Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legends!

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Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legends!

Postby Strawhat » 22 May 2014, 23:19

This took a little longer than expected. I needed to re-reorganize my thoughts, and then one of the cats thought it was play time--which I guess it was since I stopped this and started playing.

Strawhat wrote:I think that ghosts and banshees would be easily handled by a suitable paint scheme on some "robed cultists".

Everybody always seems to want robed cultists.


Strawhat wrote:Hmmm...6-8 Robed Cultists in a variety of positions (standing straight, moving, upright in a wide stance, etc.), a mix of hooded, unhooded, and mutant heads, a male "offering", a female "offering", some arms (various poses, ceremonial blades, etc.) and half an altar (combine with the other frames to make a complete one, maybe even one side molded as wood, the other as stone)?

I don't even have a use for them, but I think I want them!


It was a slow afternoon at work, so I had some fun instead of doing a bunch of boring reports and writing dreary procedures. Please don't tell the bosses as it upsets them when I'm not miserable. Actually, once I started really thinking about this I wasn't likely to get much work done.

So let's start with the basic assumptions:
  • 8"x6" frames.
  • 4 frames per box.
  • Suitable for three product lines: Alien Suns, Dark Futures, and Myths & Legends.

The frames shouldn't need a new size, and I'm sure Lonnie's blood pressure would spike through the roof if I mentioned it even half-seriously.

But why four frames? The main reason I'm suggesting four frames per box is because I'm suggesting "half" of an altar be on the frame to save space. As a customer, I would be a little miffed if I "needed" to buy another set. Of course, it would be possible to model a broken altar to use up that third piece and that's certainly not a bad idea; If this set (or one very like it) comes about, I'll certainly consider it! But I'm also suggesting four frames because I think it's unlikely that WGF would consider making multiple sets of Robed Cultists (and Robed Cultists fit in so many genres) so this set will need plenty of spare parts, which will cut down on bodies. Whereas most WGF have lots of figures, this would only have 20ish miniatures and 2 altars. Which leads us into point number three.

It might be tricky business, but I'm going after three birds with one proverbial stone. I know some of us have some pretty substantial conversion skills, but I'm not one of them. So it's important for me to have this as ready to go straight out of the box as possible. Go big or go home, eh? One thing that works in favor of the fantasy-world I've contrived for these cultists is that such cultists are often not terribly well equipped, so some melee weapons and more "primitive" firearms might not be all bad. I fully admit that I did not focus on Alien Suns' themes when putting my thoughts together (beyond "cults wouldn't have access to a lot of advanced weapons"), but I think it would work. Sort of.

So what do I see being part of the (frame) kit?
  • One-half of an altar--modeled as a stone slab on one side and wood on the other. The breaks necessary to show the different planks of wood could lead into grooves on the stone side that could either be generic cracks or actual grooves to collect blood. I really like the idea of having an altar set up to make collecting blood easy, but recognize that might be a bit gruesome for some people (especially if you're involved with younger gamers). The altar would have two metal reinforcement bands (one at the top, one at the bottom) that would serve to anchor the manacles for both the stone and wood variations and would also serve to bind the planks together for the wooden altar. I imagine the altar would be about the size of a pool table (4'x8') when assembled.
  • One altar support--modeled as a stone slab on one side and wood on the other. Since this will be under the altar in the first place, just place the side you don't like towards the center. It will be very difficult to see, especially if painted to match the "good" side facing out.
  • Two sacrifices: One male, one female. I would expect to see a man stripped to waist wearing some form of indeterminate breeches or shorts (probably to the knee). The female sacrifice would be wearing a pretty non-specific dress, probably with a plunging neckline and high slit on the skirt. This is, admittedly, quite a bit of cheesecake/beefcake. Both sacrifices will need manacles and possibly short chains to attach to the reinforcement bands on the altar.
  • Five 25mm round bases.
  • Four robed cultist bodies: two male and two female. This one hurt. I hate limiting the number of poses like this, but gender diversity is important to me. If the robes are bulky enough, I could live without specific female bodies. I'd still really prefer it, but circumstances are what they are.
  • One set of robed legs. These will belong to either the priest/priestess, higher level acolytes, or to freed sacrifices!
  • One open-robed male torso to serve as a manly-man high priest or freed sacrifice (depending on the head used).
  • One semi-open robed female torso to serve as a slightly naughty high priestess or freed sacrifice (depending on the head used). Any cleavage adornment (chain holding together the plunging neckline, etc.) on the female sacrifice should be repeated on this torso.
  • One female robed torso; this may serve as a rescued sacrifice, additional cultist or acolyte, or a more modest leader.
  • One male robed torso; this may serve as a rescued sacrifice, additional cultist or acolyte, or a more modest leader.
  • Fourteen heads:
    • Four mutant heads modeled after the "squiddie" heads from the Shock Troopers. Not completely squiddie, but certainly not human.
    • One mutant priest/priestess head.
    • One male unhooded leader head.
    • One female unhooded leader head.
    • One hooded leader head--although I'm not certain how this would be distinguished.
    • One male sacrifice head.
    • One female sacrifice head.
    • Four hooded heads (faces obscured).
  • At least thirteen(!) sets of arms:
    • Four sets of mace/club wielding arms.
    • Three sets of pistol wielding arms.
    • One set of Thompson submachine gun wielding arms (I'd prefer the drum over the magazine).
    • One set of shotgun wielding arms.
    • One set of ceremonial dagger wielding arms.
    • One set of ceremonial staff wielding arms.
    • Two sets of non-specific arms (open hands, folded into the sleeves, etc.)

I believe that will pretty well max out any available space. Should there be more, I would like to see some more modern weapons and maybe a book and pedestal of some sort--the pedestal could be done as half an item, to keep from having an absurd number of them just laying about. Should there not be enough, I'd let go of the non-specific arms first, then the two sacrifice heads, then the individual robed torsos.

Just for fun, these are the notes and the mock-up that I used to help organize my thoughts.
Cultist Notes.jpg
Made with Pencil and Paper!

Cultist Sample Two.jpg
Made with MS Paint!


OK, I guess I can't delay this any longer (I hate the review process :mrgreen: ). Time to hit "Submit."
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby 1classybadger » 23 May 2014, 00:07

looks good to me, though if push came to shove I think the altar could be dropped. simply because there are quite a few alternatives and you need the cultist minis more than you need the altar. Ideally the altar could stay
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Lonnie » 23 May 2014, 05:07

I'll have to go over this in detail a bit later but this might fit in snugly with the Apocalypse range of figures I've been working on.
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Lord_Bryon » 23 May 2014, 07:46

I Like the proposal. The only thing I would change would be to have an optional serpent head or two and maybe fewer "modern" weopons to open up room for cerimonial items.
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Lonnie » 23 May 2014, 08:55

Yes, an MP5 and/or an MP40 would do the trick.
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Darsc Zacal » 23 May 2014, 10:20

Such a sprue would also work as the underground mutants from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Image

And now I want WGF armed apes.
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Lord_Bryon » 23 May 2014, 12:17

Darsc Zacal wrote:And now I want WGF armed apes.


What would you do with armless apes? Have you ever seen an armless ape?
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Darsc Zacal » 23 May 2014, 13:40

Lord_Bryon wrote:
Darsc Zacal wrote:And now I want WGF armed apes.


What would you do with armless apes? Have you ever seen an armless ape?

:roll:

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The Apes are not amused.
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby bvandewalker » 23 May 2014, 20:31

I think that as long as the more modern weapons can be swapped out for WWII German weapons it will be fine. As for ritual weapons I think a kris might be a good starting point:

Image

Image

as to staffs, maybe an evil pointy version of the Shakujou used by Buddhists priests:

Image

Image

Image

Or maybe go with a simple snake design. as to clubs there are a couple of good options, One could go with the standard spiky mace but a Henry VIII walking staff (also known as a Holy Water Sprinkler) would be really different and might help sell the set even more (that really is up to you Lonnie):

Image

Image
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Re: Robed Cultists--Alien Suns, Dark Futures, Myths & Legend

Postby Strawhat » 23 May 2014, 21:54

Thanks for the feedback, but I sense that someone is holding something back.

1classybadger wrote:looks good to me, though if push came to shove I think the altar could be dropped. simply because there are quite a few alternatives and you need the cultist minis more than you need the altar. Ideally the altar could stay

I would have to [very] reluctantly agree that the altar is not completely necessary. The question then becomes how much would you gain by abandoning it? For every additional cultist, you need to add several arms and potentially heads as well (although that would only be necessary if you were focusing on a single type of head--things would be fine if mixing and matching).

And that leads to another question, how many cultists does one need? Twenty (including leadership) felt like a good "breaking point" to me. Meaning that my gut said that if you need more than 20, you need a lot more than 20, but if you only needed a handful you still had options to make some as modern and others as ancients/fantasy.

But I'd still much rather have the altar than lose it. Thinking about it, if the altar were redesigned a bit and quartered--an "L" shape won't work for obvious reasons, but some jagged edges would be OK and give more surface area for glue to grab, that might get another four figures (or some extra weapons options) per box. That might be an acceptable compromise to get more figures and still retain the altar.

I had also been thinking that if the leader (legs + torso cultists) had the legs designed in the right way, the lower body could be reversed to give a slightly different pose. Obviously, no feet could be showing, and the pose would have to be pretty straight up and down (leaning left or right). I could see it working.

Lord_Bryon wrote:I Like the proposal. The only thing I would change would be to have an optional serpent head or two and maybe fewer "modern" weopons to open up room for cerimonial items.

I'm embarrassed to say it, but my first thought was, "Why TF does he want...Ohhh, Thulsa Doom, of course." The squiddies are there for continuity with Alien Suns and because people love Cthulu. If WGF decides it's to be snakes, I won't bat an (lidless) eye.

The weapons mix was tough. Too far one way and the fantasy players have to convert, too far the other way and the modern/near future players have to convert. It sucks serving two masters. I figured that that the modern weapons selected would allow the cultists to appear in any time period from the late 1890s (or earlier if the pistols are revolvers and not my beloved 1911s) to 2100 or so. Pulp games would still get use out of the melee weapons and the firearms.

So where does that leave fantasy? As much as I wanted to include swords or axes, the thought of having to fight in robes like those horrified me. Is it really any different than fighting with a mace or club? I don't know, but the thought of it scared me more. Then there's the layout I drew up--I don't know how much Lonnie can fit on the frame, but I think that there's more room than I've already used as I tried to err on the side of caution. Not much room, but some. I could be completely wrong, though.

Personally, I'd like a few more modern weapons. :mrgreen:

Of course, were the arms designed in such a way as to make conversions from the WW2 and/or Survivors lines super easy the point would be moot! Except to my wallet.

The "real deal" would be a couple sets of arms that would allow easy conversions of the Persians (are they to scale with the Survivors and WW2 lines?) to holding firearms. But I've only got so much in the gaming budget for a month, I should probably quit while I'm behind.

Lonnie wrote:I'll have to go over this in detail a bit later but this might fit in snugly with the Apocalypse range of figures I've been working on.

I will be curious to see your thoughts, Lonnie.

Y'know, I heard that WGF were developing a new post apocalyptic set. And then you mentioned that you were researching something "VERY DISTURBING!" at the beginning of April.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krD4hdGvGHM

Oh, I just love jumping to conclusions!
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