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Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2012 2:03 p.m. PST

Hordes Army Lists for a Song of Ice and Fire
Book One: The Wall

The following lists are part of my continuing effort to create the armies used in George Martin's a Song of Ice and Fire. The first rule for successfully creating these armies in miniature is to totally ignore the mini-series. The costuming is quite bad and ignores the detailed and period correct descriptions provided in the books. Martin's knowledge of medieval dress, society and military dynamics is unsurpassed in a fantasy author. About the kindest thing has said about the mini-series look is "no comment". On a related note the figures produced by Dark Sword are quite good and have benefited from the author's input and even painting guides (he has sent them to the costume people at HBO in a desperate attempt to improve their feeble attempts). Unfortunately as they are at least 35mm in size they are not compatible with other figure ranges (with a few noted exceptions). They do provide excellent guides as to what the characters should look like.

The first set of lists covers the armies beyond the Wall, the most fantasy oriented of various armies and factions. I have included in "[ ]" notes on converting the Lists to DBA or DBM/M. Any element marked "F" counts as Fast in DBA 3.0. If no notation follows the troop description, assume all troops to be Ordinary Irregulars. Where troops are given as Type A, Type B, the first to be taken must be of Type A and next as Type B and so forth.

I have included some notes about what figures I used and some painting information. These are meant as suggestions not directives as many fine 28mm figure lines could serve very well including the Perry Brothers, Front Rank, Essex and Foundry.

As to mounting I suggest using 45-50mm deep bases for Mounted, Heroes, and Mages etc. This allows the use of modern 28mm figures which are too large for the old DBA system (meant for Airaffix 20mm figures). I normally mount one less figure than called for in the "old" system (so Knights have two figures, Bows three etc.)

Thomas J. Thomas
December 25, 2011

The Night's Watch

1 Knight [(F) Reg] "Noble" Brothers
[Dismount as Reg Blade(S)]
Make General as High Lord Mormont

0-1 Hero [Kn(S) Reg] Jon Snow With Dire Wolf Ghost
[Dismount as Reg Blade(S)]
Make General (if Mormont not used)

0-11 Riders [Cav Reg] Brothers on garrons [Dismount Blade, Bow]
0-11 Blades [Reg], Bows [(S) Reg] Dismounted Brothers

0-1 Sneaker [Ps(X) Reg] Jon Snow as wildling (if not used as Hero) or
Samwell Tarly with Obsidian knife

0-2 Lurkers [Ps] Children of the Forest

0-1 Mage [Art] Cold Hands riding giant elk with feasting crows

Stronghold: Gate in Ice Wall or Fortified Camp

I used Bretonian Mounted Squires for the Riders and the latest Games Workshop Bretoninan "peasant" archers and halbredmen for the dismounted versions (mixed with a few other figures). These figures are scruffier than prior versions and wear bulkier clothing suitable for the North. The "fat" body was used for Samwell Tarly and a peg leg conversion for Spare Boot. Jon Snow was converted from one of the new Bretonian Knight Errants. Put a dire wolf model (I used Primeval) on his base to denote Hero status. The Stark dire wolfs rarely leave the side of their human companions and so should not be depicted as separate Beasts. I used the Bretonian Duke figure for Mormont. Cold Hands and Samwell Tarley should only be used against Others or similar undead armies.

Paint them black and then drybrush over with various shades of gray. Cold Hands is dressed in Black as Night Watch including his hands…Contrast by mounting on snow covered bases.

The Others

1-2 Heroes [Kn(S)] The Others (on foot or riding re-animated horses) (1 Gen)

0-2 Beasts [Kn(F)] Re-animated Bears/animals

0-1 Behemoth [El(S)] Re-animated Mammoth

6-11 Hordes [(S)] Re-animated Humans

Stronghold: Icy Wood

I used some old Mage Knight figures for the Others but GW Dark Elves or Manic Elves will also work for the Others and various Zombie figures for the Hordes. All mammoths are converted toys found in Museum gift shops.

I painted the Others with white skin and icy blue armor and weapons. Zombies should have pale flesh but black hands and blue eyes. Mount on bases covered with ice and snow.


1-2 Riders [Cav (O) (I)] Wildlings on horses (1 General as Mance Rayder)

4-6 Warband [(F)] Wildling Raiders

2-6 Hordes The Free Folk of all genders and ages with dog chariots, herds etc.
0-2 Hero [Kn(S)] Mag the Mighty and other giants on foot
0-2 Spear [(I)] Tormund's Spearmen

0-2 Blades [(F)] Styr/Sigorn's Thenns

0-1 Flyer [Lh] Skin Changers as Birds of Prey

0-1 Beasts [Kn(F)] Varamyr riding snow bear and other Skin Changers as beasts

0-2 Behemoth [El(S/O)] Mammoths ridden by giants or with crude howdahs
0-1 Shooters [Ps] Ygrette and Wildings with short bows

0-2 Lurkers [Ps] Wilding ambushers

Stronghold: Rambling Camp

I used a wide variety of barbarian looking figures from the scrap box. Grenadier made a useful line a few years ago but virtually any figures will do (including many D&D pre-paints). I used fur cloaks out of the GW Empire Knights box on several figures (sprues of these "extras" are widely available in flee markets). Mance Rayder was a conversion from scrap box wearing a black cloak with red "strips" added. Giants game out of Descent game (FASA) often riding toy mammoths.

Paint in various browns, grays and tans with white snow bases.

More Lists to follow.


WarrenB Inactive Member28 Sep 2012 3:17 p.m. PST

Nice! I was about to start wading into the books for this, myself. I agree about the TV series – I don't think some costumes look too bad, but I'm mildly baffled by the Lannister armour, for example.

What barbarians did you use for Wildlings? That's the one race or unit type I don't have an immediate choice for; especially if the Dark Sword minis are the image to aim for.

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2012 6:49 p.m. PST

Thanks for the lists and the conversions (especially for supporting DBA 3). I like it. Now for some figures …

HarryHotspurEsq Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2012 6:26 a.m. PST

"The costuming is quite bad and ignores the detailed and period correct descriptions provided in the books."

While I haven't seen the series, I have read the first book. What on earth can you mean by 'period correct'? It's a fantasy series!?

WarrenB Inactive Member29 Sep 2012 12:44 p.m. PST

I think 'the period that George is interested in and used as inspiration for the series'.


Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2012 1:32 p.m. PST

I use a wide variety of figures for the wildlings and glue furry cloaks on their backs using old sprues of Empire "Wolf Knights" from GDW (my son gets the sprues at convention flee markets).

Will post more army lists.

As to period, you can tell from the books that Westros is Europe roughly 1400-1480 (minus gun powder).

Keep in mind that armor and clothes are construced for logicaly purposes and so fall into patterns. Its cold in Europe for instance…The mini-serias doesnot seem to understand this concept but the books do (or at least better than typical fantasy).


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