Friday, 26 June 2015

Back From Holiday and Pondering the Future...


Well we are back from our sojourn up north to the Isle of Skye and had a fantastic, if soggy time of it to boot! Whilst on holiday I have been giving some serious thought into what I am going to be doing following my last post.

The gist of the post was my increasing hankering after a project that I didn't think I had it in me to complete, namely collecting and painting a fantasy army. The reason for my hesitance is that I haven't attempted anything similar for years, in fact the last full fantasy army I had was a hefty 6000 point Dwarf force that was fully painted and sadly sold off before I went off to uni.

Sadly all that remains are the few bits and bobs that I had kicking around unpainted that have eventually formed a bit of a warband:

Dwarven Warband

Every time since that I have actually sat down to think about attempting anything larger than a skirmish force, I have found myself stalling and giving up. Similarly, I have a bit of an issue with the likes of Warhammer as the background leaves me cold and generic fantasy in general just doesn't seem to inspire me at all. Looking back at the projects I've worked on down the years, just about the most fun I had warband building was this undead force that has also long since been consigned to ebay:

 Skeletal Troops

 Skeletal Giant


 Skeletal Spearmen




Skeletal Pack

While using generic enough miniatures (the vast majority came from the old Games Workshop plastic skeletons or Reaper and Ral Partha) the force was a bit different and far more dynamic than the shuffling boredom that I usually associate with the classic undead sort of army. Each unit was unique, be it with their grafted weaponry or intricate armour or even just the odd headswap.

While I applaud the folks who have the patience and skill to create massive armies with vast regiments of troops, I just don't have the time or inclination to put together something quite so grand but I am thinking that by using the traditional round base, movement trays and a bit of low cunning, a 20 figure regiment can easily be represented by 12 figures...

This is the sort of force I do want to put together with units of troops supported by terrifying monsters, destructive war engines and charismatic characters to lead them into battle! I must admit that looking at these pictures has stirred a great deal of nostalgia in me and I am sorely tempted to put together a similar force.

I don't want to spend years painting up an army, I want to create an interesting force relatively quickly and still be able to paint each figure to a standard I am happy with. Is such a feat even possible? Who knows but I don't know unless I try!

Now I have ranted and railed enough, I think its time I had a bit of a think about what sort of a force I want to put together and more excitingly, a decent back story which is vital to bringing together often disparate looking figures and combining them into a cohesive force. Who are they, where do they come from and what is their motivation? Who are their leaders? The backstory maketh the army and sets one up for good narrative games rather than the lifeless, soulless boredom that tournament type play seems to encourage. I don't want game winning units, I want interesting ones!

This is all a bit Oldhammerish in spirit, even if the rules and figures I use might not be. With my ponderings done, I think I am going to go and have a rummage through my collection and see what I can put together but I think I am going to take Chico's advice from a while back when I had painters block and buy something I have never painted before and see how I get on!

Till next time, All the best!

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