Magewinds Free Rules for Magical Duels

Modelling Mages

Three wizards by North Star Military Figures: a Stormwarden, a Sigilist and a Lich. Painted by me!

When approaching a miniatures-agnostic game it can be difficult to know how to start. What are the expectations? Where are the limits? The purpose of this post is to show new players how they could choose, build and paint models for Magewinds.

Firstly, what does “miniatures-agnostic” even really mean? It’s not as though this is a well-defined term. It could be anything from “There are official miniatures, but you’re permitted to use whichever models you like instead,” to, “Go wild, do whatever you want!”

Magewinds falls somewhere in between these poles: there are no official miniatures1 but there are some requirements a model should meet. These are vague and flexible because Magewinds is not a particularly competitive game and (unless something insane happens) you are unlikely to be playing it at high-stakes wargaming tournaments. So it really comes down to what you and your fellow players are happy with. All I can do is suggest and nudge you in one direction because it happens to be what the game was designed around:

28mm-scale models, on 25mm circular bases.

Of those two requirements, clearly the base size and shape is the more important. Magewinds doesn’t have any rules like “true line-of-sight” (hiss!) that could confer an advantage or disadvantage to a taller- or shorter-than-expected model. But, being played on a small battlefield, Magewinds involves tight spaces, so a miniature’s base being thinner or wider than 25mm has an impact – for example, it’s easier to block an enemy’s fighter’s movement if you or they have a wider-than-normal base.

Magewinds also features small one-inch “step moves”, which are made a bit easier to eyeball if the miniature’s base is already roughly an inch in diameter.

Yet neither of these concerns really matter as long as you and your fellow players are happy to work around them, so do what you like!

Some Reaper Minis.

Race and Species

Fantasy miniatures tend to be designed to fit into one of the classic “races” like dwarfs, elves, orcs and so on. Magewinds doesn’t care about such things – pretty much everyone on the Continent is considered to be some kind of “human”, just variously mutated from some original standard form that no-one can remember – while the rules just treat everyone the same.

Fighter Types

When I am looking at minis, kits or bits and wondering if they will be suitable for Magewinds, my main concern, after scale and basing, is whether I can sell them as belonging to one of the available fighter types in the Tempest Crusaders fighter pack. For example, a Wizard should look bombastic and deadly, while a Seer should look mysterious and far-sighted.

Of course some fighter types are easier than others – it’s very easy to find or construct a model that looks like a Warrior, but it’s tricky to convey that a model is an Enchanter at first glance. For these harder classes, I recommend thinking about your character’s story and how you can tell it through modelling. Perhaps your Enchanter is a practical sort, who only carries a hammer and tongs and wears a blacksmith’s apron. Or perhaps they prefer to dazzle others, and wear a shimmering coat of many colours.

I wrote a Meet the Fighters article for each of the original wave of fighter types. Each article includes a short description of what that fighter type could look like. You might want to give them a read :wink:

Warband Theme

I tend to paint Magewinds fighters individually with little thought given to creating a cohesive warband from them other than a ragtag band of mercenaries. You might want to tie your models together more than that. Your miniatures could have travelled a long way from a distant land together, and so share the same cultural cues. Or they could all be members of the same military faction and therefore share a uniform.

Many petty kingdoms wage war with one another on the borders of Tempestia, while within the storm-warped land’s ever-changing borders, two main factions vie for power: the Zephyrites and the Revenants. The former seek to usher humankind into the Age of Magic by empowering the magewinds further, so that all the Continent’s people can use their strength. The latter – so called for the many undead or undying scions of the Ancient Empire in their ranks – wish to return the world to the Age of Sorcery and undo the damage that the magical Tempest has done.

The opposing viewpoints of these two mighty sides cannot be resolved any way other than blood. :crossed_swords:

Perhaps your warband is devoted to one of these factions. Perhaps, like many other Freeblade companies, it is allied to neither, fighting only for profit and self-preservation.

Fighters assembled from some of North Star’s modular plastic kits. Left: a Guardian put together from the Elf Infantry, Wizards and Knights kits. Centre: a Deadeye built from the Soldiers 2 kit. Right: a Warrior made from the Gnolls kit.


There are lots of options available for where to get models for Magewinds. My first suggestion is North Star Military Figures, who produce a range of excellent metal characters and modular plastic kits for the games Frostgrave and Oathmark. Individual sprues from said kits can be easily found on eBay, althought North Star themselves sometimes run temporary single-sprue sales.

Another good option is Reaper Miniatures, who have many years’ worth of Dungeons and Dragons-compatible models to pick through. Their scale is inconsistent, but their quality and character is not 2.

Finally, of course, there are Citadel Miniatures from Games Workshop. Modern Citadel sculpts tend to be a little too big for Magewinds (in my opinion (though this is not a big deal)), but I will happily assemble a warband from older Warhammer models.

Beyond those three options, there are many other sellers you can buy models and kits from. Kitbashing is your friend here. So is 3D printing, although I myself don’t have any experience with it. All I know is that there seem to be millions of STLs out there for every kind of mage and adventurer one could possibly imagine.

Now that just about wraps things up3. Go forth, and model! :muscle:

Three Citadel models. Left: a Dark Elf Sorceress. Centre: a Dark Elf Assassin. Right: a Mordheim Freeblade.

  1. Although I dream there will be :pray: 

  2. Black Lion Games, one of my local shops, has a whole wall of Reaper minis and I am quite incapable of walking past without popping in to browse and, inevitably, purchase one. 

  3. Except I just realised I completely forgot to talk about painting :scream:… I guess that can be its own article! 

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