Friday, 3 July 2015

Shit! I forgot to give this post a title!

Ok.

A bit of a confession.

Are you ready?

Right....

Deep breath.

I've never had a fantasy army.

Phew!

That feels better.

It needed saying. Don't get me wrong, I've tried.

I started off with the regiments boxed set when I was 13.




On top of which i had some random humans and some chaos dwarves but nothing that could be called an army. Sure we played plenty of fantasy RPG's, D&D, RQ, WFRP and the like.


We played a load of Heroquest and especially advanced Heroquest and we had some figures to represent characters but that was about it. What I did focus on before my hormones enforced a 15 year hobby break was sci-fi oriented and mostly Orky at that.

When I was pulled back in to 'the life' it was 40k that was my hook. And it was that I concentrated on. I had several armies and enjoyed 4th edition for what it was. I was well aware that I 'should' have a fantasy army though. And I tried.
I bought figures for an Empire army. I even glued most of them together.
I bought tilean mercenaries and sold them or turned them into italians.
I bought some chaos knights and used the bits for conversions.
I bought and painted some bretonnians.....but they were for a medieval French army.

All failed to ignite enough interest in me to get them finished.


In recent years Oldhammer has relit my interest in gaming. I've collected figures like a man possessed of endless credit. I've collected enough figures to make an impressive Horde of Greenskins. I gathered enough followers of chaos to invade a minor fiefdom. I've located enough men of the Empire to make a decent move for the crown of an Elector count. I've bought more bretonnians to convert my French to the ways of the magic lands (the nearest I have come!).

I just can't get them painted. I don't have the discipline.


All this means that I've never been fully immersed in the Warhammer Fantasy Lore. I know a fair bit about the old world from WFRP but the characters and stories have mostly passed me by.

Which means that all the recent kerfuffle over the death and rebirth of Warhammer Fantasy has kind of left me cold. A dear friend of mine followed the End Times religiously and regaled me with the shocks of great characters deaths. Most of these tales were met with a puzzled frown from me and request to explain 'Who's that again?' which simply made it more confusing as the frame of reference was simply more people I had never heard of.

I really didn't have a horse in the race.


And now GW have come up with the next big leap in wargaming and given us the Age of Sigmar.
Now on paper it sounds like this is my way in to Fantasy. At last a game where I can have an army of a reasonable number of figures. A game where I can base my Fantasy figures on round bases so that I can use them in my RT games without suffering aesthetic-centered base guilt. A game where the rules are brief and to the point, only 4 pages! A game where the lack of points means that I won't have to deal with army list savants producing the best kill-em-all, stat-proof, excel spreadsheet based army of mega kill!



It all sounds so good on paper.

Then I saw the miniatures.

Now. I'm going to put on a hat that I rarely wear on this blog. My designers hat. I trained as a product designer and I had an aesthetic sense nailed into my forehead by hours of design history lectures.


From a purely design point of view the new figures look exactly like 5" tall action figures. They look like the army of Eternia redesigned for the internet age. The look like they should have a toddler paw wrapped around their polypropylene legs. They look like they should be in the pages of the Argos catalogue or in a vacuum-formed blister on the toy shelves at Tesco. They look like the slightly bendy figures that you almost think are cool while wandering around Toys-R-us.


And that was it for me.

The RT games that I'm interested in features Humans struggling to deal with their tiny little place in the overwhelming expanse of the galaxy. The Pathetic aesthetic. It's what makes it interesting for me. Give a human a little bit of training and an autogun and lets see how he deals with a screaming gene stealer patriarch. Lets give some raging green mentalists some randomised technology and watch them try to bring their blunt-force-trauma style comedy to a hive world near you.

And that is the kind of thing that has all so nearly got me into fantasy. Humans dealing with all sorts of monstrosities stomping on their crops while still trying to deal with the Machiavellian politics of state hood.



So the decision has been made for me.

I'm going to try and get a fantasy army painted and only the table over the next couple of years. Cos lets face it, I should really try and finish one army for 3rd edition before the 30th anniversary!


18 comments:

  1. How do you eat a whale ?

    One bite at a time... I'm pretty sure you can make an army in a year if you split it into sufficiently small parts. You've proven you can paint a whole warband or gang in amazingly quick time to an excellent standard so splitting units into 10 men formations and all should be feasible. At least that's the plan I've decided to opt to finish my chaos renegades.
    You had this unit of Iron Claw black orcs done some time ago, adding 10 goblins, getting back to RT and then finishing the unit up to 20 or adding another unit of 10 something else is a good way to deal with it (I think).
    I'm confident in you making it and in us to remind you of that very post and break your nuts with constant friendly reminders ;)

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    1. I'm building myself up to it mate. I've done historical armies before so I know i'm capable, I just need to get my head round it! I'm sure you'll keep me on track ;)

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  2. You're spot on with the He-Man thing, there is a strong trend of paedomorphism in GWs design, but I dunno man. We said we wanted 80's retro Warhammer. They gave us 80s retro Warhammer. There's probably a moral to this story, somewhere.

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    1. It's retro something right enough. Ever since someone mentioned it I've felt the itch to convert a bunch of Hawkmen from Flash Gordon including Brian Blessed! Thing Chaos marauders, blood angel wings and empire outriders heads! In fact the more I think of it the more the Flash thing makes sense. Isn't Mongo just a collection of floating kingdoms at war with each other? I think I've cracked it!

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    2. Did anyone else get the impression that, when He-man stared off into the distance and mentioned how 'drugs dont solve problems, they just create more', that he was talking from his own sad, bitter experiences?

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    3. Judging by He-Man's outfit I would guess he made a few regrettable choices in the past.

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  3. Great post!
    If it makes you feel less alone, I didn't have a fantasy army until I painted up some woodelves a couple years ago (at the age of 36)... all notwithstanding a lifelong interest in the game.

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  4. Loved the post. ;) I was where you are with my chaos army. Got to a point where I thought I was finished. Then doubled the army over the last year. Keep on him JB. Lol

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  5. I never had a proper army back in the day either. The first few years of being into GW I just bought random things that appealed to me (probably would constitute an army under AoS rules!). I did end up buying enough Bretonnians to assemble the beginnings of an army but it wasn't well thought out and lacked enough suitable troops for it to be much use. I've certainly made up for that lack of troops since though!

    I also never played Rogue Trader, had plenty of models but didn't buy the rules. Never played an RPG either (I'm not counting the two attempts at GM-ing for a lone player!). It's so much easier to buy than it is to play. ;)

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  6. I'd buy he-man miniatures. That is all I have to say.

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    1. I know nobody ever comes back to read their follow-ups on a blog-post, so I'll start a thread on the forum. http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6466 Grenadier had a line back in the 80s. The sculpts are quite quaint, but full of character.

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  7. Truth be told, I've never had a proper army either, yeah I had units and warmachines and a couple fo characters, but never enough for a proper large army, so don't fret, it's not an exclusive club LOL

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  8. +Stonecoldlead I'm with you on two of your counts, I too brought a Bret army when 5th came out.... and never even painted it up!

    I found out the hard way that Heraldry and me don't see eye to eye :D

    As for RPG's, I'm a huge Dungeons and Dragons fan, but I've never played it!

    When at school I tried to get people to play, but they just wanted to play Hero Quest or Space Crusade of move lead about pretending they could properly play Warhammer 4th edition.......

    And sadly I've never really found anyone at any of my jobs I've had who wanted to play either :(

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  9. There are free 'army lists' called Warscrolls that drop tonight on the GW site that is supposed to cover every current unit. I have it in mind to use my 3rd edition models to proxy now edition models to try the rules. If the rules are fun, there is no need to use the new minis at all...

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  10. I have every confidence in your endeavour. Long have I followed your blog and wondered when you would take the plunge.
    Best of luck, throwing in bound creatures, swarms and large nasties is a good way to break up the sometimes monotonous rank and file.
    I'm sure whatever you come up with will be well executed and we can all see your excellent terrain skills turned towards the fantasy element.

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  11. Great post, like many I started off with Heroquest but it took me until 2007 to dip my toes into fantasy.
    Like yourself, I've never been up to speed on all the lore associated with WHFB, and despite perusing the news from the End Times books I didn't have a clue who all these character were, mostly.

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  12. Glad to know I am not the only one....
    I think I can join the club, - I don't think I have yet to finish a complete army, some of them have been 25 years in production.... so many shiny new figures so little time.
    Cheers
    Stu

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  13. Good to see I'm not the only one who felt that way about the miniatures. How are their target market ever supposed to paint them? I suspect they plan to make their money from selling red and gold spray paint.

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