Playmobil Set 4014 comes with a mixed of emotions in mind. It was released the year after the Knight’s franchise reboot of 2010, as the first “booster pack” of the strict non-fantasy medieval setting (as the 2009 Dragons had claimed the fantasy one).
The set tried to do several things at once:
First it tried to swift the focus of game play away from high wall castle siege to a more small scale “storm the fort” kind of feeling.
Second it tried to provide a place to hide securely the treasure of the King (and maybe a place where the gold transport carriage should travel. Here however we have the first problem. The treasure hole is far to shallow to fit either the white box of the carriage, or the grey treasure chest of the Lion Knights castle. So the player has to manually transport the treasure in and out of the chest every single time.
Third, it tried to improve the quality of the treasure hoard. Here it achieves great success: Golden plates, bowls, additional scepter, gold nuggets, additional gold coins, a gold horn and also a snake like golden curved greatsword, with the last being the only out of place piece as none other box of the whole 2010 series seems to have such a weapon. You might consider it to be a relic in your campaign (at least I did), but it seems out of place with the rest of the bunch.
Fourth, the set provides two “new technology” cannons that resemble the crossbow ballista and the siege launcher of the 2010 set.
Fifth, the set provides three additional units. Two falcon heavy infantry knights, and double axe full plate knight. And this is the biggest letdown of the set. The falcon knights DO NOT come with the default colors of the falcon knights (blue/white, instead of green/red). Also the helmet type is different. So I was obligated to continuously provide RPG solutions for this change (fort guard colors as I remember correctly). What upsets me the most is that we had to wait until 2017 for the same knights to reappear (this time as assailants in a dragon knights keep) and reveal themselves to be a completely different faction. At the same time the assailant (while brilliantly designed), is out of setting completely. He is not a lion knight and there is not a single reference to the axe knights in this setting either in the magazines or in other sets. This poor decision transform the set from being a “booster pack” to something of it’s own, making a person that liked the 2010 product line to just use the fort and the treasure and discard the figures from its gameplay.