Monday, 28 April 2014

Postcard from Yvresse

Wish You Were Here?

I'm on holiday on the coast of Northumberland, a lovely and quiet spot of the UK with miles of sandy beaches and few visitors. Blue skies, golden sands, lapping waves, it could almost be the Bahamas - but the tightly buttoned anoraks probably give the game away. Being the sad old wargamer that I am, as I wandered along taking a few snaps, I started to think of an army with a coastal theme. I have quite a few old high elves stashed away and would love to get them painted one day, so why not daydream about a few possibilities? That's what holidays are all about.

If you look at the map of Ulthuan you can see that Yvresse lies on the east coast. It is protected from enemies by magical mists and shifting isles, is sparsely populated and contains just one city, Tor Yvresse. According to the web, it's a forested, mountainous region of wide grassy plains and bleak coastal areas, sparsely populated and often referred to as the "land of mists". I need to check my old High Elf army books for all the lovely fluff they contain, but that sounds vaguely familiar so let's assume that is true. What would an army of Yvresse look like?

All elves are required to serve in the militia in time of need and train as archers or spearmen. A unit or two of each would not look out of place and would nicely fill the core selection. I have some old plastic spearmen I could use, plus some metal Seaguard models that I think could easily be adapted to this role. Archers are a little more of a conundrum, I prefer the old style metals but they are difficult to get hold of.

Silver Helms are also pretty ubiquitous in themed armies, they are the nobility of the realms so I could finally get to paint my ancient unit - it's been sat in a cupboard for at least fifteen years. I have always been deterred by the slightly goofy horse sculpts, but I may have an idea to get around that. A unit or two of light cavalry could also be included, scouts based on Ellyrion Reaver models or stats, roaming the coastal lookout posts and acting as messengers.

In terms of special troops, the choices are a lot more restricted. Swordmasters and mages from neighbouring Saphery would be frequent visitors to Yvresse - somebody has to maintain the magical mists and Shifting Isles! I also think that chariots could be suited to the coastal areas, while eagles and maybe even griffons could be stationed in the mountain areas. That gives me a rough outline of what to include - and happily maps on to my exisiting collection in many areas, so I could get it done on the cheap, always a bonus.

The colour scheme is an interesting challenge. I like the idea of coastal colours - pale blues, sea greens, a smattering of light sandy tones. This is a recently completed commission that coincidentally fits the palette for the most part. A whole army with variations on this theme would look rather splendid. It's classic elf blue and white but with a mellow, slightly melancholic ambience. You can almost hear the waves crashing in and the gulls wheeling overhead, smell the salt in the air!

1 comment:

marjedi said...

I would love to see you do a high elf army. Your style of painting is one of my favorites.

I have been looking to so an Averlorn army. That lets me use wood elf glade guard and the new eternal guard as archers and spearelves.

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