Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Imperial Progress VII

As is usually the case, my recent progress on the Empire has been moderate at best. However, in keeping with the sagely advice I was given, I will keep giving updates so that I at least feel guilty about my slowness - maybe that will spur me onward...

I used to think that I would never field a Steam Tank in my Empire army. Admittedly I made this resolution in 7th edition, and I resolved at the same time never to use a War Altar. Both struck me as decidedly no-brainer choices - too powerful and far too common in the Empire armies I saw.

8th edition had changed my opinion of the War Altar a bit; bound spells now require power dice, so that made a big difference. I haven't gotten around to making one yet, but at least I no longer have an issue with fielding one.

The Steam Tank, on the other hand... Well, it was revised to Toughness 10, so my immediate reaction was that it was even worse than before. I did end up buying one though, so I could use it in larger games where any imbalance it brought would really not matter. Then it sat in a shelf in its box for months.

Discussions with some friends have convinced me that the Steam Tank is actually nowhere near as rude as it was in 7th edition, despite the increased Toughness. The reason for this is that its immunity to most spells has been taken away. Now things like Pit of Shades and Purple Sun of Xereus mean almost certain death for a Steam Tank (Searing Doom scares it a lot too), which means a lot more armies will have a way of dealing with it.

I probably still wouldn't field a Steam Tank in a balanced army with Great Cannons and the rest - not in a tournament-sized game. I feel like it's adding an unnecessary level of hardness to the list. However, I have recently started toying with some all-cavalry lists, and I like the way the Steam Tank adds to the army. It is, in effect, the mobile artillery for the force. It provides the only cannon in the army (although it's only Strength 8 and D3 wounds). It also provides a holding force in an army that is somewhat lacking such things. I do think the Steam Tank will be one of those units where some armies swat it like a bug, whilst others can't really deal with it. But there are plenty of things in the game like this, and the lists I use don't normally include them.

So with this all in mind, and with my Book of Grudges list coming together in my head (it's due in 2 days), I have assembled my Steam Tank! I'm hoping it won't take forever to paint. The model does have a ton of detail on it. It also went together really nicely, which I was impressed with. This is a nice kit. Of course, I am probably the last Empire player on earth to assemble one, so you all knew this already...

But this is not all I have been doing. My 6th edition Swordsmen unit has been coming together pretty nicely. I now have everything but the shields assembled. Unfortunately, this presents a problem. All of the components for these models have come to me second-hand, and none of them came with shields. Presumably the previous owners used the shields for something else before getting rid of the guys. Right now I am considering taking a knife and file to a pile of Reiksguard Knight shields, which should be about the right shape. Otherwise I'd be left using the wrong shape of shield from Bretonnians or High Elves, and the guys won't match their undead counterparts well enough (refer to previous posts).
Also, I decided to pad the unit a bit by using some of the single-pose Handgunners that came in the 6th edition Warhammer starter set. You know the ones - they're a dime a dozen. Nobody really wants these guys, even as everyone seems to be scrambling over each other to get to the multi-pose State Troops from the same era. I decided one particular pose would work well as Swordsmen, so I have included them. They will need some green stuff to fill a groove in their right leg intended to meet the rifle butt, however their pose is pretty good. I did swap one head, but the other 4 I left as-is.
The other thing I have been distracted with is the Instant Mold that arrived late last week. I played with it on Friday night instead of painting, and I have to say this stuff has promise. I tested it out on a cart wheel, and the results were remarkably good (not that you can see that here, but when I made one with green stuff using the mould, the detail of the wood grain and rivets was all there).
I am now seriously considering trying to make my Empire Ogre components in bits and duplicating them. My plans for probably 20-30 unit-filling Ogres sound pretty far-fetched, but if I can re-use things I make, the plans start to sound decidedly possible. I'm getting pretty excited about all this. But now that I am using an all-cavalry army for Book of Grudges, the Ogres will have to wait. First things first...

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