Friday, November 6, 2009

November is Miniatures Month

So I have been thinking of what to do this month, now that Halloween's over and the contest is past. October was the highest post count of any month in the roughly year and a half I've been writing this blog, and I know this month is going to be slow for me, both because of work as well as graduate coursework.

I've mentioned it a few times in the past, but I am a pretty big fan of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 Sci-Fantasy miniatures wargame. I know a lot of wargamers consider 40K to be the Burger King of wargaming - popular but kinda crappy when you get right down to it - but there's something about the game and it's ability to cherry pick a lot of really cool elements from just about anything you can imagine that hooks people and doesn't let go.

My original 40K army was the Necrons, essentially soulless robotic undead who have awakened from millions of years of slumber to stalk the stars once again harvesting the life forces of the living. A fun army to play, but eventually I got hooked by the Orks (that's right, Orcs in space...), a race that's a crazed mish-mash of Tolkien-ish orcs, post-apocalyptic biker/trucker gangs, madcap scientists, and celtic/gaulic barbarism. My Ork army has grown steadily for years now, and it's at the point where I've got more of pretty much any kind of unit than I can legally field in a battle. Lots of fun, great conversion work, and just a really characterful army in general.

But back when I was looking for a second army to play after the Necrons, one had caught my eye - the Space Wolves chapter of the Space Marines. These guys are, dare I say it, Vikings in Space. That pretty much sums it up. Blend in a little lycanthropy for good measure, and that's the Space Wolves. Great background fluff, good rules, great looking models - it has it all. And I had actually gone out and bought a box of minis for them as well, but a friend of mine at the time was looking to get into 40K, and I gave him my Space Wolf rulebook and he immediately took to them, so I sold him my minis box and abandoned them for Orks

That friend has since moved out of our gaming area, and with the release of the new rulebook for the Space Wolves and a new model range, and with my Ork army having achieved pretty much critical mass to the point where buying new models would just be for the sake of taking up shelf space, I decided to take the plunge and start a third army. So over the last few weeks, I've been buying models and assembling them, and planning out how I want my army to come together.

Which brings me back around (somewhat) to gaming in general. I've never been huge into using miniatures in RPGs. Some of this is because I'm always annoyed by using minis that don't properly represent the PCs, and also because there are so many D&D (or other RPG) monsters out there worth trying that you'd be spending all your time (and money) on miniatures for the table that there'd be little time for actual game preparation. But I do like making miniatures and painting them up, and I'd like to do this more beyond wargaming miniatures.

Therefore, this month, I want to try and make an effort towards talking about miniatures, both for use in games and modeling in general. I've got a few minis I'd like to share, and welcome any comments people have about their own miniature collections.


Old4Eyes said...

Those new Space Wolves are pretty special. I'm trying to justify getting the Wolf Guard Terminators as well......but £25 for 5 plastic figures is a bit excessive. On the other hand it depends how many bitz are left at the end of it.
Necrons I've never got to yet..yet being the operative word!

Joshua said...

For Space Marine chapters, I've always been partial to the Dark Angels. When the made Black Templar specific army lists and miniatures, I liked them a lot too. And Grey Knights.

I've also always been a huge fan of the kroot miniatures. Not so much the army per se, but the miniatures. Especially the Forge World resins on those weird alien mounts.

Badelaire said...

Not a big fan of Dark Angels myself, but I do dig the Black Templars. If I hadn't gone Space Wolves, BTs might be a chapter I'd have gone with. Unfortunately, it's one of those chapters that's popular enough to have it's own rules, but not quite "big" enough for those codices to come out strong enough to really hold over time.

Still, I'd consider them at some point if I had the money/time to build another SM army.

Badelaire said...

Old4Eyes: The terminators is my next buy; I've got five generic terminators from the Assault on Black Reach boxed set, and so with some mix-and-match from the WGT box, I can have a full unit of 10 terminators with very little effort (and fewer $$, considering how cheap the AoBR box is compared to what you get out of it).

Regarding Necrons, I'd wait until a new codex comes along, which could hopefully be some time in the next year or two.

BigFella said...

My main comment, for character conversion root stock in fantasy genre, nothing beats a box of Warhammer Fantasy Empire Free Company. I just burned thru a box making Gamma World minis. If you want more options, you can get the Mordheim accessory sprue as bits, which gives you stuff like bags, pouches, extra weapons, and whatnot.

Also, the best online source of minis by my lights is the War Store. Those guys are awesome, and their prices are great!

Old4Eyes said...

Yep - I've got the AoBR terminators as well - and was thinking of just customising them with some bitz from the Wolf Pack and Blood Claws boxes - as yet unassembled so no idea how much I'd have left over