There is a reason that the common adage says that Hindsight is 20/20. This is because after an event occurs it is easy to look back and judge it accurately; after something has been done, it is easy to determine if decisions were made correctly and the proper actions were taken. Unfortunately, humans have not been gifted with foresight; instead, we must make decisions and choices in the moment and hope that we are taking the right course of action. Using this fallible method for making decisions means that sometimes we make the wrong choice. This can happen even when we carefully weight our options and even when we have the best of intentions. The crux of the issue is what we do next.
In the case of this blog, I made the decision to use models that I already owned when getting back into the gaming. This decision compounded the problem as it shoehorned me into playing a game that I am not really sure I want to play. However, I was trying to save money and get back into gaming and using already owned models seemed like the ideal decision. This decision while it was saving me money, was also draining my hobby mojo due to two key issues. These two issues combined to create a negative feedback loop that sapped my hobby energy.
Before I delve into these two issues, let me first say that I like the way a Sylvaneth army looks. I think the army is comprised of beautiful models. Seriously, almost that entire range is comprised of models that are amazing from the Kurnoth Hunters to the Treelords, to the Spites. The problem is that while I think they are beautiful models; they are not a range I enjoy playing or painting. I can look at them and tell they are beautiful looking models; but aesthetically they are not a range I enjoy. This was the first problem and it was compounded by the fact that most of the models I owned were Dryads and in the new book for Sylvaneth, Dryads are not the best unit to own. So, I was stuck not only painting an army I was not enjoying, but I was painting models for that army that were a subpar choice and would probably not see the battlefield if I had a choice on what models to field.
I guess the question is then, what models do I like? This answer is maybe best answered by some examples of armies or model ranges that really call out to me. First up, is Privateer Press and their Skorne range. I love the Elephant inspired warbeasts, the heavily armored Cataphract warriors, and the Warlocks Zaal and Makeda. Sticking with Privateer Press, I like the Trollbloods, both their beasts and their warlocks have that block hulking savage feel to them. Lastly, I like Grymkin for the spooky and scary Victorian era horror feel. This brings me to Malifaux. I pretty much like most of the models from Malifaux, but I would have to say that the ranges for Neverborn and Resurrectionists are the ones that have always called out to me the most. To summarize, I guess I like Steampunk, Victorian Horror, Monsters, and alternative takes on historical armies.
The other thing I really enjoy are Skirmish Miniature Games like Malifaux, Frostgrave, and Mordenheim. I think a big part of the enjoyment of these games is the fact that you do not have to paint a bunch of models to have a completed force. I do like to paint, I am not good at it, but I do like the process of painting. However, I do not like the idea of having to paint up 90 Dryads, just to have the mandatory troops for my army. Don’t get me wrong, when someone else has ranks and ranks of painted goblins or skeletons, I love the way they look on the battlefield, I just do not want to paint them. I like being to paint up 10-20 models and have a completely painted force for a game. There is a feeling of accomplishment that comes with this that I really enjoy. I also enjoy the fact that by painting up another 10-20 models you have a completely different force all table ready and ready to go.
The problem with Skirmish Miniature Games for me is the fact that no one around my area really plays them; even in my extended area which would be about 60 miles in any direction, gamers just play Warhammer 40,000; although there is a slowly growing community of Age of Sigmar players. Even Warmachine and Hordes is almost non-existent in this area anymore. So, playing a game is an issue if I want to play a game with the models that I am painting. However, this is a topic for another day.
That is the quandary I found myself in and part of the reason I kept trying to push forward with the Sylvaneth. I kept telling myself that if I could just push through and get them done that, I would have a painted army and I would be able to play some games and it would all be worthwhile. However, the more I tried to push forward the more I started having second thoughts about the whole process. Finally, I after a long couple of days of really going over and over the issue in my head, I decided to make a change. I made this change for a few reasons.
The first reason I decided to make a change was the fact that I realized that I have very little time to actually play games with my current schedule. Therefore, even if I have to drive an hour to get in a game, as infrequently as I am currently playing means that I am okay with arranging this ahead of time every month or so. The second reason is that I am really enjoying painting and I want to try and get better at basing my models, so I guess I am turning into a hobbyist after almost 27 years of miniature gaming. Lastly, I want to paint and play with models that I enjoy. This is a huge change for me, as I have more often than not, played an army not because I like it, but because it is a strong, powerful, Tier 1, or S Tier army. Now, I just want to spend time in the hobby with models and games I enjoy.
Where does that leave us? Well, I have just completed selling the last of Sylvaneth models this week. Which means that I now own a total of 8 miniatures after selling off my Slaanesh, Skaven, and Flesh-eater Court models over the past couple of weeks. What models do I still own? Well, at this point in time I own 4 Mournfang Cavalry models, and 4 character models for Nighthaunt. Why did I keep those models? Well, I kept the Nighthaunt as I can use them in other games as spirits or ghosts; additionally, I still like the idea of a Nighthaunt or Legion of Grief army. I kept the Mournfang models because Ogors are my favorite range currently in Age of Sigmar. The fact you only need like 30 models for a full 2000 point army appeals to me. I have always wanted to paint an Ogor army up. I never did because they have always been a sub-par army and I didn’t want to expend the effort on an army that wasn’t going to win. However, I have an idea on some awesome bases for them, so I am making them my project army for Age of Sigmar. I plan on slowly painting them up over the next few months.
Do you remember when I mentioned Frostgrave and Mordenheim? Well, the thing that both of those games share in common with another game I like, Malifaux, is the large amounts of terrain on the table. Mordenheim is dead, but just when things looked bleak for Warhammer Fantasy Skirmish, Games Workshop decided to release Warcry and I could not be more excited. The game is a win-win for me no matter what happens. If the game takes off and is popular, then I have a new Skirmish game that is support by the miniature gaming industry Juggernaut. If it fails to take off, I get some cool models for other games, but more importantly, I get some amazing terrain. Seriously, have you looked at the amazing terrain kit they are releasing for this game. It would work perfect in Frostgrave or even Malifaux. So, no matter what, I get something useful out of the game, whether it takes off or it flounders.
So, that is the plan moving forward with this blog. I plan on buying the Warcry starter box and building it all up and painting it. As the model count is low, I plan on doing a bit of extra work on the miniature bases; this is something that I have been wanting to do for a while and I have several ideas that I have been contemplating. I plan on doing a series of blog posts on the process, which I hope will get me at least a month worth of posts. Not only am I interested in cataloging the process for myself, but I want to do it for other gamers. How many times have you looked at a starter set and wondered exactly how hard the models were to assemble or exactly how large the models or bases were; or maybe you wanted to know how hard the models were to paint. I know that I have wanted that, and that is what I would like to do on this blog with this starter set. I am hoping you will stick with me and this blog as I shift gears and change the direction of this blog.
Just remember, from the very beginning, I did warn you that I am Utterly Unfocused.