I (Still) Aten’t Dead

I had every hope that I might be able to put up a picture of the fully assembled second edition Ork army – which, amusingly, yields a playable if sub-optimal force under contemporary rules, or would do if I owned a couple of Battlewagons. Those of you with 1991 Ork Battlewagon kits that you don’t want should bury them in an old ammunition box: one of my Underground Agents will contact you in ref. reparations. Anyway, the Dreadnoughts and a few of the characters are still in the Dettol bath and the Skorcher doesn’t fit on the base I had in mind for it, so there are some slight delays there and I’ve missed my nerd birthday. Heigh ho.

I’m in the market for a Black Coach just to finish off my Vampire Counts army too, now that the Beat Ronin has very kindly furnished me with the classic Zombie Dragon that I love so much. Not that I have any intentions of playing games with any of this tat, but I’m resigned to myself as more collector than gamer now that I’m hurtling towards thirty and have little patience for worming my way into yet another gaming group and tolerating the noise of the venues and all that jazz. It’d be nice to actually get some SAGA games in at some stage.

The aforementioned Ronin has been paid off with a Razorback which I’ll ship to Australia any day now. Putting that thing together has given me the slight itch to build GW kits again (they can be quite fun sometimes), but I find it hard to think about just having kits in isolation, so I invariably start thinking about armies and the whole rotten business starts up again. You know the manner of thing, gentle reader: “well if I had this and that and two of those that’s about that many points and blah blah blah.” That’s all well and good as a theory exercise on a rainy Sunday or even a challenge (nail together an army out of this grab-bag of bargain bits you found on eBay) but in terms of actually buying all the stuff and bothering to paint it… nah.

I’d still like to build one of those plastic Daemon Princes though. And the Terminator Lord. And a Land Raider. And a Forgefiend. And a Heldrake. And then it’s such a small leap into an actual army, all that’s needed is some acceptable-looking Chaos Space Marines: Forge World conversion packs? And since I’m on Forge World’s website, let’s have a look at those super-special Word Bearers kits, and… oh shit, there’s a Chaos Knight model now? And oh wait, the Warpsmith and Dark Apostle are two of the best Chaos models going, can’t be without those, but that’s four HQs, so I’ll need Allies or to go Unbound and play to table… which feels kinda dumb after all those years of exposure to the competitive game, and just taking whatever and playing with it doesn’t scratch my theory itch, so let’s look at Troops again, oh shit, don’t you need Cultists…

Dunno why it happens with Chaos. It might be because Chaos armies feel achievable; I still think of them as elite and small and affordable, even though they really haven’t been since third edition. Orks are easier to put myself off since two or three huge mobs of thirty lads mean lots of money and time on boring kits. And yet I actually own an Ork army and have spent about two hundred quid on it: aren’t I weird? I remember back in the day that the two hundred quid mark was a bit of a golden figure: that was generally my budget for the year, as a late-teenager, and generally what a 1500-2000 point army would cost you if you avoided the really expensive kits.

Sod it, I’m going to price up a Chaos Space Marine army. Not like I have much else to do this evening. Apparently I might have fibromalygia now, which seems to mean constant joint pain and cramp that escalates to near-paralytic levels every few days. Also, my chest feels like it’s going to collapse when I sneeze. The upshot of it all’s that I don’t get out much any more, which may explain why the urge to blog has made itself felt. The urge to game, too. I keep looking at Hordes again (say what you like, there’s some lush models in the Skorne range and I used to be good at playing Trollbloods) and then reminding myself of everything that I hate about that game, which boils down to “I miss playing it over Goth Dave’s kitchen table when it had only just come out and nobody was spending hundreds of pounds a year on keeping up with the Joneses.”

Still, we’re a long way from 2005 now. Times change, and so must I…

16 thoughts on “I (Still) Aten’t Dead

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  1. Heya Von, good to see proof of life. Do you have any full army shots? I’m interested to see what the horde looks like. =)

    Sucks with respect to the potential diagnosis, and related implications. I guess I’ve never heard of it before, except recently on the radio…

  2. Looking forward to seeing that Ork army evolve!

    I’m the same when it comes to collecting – I can’t just pick a model by itself, it automatically spawns into a theoretically playable army (or at least allied contingent) of some sort. Since the start of this year I have been focussing more on finishing things off, be it regiments or armies – but I have still worked on 10 different projects already.

    1. I’ve worked on more than I’d care to admit (fewer than ten though) but clearing decks of all the Warmachine stuff I was pretending to enjoy seems to have cleared the air a little. I intended to spend the rest of the year picking up odds and ends for RPGs (those plastic Cultists for Frostgrave should be useful to a WFRP GM, don’t you think?), which doesn’t have the same extend-the-collection obligation, but then the bargain came along and I couldn’t say no to all those Orks.

  3. Happy the dragon has a good home :) And I too would like to play some SAGA, I had a few games and then nothing for months now. On the plus side I’ve been drawn into a narrative 40k campaign, which is spurring me to paint.

    It is so hard to buy a model just for the fun of building/painting when you’ve always done so with a mind towards using it as a playing piece, and by extension, as part of an army. I’ve managed it with a couple of Malifaux models, but my desire to own a few particular Infinity figures ended up with me spending two hundred bucks on viable forces and books that I never used and have now lost interest in.

    My friend has been trying to convince me to play Mordheim, which is giving me unholy visions of my beastman army that never was for Warhammer Fantasy. It’s a slippery slope, I tell you.

    1. You know what you could do: try playing Mordheim with a warband that DOESN’T scale up into a WFB army as directly as all that. Sisters of Sigmar spring to mind, or Possessed (although Possessed are a bit bobbins really). Or do Skaven. I guarantee that after you’ve stuck the tails on thirteen plastic Night Runners you will never want to see another Skaven model in your life.

      Or try Frostgrave. It seems to have eaten the Corehammers alive, so it must be at least decent…

      1. I’d love to try Frostgrave instead, but this guy is a GW traditionalist unfortunately. There are quite a few of them around, as I’m sure you know. Can’t really be helped. My best idea so far is buy a box of the beautiful Perry medieval men-at-arms, and make human dogs of war for about twenty bucks.

        And does “bobbins” mean they suck?

        1. Bobbins does indeed mean rubbish, poor, lacking in quality and so on.

          I endorse the Perry miniatures though. The Salute longbowman is of high quality indeed for a freebie and I wouldn’t mind a few more of those hanging around the place.

  4. Von, sorry to hear about the diagnosis. You’re a good dude. I apologize for my trollish demeanor to you on YDIS. I tend to be hard on people I identify with who occassionally fall into ideology (in my jaundiced view) rather than straight up factual analysis. Or maybe I am jealous of superior reasoning, and have to couch it in those terms. I am pushing 50 and it is sometimes hard to tell.

    And that has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Sorry.

    I do more solitaire skirmish gaming as finding a good group is a pain in the ass. If you get your army together, make some time to push the figs around the table, even if it is just you, yourself, and…you. Make some notes, and you have the basis for a campaign.

    Hope you’re having a less painful day.

    1. Thanks, man. You’re all right and I do regret accidentally incensing you that one time.

      I don’t think anyone should go near YDIS expecting a caring, sharing, feel-good drum circle of a time, and it’s not as if I don’t rattle the sabre myself from time to time, so no harm done. (I will say one thing though: I hope you realise that your valuing strict factual analysis is in itself an ideological perspective. i.e. a belief about what is the Right and Proper way to do things. You can’t escape from ideology, but some ideologies forgive more folly than others…)

      Playing with myself, you mean? Seems a bit sad. Acceptable when I was eleven and none of my little friends had bothered to learn the rules, but now it reminds me that I’m a cripple and a shut-in with no friends in this town. Also, I think computer games scratch that particular itch perfectly well… what I miss is the company more than anything.

      1. Well, when you get a lot older, playin’ with yourself ain’t so bad. I do play computer games occassionally, but I actually prefer pushing lead and rolling dice.

        As far as your comment on ideology, I disagree. But many people I like and respect share your view, and as is sometimes (well, often) the case, I could be wrong. Maybe we can have that debate sometime if I manage to reel in my internet troll behavior.

        Also: do you like Age of Sigmar?

        1. Arf arf. I do understand the preference for analogue gaming, share it myself as a matter of fact, but it’s outweighed by my distaste for the prevailing “highly competitive” style of play. I’d rather play twice a year with people who are on the level than twice a week with randomers whose mentality is more fitness freak than funster (chubby or otherwise).

          I think you are wrong (obviously) but I’m not sufficiently up on epistemology to make a case with the minimum five peer-reviewed sources and going back to my notes on Althusser fills me with fucking dread to the point where I’d have to be paid to do it.

          Age of Sigmar… oh, goodness alone knows any more. I like what they’re trying to do with the game itself: no huge rulebook, no army book/pendulum swing design philosophy, no points values, no minimum game size or mandatory units, just buy figures you like and put them on the table and congratulations, you are ready to play Warhammer. That’s a breath of fresh air through the musty depths of the Nottingham Reichstag if ever there was one, and I like the rejection of the “points values and list building mean balance and challenge!” mentality that it implies. The problem is that the new models leave me cold, as do their absurd names (Bloodborne Bloodreavers, anyone?), and the background… well, what I’ve seen of it sounds like Generic Over The Top Video Game Setting #2902. There’s nothing hugely offensive about that, but I like my Warhammer grimy, snide and psuedohistorical, and that doesn’t seem to be what AoS is about.

  5. That’s cool, Von, not trying to split hairs in a Zak-like fashion over the definition of words. This is something I’d rather talk with you over multiple pints than electrons, anyway.

    I never played Warhammer (Chainmail still my game of choice for the few mass combats I run, rather unimaginatively), though I always gazed longingly at the masses of figures and decent terrain, but was turned off by the gamers themselves. I liked the background, but it seemed subsidiary in actual play to the point worshipping (though as a Champions player, I understood it). AoS seemed like a massive repudiation of that mindset – more like open skirmish wargaming, which interests me. Even though I never participated in the old background, though, I liked it, and it is a shame to see it blown up.

    Not being in England, I am curious, if most warhammer dudes have adopted the new system and background, or if the there is a significant Alamo/Rourke’s Drift of gamers not letting anyone pry the old setting/rules out of their dead hands?

    1. Well, it’s not like they didn’t courteously release rules for all the old models (and those rules are full of ‘hilarious’ things you can do for bonuses, like talk to your models or pretend to ride a horse, which… actually encourages people like me, and should therefore be frowned upon in polite society), so playing old-background Warhammer with AOS non-rules is totally legit. I embrace this with whole heart and gleeful loins, and to be honest it makes me slightly more likely to purchase and faff around with a few big Chaos monsters from the old range now that I don’t ‘need’ other stuff in order to drop them on the board and make dragon noises.

      I don’t know about ‘most’ Warhammer dudes but Corehammer (the group with which I’m loosely affiliated) has embraced AOS as a welcome relief from all that faffing around with percentages and spreadsheets. Oldhammer exists as a thing but chiefly favours late-Eighties iterations of the Warhammer World and game. I, of course, am a freak in that I am decidedly Oldhammer in my WFRP preferences but favour an early-2000s edition of the wargame. Something about my first loyalty being to the ones I most enjoyed playing, regardless of release date…

      If we’re having the ideology conversation whilst drinking that’s a whole different kettle of fish, but I’d still like to do the research to ensure an at least part-baked argument.

  6. Condolences on the diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is such a poorly understood malady. Here in the ‘States, insurance companies often gave FM sufferers a hard time. Let’s hope that the boffins can figure out the cause and find a cure.

    1. The cause is probably various long-term industrial/sports injuries with a cumulative effect on the state of my bones/muscles/cartilage. Every time I get a nice job with some good honest manly heavy lifting, or take up a sport for exercise and competitive, healthy manliness, I hurt myself in some inconvenient and niggling fashion. This is clearly a sign that masculinity is Not For Me.

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