Sunday, 27 April 2014

More orcs, finally

Hectic real life and occasional lack of motivation have slowed my painting speed to a crawl in recent months, but my next batch of orcs is finally ready (for basing), including the first few of Erny's generous donation.

Their standard bearer isn't done yet (still in The Jar) and I've another 8 to add another day once I've been sidetracked onto some other units.

Amongst the many things I've learned from the Oldhammer forum is that it's OK to have irregular troops still have a unit identity. Hence these chaps are all painted in a variety of muted brows with the occasional touch of reds, and all have the same shield device (although they didn't all get the memo about the white background). The chaps at the left and right ends of the rear rank have kept their original 1980s paint job, except for new sheilds, hence the significantly different skin tones. There's reasonable variation even within the new batch though, so no harm there.

Originally my main Boyz unit was the classic Bad Moon tribe with red shield devices, but since this lot have an unhealthy association with a bunch of chaos followers, and with Morrslieb being green like them, I figured a slight colour change was appropriate. They're hence now the Mad Moon tribe (it'll end in tears...).

There's still plenty of room for improvement with my freehand sheilds, but they're getting better. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Random parenting insight into my hobbies

Inspired by Snicket's vaguely related post about younger relatives and gaming I've finally dusted this off my draft pile... Posts on consecutive days? Whatever next?!

Being somewhat older now than I was when I started playing RPGs, and Warhammer Fantasy Battle a few years after that, I now have children who are themselves (independently) showing an interest in these hobbies. And it's enlightening to consider my own reaction to their interests.

A few years ago (before I'd discovered the Oldhammer movement, perhaps before it even recognisably existed) our eldest boy got into Warhammer 40k. I vaguely mentioned I'd played myself in my youth, and my wife and I saw it as a convenience in terms of buying Christmas presents, but otherwise I didn't express much interest. In hindsight I should have at least involved myself in the painting side of things but was held back by a couple of factors, partly not wanting to encroach on the hobby he shared with his friends but also coloured by my own rejection of the Games Workshop of 20+ years ago. Anyway, after a year or so his interest waned and that was that.

Then several weeks ago our number 3 son (counting in age order only, I hasten to add!) very hesitantly explained that he wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, and seemed a bit nonplussed at our casual acceptance of this.

The point (I'm getting to it, honest!) is that, if he'd wanted to play Warhammer rather than D&D, my reaction would be more complex and probably in many ways less supportive. My reason - I'm betting the current edition doesn't contain anything along the lines of "Of course, there is nothing to stop you developing your own world background, or of adapting the background from any book you have read to form the basis for your games" (WFB 3rd edition, Introduction, p9).

Warhammer has always been a sales tool for a miniatures manufacturer, but from what I've seen (although this could be me confirming my own prejudices) modern Warhammer is proscriptive rather than creative, whereas a role playing game can't help but be about creation and imagination.

In the hypothetical scenario where he did want to play Warhammer I could of course espouse the virtues of Oldhammer, but it'd be my eccentricities versus what his peers are playing and the marketing budget of the 800lb gorilla. And (again, from what I've seen) modern Warhammer doesn't even give you the tools to make it up for yourself - for example number 1 son's version of the 40K rulebook is only a third of a rulebook by 2nd edition standards (Combat only, no Battle Magic or Battle Bestiary, and with the points values section of Combat removed).

Hopefully I'd be able to create a small bubble of enlightenment amongst him and his friends, but I'm guessing that (for example) giving gifts of non-GW figures would lead to the same expression of contained disappointment as when, in years gone by, a relative bought him the big console game of the season - but for the wrong console.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Signs you're not painting quickly enough, and some '87 trivia

I finally finished the first 4 troopers of my Boyz regiment for my orc / chaos / hobgoblin / moving-goalposts army (finished in the special sense of no bases or shields yet) and moved on to the next batch. These were undercoated at the same time as the first 4, and now need dusting before they can be painted! I may need to up my pace a bit, as I'm hoping to get these ready for BOYL '14 in August...

Apropos of this, while searching through a pile of semi-discarded RPG stuff I came across a promo flyer for the release of Ravening Hordes in 1987. The offer is for 5 different 2500pt armies: Orcs and goblins, Dwarves, Dark elves, Elves and Norse. The total models involved are -
  • Orcs and goblins: 274
  • Dwarves: 141
  • Dark elves: 123
  • Elves: 139
  • Norse: 147

I may have chosen poorly!

It's also mildly interesting to me that chaos, which is so closely identified with WFB these days, doesn't merit a mention. Or perhaps they just didn't need promotions to sell chaos figures.