"Creatures of the Night!" Box Set


  • A typical WGA box seems to be roughly five of one sprue, with that sprue having five to six bodies for approximately 30 human type figures.  Let's pretend we can get seven bodies on the sprue as there are not as many weapon and equipment options taking up room.

    Two zombie bodies, two wolf bodies, two ghouls bodies, one ghost/spectre/banshee thing body on the sprue.  Two bodies with different heads and arms can go a surprisingly long way.  If the legs and upper body are separate you get even more mileage. (Think about the beastmen in Blackstone Fortess).

    A box would let you build 10 zombies, 10 wolves, 10 ghouls, and 5 spirits.  Maybe one could throw some bats, a skull, and a tombstone on the sprue too.  Zombies wear rotten remnants of clothes, and ghouls have loin cloths or just present the whole fruit basket, either way the whole set could be pretty period agnostic.

     



  • While these are definitely a good set of creatures to do sets for, I think that trying to cram them all into one set might reduce their desireability to buyers.especially those looking for mass battle stuff.

    Instead I'd narrow the focus a bit more.. you could include zombies and ghouls together easily, and I think 5 sprues each with 4 zombies and 2 ghouls (for 20 and 10) would go over well. Maybe toss in some rats and decorative bits like gravestones to fill space. It would also give you the kinds of numbers that most games give undead even in skirmish games.

    For wolves, you could do wolves and werewolves, with perhaps 3 wolves and 3 "biped wolf" werewolfs per sprue. (since wolves tend to be fairly low parts count) this would give you 15 or each. A good number for both skirmish and mass battle games.

    Ghosts are trickier.


  • I was envisioning this set as one stop shopping for players of Silver Bayonet/Dungeon Crawler X/Skirmish Game Du Jour who need opposition forces. 

    Wouldn't be as useful for the building of regiments. no.

    Werewolves would also be cool.

    Like the idea of a couple stray rats on the sprue.


  • I like where you're going on this.

    I suspect the bodies can be a little more interchangeable:  generally ragged or tattered clothes including shrouds and bandages, on more or less gaunt and crooked bodies, and a variety of heads with and withou fangs, pointed ears, bulging eyes, hair and fur, wounds and decay, deformities, mutilations and scars, skull-faces, masks, hoods, and whatever in different combinations, and a selecton of arms with grasping long-fingered hands, and assorted ghoulish weapons (knives, hatchets, femur bones... though to me also, weapons are certainly less important in a set of "generic" Classic Fantasy gothic monsters, and I'd rather sacrifice weapons for the best possible selection of heads and bodies in this sort of set!)

    "In inventing a new type of ghost, [M.R. James] has departed considerably from the conventional Gothic tradition; for where the older stock ghosts were pale and stately, and apprehended chiefly through the sense of sight, the average James ghost is lean, dwarfish, and hairy—a sluggish, hellish night-abomination midway betwixt beast and man—and usually touched before it is seen. Sometimes the spectre is of still more eccentric composition; a roll of flannel with spidery eyes, or an invisible entity which moulds itself in bedding and shews a face of crumpled linen...." - H.P. Lovecraft on M.R. James in the essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature"

    Whether any specific creatures built from such a kit be ghouls, vampires, ghosts, mummies, revenants, werewolves, scarecrows, and the like is up to the customer, and to the combination of heads and bodies, and the paint scheme....

    A couple of us have been tossing around the idea of an orc-head sprue (including heads with military hats from various eras) in another conversation, and I like the idea, and thought about including a variety of monster heads on the same sprue - that sort of crosses over with what I envision here, and as much as I like the idea of a dedicated sprue of "orc", vampire, ghoul, and wolf-man heads, I also like the idea of sacrificing the military hats and using that sprue space for a few matching bodies and arms for a more classic gothic-horror monster set.....

    Orcs, I say?  And what is an orc after all, but an evil faerie, cousin to the banshee, a haunter of ancient graves and tombs best avoided deep in the wildenesses on the fringes of civilization, savage and decayed representatives of long-buried and long-forgotten races of "wild men" and the ancestral barrow-tombs they had built before the arrival of younger, milder, more civilized folk.... By any name, the faerie are the bogeyman prototypes of the witches, werewolves, ogres, vampires, goblins, and ghouls of legend, and interchangeable with all those and more.

    Rather than separate boxes of copies of all the other guys' standard-issue zombies, ghouls, vampires, mummies, werewolves, and the like, I'd far rather see a single kit of something a little more vague, a little more general-purpose, a little less specialized: general-purpose bogeymen and spectres and ghouls in a broader sense, from which more specific monsters might be suggested based on the choice of parts if desired (including more exotic fare like wendigo, skin-walkers, bunyips, demons and deadites, etc.), or from which vaguer, less-well-defined, and more primal and unknown varieties of creatures of the night might be made - the thousand faces of the nameless children of the graves, the haunters of darkness, the things in the closets and under the beds:  they need no names nor introctions, because we've known them all, all along:  we've met just a few of the representatives of their kind every time the lights went out late at night and darkness and shadow settled in around, allowing only the dimmets of glimpses into the unknown and what lurks within....


  • Considering how many gamers want zombies, especially modernish zombies, I think they would be better as their own kit.  I love the idea of a monster squad kit that can fill out any castlevania needs, but I'm not sure it's financially practical.


  • As long as Wolfman has nards... I am in.


  • @William Redford 

     

     

     

     


  • @BS Kitbasher - I think you're probably right about the modern zombie figures:  that's going to be a very specific niche, which can probably only be done one way.

    Fantasy and gothic horror games are an entirely different matter, though, and there are a number of such games that use undead hordes of various sorts.  Role-playing gamers and some wargames that run on kitchen-sink fantasy are not necessarily very picky about the "species" of undead:  those customers can run on rule-of-cool (rule-of-ghoul?) pretty easily, as long as they're close enough to what they are representing.  On the other hand, some other games can be really picky about specifying a difference between a mummy army vs. a zombie, ghoul, vampire, or skeleton army, and that's a different matter altogether.  A single Classic Fantasy gothic horror kit that can do all of those things for gamers who are doing pretty much any game other than zombie-apocalypse gaming would, I expect, have an audience.

    So, I think the zombie-apocalypse gamers and the fantasy and general horror gamers are probably two different markets, and the fantasy market is almost certainly the biggest of them all.

    Probably different markets - I might be the only one, but I would happily do zombie-apocalypse gaming with generic fantasy ghouls, ghosts, vampires, and other bogeymen any day.  Why not?


  • A zombie miniature in the shreds of pants can pretty much work from 1000 to 2022.


  • Yes! 

    And the same could be said of a zombie in torn pants and the indistinct rags of a torn shirt, or the tatters of bandages, or a torn shroud, or even a ragged robe....

    And those sorts of indistinct rags and generic outfits would not look out of place on that zombie, or on the Lovecraftian ghoul in the original post, or on Lon Chaney's wolf-man:

    The only limit, really, is how closely we stick to the territory of "The only proper zombie wears modern tennis shoes and designer jeans-and-t-shirt, or a suit-and-tie!"  The simpler, less specific rags can cover a lot of ground up to and including the modern era, while the specifically and explicitly modern outfits pin the zombies to a very specific time and even place!

    (And the great thing is that the heads of such a kit, at least, swap nicely onto the uniformed bodies of historical soldiers or partisans or civilians of any era, to make zombie, vampire, ghoul, or wolf-man soldiers or the like... and no doubt also many zombie arms - especially any in torn sleeves, but even bare arms - would swap just as well!  Who wouldn't enjoy leading a squad of brave soldiers against a horde of nazi zombies???)


  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    Yup.  Good point.  Is the above a dead Saxon, 1930s farmer, or 21st century fashion reject?

     

     

     

     


  • Exactly - and with a boxed set of this sort of undead?  Sign me up, for any era, especially with a good variety of different heads to customize it with! :)

    And speaking of heads, I really like the face on that particular one:  it could be a mindless, shuffling zombie... but do I detect more than a hint of malevolent, monstrous glee and intelligence in that grin?  I think I do, and that's even better, to me!  :)

     


  • @JTam

    Nah, Reaper, Mantic, Northstar and several others have the “all in one package” covered for this.

    Plus most of those monsters done the way your suggesting already have a proven track record of selling separate sets just fine, (I even kind of wonder why your adding ghouls since Mantic’s are pretty dang good sculpting wise, dress exactly the same as what you describe,  already scale well with most 28mm Nappy figures, and can actually be bought in an all in one package with other undead on Northstar's eshop last I checked).

    Likewise the few subjects that you mentioned that don’t really have their own sets probably could support one set on their own at least or in some cases 1 to 2 sets with upgrade sprues for the historical sets.

    Wolves without question, the only issue is should they be more realistically sized, monster sized or a combination thereof somewhat like the spiders.  

    Werewolves along with parts for different levels of transformation would probably sell well not just for horror gaming but also for alternative beastmen for things like Oathmark.  

    Now ghosts, Banshees, specters, spirits, etc. might be a bit of a disappointment as a one set subject for some. Ie separate male and female specter/spook sprues might actually be a good idea customization wise since it is a broad subject with a lot you can do. But if most people are okay with flying bedsheets with different head swaps you can do it in one box, though I wouldn't mind seeing some Asian (maybe Chinese or Japanese) fantasy elements thrown in as well if done as two kits, heck might even get me to buy them even though ghost are really low on my interests.    

    @Yronimos Whateley 

    Heck with the zombies that can sell separate male and female boxes/sprues right there by itself easy, particularly for modern (in fact it is probably the one thing for modern style games that is guaranteed to sell plastic boxes like that since back in the 2010’s according to the marketing guy WGF had supervising their forum the zombie Vixens was one of the top sellers for them).

    That said I think the real way to view plastic zombie sets though isn’t just as sets unto themselves for an intended genre  but also as way to convert/upgrade your other sets to the undead horde for the setting your actually wanting to play, and yeah I think there is way to do them as 2 (male/female) cross genre kits. After all they are basically just walking human corpses, should be kitbashable.

     Just put them in really ragged plain clothes for the main torso/bodies (ie, plain pants and shirt/tunics with rips and tares for the males, for the females really ragged dresses/tunics). Then have bare, ripped, short and long sleeved options for the arms (no weapons as they tend to date things) and keep the sleeves simple (no buttons, stitching, armor, etc.) that way you can reuse them for a lot of other kits. As to heads, focus on the undead aspect and keep them bare.

    Do them this way (plain, ragged and ripped clothing) in simple walking shambler poses and you can probably use them for most eras without people bulking in disbelief, particularly if you use the extra arms and heads on era appropriate bodies.

     Also you do want both genders on separate sprues so you can take the bits and make more zombies out of things like female Partisan sets for different historical settings and not have  the pop-eye the sailorman syndrome undead.

    Now the way I would sell these as a multi-use kit is you have a pic or 2 of kit bashes of the arms and heads on other WA bodies on the back of the box (I recommend the WW2 Partisans, 95th Riflemen, if its out something modern and maybe either the Conquistadors or the late Romans for the males, unless there is a female partsian set out it is not as important with the females) and mention its compatable with other WA products.

     

     


  • @Brian Van De Walker 

    "Nah" as in "no" not needed?  Or is Nah a miniatures manufacturer?

    Regardless, good info, Thanks.


  • "Zombie" head swaps onto uniformed bodies is a project I recently started some work on, for some DOOM/Quake-themed figures, in the demonically-possessed "zombie" troopers.  Tricky part was finding the right heads for the project! 

    Most undead sets out there are dreadfully specific:  zombies look a very specific way, ghouls look a very different specific way, and so on, with not much variety between those specific figures.

    Not much freedom or imagination to cook up anything off the beaten track.

    But, I suppose a lot depends on what customers will buy, and what fits Wargames Atlantic's current business model:

    WA's very specific skeletons were an early project, and presumably one that has a pretty reliable audience.  More of those specific, focused, standardized products will surely find the same reliable customer base:  traditional fantasy zombies and whatnot.

    On the other hand, since then, WA has dabbled in some different sorts of projects, with some very niche products apparently doing really well:  the halflings, for example.  And even more recently, we're seeing more variety and flexibility being built into WA kits, allowing one kit to cover multiple subjects.  These niche and multi-purpose kits interest me far more than the more specific kits, but do they appeal to eveyone, or are they appropriate for every project?

    On the gripping hand, Wargames Atlantic is poised to begin producing books of gaming rules and so on, giving them the ability to put their products into their own context, and giving them the freedom to produce kits that are tied less to external games, and aimed more at their own settings and visions for e.g. undead:  there might be room there for something unique to the WA "Classic Fantasy" or "Death Fields" setting, which nobody else is doing and nobody has seen before, which might be as broad or specific as WA needs it to be.

    It might be useful at this point to run a survey and see who the undead customer base really are.  Zombie Apocalypse type gamers are going to be looking for a different product from those who are looking for inexpensive alternatives to GW products, which in turn is different from RPG gamers, or sci-fi gamers looking for unusual bits to build aliens from, or from an upcoming generation of WA gamers....

    It might be possible to please the top two or three of those markets with the same kit (though it's perhaps more likely that WA might have to pick one, and ask themselves whether additional kits can be be profiably targeted at the rest....)

    In any case, I would take novelty, flexibility and variety over copies of the specific boxed sets produced by the other guys, any day.

     


  • Maybe down the line when they have expanded the range a bit they can release a variety box. One or two of each of a few different sprues. 

    Somthing like

    - 2 goblins

    - 2 spiders

    - 1 troll

    It would probably go over well with RPG and skirmish players.


  • @JTam

    In case you’re not being sarcastic, Nah as in a bundle every "children of night" critter on one to two sprues is not really needed as there are plenty of bundle options for undead out on the market like that already  even in plastic (if there is a mini company by the name Nah news to me and I want to see thier webstore🤣).

    Also it is not exactly the optimal multipart formula if you know what I mean since normally I would think you want each mini in your kit to come out as a unique interpretation of the subject once built (ie each individual undead should look different from its fellow undead of that class/type when we are talking multipart kits), which is not likely to happen on a multi subject sprue normally unless it is just a headswap difference.   

    I think WA should just do the things you mentioned as separate sets since they all either already have proven track records as set subjects or very likely would work as sets on their own, maybe sell them by the sprue as well or have a special sprue bundles after they are all made.


  • @William Ings This would be insta buy from me (from local shop tho).


  • I think you should think about a box of 30 strait zombies. Zombies are always one of those things in gaming that you need a lot of.

    #1- I've never seen a Necromunda campaign go down where at some point a lot of zombies arn't required. Either a Scavvy gang looted your territory and is throwing 100 zombies at you with the looted proceeds (usually the highlight of the whole campaign) or every other card in the purge scenerio has a D6 worth of zombies.

    #2- Just about every D&D campign has a zombie outbreak at one point or another. Necromancers will be necromancers. 

    #3- 40K can always use a swarm zombies in any Nurgle Army or that pure cultist army of legend.

    #4- Cheep Zombies make Warhammer Fantasy Undead armies almost as threatening as Skaven. 

    #5- Right now the zombie market looks slim, GW's zombie selection is over scupted and expensive. Other zombies are too styleized and over weaponized. Just give me a zombie I can shoot in the head with a shotgun or slice with katana. I don't need no zombie getting an associate's degree in the dark arts or monopolizing the dance floor on goth night at the club.

    If you folks deem it fitting to make them interchangable as Ghouls, that isnt a problme with me. You folks are pros at head swaps and some clawy claw altenative arms might be all you need to make the swap fly. Genreally zombies with weapons can feel redundant but I don't begrudge some sickles, crowbars, or machetes. A kris dagger would make my day as well.  

    In reality there are a hundred settings and minature lines that zombies would compliment. Zombies for the win comrades.


  • Zombies seem like a no brainer to me, pardon the pun. 

    Yes, there are other zombies out there but a zombie kit from WA which would be sure to scale correctly with their other kits would be brilliant for kitbashing for all those uses@INSURGENT Skirmisher has pointed out. 

    Look at how crazily well the current CMON Marvel Zombies Kickstarter is doing. Over 3 million dollars in 24 hours. Some folks say the zombie market is saturated. In my opinion Vikings, pirates and zombies always sell... be it movies, tv shows, Larp and video gaming as well as tabletop gaming.


  • And there is no reason to not make as many as half of those zombies women. Most zombies come from the civilian population. But please don't get styalized on any of the clothing. Keep it neutral rags so the zombies are interchangable from fantasy, to modern, to future.


  • Zombies are a staple of fantasy and I wouldn't be surprised to see them. My problems though are:

    - Many other maufacturers make excellent zombies.
    - People intent on zombies might just want dozens of zombies, without being interested in ghouls/wolves/other stuff.

    In my opinion, the best thing would be to dedicate a kit solely to zombies, but keep them separate from a "creatures of the night" box.

    Wargames Atlantic is working on a "Farm Animals" kit and I imagine a "creatures of the night" kit would be the fantasy/dark equivalent, so with wolves, snakes, werewolves, bats, bears (maybe undead), banshees, scary insects, etc...


  • @Riccardo Improta An updated version of the old GW vermin sprue?GW vermin sprue


  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    Yes!


  • @Grumpy Gnome Yes,! That's exactly what I would imagine from a "creatures of the night" kit. I think it could be useful for skirmish wargames (something along the line of rangers of shadow deep) or dungeon masters that want to have some simple generic enemies.


  • @INSURGENT Skirmisher 

    You make me wish I had picked my forum name better.


  • a zombie kit from WA which would be sure to scale correctly with their other kits would be brilliant for kitbashing

     

    I like the idea of zombies as an upgrade/conversion kit, but could it fit all other kits? I thought Death Fields (and Fantasy?) were more 'heroic' than the historicals, so something that is correctly scaled for one won't quite fit the other.


  • @Ben Saunders 

    I've seen some pictures of Death Fields parts mixed with WW2 French somewhere.  The differences weren't obnoxious.  Maybe a conversion kit could cut the difference between the ranges in size.


  • @INSURGENT Skirmisher

    Nah, WA could make them in 2 gender separate sets (or at least sprues) and should due to proportions since we are mostly talking historical scale fantasy sets here.   And before you even ask, they actually would sell this way.

    @Ben Saunders They are, but not by so much though it is enough where having a Death Fields set is needed.

    A couple of good historical scale gender separate sprues kits of zombies with plain ripped cloths and no weapons would probably cover zombies for everything for most folks and make different eras/sprues of  civilian partisan kits to kitbash with them more sellable for people wanting setting flavor added to their undead. (Though a  Zombification upgrade sprue for the Cannon Fodder, Space Dwarfs, and Bull Dogs might be fun).

     


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