I thought I’d give it a while to see if it took, and it seems to have. I’ve moved to The Army Collector.
I lost a day, and then picked up one when the snow left me (and my family) stranded at home. I’m over the halfway mark on the first set of 28, so I’m hoping the rest will come pretty smoothly. I am finally figuring out which arms go well with spears, and which go well with swords.
I finally had a free day and nothing I was supposed to do during it, so I decided to have some quality “me time” and do some fun stuff.
My first step was to the public library. I managed to, within a straight hour of peace and quiet, to come up with a pretty passable adventure for my 4E campaign. A little more roleplaying than we’ve had lately.
Then I headed to one of the two gaming stores in Dayton, the Bookery. I like both stores for different reasons, but the Bookery opens an hour earlier than the Krystal Keep, and I was racing a severe winter storm. I spent about forty minutes there, looking at all the stuff that they had there.
I will admit to some Games Workshop sticker shock. $57 for the new Warhammer 40K rulebook? What, was it hand illustrated? And while this is old news to most, the new trend of only offering 10-12 plastic minis for ~$25 was a shock. Maybe I’ve been painting Wargames Factory Numidians for too long, but $2.50 for a plastic figure of a sprue that’s worth only 7 points in an army list is crazy. So basically, to get what you used to get in a regiment set, you’re looking at $50, plus tax.
Now and then I get tempted to get back into 40K; I own several small armies and have, through bartering, a bunch of chaos space marines unpainted in the basement. And $25 for the new army codex isn’t too bad, but I think I’ll wait and pick up an AoBR mini-rulebook on eBay or something. I don’t need giant full-color photos at this point–that’s what the internet is for. But it definitely soured me on starting my son with a tyranid army.
I also looked at the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 for 4th Edition D&D, but the information within seemed fairly obvious or not particularly relevant (like paragon-level campaigns).
So, I picked up the new copy of the Warmachine MkII rules. Pricey at $40, but I own three starter box sets from a Christmas present I was given ages ago, and it wouldn’t be hard to get my ten-year-old interested in magical robots.
When I got back, I got caught up on this week’s Numidians. Right now the dip is drying and they’ll be ready to be photographed tomorrow. I also primed two chaos beastmen, the OOP champion and standard bearer. They will hopefully be a nice break from the ‘Mids.
Yesterday I unloaded about half a cord of firewood out of a pickup and into my backyard. Today my right shoulder is almost paralyzed with knotted muscle pain. That means that I’m going to be not painting today. Hopefully I’m going to be back up to speed tomorrow.
One of the bits of feedback I’ve been getting about my Numidians is how difficult it would be to do an “alternative Empire” list using them. All the figures are lightly armored, there’s no black powder, and of course no magic.
But I suppose I need to clarify something. I really liked the miniatures by Wargames Factory and thought they’d make a fine looking army. I thought they also had a lot of versatility and would be fairly easy to paint in a way that’d be attractive. And, dare I say it, they were very affordable.
But there’s always part of me that says, “why?” Why buy (or take valuable Christmas/birthday gift list space) a new army? What would I do with it? Well, I only play one wargame with any regularity–Warhammer Fantasy Battles. So I could shoehorn a Numidian army into WHFB, with some tweaking. Javelin throwers could, for example, become spearmen, despite the fact that Empire spearmen are more pikemen and can’t throw their weapons. And maybe an elephant been ridden by Numidians could become a steam tank, etc. It made it easier to talk myself into the plunge.
But now, maybe its my new, more laid-back attitude. Maybe its because I have been enjoying painting more. But the upshot is I’m not sweating the “how’s it going to become a WHFB army?” question. I’m just assembling a painting an army composed of Numidians, or something that looks quasi-Numidian, since I’m sure they are not quite up-to-spec. I’ll throw in a few Numidian cavalry by Warlord Games, and at some point I’ll say it’s done and take a nice big picture.
And yes, I’ll trot ’em out and use them in a battle sometime. And they’ll probably get whipped because heavy cavalry and cannons help in an Empire list. But I think I’m become more of an Army Collector. Or I’m trying out the Army Collector identity. Or maybe I’m just going fluff and appearance over playability. I don’t know. But I’m refusing to stress about it.
For reasons not worth going into I lost a little time on this project, but hopefully am back up to the speed of four figures (one sprue) per week. Since of the 28 in the pack I’m doing 14 of them as javelin throwers (or as they will be played in WHFB, Empire spearmen) the most recent sprue is all them.
It’s also the end of January, and my monthly paint total is an impressive 29 figures. At least for me that’s impressive–I’m well aware that there are many who paint much faster. As a point of reference, that is half of what I painted for the entire year last year. I’m really in this odd painting grove where there is something almost zen-like about the progess.
I’m also not really sweating questions like “what’ll you do for Empire Greatswords?” First, it’ll be months before I get through all the light infantry. Second, I may just build this army to build an army and not sweat the gamesmanship of it. We’ll see.
It’s been a while since I dropped any real money on hobbies. The Numidians I’m working on were from November , as was the copy of The Pathfinder Bestiary. So I was about due for something.
I thought long and hard about getting a new wargame. I’m pretty set on RPG’s, have plenty of molds I’m not using, and about three dozen miniatures on the painting table. I also decided to perhaps look at a new fantasy game. You see, I’m mostly a Warhammer Fantasy Battles player to the point where you can take the number of times I’ve played other games, add them together and multipliy by three, and you still wouldn’t have the number I’ve played WHFB. So I was thinking about something different.
The problem is, there’s not a lot in the way of fantasy wargames out there, which surprises me. There’s upteen Napoleonic games, but little in fantasy despite the wide range of miniatures available. Or rather there isn’t a lot that isn’t either a skirmish game (eg. Confrontation, Song of Blades and Heroes, or Malifaux) or a thinly-veiled Warhammer clone (e.g. No Quarter). I like skirmish games, but I was looking for something to scratch my big-battle itch. That got me down to two choices: Armies of Arcana or Hostile Realms.
Side note: I know about Hordes of the Things, the fantasy hack of the DBA rules. I own it. But my honest opinion is that HOTT isn’t that far removed from a skirmish game, given that you are usually battling with a dozen stands (40-60mm bases) with one to four miniatures on it. Nothing against the game–it looks like fun and I appreciate the inherent flexibility.
Armies of Arcana, from what I can tell, seems very tooled for 15mm, which isn’t that big a handicap. Hostile Realms is the fantasy hack of the Piquet system, which is (in)famous for its innovative ruleset. That innovation (loved or loathed) was what won me over. I wanted something really different from WHFB so that I’d have to start thinking differently about gameplay. That was my problem with No Quarter (which is a free download and should definitely be looked at). Yes, you get different monsters and the ability to tool up your own army list, but it plays very similarly to WHFB and wouldn’t really push me in terms of new gamesmanship.
I’m not familiar with Piquet, as I said, but I’ll post a review of Hostile Realms after it arrives. It should be here in about a week.