Friday, 28 July 2017

The Witcher Project - The Kingdom of Temeria

Temeria is often referred to as the “Pearl of the North” in the books and Witcher game; the second largest of the Northern Kingdoms after Kaedwen has a rich economy based on agriculture and various industries. Temeria is bordered on the north and south by the two largest rivers, the Pontar and the Yaruga. To the east are the Mahakam Mountains, home of the Dwarves and Brokilon forest to the west. During the First Nilfgaard-Nordling Wars, Temeria played a key part in beating back the “Black Ones” of Nilfgaard. 

Map: Witcher Wikia.

Coat of Arms of Temeria 

Of the Northern Kingdoms, Temeria outpaced its neighbours by developing a strong military and during the Nilfgaard Wars Temeria forms a number of elite units in addition to the already growing number of troops.

One such elite body are the Knights of the White Rose, a military order which took on a more religious bearing and later became the Knights of the Flaming Rose. This unit serves directly under the King.

The Witcher Wikia lists more troop types and among the infantry the most famous were those titled Landsknechts; the latter being heavily armoured units wielding pike, halberd and crossbow. 

Army of Temeria
0-1 Household Guard (3Kn) Military Order.
1-2 Nobles (3Kn)
0-1 Men-at-arms (Cv)
2-6 Spearmen (Sp) or Auxilia (4Ax) Landsknechts are Pk only.
1-3 Halberdiers (4Bd)
1-3 Crossbow (4Cb)

Rangers (Guardians of the Forest)
The Rangers first appear in the book “Sword of Destiny” and are volunteers whose sole mission is to eradicate the forest regions of Elves and other non-humans.

Predominantly bow armed and are classed as “fast” troops (3Bw/Ps) these did not appear at any of the major battles against Nilfgaard, but will be used for the scenarios involving the guerrilla conflicts against the Elves.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Witcher Project - the Kingdom of Kaedwen

After Nilfgaard, the Kingdom of Kaedwen is the second largest kingdom on the continent. Bordered on the east by the Blue Mountains and the Kestrel Mountains in the west, the domain is heavily forested and in ages long ago were inhabited by the Elves. Through many conflicts with the humans the Elves slowly migrated to the lands south of Kaedwen known as Dol Blathanna. 

Map: Witcher Wikia.

Kaedwen has a long history of conflict with the neighbouring kingdoms of Temeria and Redania and this continues in the Witcher series. This animosity is quickly placed aside to fend off the Nilfgaard invasions, but would resume again when peace with the Black Ones is resolved. The fierce rivalry among the three would definitely add spice to a campaign as during the uneasy periods of peace each would exercise small incursions of smaller neighbouring kingdoms.

Kaedwen Coat of Arms (Witcher Wikia)

More than any other kingdom of the north, Kaedwen communities are a mix of human and non-human inhabitants, such as elves, dwarves, gnomes and Halflings, all of which will be covered later as a separate topic.

I have included a photo of the recently completed army of Kaedwen and in the background you will see the light horse of the Dun Brigade.

Army of Kaedwen
1-3 Nobles (3Kn)
1-3 Light Horse (LH) Dun Brigade
2-4 Spearmen (Sp) or Pikemen (4Pk)
1-2 Halberdiers (4Bd)
1-2 Crossbows (4Cb)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Witcher Project - the Northern Kingdoms

An Introduction.
North of the Yaruga River are the realms known throughout the Witcher series as the Northern Kingdoms. Of these, Redania, Temeria and Kaedwen are largest and are also the focus for the next phase of this project.

The troops of the Northern Kingdoms are similarly equipped as Nilfgaard and if you have seen any of the game movies you will have noted the small badges to signify the allegiance of a particular character or soldier. The badges are actually too small to paint on a figure but the colour preferences of each kingdom can be used. Generally, the colour of tunic and breeches are less sombre than those of Nilfgaard with some combining multiple colour schemes and stripes.

Each of the kingdoms also makes use of mercenaries which have been displaced by the wars prior to the First Nilfgaard-Nordling War. The years of incessant warfare among the Northern Kingdoms have produced many roving bands of mercenaries offering their services to the highest bidder; these can be distinguished by their motley appearance. Dwarf units also appear as allies for a number of kingdoms. 

When not allied to fight off the Nilfgaard invasions, the Northern Kingdoms were at war among themselves. Redania meddled in the affairs of Temeria and Kaedwen sought expansion among the smaller kingdoms along the Pontar River, therefore, plenty of material for a campaign. Collecting all the minor kingdoms is outside the scope of the project, but I will focus on the three largest kingdoms, Redania, Temeria and Kaedwen.

As most of the Witcher game series takes place north of the Yaruga River, there is an abundance of information to be found at the Witcher Wikia covering each of the kingdoms and their military arm.

Next post: Kaedwen.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Witcher Project – White Orchard

The village of White Orchard is featured predominately in the game three of the Witcher game series and although not mentioned in the novels, it is illustrated in the comic book series. My interest in the location was to model this for the project and so added it to my 'to do' list. That was one and a half years ago. 

As misfortune (delayed delivery of miniatures) opened an opportunity for good fortune, I decided to start construction of the village. 

Each structure has a foam core which is cut and shaped to size. For DBA use (BUA, hamlet), the number of structures was kept to three houses and the tavern. With the blocks roughly shaped, I used Milliput to cover first the walls and after curing added the thatched roofs. 

Beginning with the walls, these were first given doors and windows, and then scored to simulate logs. The following day, the corners pieces were then added and the thatched roofs a day or two later. I made sure there was enough Milliput to create sufficient thatching hanging over the walls.

The tavern is constructed in four sections; a tower, two wings and a covered area for the patron’s horses. The latter section is held in place with brass wire to form upright posts; later, fencing would be added which was made from card stock (120 gram).

Bases are triplex basswood, cut and sanded. The structures are now glued into place as this will make handling easier as you begin painting and dry-brushing. Brass wire posts and fencing are set in place.The base is covered with a mix of white glue and sand. This is later painted and dry-brushed with ‘greenery’ added as the final touch.

In the Witcher 3, the Wild Hunt, there is a Nilfgaard garrison deployed at White Orchard, so the presence of a camp and a few watch posts placed at river crossing points would not be out of place. The region is known for its fruit bearing orchards and ample pasture for sheep and cattle, but as the war progressed and left its mark on the land it attracted its share of monsters. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Witcher Project - The Southern Conquest of 1239

The Southern Conquest of 1239 is the first of a series of scenarios written for the Witcher Project. This particular one focuses on the campaign of conquest conceived by the emperor known as the ‘Usurper’; actual name is not mentioned in either the books or the games.

In the year 1239, Nilfgaard armies are poised on her northern frontier and their aim is the gradual annexation of the three major kingdoms to the north and a number of minor provinces. Together with his military advisors, the emperor planned a five year campaign that would terminate with Nilfgaard forces occupying the banks of the Pontar River.

It was calculated that each of the kingdoms of Ebbing, Metinna and Nazair would require less than a campaign season to conquer, but to consolidate and integrate each domain within the empire would require an additional year. The latter would require the assignment of governors for each territory and key positions  would be filled by loyal functionaries. Care would also be taken so as not to disrupt the economic situation of newly annexed territory as each would serve as a stepping stone for the next phase of the campaign. 

Aside from the military operations of the campaign, the emperor would utilise the resources of Nilfgaard’s sorcerers and its trade guilds; the latter would help 'squeeze' economically each realm into accepting its place within the empire.

The campaign rules draw similarities to the Ancient Campaign System but with further additional features to accommodate the use sorcerers and the trade guilds.

The campaign will be play tested next week with periodic reports and photos will be posted here.  

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Witcher Project - the Kingdom of Nazair

The annexation of Nazair is the closing chapter to the Southern Conquest campaign. There is little information to be found at Witcher Wikia about the actual campaign, but my impression is after the fall of Ebbing and Metinna, Nazair nobles quietly accepted the inevitable and opened her gates to Nilfgaard.  Further inducement to seek the wiser option was supported by the college of Mages and the Trade Corporations. 

Nazair (Witcher Wikia)

In the books there is no further mention of events following the campaigns of annexation with the one exception of an uprising in Nazair necessitating a punitive expedition to the Amell Mountains and the eastern region of the country.  

Nazair Coat of Arms (Witcher Wikia)
This is a speculative design based on the famed blue rose of Nazair which is mentioned in the books. 

The scenario, the Southern Conquest 1239 will feature the uprising in Nazair and therefore the army list presented here include rebel forces that may be used after the occupation by Nilfgaard. This will offer players a preview of guerrilla activity which becomes a frequent occurrence in the Nordling Wars.  

1-2 Nobles (3Kn)
0-1 Men-at-arms (Cv)
2-6 Spearmen (Sp) or rebels (3Ax)
0-1 Halberdiers (4Bd) or rebels (3Bd)
1-3 Crossbow (4Cb) or rebels (3Cb) or (Ps)

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Witcher Project - the Kingdom of Metinna

Metinna lies north of Ebbing and like her neighbor there are a number of rivers which course their way through the land to empty in the great sea. Two of the towns and cities, Neureuth and Forgeham, are described as merchant cities and most likely would have fortified walls. Further, Metinna is describes as having one-third of its realm as a plain bordered on two sides by the Yelena and Sylte Rivers. 

Metinna Coat of Arms (Witcher Wikia)

During the Southern Conquest, Metinna with her greater resources could field a much larger army than Ebbing. For this reason, the maximum number of each troop type listed below is increased to reflect this. The colour green features in the Metinna coat of arms and this is used as a theme colour for the troops. The coat of arms, illustrated above reflects the transition from an independent realm to a member of the Nilfgaard Empire.

Those of you who have read the books will note that Nilfgaard adapts a different strategy for the annexation of Metinna as sorcery and the influence over the trade guilds have as great an importance than columns of troops marching across the landscape. This will also be treated in the Southern Conquest scenario.

1-3 Nobles (3Kn)
0-1 Men-at-arms (Cv)
2-6 Spearmen (Sp) or Pikemen (4Pk)
0-1 Halberdiers (4Bd)
1-3 Crossbows (4Cb)