Thursday 4 January 2024

Wizkids Seas and Shores Miniatures

One of the things that I picked up last year and hadn't shown on the blog yet were the "Seas and Shores" pre-painted miniatures from Wizkids. I broadly find that the animal and beast type monsters are the best part of these ranges, so I was keen to see what I could pick up.

Hippogryphs are a monster I'm really keen on and they're weirdly hard to find good examples of. This one is fine, so I'm pleased to have picked him up. Meanwhile, giant lizards are a reliable staple that can easily add into a dungeon, cave or wilderness encounter, or as some humanoid's trained monster for a bigger fight.

Two weird fiendish monsters here. On the left is the Hydroloth, one oof the neutral evil "Yugoloth" fiends who in D&D hire themselves out to other evil factions, as well as having their own evil schemes. The Hydroloth is the aquatic variant. The thing is, they're really quite high level monsters so it's going to take a lot of time before you've run enough high level D&D campaigns that you want to add variation to the monsters by adding fiendish mercenaries. I really love the idea, but am already growing very tired of Wizards of the Coast's poor treatment of it's staff and mediocre products, so am already trending Pathfinder-wards rather than using Wizards IP in my RPGs quite so much.

Meanwhile, the Wastrilith is an abyssal demon, so just a straight up awful violence and corruption monster. Demons don't really appeal to me much as a monster because they're kind of just an evil force of nature trying to wreck things and rarely have interesting or complicated plans. So they're fine as generic antagonists, but if you want a campaign with depth and the villains doing something interesting, demons are rarely your "go to" pick. Still, any fiend is useful as a potential bound summon or horrible side quest, so I picked him up despite the dubious pink paint job.

A few larger aquatic creatures come next. The Plesiosaurus is a bit more unusual, but a historically accurately sized dinosaur is something that puts a strong vibe into an encounter or campaign. The giant octopus is probably one of the nicest models in the whole set, and is a reliable and dangerous low level aquatic encounter. Finally, the giant eel is something that can hit people in the shallows or an underwater cave and feel very gritty.

Moving onto the weirder monsters. Here's a Aldani, a Peryton and an Amphisbaena. The Aldani are lobster-folk, originally from the Tomb of Annihilation and the Chult setting. That's a bit niche from a D&D setting point of view, but it was an interesting one to pick up. The Peryton is a weird folklore monster that I've been wanting for ages. It's got a good folk horror vibe, I think. The Amphisbaena has two D&D profiles - one medium and one large, with the medium profile from the Theros setting.

One thing that annoyed me with the Amphisbaena model is these obvious joins that rely on you looking at it from the front angle. I feel like with a bit of smarter planning, the connections could have been made less obvious.

Finally, I picked up three reef sharks and a giant crab. Because the shark is very simple, and often comes in numbers, I bought three. Some of the smaller monsters it makes little sense to only buy one, because you'll never have them on their own in an actual encounter.

All in all, the animal monsters in the Seas and Shores range are fantastic, and figures you'll want to use a lot in marine adventures. This is probably the set with the most "hits" for the set that I've seen so far. I still won't be getting any blind boxes, but the split services are worth a look.

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