Monolith Mythic Battles Pantheon 1
Mythic Battles Pantheon was a kickstarter by Monolith Games of France which I missed out on because I didnt know about it and I didnt know what a Kickstarter was. I came into contact with the miniatures when they were sent to me from a client in Germany and i fell for them big time. Within a week I was on Ebay and soon bought the 1.5 version core and Pandoras box. I have now played the game many times with little success but its a solid game as well as having great miniatures. Greek Gods, monsters, heroes and minions all well sculpted and cast in a harder than usual plastic for game miniatures.
All the figures I have painted so far have been from the core box commission in the picture above and I imagine it will be a while until I get to paint my own collection due to a full commission load. I began painting them with the minions and worked up so that I had my eye in stylewise before I reached Olympus. This also kept me keen as I was learning en route, especially improving my flesh painting. I will start this review the other way around though looking at the Gods.
Zeus the King of the Gods and morally dubious character all around even by the standards of Ancient Greece. I haven’t actually played Zeus in the game but painting the mini was fun as there were several challenges, the cloth, the skin, the bronze and the lightning hand. Im not a fan of Persil white cloth with dark shadows on miniatures as it looks too harsh for me so the white cloth was painted in the method demonstrated by Angel Giraldez on his youtube channel starting with field grey, german camo beige, deck tan all airbrushed and then highlights by brush in various "whites."
The lightning hand is a tad bluer in real life than here but again was airbrushed using blue as a base and highlighting up to white. I considered going OSL on the body as the hand was the last thing painted but decided to leave it as I liked it.
Ares the God of War was all about the bronze. I discovered early on during the minion phase that vallejo bronze was the colour I liked. It doesnt have the warmth of the brassier colours and could be darkened and lightened with vallejo browns and silvers. Along with various washes this gave a range of Bronzy colours and shades . The cloak was straightforward airbrush work and the flower chosen to match. I have played Ares, and lost. This was due to my incompetence rather than any deficency in Ares.
Athena is the Goddess I have used most so far as she has a neat tactical trick which allows her to use a higher than normal number of activations which can get some powerful pieces to kill a God. In my sole victory to date she was able to run Cerberus and Hercules into a slightly weakened Hades for the kill. Painting her was all about getting the flesh right and female flesh is way harder than male. On male fantasy figures the flesh is blocky due to all the muscles but the female flesh has to look super smooth.
Transitions have to be smooth while keeping the highlights and shadows. This has always been tricky for me but using the airbrush does make it easier and I feel im getting the hang of it now.
Hades flesh was different as i used a different set of colours to reflect that his pallor would be less healthy due to lurking in the underworld. Definitely the short straw in God terms but in game terms this gives him a cool card draw mechanic which is very valuable. In brief when anything friend or foe dies he draws a card. Once again there is a light effect on the right hand of a greeny yellow which is just about visible. The blue flowers also work with the skin tone I hope.
The ancient Greeks were either imaginative geniuses able to draw monsters from their imaginations or were really screwed up with monsters coming from their own warped psyche. Or both. However this little blog is not an in depth analysis of where monsters come from - that was solved long ago. "The womb of monsters is ignorance" whether the Greek monsters or the ones created by ignorant politicians such as the murderous brown foreign migrant monster who comes to kill your family and steal your plumbing job.
Ignorance births monsters, knowledge kills them.
And on that note a brief foray into the core box monsters of MBP. Four classic Greek monsters, Cerberus, Medusa, Hydra and the Minotaur.
Cerberus is familiar to everyone as a huge 3 headed dog from the underworld, the lovechild of Echidna and Typhon - No idea how that works but hey, Greeks. In MBP Cerberus is a massive 3 headed dog with lava breath and is an auto take for me. The ability to do 3 7 dice attacks (with an AoW card) is just too good. It is a god killer when combo'd with someone like Odysseus especially if the god doesn't have mighty throw. with a couple of cerberus in hand it can run into space occupied by Odysseus and target then next turn go to work. Any return hits are soaked up by Odysseus and his guard ability - hopefully passed on to nearby cannon fodder. After 21 dice even Gods are usually considering their future.
In my games what usually happens is there will be a Cerberus/Hydra Faces off as the multi headed monsters set to. I don't pick Hydra as much as Cerberus only because it is slower to get in position. Probably better as a defensive area denial piece with its ability to attack every adjacent area. I went with green as the base as its a creature of the Lernean marshes and there is a nod to this on the base with some marshy terrain, swamp flowers which are always white and yellow - and a glossy underside, dripping from the water.
The Hydra is another of the offspring from the Echidna/Typhon unlikely couplings so the sibling rivalry played out in my games is all too realistic.
The third of the core box monsters is Medusa, one of three Gorgons and apparently last in line for immortality as demonstrated by Perseus. Later Roman myths have her as a victim having been raped by Poseidon but the earlier Greek stories just have her as a badass. In MBP she is definitely that able to just remove troop units with a smile and to petrify everyone else. In a recent game my opponent moved her into a God v God conflict where I also had Odysseus and Hercules. Everyone stoned and to her advantage as she had no more god cards and i had no AoW cards. Additionally its a cool mini and has climb so there is literally no place to hide.
Last but actually least for me is the Minotaur. More Greek craziness involved in his birth and commitment to the Labyrinth but in MBP he is effectively a force of nature and a whirlwind of destruction. His ability to move 2 spaces doing drive by violence in each space is great if you can line up 3 adjacent spaces and get 2 runs there and back again clubbing everything in the way.
The miniature is a great rough looking brute with broken horns and a clearly unpleasant personality. Not sure if there is a Theseus in Pandora's box but if there is i'll be going head to broken horned head.
So that concludes part one of MBP monsters and I will do part two starting with Echidna and Typhon I think. Until then I'll leave the last words with the poet Tony Harrison from The Gaze of the Gorgon,
"the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."
Achilles - essentially a tank but a tank which may well run out of fuel as it arrives at the fight. Achilles defence 9 is great and with initiative and 1 wound ignoring per attack makes him pretty invulnerable. On the downside his lack of speed will have him near your own deployment zone until second run through the deck. Staying in his tent presumably. His weird dance pose is also not great.
Atalanta - quick but fragile. Having 5 cards is always good especially once in range for a missile attack as then it can be worth using Huntress to shoot - move and melee. In a perfect scenario shes higher than her target at start of activation for a range 3 attack followed by a charge in to finish it off. In my world this literally never happens. Both powers require an AoW which is sad.
Hercules - Always happy to draw Hercules as he is a fire and forget missile able to throw the environment at opponents and mess around with disappointing dice rolls. Suits my style of play which is very much charge of the light brigade....
Leonidas - Good if you have taken troops as he is a definite support character but if you play random draw for teams - as we do - he is a points soak as often they are not present. At least his powers are free and he comes with 2 Aow cards.
Odysseus - Thought he was hopeless until my daughter schooled me with him and basically any big monster. For no Aow cost he can activate anything else in his space as second activation. Additionally gets to draw an extra card at the end of his turn and comes with 3 AoW built in. The only drawback is he only has 3 activation cards which means you need to use him wisely. Unlike me.
included for completeness as I am not really familiar enough with their individual capacities if I am honest!