Following on from our recent look at the new premium Dungeons & Dragons Curse of Strahd box, today we are looking at two sets in from Wizkids’ Icons of the Realms range. Focused on the Curse of Strahd adventure are two boxes of premium pre-painted miniatures, called Legends of Barovia and Covens & Covenants. Important characters from the gothic adventure such as Count Strahd von Zarovich, Madam Eve and more are included. However, should Dungeon Masters pick up both sets and do they help elevate the horror of the adventure? Let’s find out!
So you’ve entered the Death House, wandered into the halls of the Castle of Ravenloft, or perhaps you are just getting ready to. Across the two sets, including 7 miniatures each, 14 characters that adventurers will meet along their many quests in Barovia have been brought to 3D miniature life. From the fortune teller Madam Eve, whose predictions and premonitions guide the path adventurers will have to take, to Count Strahd von Zarovich himself, each brings their artwork, or mer mentions, to life.
Of the 14 miniatures, 3 of the Curse of Strahd characters are classed as small, one (Pidlwick II) from the Legends of Barovia set and two (Rose & Thorn) from the Covens & Covenants set. This makes sense as these three are smaller in stature, being young or an evil construct of a toy. The remaining 11 miniatures are medium sized, with no large or above miniatures included. All come on black bases, with the 3 smaller figures on smaller sized bases accordingly.
Despite being characters specific to the Curse of Strahd campaign, over half of the miniatures in either of the two sets could easily be used outside of the adventure. The Legends of Barovia set may include Count Strahd von Zarovich, and other notable characters such as Ezmerelda d’Avenir, but the likes of the tarot clutching Madam Eve, the green skinned witch like Baba Lysaga or a hunchback Mongrelfolk are universally usable. In the Covens & Covenants set, putting aside the more distincting blue robed Abbot and the slightly creepy looking Thorn, there are miniatures that outside of Barovia could represent old hags or general townsfolk. Offalia Wormwiggle, in her hag form, even has Filch from Harry Potter vibes. The designs aren’t generic per se, as each brings the depicted character’s artwork to life. Still, their styles could generally represent characters that players could meet anywhere in the world of D&D.
This can extend to the more known Barovian characters too. Take Ezmerelda, the mini could easily be used in another setting. Utilized as a deckhand, a tavern frequenter or just a member of a peeved band of locals. Even the Strahd miniature could be an NPC in the background of a busy inn, though once they have encountered Strahd seeing the miniature pop up in another adventure may spook the players.
The two sets are very much focused on covering a range of characters players will meet along the Curse of Strahd journey. For those looking to play through the campaign it would have been nice to include some of the animal forms that Strahd can take, such as a bat, included. That being said, gamers that are starting the campaign with the Death House appendix mini-adventure will get instant use out of the miniatures – with Rose and Thorn from the Covens & Covenants set coming into play.
Across the 14 miniatures 5 of them utilize transparent plastic, to give that extra flair to the sculpt. The two held lanterns have this translucent plastic, allowing the lanterns just to catch light a little differently. The witch Bella Sunbane is showing some of her potential with the start of a translucent spell, while Vasilka’s translucent veil adds even more mystery and wonder to her. Then, the main man himself Count Strahd von Zarovich is holding a glass of… “wine”. The usage isn’t needed to make the sculpts what they are, and none would be unrecognizable without the translucent items. In each case it is used to elevate the model, adding that extra flair to catch players’ eyes.
Those without translucent plastic aren’t left without fun little details either. Morgantha is holding a cooked pie, making her useful in a bakery scenario outside of Barovia. Thorn is clutching what can only be described as a creepy looking teddy bear and Rudolph Van Richten is posed ready to fight off a challenger with a book in hand. Only a few of the figures look ready for a fight, from their poses. Though, if that means adventurers will have an easier time with some of the others is something they will have to find out, by playing the adventure!
For those looking to play through the Curse of Strahd adventure then the two sets can help bring the characters from the book to the table. For those looking to only pick up one of the boxes then the Legends of Barovia includes Strahd, making it the more obvious single choice. Whereas, the Covens & Covenants set is more about filling out the character ranks. Both have miniatures that can be used outside of the gothic adventure. So, players looking for minis they can reuse won’t necessarily need to favour one of the two sets.
The two sets are not cheap, combined they are more expensive than the Curse of Strahd adventure book. The premium price however reflects that the 14 miniatures come pre-painted, to a high quality. Plus, the quality of the sculpts – with the characters in dynamic poses, holding flair items and the use of translucent plastic. Overall, both of the sets, Legends of Barovia and Covens & Covenants, can be used to upgrade your Curse of Strahd experience. They aren’t necessary but are still very nice to own.
(Editor’s Note: The Icons of the Realms Legends of Barovia and Covens & Covenants sets were provided to us by Asmodee for the review. Both sets are currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)