The wait for Crescent and the Cross was long. During it I jumped on one of Black Tree Design's 50% off sale and ordered lots of figures to use for it. Having no idea what the army lists or battleboards would look like for the various Muslim armies, I ended up with a lot of stuff.
It worked out as I have enough to do all 3 armies. Most of the figures seem like they can work between factions, there may be some stylistic or dress difference between Moors and Saracens but it doesn't seem to be extreme enough to worry about.
The first warband I decided to do was the Mutatawwi'a. The big reason for this is that they felt like a foot mounted force, plus they didn't have any levies.
I ended up really liking the Black Tree Design figures. The sculpts feel a little old, some of the poses feel "classic" if that makes any sense, but the figures were nice. I like the faces, they feel like they fight people from that part of the world without being a racist caricature, and they manage to walk a nice line of having enough detail to be interesting without having too much that they become cluttered.
The other big thing I like is that they have a variety of poses. These all came from their Soldiers of the Prophet set and gave a good variety of poses and model types. I still have enough figures from this set to do 2 points of levies (1 with bows and the other with crossbows) and that's pretty great.
I think my favorite thing about these figures is that they had minimal mold lines or flash. They cleaned up really quickly, and that's huge. Most of the Warlord Games or Gripping Beast metals have taken me a long time to clean, but these were nice and quick.
On the whole I really liked these figures. Only thing I wish is for transfers that fit these shields, I'm not thrilled with how my freehand stuff came out. Other than that, though, I dig them.
I tried to make them really colorful, while keeping to a simple pallet. I went with a Purple-Green-Orange set of colors to be a little off and different than the normal Red-Blue-Yellow triad. I think it works, makes them colorful but also a little different and maybe a little more exotic.
I'll be painting up 12 bows and 12 crossbows this week and next. With those I plan to run them as Moors. After that it'll be painting horses for Saracens and other odds and ends.
I'm excited to get some games in with these guys. Saga is probably my favorite game right now, and the new Crescent and the Cross book is really great. Feels like Saga, but is very different and interesting so it isn't just a rehash. I'm pretty amazed that Saga can have as many armies as it does (around 20) and that they all feel different and worthwhile, few seem to do the same thing and they are all different enough to justify existing.