A First Look at Crown of Fangs

Friday, December 2, 2016

By now I hope you've had a chance to check out Deadly Foes, the hot new Pathfinder Battles set of pre-painted plastic gaming figures from WizKids that's in stores and shipping from the paizo.com warehouse RIGHT NOW! Deadly Foes contains a wide variety of commonly encountered creatures from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and looking at the production-run figures, I think it's one of our finest sets to date. In fact, following up Deadly Foes is a bit intimidating.

Happily, our next set, April's Crown of Fangs, ups the ante in ways that will take me several weeks to fully explore. It's an exciting time for Pathfinder Battles, with lots of new figures and set features unlike anything we've done before.

It's become a bit of a tradition that the first image I post from a new set is that set's limited edition case incentive figure, but in the case of Crown of Fangs, the Court of the Crimson Throne incentive playset is so awesome, so packed with value that I don't have enough time today to go into it in full, glorious detail. Instead, I'd like to show off four figures (including two from the incentive) that give a nice taste of what's in store.

For starters, Crown of Fangs is a bit of an unofficial companion to Paizo's popular Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path, now available in a special collected hardcover edition! The set includes many key NPCs, factions, and creature types encountered in that classic Pathfinder campaign, but the set also includes plenty of "generic" figures useful for any fantasy campaign. Today's preview shows off both types of figures.

First up today is the imposing Queen Ileosa Arabasti, wearer of the titular Crown of Thorns and a major, let's say character, in the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. Ileosa previously appeared in a different outfit in our Legends of Golarion set a few years back. I'll leave the reasons behind her costume change to the campaign itself, but suffice it to say we thought it would be fitting to include an "after" figure to Legends of Golarion's "before." Queen Ileosa Arabasti is a Medium, rare figure.

Here's another look at Queen Ileosa seated upon the eponymous Crimson Throne itself, the centerpiece of the Court of the Crimson Throne case incentive playset. The seated version of Ileosa seen here also comes in the incentive playset, and is fully removable from the throne, which stands alone as an amazing piece of dungeon dressing.

But it's not just Crimson Throne and Ileosa all the time. Crown of Fangs also includes tons of in-demand figures for commonly encountered foes such as this awesome Bone Devil. The Bone Devil is a Large, uncommon figure, and I simply cannot wait to add a couple of handfuls of these to my personal Pathfinder Battles collection.

Speaking of Pathfinder Battles collections, the best way to make sure you never miss a single figure is to sign up for a Pathfinder Battles Ongoing Subscription, which delivers Pathinder Battles goodness directly to you as it is released. Your subscriptions are the single most important factor in keeping the line healthy with lots of robust offerings, and I'd like to offer a heart-felt "thanks" to all current and future subscribers.

You guys are the best!

Next week, I'll have more awesome Crown of Fangs figures to reveal!

Until then, I remain...

Erik Mona
Publisher

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Tags: Crown of Fangs Curse of the Crimson Throne Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Battles
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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

As much as I dislike very rares, most people have not embraced the invisibles. I've managed to get them for fairly reasonable prices. They're worth it. Being able to offer a wide range of races and classes usually brings a smile to any character that is using invisibilty. While I haven't used them all, several have seen lots of table time. I'll continue to pick these up as long as each offers something different. They all go in a box marked "Invisibles" that the players love to dig through.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:


I advise buying the remaining singles cheap here:

Auggie´s Games

Because initial prices here are ridiculously high:

Miniature Market

I usually start my singles shopping at Paizo. With my subscriber discounts, some of the seemingly high prices come down to reasonable. But after that, I always go to Auggie's. Great prices, great service. Only thing is, after a while, his stock runs kinda' low for certain miniatures. Then I'll go to Miniature Market. It's odd - sometimes their prices are lower for certain miniatures and sometimes higher, but over all, still usually reasonable, and I can often find a couple of other non-D&D/Pathfinder/WizKids minis I can rebase and use with my regular minis, things like Golem Arcana, Confrontation or even HeroClix.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I never thought to go here for D&D miniatures. I do often get Pathfinder minis here, and you're right: A Pathfinder Battles subcription really pays off for them. I'll have to check out some of the other things they might have here...

Dark Archive

I agree: "Pathfinder Battles" is worth a case subscription!
You get every miniature at least once and the quality (especially the faces and the paint jobs) are much better than with the D&D sets.

That said, i also buy the D&D minis because i like to have different miniatures for the same creature on the table or if Pathfinder hasn´t yet made a mini for the creature.

Here are two new pictures of two D&D minis:

This one has already been done in the "Deadly Foes" set:
Gynosphinx

I like the "Liz Taylor" version from PFB better, but can see the use of another one, especially because it is flying.

This one hasn´t YET been done in PFB:
Androsphinx

I will buy the Pathfinder (Battles) version Bestiary 3 pawn when it comes out.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

A matching counterpart to the Pathfinder Battles Gynosphinx would be awesome. The pawn would be great to base it off of.

Dark Archive

I'm so pumped for getting a new preview after 5 weeks!
I hope to see renders of the complete "Court of the Crimson Throne" playset or a descriptive text of it's contents.
But a render of one or two regular minis would also suffice.

The best thing for me though, is that Erik already acknowledged the presence of HUGE miniatures in the set(s) after "Crown of Fangs".

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No previews this week. I understand it but disappointingly it's a kickstarter advert this week. Plus Erik out for two more after this so we'll be waiting for crown of fangs.


I haven't gotten any of the new MM2 minis in hand yet, but I have to say that the pictures I've seen make the paint jobs looks pretty awful. It's also obvious (to me, anyway) that they're using the same basic sculpts over and over with very few changes made between minis, and I don't just mean the ones where it's just a weapon changed. I think they're using the same basic body for lots of different monsters. The difference in quality between Paizo and WotC minis just seems to me to widen with each set. It's hard for me to believe the same company is producing both lines, the results are so different.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I agree 100%. Almost every medium has a very sloppy paint job and every PC type mini I pulled had NO FACE to speak of, a blood with a tampo for a face! That said in hand I was very happy with both sphinxes, the black pudding and the beholder - which I did not need at all since I have about 30 from all the releases over the years. Pathfinder battles in leagues ahead in terms of quality. I can only assume it's a QC thing?


Cat-thulhu wrote:
I agree 100%. Almost every medium has a very sloppy paint job and every PC type mini I pulled had NO FACE to speak of, a blood with a tampo for a face! That said in hand I was very happy with both sphinxes, the black pudding and the beholder - which I did not need at all since I have about 30 from all the releases over the years. Pathfinder battles in leagues ahead in terms of quality. I can only assume it's a QC thing?

I can't help thinking that Wizards is taking advantage of the big influx of new players to 5th Ed. who don't know any better and will buy anything "official". I'm finding there are a lot of minis buyers who want the "official" mini and are reluctant to believe me when I tell them that there are better (and sometimes cheaper!) minis available if they're willing to look at Pathfinder and other lines.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

we should be happy that Pathfinder sets get delayed for the D&D line.
This way the workers get to practice on the other stuff.


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Another thing about quality too: If you look back at a lot of the old Wizards minis, even where the paint jobs weren't great, there was often a lot of potential there in the sculpt itself. The standard paint job on the pre-paints often didn't even come close to catching the potential of the sculpt underneath, and on occasion I've repainted them myself to do something with that. (This is true of their Dreamblade line too; there were some *amazing* sculpts in that line that got painted totally monochrome in a way that ignored a wealth of wonderful detail.)

By contrast, Wizkids' Pathfinder minis tend to pretty much use the detail that's there, and Wizkids' D&D minis by and large simply lack the details in the first place. Their ordinary sculpts are just very basic. Their adventurers, for instance, tend not to have lots of gear or sculptural flourishes in their outfits. It's all just very cut-and-paste and uninspired. (The unsculpted faces that you mention, Cat-thulu, are a great example of this.) With the old line, you might feel justified in repainting a poorly painted pre-paint. But with these new ones, there's just not enough potential there to justify the bother.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I agree 100%. Almost every medium has a very sloppy paint job and every PC type mini I pulled had NO FACE to speak of, a blood with a tampo for a face! That said in hand I was very happy with both sphinxes, the black pudding and the beholder - which I did not need at all since I have about 30 from all the releases over the years. Pathfinder battles in leagues ahead in terms of quality. I can only assume it's a QC thing?

It's puzzling.

For me, I only care about the quality when it comes to the rares and large figures and luckily for me I don't see any difference there (many of the D&D rares and huges were terrific, imo and there have definitely been some D&D rares I preferred to the PFB version).

However, paint and sculpt quality for common minis is clearly an issue for most and I can't understand why Wizkids would adopt a different level of detail for what seem on the surface to be essentially two identical product lines (other than branding).

From my distant viewpoint, I can't see any profit motive for Wizards of the Coast at all in lowering the quality - I can't see any savings on production costs flowing through to increased licensing fees.

I can only assume we're seeing the visible effect of Erik's contribution via the approval process. Perhaps WotC's D&D team just don't have the staff any more to devote to overseeing their licensed mini line as carefully as Erik does.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

However, paint and sculpt quality for common minis is clearly an issue for most and I can't understand why Wizkids would adopt a different level of detail for what seem on the surface to be essentially two identical product lines (other than branding).

From my distant viewpoint, I can't see any profit motive for Wizards of the Coast at all in lowering the quality - I can't see any savings on production costs flowing through to increased licensing fees.

I can only assume we're seeing the visible effect of Erik's contribution via the approval process. Perhaps WotC's D&D team just don't have the staff any more to devote to overseeing their licensed mini line as carefully as Erik does.

Could be given WotC's brand-recognition, the licensing fee may be higher for them. Meaning that for a given mini, WizKids may earn a lower percentage of its retail cost. They can't raise the price meaningfully, so that means lowering the manufacturing cost, which means quality.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I discounted that possibility, since even ignoring the inclusion of huges, I thought the D&D price was significantly higher than PF minis. (As such, I figured such differences were already factored in). Maybe that's just the places I shop though. I haven't done much research.

I still like to think it's Erik. :)


I'm confident Erik is a big part of it. It's wonderful knowing that the line is in the hands of someone at least as obsessive about minis as I am. Whoever is approving the recent D&D minis must be blind.

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