Saturday, August 24, 2013

Building Blocks

Looks nice even if the bases are distracting.  
Despite the lack of updates I've made good progress over the past few days.  My first block of troops is done (except for basing and varnish), which gives me a nice visual treat to look at.  The unit came together quickly thanks to the reasons I mentioned last time, but also because of the approach I took to painting them.  My usual approach is to take a model or group from start to finish before taking up another set.  There's a natural pause in my painting when I (very generously) wash the whole model, which takes a while to dry.  Ideally I'll let the wash dry overnight, but often I take a short break instead so I can push on to the finish line.  This time I decided to embrace the overnight drying time by adding a second group of models.  When I sat down to finish off the first group of six after their wash, I also base coated another group of seven since I already had the colors out on my palette.  When I finished the first six I had also finished base coating the second seven, which I then washed and left to dry overnight.  The process repeated with another new group of seven with a final result of twenty newly (re)painted Halberdiers, which is the size I've tabbed for detachments.  Whether these brave mans of the Empire are complete as a detachment for a larger regiment or are the core of a central block of Halberdiers is still under debate.  Said debate is largely pointless as they can be both, if not at the same time, and I have plenty more bodies waiting to be assembled to fill out the ranks.  There's another three on the painting table now, along with a bannerman, and I put together four more a few days ago.  The three plus banner didn't make it to the wash stage because I wanted to take some extra time with the banner, but also because my brush was suffering from the extending painting time.  If I want to keep this new version of the assembly line I'll either need to rinse my brush, and re-thin my paints, more often or work on smaller groups.  If I stuck to a more standard group of ten I could have five being finished and another five being started, with less brush abuse and more room on the painting table.  Turns out working on fourteen models at once (on pill bottle lids) takes up a lot of real estate.  I'm thinking about rolling into Spearmen after I finish the straggling Halberdiers, though I may take up a cannon instead to break up the long line of infantry.  There's also the bits that didn't quite get finished for the Journeyman league that I should get done.


  1. Looking good!

    I'd like to see what you'd do with larger areas of metallics on things like knights, cannons, and characters, especially since the cannon itself should probably be bronze. I know that Warhammer isn't "historically accurate" as such, but the bronze helps break up the inevitable wall of silver produced by knights, the light armor of the State Troops, the full plate armor of the Greatswords, armor plating of the Steam Tank, etc.

    I have to say, it's a great thing that you've found a system for "churning out" (simply lacking a better term) your dudes. Without one the process of building a regiment grinds to a halt. Not that I'm endorsing a slapdash approach to putting your dudes together (despite my Skaven and Ogre armies), just a system. WHFB is a lot different than HordesMachine or 40k, simply due to the fact that your troops become (almost) intolerably monotonous. They are well and truly pretty much just the same mini over and over (and over and over).

    Having bashed the painting process, I will wholeheartedly endorse the actual game. Mistakes are a lot less forgiving in WHFB, and one error can ruin your whole day. In 40k, HordesMachine, etc. you can just re-deploy your army and try to fix the situation. In WHFB you'll find that your regiments are these lumbering behemoths that slowly ponder about the battlefield. Mess up and it's curtains.

    This, to me, is one of the beauties of the game. It's so much less about army construction and much more about how you employ your units. Are some units more cost-effective than others? Sure, but pretty much everything has a place (except YOU Stone Trolls). Are some armies easier to use? Yep. Ogres and Chaos Warriors are pretty much march across the field and stomp stuff, but if that's all you do you'll still get decimated. You've chosen a decent army in the Empire. They're not as forgiving as Ogres and Chaos Warriors, but they're not the potential nightmare that is an army like Orcs & Goblins or Tomb Kings.

    TL; DR- Good looking stuff, good army choice, and hopefully you'll enjoy the game for the same reasons I do.

    1. The cannons were already bronze/copper/whatever from their first trip to the paint booth and will become more so as I get to them. Way back when I was going to do the knights in pure silver, but now I think I'll give them a bit more shading (while staying silver) to make them pop a bit more. And because I can, even if it's one of those poor returns on large time investments.

      As for big blocks of troops, it's a bit intimidating. The block of Halberdiers I just finished is about half a 50 point Warmahordes army by the numbers. Granted WFB minis are smaller and (thus far) less detailed, but looking at 100+ models for any given iteration of this army is daunting. This last session was a bit of a slog but I'm hoping to keep up a reasonable pace and level of enthusiasm.

      I'm very excited about the idea of being able to take tactics straight from history books to the table without having to adapt them from Napoleonic warfare to far-future skirmishes. Using some of my favorite tactics like the refused flank in the setting they're intended for should be interesting.