Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hobby Updates: Mounted Vampires

I ordered my second box of Perry Mounted Men at Arms mid-March from a local outlet (Noble Knight Games; they're rolling with a small staff and still shipping stuff! If you need nerding supplies, give them a look over Amazon). They were pegged to be Soul Reaver Cavalry, and I got to work assembling them the day I got them... and then promptly got distracted by other projects. The hobby table has cleared out substantially, so it's time to finish these up.

I've discussed the contents of the box pretty extensively in the WIP post, so won't rehash that. Suffice it to say, each box has 12 knights that really only handle headswaps well, 12 nice horses with lots of body/head options, and sadly only two barding options at 6x each. The second box was purchased so I could at least make two uniform, armored regiments.

The Italian-style barding was used for AOE2-inspired Cataphracts (KoM Knights), one of the projects that "distracted" me. The Germanic-style is going to be used for the Soul Reaver Cavalry, which will leave me with some spare models. The remaining models will be a bit mismatched (barding-wise), so was pondering using them unbarded, or maybe as troops for something... but I have no plan, so I'm content to let the spare models sit for now. Table-ready now for the nefarious Undead, is a Vampire Lord, and a Regiment of Soul Reaver Cavalry.

Mounted Vampire Lord
Their Defense was originally 6 in Second Edition, later moved down to 5 from Clash of Kings updates. The lower Defense sticks in Third Edition, and they got a few other changes with the new edition as well. Their Speed was decreased by 1 (down to 6, on par with things like speedy elves) and they lost their innate little Surge. In return, they got a points deduction and a lot of special rules, making them very fighty characters who can still pick up some spells for a price, should you wish. They're still a pretty expensive pick, so I wouldn't spam them on the table, but as a very powerful combat hero (great stats, lifeleech, Inspiring), I think they can prove useful in an Undead list.

Mounted Heroes are versatile as they can charge in any direction, which has been helpful in dealing with fliers. Undead have many Shambling units, which also counter Fliers pretty well (spend movement positioning, then Surge your way into the enemy flier), so their role probably won't be that kind of defensive support. Instead, I think they will be instigators and force-multipliers. 

With their small frontage, they should be able to sneak in alongside larger units and slip some extra damage in; being a mounted individual (with Duelist!),  they should be able to hunt characters, war engines and disrupt back lines pretty effectively; Mighty, coupled with their good combat-oriented stats should let them charge/pin/delay something in a pinch, setting you up for good charges on the following turn, as they are unlikely to yield. They are also Inspiring, so whatevever they do, if there are Undead around, there will be a bit of a passive buff thing going on too. Yeah, I think there is a roll for them. I still haven't gotten a game of 3rd Edition in yet, and haven't really followed the new scene or meta online much though... so hey, take this paragraph with some big reservations.

The vampires ride! I like the nosfaratu-looking guy in the front on the right. Just looks so jazzed to be a part of things! 

Soul Reaver Cavalry
I don't think I ever faced them in Second, though I did play against the infantry. I knew both hit incredibly hard and could stick around longer than I'd like with that Lifeleech 2. However, I didn't realize until now that the cavalry had Defense 6. Sheesh! Kinda glad I didn't hobby these up sooner...

With 3rd, the vampire cavalry got bumped down to Defense 5 and lost a point of Thunderous Charge. In return, they got a nice points reduction. Oddly enough, they are priced the same as their infantry counterparts, so you can make a neat decision between attacks and movement. The Regiment costs 250 points now, still quite a significant investment, but the vampire soldiers (particularly the cavalry)  are more manageable to squeeze into lists now if you so desire.

Glad these guys are done! My Undead collection is pretty spammy overall, so I'm glad I have another unit to add in. The whole army could still use some rebasing; and I still want to rethink their heraldry/colors at some point. My intention was to do this over the winter with my girlfriend's input, or have her do most of the touchups since she liked playing the Undead and did already paint up all the many, many zombies... but there ended up being zero interest over the snowy months. With stay-at-home though, she's starting to take a tiny bit of interest in hobbying again, so we'll see what happens! The Undead may have some reinforcements coming soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Hobby Update: KoM Pike Conversion

I haven't followed much news in 3rd, but I've seen enough to know that most KoM players consider the Pike upgrade a must-have for spear hordes, and many consider it our best defensive unit now. I mean, Ensnare is quite good! Without experience, it's hard for me to sound off, but it does look like a very nice upgrade. 

In Second, Pikes were a little peculiar. Pikes still had Ensnare and Phalanx, but "Normal Pikes" were only Defense 3, giving you a pretty big trade off for that Ensnare, as lots of things will hurt something with Defense 3. From what I could tell, they weren't popular at all then, due to this trade off. Heavy Pikes did make some appearances, as they did get you Defense 4, 1 Extra Nerve to their scores and the Elite special rule; all good stuff, but they were pricey., the most expensive unit in our army, if I recall correctly. Most of the KoM unit costs didn't actually change going into 3rd, so we can do some limited comparisons... 

The best comparison is to the normal Pikes. In 2nd Ed, you could get a Horde for 225. In Third, it'll cost you 230, but you boost the Defense from 3 to 4... quite the buy for 5 points, effectively. And now we have Indomitable Will too! So, yes, it's a very nice upgrade and a very defensive unit.

After redoing a lot of spears, I was taking stock of the army. The Regnum is very well situated, with both a pretty varied and a pretty deep roster. However, I am lacking a few units, and Pikes are one of them. I had bookmarked a few boxes for consideration: Warlord Hoplites, Fireforge Byzantine Spearmen, and probably the best option, Warlord Macedonians are all on my radar. 

However, the last year or so I've really done well resisting the urge to buy new plastic. With the pandemic now, I'm extra leery to be buying things, particularly from Amazon. Fortunately, I still have a few regiment's worth of various Warlord Romans around, and I stumbled across 13 extra long knight lance bits from an old box of Fireforge Mounted Sergeants, and thought... eh, why not?

My army is Roman/Byzantine inspired, and one of the commonly accepted things about the Roman military was their willingness to adopt and adapt effective equipment and strategies. The lance arms have chain mail, which is odd for a Roman look... but some minis have Manica already, so I figured I could just roll with it, and attribute the odd configuration to this mentality of adopting different ideas.

The scale for the arm swap would work, but I felt like I needed to have a continuation of the segmented shoulder armor to look nice. I tried cereal box cardboard, plasticard, thin cardstock, a thicker paper... attached with pva glue and super glue... and nothing worked. Eventually I resorted to greenstuff and a flat edge rubber shaping tool. The plates are thicker than I what I was trying to go for, but ended up being the best option in the end, and I think it looks good on the table.

The last hurdle was the unit count... as I only had 13 lance bits. Banners don't go well with Pikes, and Pike and Phalanx don't do well with hilly or uneven terrain, so I was going to need to bump up my model count somehow...

I haven't seen the movie Alatriste, but it's on my list to watch, as I've seen this scene pop up again and again in online discussions about Pike and Shot warfare. Taking inspiration from that, since I can't field all pikes, the front line of this unit will be sword-wielding dudes trying to hamstring the enemy beneath the thrusting pikes. Many more upright pikes would be better, but working with what I have, this is the best I can do, and I think it actually works. Anyways, enough blabbering. Here's the new unit!

Not bad for a simple kitbash! I tried to get the different pikes in similar positions as much as I could.
Hobbying on it was no easy task, as the long pikes make things quite difficult! More planning went in to this than a typical unit of mine. First, was the varied weapon selection, briefly touched on above, with swords in front, and pikes behind. I had 13 pikes, but ended up dropping one, as I wanted this unit to be really properly ranked up in a 4 by 4 block. I'd have 12 pikes, and 4 swords.

Grids, and gluing the first rank.
I first hobbied up the individual units, but leaving the shields off. The shields are nice and big... and would make any basing or painting of the basing super hard. I decided early on that shields would be added as the very final step to the unit.

Individual models as done as they could be, I started on the unit by playing around and deciding on the arrangement of individual models.

A lot of extra pasting work...
To get a more ranked multi-base, I utilized a pencil and ruler, to get a nice grid going. I glued down a middle rank, and then pasted it. Then I painted it with a diluted dark tan color, as a kind of base coat. The paste itself is white, so if it's not painted entirely it looks pretty bad.

With the first rank done, I moved on to the adjacent ranks with the same process; gluing then pasting; then base coating the ground. The paste I've been using is finer than the paste I started with for the army, so this approach let me overlap the paste a bit to hide the stands of the models a bit better. Painting as well let me make sure everything had a good base coat so the basing had the best change to look good.

The final rank was incorporated using the same method. Lastly, I added more tan shades, then pva glue and real sand and rocks as a last step for the basing. Basing complete, I then glued the shields on, squirting a bit into the indentation behind the shield boss, and then maneuvering it in with my fingers or a tweezers. That part was a bit maddening given all the pikes, but I managed.

Another angle of the finished unit.
It's not a horde, but the regiment fits well aesthetically with the rest of my army and strategically well with my general approach of plopping a ton of regiments down on the table. With enough drops I should be able to set them up against something scary, and against most things it should be able to take the charge, allowing the rest of my army to do the offensive work. We'll see what happens; I'm not anticipating too many games anytime soon, though my girlfriend is slowly warming up the idea again just as something to do.

So, I have a unit of Pikes now. Should I want more, I'll likely pick up one of the boxes mentioned before once the pandemic is over. Since those are actual kits, those should be easier to assemble, likely look better, and would be cheaper than buying up more Mounted Sergeants just for lance-arms! However, this will be good for now.

Only one unit really remains high on my list of "wants" for the Regnum; Pole-Arms. I have a plan, but may be short on workable bits for a regiment, so we'll see what I can figure out. The project table is finally thinning out a bit, but still a bit more to come. All this social distancing is proving most productive!

I hope everyone reading this is staying safe. We've still got a long ways to go and have plenty of obstacles ahead of us (in the US for darn sure), but we'll keep at it, and hopefully we'll come out of all this better. Be kind. Be helpful.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Hobby Update: Ostermark Cannon

After hobbying up the Siege Artillery, I figured I should do up a cannon as well. War Engines got some big balance changes in Third Edition, and a theorycrafting post could be worthwhile in the coming weeks. But to discuss all three, and without game, I figured the least I could do before blabbering about is to have at least hobbied on all three of the options. So here we are.

I have a whole box of unclaimed and unused Empire models. Many were hobbied on in my early Kings of War days, and have since been put in storage as I've gone to explore and enjoy other ranges. In that box I probably have easily a 2-3k Brotherhood/Brothermark army and around another 1k in potential League of Rhodia conscripts, with a lot of hand cannoneers and pistoliers and such. The League definitely likes their gunpowder, so I plucked my two old Empire cannon out of the box, grabbed a few minis to crew it, and had a quick afternoon of repainting recently. My Ostermark League (League of Rhodia) will use these.

A little backup for the Ostermark League... whenever they take the field next.
In Second, the Cannon was a pretty straightforward war engine. One attack at Blast D6+1 and Piercing 4. You shot at something you could see, and hopefully not Stealthy or in cover (don't wanna try to hit on a 6 if you can help it), and if the dice were favorable, you could do a fair amount of damage.

In Third, the Cannon is looking pretty darn strong. War machines got some balance changes to make the damage output more consistent (now firing two shots, but with a D3-based Blast), and the Cannon got a lot of unexpected buffs to boot.

The Cannon now ignores cover, which is great. If you see something you want to shoot, you can shoot at it without halving you change to hit! With the balance changes, you should even have a decent chance to do some damage 

It now gets a Grapeshot attack (10 Attacks with Piercing 1 out to 12 Inches), that always hits on 6's. The last bit threw me for a bit, but I think the intent was to get around something like Stealthy, Individuals, or some magical protection. When you're firing a shot that's supposed to spray an area... you wanna reflect that in the rules! Lone mounted heroes can be great war machine hunters, and grapeshot will give the crew a fighting chance. Very neat buff!

Lastly, the Cannon also gets the "Shattering" special rule, which was previously known to me as "Devastating" from 2nd Edition's Historical Rulebook. The gist is a ranged version of the Brutal rule. If the target takes damage, their Nerve check roll is increased by 1, due to the unusually debilitating attack. Devastating showed up on particularly potent Historical gunpowder units, like the Ottoman's Dardanelles Gun, Arquebusiers and Conquistadors. While I never played a Historical game, I liked this rule in the rulebook, and glad Mantic brought it along to Third Edition.

The balance changes to war machines make them much more attractive in general, and the cannon's new buffs make it particularly desirable. The Ostermark will definitely bring (at least) one of these along next time!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hobby Update: KoM Siege Artillery

A little oddball update here.

Way back in 2015, I placed a small order with Eccentric Miniatures. One of the items I purchases was his "Great Crossbow", which I would still recommend! It's hard to beat two war machines for $10. I typically over-buy just about everything, and this was no exception. Two Crossbows were used as Ballista in early games, but eventually were subbed out and then used as "light ballista" for my Beasts of War, a third was hobbied up but never really used for anything. A fourth is still on the sprue, so there's a chance another one of these will be built at some point...

The Regnum has plenty of Ballista, but while tidying, I discovered the old hobbied-up Crossbow, and decided I may as well do something with it. That old post says I was thinking of running it as a Siege Artillery piece... and I decided that that's not a bad idea! I had been considering a scratch build trebuchet (shouldn't be too hard... if it is there are numerous kits... but the dimensions would not work well on a 50mm square). I also my eye on this bad boy for a Siege Artillery piece... but it's $30 plus shipping, metal, made to order, and I'm still not looking to buy new stuff. So I'll stick with free for now!

I think he could use some decorative bits still. A few big arrows. Maybe a crate and another shield to make a little rampart? Just a little something extra. We'll see. But, this is ready for the table.
Not much to say hobbying-wise. We've already covered the war machine. The one-man crew is extra from the Warlord Legionaries and Scorpion boxed set, of which I have apparently purchased 5.  (Yikes!) I found a Scorpion sprue in a box while tidying, much to my surprise. I added the battered shields just for a little something extra. If there's a siege on, he'll probably want a little something to protect him and the machine should the defenders sortie out, or he set up within range of enemy engines or defenders. Overall, this is some very basic hobbying; nothing crazy.

I didn't field any Siege Artillery in Second, preferring the cheaper Ballistae for my war machines. It's gimmick was that it laughed at cover, firing in high, indirect arcs, and (potentially) dealing a lot of damage with a successful hit, due to Blast D6+2 and Piercing 3.

Second Edition has rebalanced the war machines by-and large. The changes are probably worth a lengthier comparison and post sometime, but to try and keep things simple for now, the New Siege Artillery is the largely same, but with some balance changes tending towards greater consistency. It still has Piercing 3, still laughs at cover, sill fires indirectly, but now has 2 Attacks at 5+, and a reduced Blast D3+1. I think these are all good changes. War Machines were a bit of a gamble in Second, and this a shift towards more consistent (and less potentially drastic) outcomes is welcomed by me. 

A Ballista or two will probably be my go-to war machine for most lists. They're still the cheapest option, and I have four of them already, after all. Depending on the list though, I could easily see this sneaking in. My KoM is pretty infantry-heavy, and they should be taking up a lot of space on the board. Having something that can ignore cover would likely be helpful... Time will tell what hits the table!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Hobby Update: KoM Knights (AOE2 Cataphracts!)

Hands-down, my favorite game of all time is Age of Empires 2. It captivated young me. An RTS game, you started from practically nothing, building up your town, upgrading soldiers and commanding them in battle... every civilization had a unique unit and a different technology tree. It was a marvelously deep and complex game.

It was also my first exposure to the Byzantines.

Being a bookish kid, the word itself was just intriguing. I mean as a kid, how do you even go about pronouncing that?? It just so foreign compared to something like the Vikings or the Britons. In time, I would play more, read more, learn more... go to college for history and school abroad in Turkey to learn more, even seriously considering grad school for medieval history ... all stemming from this game.

I did not end up as a university professor, but the game obviously impacted me greatly.

While the Regnum is in a great place in terms of available hobbied units, I still have a few half-baked, ill-defined hobby goals for it, one of which being to build up a homage unit of sorts, in the style of the Byzantine's unique unit in AOE2: the Cataphract.

The cataphract!
Historically, the Cataphract was a mounted, armored warrior. In the game, the Cataphract is a tanky unit designed to counter the normal counter to heavy cavalry; Pikemen. A counter-counter unit is a neat idea.

The game was released in 1999, and we've since learned it had an interesting art direction, where 3D models were created, and than translated into the game's charming 2D pixel sprites to save computing power when rendering and tracking so many units.

Another Shot.
So this is what I'm shooting for. A knight wielding a sword and wearing a tunic. A helmet with a face/chin guard and horizontal eye slit. A feather plume on the helmet, and a teardrop shield slug across his back. The horse should have barding, but apparently not too much? Heaven forbid we protect the horse's neck you know.

Complicating my conversion is that a whole new version of the game dropped in recent months, with redone graphics.

New and Improved!
Building off of the old game, an "HD" edition was released on Steam in 2013, along with an expansion a few months later, and another expansion in 2015, and even a third expansion in 2016.

Now, a "Definitive Edition" launched late in 2019, revamping all the graphics, adding a bunch of features, and yes, adding even more civilizations. We're up to 35 civs now!

The marvelous cataphract has been redone too, more in line with it's historical image. The barding does further down the horse, protecting more, and looking far more "armored". The knight is also armored more convincingly; the chain veil looks downright menacing now!

The Fireforge Kickstarter, (which funded, and is still taking late pledges if you are interested!) embraces the chain veil look. I haven't settled on the boxes I want, but I'll probably be producing another unit or two of Cataphracts eventually (though iirc the pledge wasn't planning on shipping until December 2020... and that was before the pandemic. Fireforge is based in Italy, so we'll see what happens.)

Anyways, enough blabbering, here is my homage unit.

No quad pattern, so they seem a little dark. And the T-shirt approach does reduce the menace a bit. But these are pretty decent approximations.
The minis are primarily Perry Mounted Men at Arms. All the horses are from that kit, and I opted for the Italian-style barding, as it is the closest thing I have found to date. The horse looks a bit more DE than original, but I'm fine with that. The original look is just too hard to duplicate; it's like the horse is wearing an armored mini skirt than actual armor.

I thought the Germanic/Gothic barding could get me close to the original, but it barding just didn't quite fit, and I wasn't interested in doing much work to get it to work. The Germanic barding will look great on some Soul Reaver Cavalry though! Hopefully I'll have a regiment of those primed the next good weather day I get.

The knights are primarily from the Perry kit as well; each box contains 3 knights with tunics. So the boxes were enough to provide 6 of the 8 knights, with the other two being the very dynamic Norman Knights from Conquest Games. The arms didn't quite work there (the Norman kit has more cloth than armor), so I sawed off some extra arm bits from the Perry Foot Knights kit for some easy conversions. I really liked how those models in particular turned turned out! Helmets were from the various Perry kits as well, though two needed some green stuff face guards. And finally, feathers were procured from extra bits from the Fireforge Mongol Cavalry Box, who are my Mounted Scout troops right now.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this unit turned out. The only rub right now, is that I lost a shield somewhere... I think outside while priming. I've searched the area a half dozen times since to no avail.. so I'm on the lookout for a replacement teardrop shield for the unit leader. Other than that final missing bit, I'm calling the unit done.

The view that matters to me. I'm likely the only one fielding these, and the shields are what I think of for the AOE2 Cataphract. Looks like a few touchups along the edge may be needed, but overall, I'm pretty happy with these.
AOE2 Tangent
The unit is intended to stand in as a regiment of knights. I've already typed at length on knights elsewhere in the blog; and the unit is what you'd expect, so instead of blabbering more about knights and how they perform on the table, allow me a tangent to attempt to cross-pollinate some of my interests...

As mentioned already, AOE2 was a formative game for me, but the great thing is that people are still playing it! It has had an active community since launch (I even played some games in a computer cafes in Turkey in 2008), and the HD and now DE editions have reinvigorated the player base. If the pandemic has you stressed an you're missing the strategy of Kings of War games... allow me to suggest you watch some AOE2 matches on youtube (or twitch, if you're more "with it" than I am technology-wise)?

The game is unique when compared to other titans of the genre like Starcraft and Warcraft (never played too much Command and Conquer, so I can't speak to any comparisons there). Without getting too into the weeds:
  • Since each civilization has the same basic tech tree, the huge fraction calculus prevalent in most other examples of the RTS genre is quite muted here. The approach here is more like a "master list" with Kings of War, particularly in Historical book.
  • Maps are generated by script; the details (hill placement, resource locations) of each one is unique so each game plays out differently each time.
  • Except at the highest-level, it's a slower game, more "macro" (strategy and economy) focused, than "micro" (unit control and mouse clicks). 
If you are missing out on a strategy fix from social distancing and no wargaming... maybe give some attention to AOE2? To start you off slow, I'll suggest this video, where one of the more analytic but casual AOE2 youtubers takes on an AI with my Byzantines. The video even has Cataphracts! If you like that, the Reddit has lists of channels and streams, and there was a very good tournament recently with a really fun premise. Lots and lots of content to explore, should any of this pique your interest

Social isolation has produced another unit! The hobby table is still pretty full tough... we'll see what comes off it next!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Hobby Update: Redone KoM Spears

Spearmen were some of the first Roman units I was hobbying up back in 2016, and around July back then, I had 4 Regiments worth of little dudes ready for action. I have been meaning to revisit them for quite some time, and working from home, I've been fortunate enough to have the time to do so now!

Ready for action!
I hadn't really gotten the hang of multi-basing when I first hobbied on the spears. I experimented a tiny bit with one of the regiments at the time, with a few larger bases (the first one pictured). I have since touched up that regiment and "rebased" it, that is, gluing everything onto an infantry MDF. I don't think I posted about this unit previously, so here it is as a little bonus. One of my first larger multi-base attempts.. from a year or so previous.

It appears I still need to repaint the edge... but other than that, good to go!
For the majority of my spearmen models though, I had opted for a few clusters of three models on 40mm squares, with most of the minis being individual models on magnetized bases, as I had done in WHFB. This makes for a very full-looking unit, but can also make for some potential spacial issues, if models have bits extending off their base, like GW Empire Halberdiers, or GW Bloodletters. These guys turned out just fine, though the backward-reaching thrusting/throwing arm bits can cause some trouble. 

The general intent with these was to individually base a lot, in order to be able to swap things around to fit various unit sizes, as I was still new to the game and didn't know how I wanted to run my army. I've since gotten better with my army concept and with multi-basing, but here I opted to keep going with their original basing premise out of ease. I'm still just getting back into semi-regular hobbying, and didn't need to punish myself with a huge project rebasing two entire hordes... plus I didn't have the MDF bases to do so even if I wanted to.

I had around 50 models ready, but they looked bad as units. Fortunately, I still have a fair bit of extra Roman minis around, and was able to up the count enough to mirror the unit (multi-based twos and threes on the sides, and a multibased command in the center), and then duplicate that, allowing for two hordes of spears. It all worked out, and I'm pleased!

The Base
For the base, I opted for an MDF unit tray from Ironheart Artisans, and magnetic tape. I had used such tape before, in my WHFB days, and oh boy does it want to curl. That's what happens when it is shaped into the roll, I suppose! I opted for rubber cement and used some binder clips to hold it all together overnight, and that seemed to do the trick. Nothing too special there, but worth mentioning, I suppose.

On the Table
I know enough to know that Pikes are the new hotness for Kingdoms of Men. These are not them, but I'm fine with that. I think the KoM can excel at fielding decent but numerically superior units, and these are 30 points cheaper that a Pike Horde, and should still be pretty solid defenders. While I'm not big on hordes and still want to emphasize and explore a more MSU style game for the Regnum when I can, these do look nice and imposing all ranked up, and will be nice to have in the roster. We'll see when they happen to hit the table!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hobby Update: KoM Mounted Scout Regiment

These models have been sitting around for years. I originally picked up two blisters of 4 Fireforge Mongol Heavy Cavalry Archers after ordering directly from their site in early 2016.

Originally, a few were done up as unit leaders for my Mounted Scouts, but eventually those units were legitimately multi-based, and the leaders were just retired and put into storage. While perusing the 3rd Edition rulebook... I realized that you could can take Scouts as regiments now! I decided to dig them out and get to work on yet another little project...

Ready to move around! And maybe shoot stuff. Maybe. Still only 5+ from afar.
About the Models
Very brittle. Missing two tails and a helmet decoration...
As mentioned in the other posts linked above... I would not recommend buying these models. The material is very, very brittle and quite easy to break. I'm currently short two horse tails and a helmet feather. The person models don't fit all that well together, and the horses are chonky messes with lackluster sculpts and very obvious and unsightly support bits. I just cannot recommend buying these... but I have them already, so I'll use them.

They are also not great for wysiwyg. They have horses, and bows, which is good, but both riders and horses are pretty heavily armored. They look better than their rules, that's for sure!

On the Field
Mounted Scouts are going to play a little differently in 3rd Edition. Their range got reduced from 24" to 18", so they're going to need to be closer to pink away at anything. Fortunately with Speed 9, they should be able to get to where you want them... but, for a ranged unit, this range reduction isn't great! It'll be harder to protect the Scouts from many speedier cavalry units like Elves (Speeds 9 and 10) and faster fliers, particularly with the 3rd Ed changes to how units measure charge range.

Fortunately, their Melee state got bumped from a 5+ to a 4+... but without TC or CS or even piercing... they are not damage dealers. Still, without buffs, 14 Attacks should be enough dice thrown around to hopefully get a point of damage in per volley, and they should be mobile enough to hit what you want to improve their chances.

It took me a while to get comfortable with the Scouts originally; given the range changes mentioned already I think I'm going to be in for another period of adjustment. I'd predict that my first few games, my Scouts will die sooner than desired! Nevertheless I am very interested in seeing how a regiment of Scouts performs on the table. 

Despite being billed as a ranged unit, I think the new 4+ to hit in melee will be quite consequential. Typically, I'd want my scouts either running interference and screening, or running along the table edge, taking what shots they could from afar. Now, outflanking your opponent with these could be a real boon, even without any combat benefits like Thunderous Charge. Scouts, particularly a larger unit like this, really seems intriguing to me and I can't wait to see how a larger unit performs!