at time of writing the 3 factions are now large enough that straight points battles are viable and, even better, fun.
Phase counters: Players will need 14 Phase Counters. These counters are used to determine turn order and initiative. There are 12 Activation Phase Counters (6 Dark and 6 Light), as well as 2 Combat Phase Counters.
The Turn: Twilight does not follow a fixed turn order, but instead uses the Phase Counters to determine the order in which individual models are activated. Each Phase Counter drawn will either allow the corresponding player to activate and move models, or to initiate and resolve combats. The order of this is fully dependent on the order you draw the Phase Counters in, the most common being;
1. Activation Phase #1
2. 1st Combat phase
3. Activation Phase #2
4. 2nd Combat phase
5. End phase
Obviously you never know what order your forces will activate in and you may not even be able to activate your forces in a given turn at all!
Activations: When a model is activated it may Move and carry out any Activation Abilities that it has available to it. Activation Abilities (see below) are detailed in each model’s profile. Once all the activated models have been moved, a further counter is drawn from the bag of Phase Counters. Each model can only be activated once per Turn.
Movement: Each model can be moved up to its Move characteristic in inches. Anytime a model encounters difficult terrain, is classed as Engaged it may only Move Cautiously. Effectively only moving half of its normal Move. Facing is currently irrelevant in the game and the model may face any direction once the move is complete.
Combat Stones: Each player has 12 Combat Stones and a single six sided dice. The Combat Stones come in two types: the offensive Erac representing a successful hit and the defensive Oran representing a successful deflection or doge which negates the hit. A player has 6 of each.
Ranged Combat: In general ranged combat operates as an “ability” of the shooting model and in general replaces the model’s standard movement. Targets must be within Line of Sight of the attacker and the ability will specify the range and how many Combat Stones are cast for the attack. For each Erac cast by the shooter the target take s a hit. Each of these can be negated by an Oran cast by the target.
Close Combat: Combat is managed by dividing both the attackers and defenders into Primary Combatants and Supporting Models. The player takes the Combat characteristic of the primary combatant and then adds the support characteristic of all Supporting Models. This gives them the number of Combat Stones they can cast for that combat. It is up to each player to decide what combination of Erac and Oran they want to take.
Once the stones are cast they can be manipulated via the abilities and traits of the models involved. After that it’s a simple process of subtracting the number of Oran (misses) from the Erac (hits) to work out the final result. Hits can be allocated to any of the participants but the first must always be allocated to the primary combatant.
Endphase: The End Phase occurs immediately after the second Combat Phase has been resolved. All Activation and Combat Counters are returned to the bag, and any models that have not activated at this time lose their activation for the Turn.
Abilities: As a final note it should be pointed out that most models in the game have a number of abilities which can affect some, most or all aspects of gameplay. These describe special actions that a model can perform and there are 6 types;
- Leadership [L]: Allow a model to activate a certain number of other models during its activation.
- Activation [A]: Used during a model’s activation to allow it to carry out special actions
- Combat [C]: Used during combats allowing Combat Stones to be manipulated or recast.
- Ranged [R]: A ranged attack that replace a model’s standard movement
- Traits [T]: These abilities describe traits of the unit and are always in effect.
- Special [S]: These special abilities are detailed in the unit’s description.
That’s the game in a very quick overview and if you’d like to find out more about the game why not download the rules? They’re available for free on the World of Twilight website.
Happy Salute Day! All of the wonderful minis from the World of Twilight which are debuting at Salute today are also available from us. This includes the brand new Dhogu faction and the new force bundle packs for the Devanu, Delgon and Fubarnii
We’re offering worldwide shipping on all orders over £35. Get them while you can.
It’s been quite a while since I made any progress on the World of Twilight starter set I picked up as a Christmas pressie last year. Real life and all that… I present a couple of WIP shots of one of the studios Fubarnii militia units. This is the first of 2 units of militia.
We’ll be posting further images and details on how we painted them up on the project page here
I just shipped off these bad boys to Mike at the World of Twilight. These will be used in his demo games at Salute ’11 together with other miniatures he and his mates painted. If you have a spare 10 mins pop over to http://worldoftwilight.com and check out his games/minis.