Friday, May 8, 2020
The Nightmare Legion I
Long known to be dead, the famed mercenary Ennio Mordini returned unexpectedly from the grave. He came marching at the head of a silent army of undead warriors: the Nightmare Legion.
The Nightmare Legion RRD2 was released in 1987 and was one of the best of Citadel's Regiments of Renown. No sculptor is listed as their maker but I'm confident in attributing them to Aly Morrison because they bear a strong family resemblance to his other skeletons. The boxed set contained 24 miniatures: Captain Ennio Mordini, his champion Renzo Avanti, a standard bearer, a musician, and 20 troopers.
The Nightmare Legion (also called Mordini's Doomed Legion) has haunted my dreams ever since my older brother bought them when I was a lad. Painting my own set as the centrepiece for a small undead army has been a long term ambition that I've finally realized. It only took me 33 years.
The boxed Regiments of Renown from the mid-1980's remind me of old jazz albums. When you bought a record, you weren't just getting the vinyl, but also a long essay in small font printed on the back of the album. Filled with colourful details, these essays gave listeners a richer sense of the musicians as real people. So it was with these sets... Citadel didn't just give you the lead, but also printed on the back of the all sorts of great material: a long history of the regiment, its stats for Warhammer, its battlecries and other flavourful information. For instance, these aren't just skeletons. They're Italian skeletons.
And not just Italian skeletons, but Italian skeleton mercenaries that returned from the dead after being betrayed in a Machiavellian plot by their onetime employer.
Here's a better view of Captain Ennio Mordini. Like all the minis in the box, he exhibits splendid details: tattered chainmail, rusted parade armour, and an expressive skull.
Below is the Nightmare Legion's champion, Renzo Avanti...
And here is the standard bearer...
The back of the box tells us that "lacking important things like lungs and vocal cords, the Legion has no battlecry." That's why their musician simply uses a drum...
Of course, I'm not the only one who's been enchanted by Nightmare Legion. Orlygg at Realm of Chaos 80's wrote about how the Legion has "a special place in my wargaming heart" because "it was the first box set that my father ever bought me, from Wonderworld in Bournemouth to be precise, back in 1988." You can also find a lovely set painted by Jeepster at the Stuff of Legends. And I particularly like Gaj's colourful rendition at Warhammer for Adults.
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for my next post featuring the soldiers of Mordini's Doomed Legion.