Created by some of the best artists and sculptors in the world and manufactured in the finest quality polyurethane resin in-house by Mierce Miniatures, this Kickstarter project is your chance to fund the creation of the Darklands: First Edition rules (which expand upon the already available Darklands QuickStarter rules) and own a copy of the resulting hardback rulebook, which will include the rules themselves as well as a background to the world of Darklands and musters to build your hosts.
This means you can play a skirmish wargame with all of our amazing miniatures, including those incredible monsters, in a wargame designed specifically for them in a setting that you already know a lot about... for the lands of darkness, the "dark lands" as we call them, are in fact the north and west of Europe and of course the sunken lands still remembered, yet no longer seen, from ancient times.
The Albainn represent the people the Romans called the Pictii, the Painted, who inhabit the far north of modern-day Scotland. The Angelcynn are the Angles that settled the north and east of Britain and eventually gave their name to that kingdom, England. The Brythoniaid are the original Britons, pushed back by the invading Anglo-Saxons to the north and west of the land, and now called the Welsh. The Byzantii are the remnants of the Roman Empire in the east, the Byzantines, who have allied themselves with the enemies of the one god - the Infernii - to reconquer the lost lands of the western empire. The Fomoraic represent the evil Fomorians, the devils from the sea bent on conquering the lands above the water at any cost and whose leader, Baalor, has based himself on Toraigh, the Tory Island of the north-west Irish coast. The Khthones are the once-slaves of Atalantia, a race of lizards and reptiles bound by cold blood to destroy their enslavers, the Atalantes, and to find lands of their own in Europe. You will know Atalantia as Atlantis, situated off the cost of Ireland and Britain in the dark lands. The Norse are our own northmen, vikings if you will, come to conquer the soft lands of the west in their longships from scandinavia. The Ysians are the Cornish (Kernow) and Breton (Ys) peoples who have turned their backs on their fellow Britons to follow their own path.
There are only a few rewards to choose in this project to keep things simple. Darklands: First Edition inherently focuses on the full Darklands rules but you can still purchase our miniatures without those rules - you just don't get access to any "free" stretch goals or special offers if you do so!
The main rewards of the project are in three forms - "DARKLANDS", which only gets you the rulebook itself; "DARKLANDS & UHTRED" which rewards you with the rulebook and the exclusive Uhtred miniature; and the "DARKLANDS & UHTRED, EARLIER" which mirrors the "Darklands & Uhtred" reward but discounts it for 500 backers to get things moving early. There is also a "DARKLANDS, UHTRED & NOBLES" reward which collects the rulebook, Uhtred and all of the miniatures from the nobles stretch goals into one easy purchase - at a huge discount, too!
All of the "DARKLANDS & UHTRED" rewards will give backers access to the "free" stretch goals which will be unveiled over time as well as a couple of other special offers. So choose wisely!
Uhtred Uhtredson is an Angelcynn sell-sword - that is, he will work for any kindred for the right amount of gold... so he will always be useful!
If anybody that has backed the "DARKLANDS & UHTRED" rewards fancies another Uhtred Uhtredson miniature, please increase your pledge by £15.00.
Finnan, Exile of the Uí Néill
As we've now passed £65,000, we can unveil the simply awesome Finnan, Exile of the Uí Néill miniature, the very first of the Érainn - the Irish!
Finnan is a sell-sword that will work for any kindred, in exchange for gold of course!
As it states above, Finnan is free to anyone who has pledged for the "DARKLANDS & UHTRED", "DARKLANDS & UHTRED, EARLIER", "THE SWEET SPOT", "DARKLANDS, UHTRED & NOBLES" and "YOU'RE THEIR DESCENDANT" rewards - so that basically means you get two free miniatures with the Darklands: First Edition rulebook, Uhtred and Finnan!
You can purchase additional Finnan miniatures for £12.
Oh, and if anybody would like an additional Darklands: First Edition rulebook, please increase your pledge by £30.00.
I Just Want some Cool Miniatures Reward
The "I JUST WANT SOME COOL MINIATURES" reward nets you a single miniature worth £10 from the "COMMANDERS", "FEMALE COMMANDERS" or "SORCERERS" stretch goals (your choice) and enables you to ignore the Darklands: First Edition rulebook and simply fund the miniatures themselves. You can increase your pledge for any further miniatures or even the rulebook should you wish, but by choosing this reward you will not gain access to any of the "freebies" given by any stretch goal.
You will get some cool miniatures though!
There will eventually be three Host Rewards to choose should we be funded as we would wish, but at the start of this project only the "ENCOUNTER HOST" reward will be available. Each host reward is tied to a particular battle size, with ENCOUNTER to a battle size of 500 gold, SKIRMISH to 1,000 gold and BATTLE to 2,500 gold.
Many of these host rewards will include new nobles from this Kickstarter as well as some already available miniatures, packaged into a nice retail-ready box with tokens, dice and so forth - everything you need to get started, basically!
These hosts can be added to other rewards simply by increasing your pledge level by the relevant amount, of course.
As it states on the graphic, these unlockable encounter hosts really do depend upon the stretch goals being reached; but if you pledge for them now, it's much more likely that they'll be unlocked. That's the Kickstarter conundrum!
Some Encounter Hosts - and the Skirmish and Battle Hosts - will only be produced if the units within them will be produced by this project; for example, an Albainn host would only be produced if Albainn units are produced. As such, the availability of these host rewards will be fairly dynamic during this project.
As it states on the graphic, these unlockable skirmish hosts really do depend upon the stretch goals being reached; but if you pledge for them now, it's much more likely that they'll be unlocked. That's the Kickstarter conundrum!
Again, by choosing a Host Reward you will not gain access to any of the "freebies" given by any stretch goal.
The Sweet Spot Reward
We've now added a new reward - called "THE SWEET SPOT" - for those who have found things a little confusing and just want the best deal in one reward. That's why we've called it "The Sweet Spot"!
So for £150 you basically get a 200+ page hardback rulebook, four free miniatures (Uhtred, Finnan, a general on foot to match your mounted general and finally Danilo Cruz), a mounted general and an encounter host, worth between £265 and £325 at recommended retail price!
Thus, "THE SWEET SPOT" contains everything you'll need to start playing games of Darklands, and at a huge discount too - almost 45% in most circumstances and over 50% if you go for the larger encounter hosts!
The first five stretch goals of this project are available to purchase right now and these are collectively known as the Nobles stretch goals for they comprise nobles to command your hosts! Each of these Nobles stretch goals will ONLY be produced if a certain amount of money is pledged but we hope to reach the nobles stretch goals fairly quickly.
There's also a "DARKLANDS, UHTRED & NOBLES" offer - saving you £200 from purchasing each miniature individually during the Kickstarter - which gets you every single noble (including any freebies) from the five noble stretch goals as well as the Darklands: First Edition rulebook and Uhtred!
Simply increase your pledge by the relevant amount to get the "GENERAL", "COMMANDER", "FEMALE COMMANDER", "SORCERER" or "MONSTROUS COMMANDER" miniatures.
The name of the concept artist, along with the confirmed sculptor's name below it, is shown beneath each miniature's concept art in blue.
As it says on the tin, a general on foot is FREE if you've purchased his equivalent on horseback from the same kindred. So if you've purchased Eadric already, you'll get Eadric on foot for free once we reach £50,000!
(Obviously, the purchase of Xontór will net you Ágriosávra for free).
Please note, however, a miniature from this stretch goal is ONLY free to those backers that have chosen the "DARKLANDS & UHTRED", "DARKLANDS & UHTRED, EARLIER", "DARKLANDS, UHTRED & NOBLES" or "YOU'RE THEIR DESCENDANT" rewards, and purchased a mounted general.
Thus, if you have not chosen those rewards, or if you fancy additional generals on foot, you must increase your pledge by £10 ($15) to purchase a general on foot.
Please note, there are no additional shipping fees for acquiring a general on foot if you've already chosen a reward, and they'll be shipped with the first wave of rulebook and miniatures, in June 2014.
Obviously, a miniature's recommended retail price will be higher if the stretch goal miniature's price is higher than the normal price. For example, Hanokh's likely recommended retail price would be £35.
Sculpted by the quite amazing Daniel Cockersell from a concept by Stefan Kopinski, Malacant is roughly 100mm to the top of his wings and around 60mm to his eye. He will be a commander for your Byzantii host and obviously complements the even more impressive Krull.
We would suggest that you don't spill his pint...
The letters "tbc" (meaning, "to be confirmed") will appear under the concept art for a miniature if a sculptor has not yet been assigned to sculpt it. When a sculptor is eventually confirmed, these images will be updated.
The Danilo Cruz miniature comes with a scenic 30mm base complete with the skull of a Krokod and the severed head of a Krokodar, and whilst it probably won't look exactly like the image - he would have to be on a 100mm base if it did! - it will certainly show him atop a big monstrous skull.
If anybody fancies an extra noble or two, please feel free to increase your pledge by the relevant amount regardless of the reward you've backed. You can have as many of the nobles as you wish!
Mag ap Mag will ship in June 2014 along with the first "wave" of Darklands: First Edition rewards.
Cnebba is the first monstrous beast of this Kickstarter project - a Mægenwulf for the Angelcynn, standing on a 100mm base! Cnebba is pronounced "NEBba" and Mægenwulf is pronounced "MAG-en-wolf".
This stretch goal provides you with "HRAFNEN CREW" - a unit of Holumenn that man the longship Hrafnen (meaning "The Raven") - for the Norse!
Djiuzu is another superb monstrous commander for the Byzantii and is a Dromedus (a mix of man, camel and daemon) of the Auxilia Bestiarii.
Here's the long-awaited infantry for the Byzantii, in the eight-man shape of a rag-tag, mixed sex Legionary Contubernium named "Con I Modius" (First Contubernium commanded by Modius)!
Praach is the first Gabrox for the Fomoraic and a mighty beast often associated with his smaller brethren, the Gabrax. He's one of the smaller "monstrous beasts" - standing about the same height as a Tarvax - but won't become monstrous infantry as Gabrox are very rare. As a miniature, he will stand on a 60mm base and be around 50mm to the eye.
The Gesíth - pronounced "YE-sith" - are the elite infantry of the Angelcynn, the hearthguard of their king, professional warriors with a long history of conflict behind them. These guys are the best of the best, usually minor Thegns themselves, and formidable opponents in combat that wear the best armour and wield the best weapons available to their kindred. In short, don't mess with them!
Mälmord is a Bergrisi, a Mountain Troll, who (funnily enough) lives in the mountains and crags and hunts unsuspecting beasts both for food and to trade for what little he needs. He's a loner and a ferociously territorial beast, but when the Troll Jarls call he is quick to answer - if only for the change to taste something different to goat-flesh!
Broga is the first of our Wereofora,s or man-boars, and a Thegn to boot! He is also the first of our Eoforas, East Anglians, who reside on the east coast of Angle-land. He's a monstrous commander and will stand on a 60mm base. He'll be around 50mm tall to the eye, so he'll be a big 'un!
The long-awaited Gabrax infantry unit, all on 30mm bases, is called Baagath's Herd (and yes, we suggest you pronounce that with a sheep-like inflection)!
The Gabrax, of course, are the goat-men of the Fomoraic and both hairy and smelly to boot. Whilst their hygiene may be that of all wild creatures, their society rudimentary and their beliefs primitive, they nevertheless possess a savage cunning and find great joy in battle.
As it states on the graphic, you can purchase the Gabrax in three distinct forms.
- a unit of five Gabrax with champion, banner bearer, herald and two warriors
- a unit of ten Gabrax with champion, banner bearer, herald and seven warriors
- five Gabrax warriors (a random mixture of the Gabrax named Ungaa and Rapraag) to add to the above two options
Just increase your pledge by the amount indicated to grab a Gabrax unit. Thus, if you're after a unit of twenty Gabrax , simply add £115 - £55 for 10x Gabrax and £60 for two sets of five warriors!
The maximum unit size of a Gabrax unit is 20. The minimum is 5. They will be Common units unless led by a Gabrax general, at which point they become Mainstay.
The Gabrax unit will feature as part of an encounter host and a skirmish host once they are unlocked.
Seza is the first Abhorrent for the Ysians, a three-legged monstrosity of blade and hoof and female parts married to an intelligence far beyond that of the mere Brutes that she leads. It can truly be said that the Flesh-Drunes and Harvest-Drunes are insane! Seza is a monstrous commander and will stand on a 60mm base. She'll be around 60mm tall to the eye, so she's pretty tall and well able to look other monstrous infantry in the eye - before chopping their heads off, of course!
Eikovra is a commander and will stand on a 30mm base. He'll be around 30mm tall to the eye.
The Dawn of Khthon are the future of the Khthones for they are Gorgórares, or snake-women!
These girls will, of course, be on 60mm bases - being around 50mm tall to the eye - and will be sculpted digitally (a first for us) by the world-renowned Hector Moran, so you're assured of some amazing work right there. Thank you Hector!
The maximum unit size of a Gorgórar unit is 5. The minimum is 1. They will be Uncommon units unless led by a Gorgórix general, at which point they become Common. The Gorgórar unit will feature as part of an encounter host and a skirmish host once they are unlocked.
Set at £145,000, Gomagg is an absolutely MASSIVE giant for the Albainn (and of course their Brythoniaid allies). Standing 160mm to the eye tall and on a 120mm base, he's even bigger than Krull - and he's huge!
Teulu - pronounced "TAY-lee" - means "family" in Welsh and these warriors represented the close companions of the Teyrns, or kings. These guys both kept the king safe and protected his household, and thus were his "hearthguard" as such warriors are called!
Our friend from Darklands: a World of War, Hedroc of Carn Maen, is mounted upon the first Hound-Horse - a very odd meld of horse and mutt, funnily enough - grown by the insane Harvest-Drunes with aid from the Flesh-Drunes. The actual miniature will be rather large - sitting on a 100mm base, 60mm tall to Hedroc's eyes, it will make a great centrepiece for your Ysian host!
Further Stretch Goals
We do expect to hit the Nobles stretch goals quite early in the duration of this project, and we will expand the miniatures available to each host by unveiling units, beasts and other goodies (such as dice, tokens, templates and books) as stretch goals once we reach certain levels.
As well as a few sell-swords, we have plans to unveil units and beasts for each of the kindreds, but each kindred's beast or unit will be unveiled one at a time; producing such miniatures is expensive, and it makes more sense to have eight stretch goals for lesser amounts than one big stretch goal for a large amount to produce units for every kindred.
The miniatures from the Noble stretch goals will all be shipped at the same time (as long as their sculptors deliver on time of course), that is, at the same time as the Darklands rulebook, which is scheduled for June 2014; and then each stretch goal after that will be shipped as a "wave".
However, shipping times do depend on how much this project is funded. If we get a lot of money from this project, it's very likely that shipping dates will be shifted further back simply because of the time involved in casting miniatures and packing them.
Thus, shipping times will be fairly dynamic throughout the course of the fulfilment period - but we'll keep you all informed throughout, of course.
Shipping costs will be fairly simple, for they are tied to stretch goals.
If you are outside the UK, shipping will cost £10 for whatever you are purchasing for the FIRST shipment only - "SHIPMENT WAVE 1", obviously the Darklands rulebook and the Nobles stretch goals.
Now, you can wait for all of your purchases to be produced before we ship them, of course; but if you don't wish to do that, I'm afraid we must ask you for the shipping costs for each shipment.
Further shipment of purchases will cost a flat rate of £3 (UK), £7 (EU), £10 (ROW) - and these are "lowest weight" prices - for each stretch goal "wave" afterward, unless you wish to combine shipment of waves. Thus, if you have purchased miniatures from a stretch goal produced after the nobles, it will cost £3 to ship any or all of the miniatures from that stretch goal within the UK separately from another wave.
It should be noted that shipping will be relatively fluid thanks to the time it takes for sculptors to, well, sculpt the miniatures; and thus we may be able to ship waves together, combine a stretch goal with the first shipment, and so on and so forth. As always, we will keep you informed as much as possible.
What's in the Shipment Waves?
So here's a rundown of what is shipping when:
Shipment Wave 0: before 2014/early 2014, depending on how many orders there are. This shipment wave will only happen if you pay extra to ship miniatures that are already available from our back catalogue when you manage your pledge. Malacant would also be included with this shipment if you pay extra to have him shipped in December 2014.
Shipment Wave 1: June 2014. This shipment wave will include the rulebook, concept art book, Uhtred, Finnan, Danilo Cruz, all of the Noble miniatures, Malacant, Mag ap Mag, Mälmord, Eikovra, Dawn of Khthon.
Shipment Wave 2: August 2014. Cnebba, Holumenn unit, Djiuzu, Legionary Contubernium, Praach, Broga, Gabrax unit, Seza, Gomagg, Hedroc of Carn Maen so far.
Shipment Wave 3: October 2014. Gesíthas unit, Teulu unit.
We're always being asked about the scale of our miniatures, so we've provided a scale shot that shows the size of many kindred's available infantry, monstrous infantry and monstrous beasts!
Hopefully that will show everyone just how big our big miniatures really are - and thus explains their price!
All of our miniatures are made from high quality, non-toxic polyurethane resin and are rightly regarded as some of the finest 30mm scale miniatures in the world. Our miniatures are manufactured in house and our quality control is second to none, and we are constantly striving to ensure the casts you receive are as close to the master miniature as possible. We care about the cast that you get - just have a look at the detail held on Carrowek of Carn Dhu, shown at approximately three times the size of his actual cast height, 72mm:
Carrowek of Carn Dhu at three times his actual size
Important: all miniatures are supplied unassembled and unpainted, and each comes with a round plastic base of appropriate size - either 30mm for infantry or 60mm for monstrous infantry.
How do I pledge?
Just click the green "Back this Project" button! You'll be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. Note, as this is a UK project, you'll check out through Kickstarter, not Amazon.
All dollar values are in US Dollars and are approximate; market fluctuations do occur so please ensure you check a currency exchange website for the closest values on any given day. When you check out and pay, Amazon Payments will show you the true amount in whatever currency you are paying in.
Risks and challenges
With a highly successful Kickstarter project having fulfilled most of its rewards - and within a couple of months of the projected reward date - we believe this project has virtually no risks attached to it. Just ask the backers from that project, many of whom believe it was the finest Kickstarter project they had ever been involved in!
The team behind Mierce Miniatures have been creating and manufacturing miniatures for a number of years now and have produced tens of thousands of resin miniatures - some of which are incredibly complicated to make - over that time. Long experience in the wargaming industry coupled with an in-depth knowledge of the logistics required to bring miniatures to market ensure that we will be able to deliver on every single pledge exactly on time - if not earlier!
All that being said, sometimes those gremlins work hard as hard as we do too, but if there are unavoidable delays anybody who pledges will be the first to know about them via an update to the project. Many of the miniatures you can pledge for are already being manufactured but for those that aren't, it must be noted that the artists and sculptors we work with are genuine professionals and work very hard to meet their deadlines.
We are not dependent upon another company in a country on the other side of the world to manufacture our products - they are all made and packaged on our premises and so we are very confident we can deliver on all of the pledges with no problems whatsoever.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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