Some projects and purchases take longer than we expect to finish. Case in point: I purchased this Skraeling warband for SAGA in the Summer of 2012. It was definitely a one-off oddity for the game. Few people seem to use them, and there has been no strong call on the forums to include them in an official release, as was the case for the Byzantines and Steppe Nomads. But, I had to have them because the Vinland Saga is one of my favorite sagas and my interest in the Mississippi mound builders
It is probably not with the most politically correct intentions that I was in part inspired to finish by the Thanksgiving Holidays. Before Thanksgiving, elementary schools in America put a happy face on relations between the early colonists and the Indians. My two grade school age children both learned a bit about pilgrims and Indians leading up to the holiday, and I did my best to give them a slightly fuller view of the early encounters between Europeans and Indians, without getting too Howard Zinn on them.
Of course, six centuries before the arrival of the English, an encounter between Europeans and the native peoples was less a cause for Thanksgiving. The European advantage due to metal working was there, but not enough to overcome the natives' numerical advantage. Calling the people they encountered "Skraelings," we know very little about how they looked or fought.
Gripping Beast's Skraelings are a very well produced set of miniatures. It contains six variations of 24 warriors and three poses for the 12 archers. Flash lines are minimal Historically, they probably miss the mark. While there is much that is unknown about the "Skraelings" encountered by the Norse settlers, they were probably of the Thule culture. The Thule were precursors of the Inuit and had similar lifestyle, based on the hunting of sea mammals for food and clothing. With their light clothing and deerskin clothes, these models might be more appropriate for Mississippi period mound builders.
Here's the whole warband, minus a couple of figures undergoing conversions into Shaman types:
The other reason I was motivated to finish the warband was attending a field trip with my Daughter's third grade class to the Etowah Indian mounds. Are any museum diorama builders also wargamers? If so, they must surely be tempted to give their layouts a test. Pardon the glare, but here is a model of how the Etowah might have appeared at its peak in the eleventh century.
A recreation of a ceremonial deer mask, based on fragments approximately 900 years old. It should make for an interesting priest character.
Stone axe heads from the Mississippi period: