Category Archives: Rambling

Big guns never tire

2017-02-25-12-25-40Hu-what?! Two posts in one month?

That’s right, I’ve most definitely entered stage three of my wargaming and hobby cycle. I’m thinking lately that a large part of the wisdom of experience is just being around long enough that eventually, no matter how thick you are, you notice your own patterns and habits – both short and long term. I’ve come to peace with the fact that I like the odd game, and I enjoy painting models (so long as it’s reasonably varied and interesting) but I get to “urgh, too much” quite quickly with respect to both.

In response to this, I seem to have developed an unconscious habit. I get excited by something new about once every two years or so, bite off a manageable chunk, then tweak models and background to my satisfaction so that it can fit more-or-less organically into my existing collection. At the moment I have two manageable chunks in mind, one for SAGA and one for 40k.

I mentioned a while back that I got some Pictish models. Well now my Aetius and Arthur book has arrived, and I realised that with my three historical warbands of Picts, Irish and Vikings, I am now fully equipped to accurately fight petty wars and raids the length and breadth of dark ages Scotland! Let’s hear it for extremely narrow historical/geographic gaming windows! Sorry, I think this is probably funnier to me as an Australian than it would be to a European. I know there were several rich, disparate cultures – entire kingdoms even – fighting for supremacy. But it’s just kind of funny that they were doing so in an area that’s probably smaller than some of the great West Australian cattle properties of the 1800s… which had about sixty people on them. I just imagine that the Picts and the Scots must have been very tiny.

Now, to 40k. I don’t know why and I don’t know how (to paraphrase Nick Cave), but I’ve suddenly become enamoured of the Skitarii. The models look cool, they have a post-human, cyberpunk theme married to the usual grimdarkery, and they look to me as though they even have my preferred playstyle: mid-range savagery a la the Sisters of Battle. Unfortunately in the last year my family has been hit with several huge medical, dental and car-related expenses, leaving me flat broke. And flat broke is the worst state to be in when you get the 40k itch, right?

So I think I’m going to put my Tau up for sale on the local facebook groups. They’re a small, nicely painted allied detachment that are mercenary themed so they can plug into almost anyone’s army. Hopefully I can get enough for them to fund the Skitarii, who will also only ever be a small army that I can plug into my Guard. And maybe if and when I get sick of the Skitarii I’ll sell them to fund the next lot, as I did with my Sisters and my Eldar.

I’m still wary of 40k. The whole thing could go Age of Sigmar mental at any time, and it’s already confusing as all hell. But that’s life I guess, you take your dice and roll ’em.

Oh and I also painted my medusa emplacements for my 30k militia, the Uruq Immortals. That’s them at the top there.

Life, the internet and everything

Hi everyone,

This is going to be one of those long, intense posts that barely touches on gaming, so you have been warned. It’s also maybe the most personal thing I’ve ever posted so yeah… let’s see how that turns out shall we?

I’ve had almost a complete break from facebook for about three months now, and I have to say, it feels like eternity. It gets easier, but not much. Before I get back to that though, I want to write some background as to how I’ve been for the last bit. Basically I’ve been tangling with some powerful and elusive thoughts for almost a year, and now I feel as though things are slowly clicking back into place. The thing that has been hardest for me to figure out is my relationship with the internet and my friends thereon, both local and international (I’ve decided to use the term “local” in lieu of “real life” or something, as Von has often pointed out to me that the internet is real life). So I thought I’d try to work things out a bit by writing it all down and seeing if that helps. Continue reading

Blow it all up

Hi everyone, I was reading Thuloid’s Adepticon report at the House of Paincakes this morning, and the discussion about Mantic got me thinking about the relationship between miniatures and rules. There was some interesting talk about Mantic’s Kings of War, and their strategy of capitalizing on Warhammer Fantasy Battle’s percieved mishandling. I realized that the current norm – companies that are combination miniatures manufacturers/rules producers – is, like most norms, an accident of history. Continue reading

Free

I’m really enjoying casually playing 40k at the moment, among other things. As regular readers know, I have a long and ambivalent relationship with this game. Any decades-spanning relationship has to have its ups and downs I suppose. And I’m in a positive place with it right now, because I feel as though I’ve worked out a way of playing and collecting that is mine and no-one else’s.

What do I mean?  The best way I can think of to succinctly put it is that I have started to think of my 40k model collection as a living three-dimensional story, inspired by, but not restricted to, events in-game. I track the fortunes of my army, and I incorporate or cut models when I want to paint something new or stop using something that I’m finding boring, or that’s not working for me. Where possible I re-paint, re-organise or modify my existing models rather than buy new ones. And then I make up a story to explain the change.  Sometimes the story comes first; sometimes the physical changing of the models. But whichever it is, they go hand in hand.

This all sounds a bit complex, I know. Maybe it’ll be clearer if I just explain what I’ve actually been doing. Continue reading

What I want from miniatures gaming

It’s recently been brought to my attention (by my partner, who was getting a bit sick of hearing about it) that I change my mind a lot about the games I play.  Fickleness mental flexibility is a deep-seated trait of mine, and it can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation. In the case of miniatures gaming, the investment in time and money and the slow preparation required means that changing your mind all the time can be disastrous, financially and in terms of wasted hours. Plus you can feel committed to a game by the physical models you own, and feel guilty for not playing enough, like you’re wasting the time and money.  In my case things are complicated by my long and ambivalent relationship with certain games.

So she suggested that I sit down and really consider what it is that I want from my gaming.  This is not a bad idea, and I’m really glad that I did.  Maybe some of you have similar issues.  I thought I’d share below what I came up with after a few days of mulling it over. Continue reading

Goodbye old friends

I’m feeling a little sad today, because I just sold some of my Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guard tanks, and was surprised to find that I was more attached to them than anything else I’ve sold before miniatures-wise.

The two chimeras oft-used by the officers of my 5th edition Guard army, the St. Arkham Rifles, joined the stubborn Leman Russ Anathema and the Banewolf Hell’s Breath, with its crew-painted skeletal artwork, and left to hopefully fight another day.  I loved those tanks.  They crushed many enemies in casual games, campaigns, and tournaments over about five years, and were heroically destroyed probably just as many times.  But they always came clanking back.  I couldn’t bring myself to part with my Leman Russ Demolisher Storm Giant – she’s staying with me, at least for now.

I got enough money to finally buy the few models I still need to round out my 300 points of Japanese Sectorial troops for Infinity, plus a starter box of Irish for SAGA to go with my Vikings.  It’s a pretty good effort.  I’m not a good enough painter for people to pay top dollar for my stuff, but I’m good enough that my paint jobs don’t actually detract from the value of the model! How much people will pay usually depends on how much they like my style.  So I’m happy to be able to get so many new models with the proceeds this time.

It’s still sad though; I’ve learned that it’s not the paint-job or how long I have had a model that determines how attached to it I am – it’s the memories of battles.  And, wierdly, I don’t have the same feelings for infantry models.  The tanks are where my heart is and I never knew until now.