Thursday, 5 June 2014

A closer look at the models of Relics

It has been quite a while since my last blog post and quite frankly I haven't been very hobby active for quite a while. But that has recently come to an end, with me and some friends slowly finding the time and energy to get some games and hobby time in again.

With this comes the myriad of new games, minis and rulesets out there to check out. I have certainly shifted away from the bigger wargames, finding skirmish-level and painting projects much more enjoyable and rewarding. One such game is Tor Gaming's Relics, which rather fun bunch of rules set in a rather fantastical and unique world has really drawn me in. Some folks online have asked me if I could have a better look at those armyboxes and blisters I picked up a while back, so it's about time to have a better look at Relics. So what better time to dust off my old blog and share some interesting miniatures and rules. Below is a quick look at the current four factions, a bit of background and a ton of pictures of all the models currently available (though more will be released soon for all factions and some mercenaries as well).

The World of Relics:

Relics takes place in a fantasy universe where there are very few clearly good or evil forces, but rather a lot of (dark) shades of grey. Though the background is quite extensive, stretching all the way back to the creation of the universe it is set it, the game basically takes place in the aftermath of a great, magical cataclysm caused by the botched attempt of the Vaettir to destroy the destructive, imperialistic expansion of the human Britanan Empire.

The shockwave caused by this failed attack rippled out through the Relics world, destroying and alterting all it encountered. The Britanan Empire was hit the hardest, suffering enormous losses, though it's mad king and arcanum counsil have managed to rebuild using rather unorthodox magics.

The Vaettir, the most magically gifted of all races, were overcome and twisted by their own spells and magic. The attack on the Britanans backfiring, they slowly warped, becoming a fey, elemental race that now despises all other living creatures, perhaps only so they do not need to confront what they themselves have become.

The Britanan Empire:

Clearly inspired by good, old England, the Britanan Empire is a shadow of its former glory. Ruled by the mad king who saw the greatest portion of his armies and subjects destroyed by the magical attack of the Vaettir, the empire has virtually no humans left. In fact after the cataclysm only the use of magically, or Maaj as it is know in the Relics universe, binding the souls of those lost to constructs has enabled the Empire to endure.

This effectively means that a Britanan force is comprised of magically animated puppets, with the odd surviving human, mostly driven mad by their exposure to the Maaj stumbling through the ranks literally patching up the wounded.

The rank-and-file of the Empire are made up of Trooper Companies and their Colour Company command sections. Though hardly accurate or strong soldiers, with the right commanders and a little bit of patchwork they get the job done well enough.

The Empire can use sergeant-majors to drive the boys on, an Arcanum Guard for a bit of offensive magic or a human Puppeteer to magically restore fallen troopers:

The ranks of the Empire do include a lot more elite troops as well, including such units as the Highlanders companies:

The Dragoons, once the Mad King's favoured soldiers:

Along with gunpowder muskets, the Empire also deploys more potent firepower such as the Grenadiers and the unlikely to survive Bombers:

And finally my favorite, the great looking hunting pack:

The Vaettir:

The Vaettir have fallen far, with many among their race now drawn to specific elements of the Maaj, hardly able to coexist with others of their people. It is only by the work of the Evocatours that the race is still able to unite against all the 'outside' forces that might intrude upon the nightmare realm they now call their home.

Wielding wicked blades the Varriers make up the core of the Vaettir's forces, often supported by the whirlwind-fast Varbres:

A common sight among the Vaettir are the Elvspon constructs, who are essentially focused maaj fuzed with the elemental remains of certain fallen Vaettir. As your troops fall more and more of these seemingly weak creatures will come into existence, boosting the magically reach and abilities of your heroes and magic-wielders to even greater heights:

The Huntas, wicked by-products of the Huntawalus necromantic practises, live in between the realms of life and death, only being able to take physical form and hunting when death approaches.

Shadow and death given form the Cawlu are deadly shadow hunters, leaving their bodies behind as their essence shifts from shadow to shadow in search of living prey to feast upon.

The Vstonin are an immovable force, who themselves ignore most obstacles in the environment. Drawing their strength magically from the earth and rocks of the Relics world they are lethal on the attack and able to absorb considerable damage.

Cylods, one of several ice-based Vaettir casts, are as cold and uncaring as their magical attacks. Though completely bound to the Maaj, they seem to have maintained more of their race's former intelligence than most of their twisted brethern.

 Torn between the different plains the Evocatours are the sole creatures in Vaettir society that are still capable of communicating with all elements of the race. Though it was by their misguided tempering that the great, magical cataclysm took place, they still command great respect among their race:

Instrumental in the crafting of the spells used to attack the Britanan Empire the Huntawalu were warped into horried creatures forever bound to the magical elements of death and necromancy.

 Leading the Vaettir hosts the Vaelad are horrid creatures who despite their madness are hellbend upon undoing the damage they caused to the world and their own kin. The pinacle of Maaj-wielders they wield a frightening range of magical abilities, which more often then not comes at the price of sacrifices by their own people.

The Orcnar:

 The Orcnar where once a proud and strong mountain and cave-dwelling race, reknowned for their intelligence, strength and graceful appearance. The magically cataclysm forced them to hide in their cavernous realm, emerging generation later as nothing more than degenerate beasts who have reverted back to a tribal existence. Though brutish, simple creatures who's sociey is constructed around the few remaining, furtile females, there are still fragments of their once proud heritage to the found, though none would be likely to every observe such behavior as they are vastly territorial.

Found leading warbands, tribes and even armies is an electic mix of 'commanders', though in reality a lot of the Orcnar command structure comes down to lots of shouting and listening to the elder females. Below we see from left to right a Niwian, a Beorn and an Ealdmoder:

 The Niwian is effectively the weakest and cheapest commander in the entire game, possessing neither great strength or special rules. They are however also the cheapest method of keeping other models within command and are able to relay orders, most likely by shouting what somebody a lot bigger than them is shouting at them. The Beorn on the other hand is a much more effective commander, being both quite resilient and more than capable of dishing out damage while pushing forth the rest of the tribe. The Ealdmoder, old and revered despite no longer able to produce offspring, is a quite resilient healer with strong connections to the earth.

The most common Orcnar subspecies are the Unmann and they can be found in virtually all Orcnar group:

Docga are trained and used as guard and hunting dogs, which suits their ferocity and speed quite well. This allows them to operate quite independently, though should they loose track of the enemies' scent there is the very real potential that they will attack fellow Docgas.


Nappas are Orcnar young, and form the basic form of all Orcnar subspecies. Whatever their genus, they all start as Nappa, tiny, vicious creatures solely interested in food. Generally the more complex subspecies will mature more slowly, though in times of great need the Dmoders and Ealdmoders are able to greatly accelerate their growth, forcing the Nappas to mature into the basic Unmann in a worrying short period of time:

 Angilde, a personal favorite of mine, are even more mutated and twisted than the rest of their race, and are disliked, feared and even hated for their heritable, genetic defects. Those that survive long enough to escape the violence other Orcnar will focus on them, group together to live in the wild, on the outskirts of Orcnar territory. Forever at risk at being killed by their own, former tribe, while driven by and instinct to aid their kind in times of conflict with their natural magical-disrupting abilities.

The Eotans are huge, brutish creatures, able to unleash such forces that their blows can cause earthquakes and shatter rocks. The Rifans use their spined arms to rend whatever creature poor foolish enough to ire them, while the Abitian send great shocks across the battlefield with their massive, boulderlike paws. During peace time the both species are quite docile and calm, with the Abitian even having a passion for tribal, musical endeavours.

 The Grymann are quick, wicked creatures that use their screetching voice to disrupt enemy communication and even magical concentration.

 Finally we have the bloated Spatga, a creature with insatiable apitite and a chronic case of acid reflux the rest of the tribe is more than willing to stimulate before dragging the Spatga to the battlefield.


 The Nuem escaped the magical cataclysm by sheltering in the realm of a presumed ally, though their relief was short-lived. Spared the exposure to the destructive magic of the Vaettir's failed spell an equally gruesome faith awaited them. Cast into slavery the Nuem spent generations encased in the personal prison of the painsuits, mechanical constructs designed to enhance their strength to work in the mines, but also to enact horrible pain upon disobedience. Eventually the Nuem managed to break free from their slavemasters guided a prophet-like child, returning to their former, destroyed homeland. Generations spent in constant pain has rendered all other sensations meaningless, in fact the Nuem continue to wear their painsuits to this very day.

Masters of enduring and inflicting pain, the Poena Domini travers their realm in specially made mechanical constructs that easily compensate for their frail appearance.

 Instructed by the blessed child the Specialis Pueri endure years of training and selection to be allowed into the ranks of the Nuem magicians. In battle the Pueri operate alongside the other commanders of the Nuem forces often feeding upon the pain their soldiers inflict and receive, to fuel their spells.

The Degener are fearless warriors, an elite core of soldiers who survived prolongued peering into the Mord Pandeamoniam. A huge boulder of Mord, the resouce used to fuel the various Nuem suits, held in their capital that seems to have unending power and a dark malice few seem to be able to stand for long.

 Paenitentiam troops are formed of Nuem criminals, those who broke the law and order as instructed by the blessed child. And how does one punish a creature driven by pain, knowing nothing but eternal torment? Simple, take away the very suit that inflicts this desired, even needed, torment. These models, great as they willl look, are a tad unwieldy when it comes to transporting them. Tor Gaming has done a bit of redesigning on them though, changing the original 3-chains per hand to a single one. Which works suprisingly well and makes the models a lot more durable:

The Metus Dedicatus, besides being a great model that comes with an internal modeled face, several face plates and all weapons needed to make all variants of the suit, form the cadres of Nuem workers that collected the much needed Mord resource that fuels their many machines and suits.

Savage warriors that prefer hand-to hand combat the Dolor Dedicatus are suprisingly fast, often using the bulk of their armour to inflict considerable damage:

The Tormenta have a deep-rooted hunger for conflict, desiring nothing more than to see the world burn in flames. Often surrounded by a range of Auxilium devices the Tormenta are much prized ranged units, whose Mord-fueled cannons can cause massive area damage.

All Nuem expeditions are accompanied by a range of support units, the so-called Auxilium devices. Though self-sufficient and intelligent enough to perform their basic tasks, they require the presence of Nuem to direct their actions. Regardless of this dependency, this range of close combat, artillery and repair units aids a lot of flexibility to any Nuem attack force.

 Well I hope everybody enjoyed this set of rather unique and characterful models. For those interesed go and check out Tor Gaming's website here. In fact, why not have a look at the nifty rules, particularly as the latest version is available as a free download (link).

Now to find the time to paint up all this fantastic stuff!


  1. Good little intro to the world of Relics.
    It would be good to have some comments on the actual models themselves, quality of design, casting, good points bad points?
    Surprised you didn't mention the current Reinforcements campaign on GamingFunder; I know you're a backer ;)

    1. Thanks! Planning to do a few more posts about the minis and cast quality later in the week, particularly having a closer look at how easy it is to do little conversion on most of the basic 'troop' models.

      Pretty put this together last minute as my laptop died last week, the post's been linked and refererred around the web. Mostly meant as a collected look at Relics, with some good plugging going on through several Facebook group. Effectively the post serves as a bit of a picture gallery to go alongside me nagging about the awesome new merc minis ;-)