Sunday, 17 June 2012

Growth of an Empire

The Hoodling's Hole had its first birthday back in April, although it passed without any fanfare because I am a lazy and neglectful blogger. For the entire time that the blog has existed, I have been pointedly focusing my attention on my Empire army in an attempt to keep the army growing. I explained my reasons for this over a year ago, when the project was still in its relative infancy. Somewhat remarkably I have managed to stick with my resolution, which means the army has grown a lot over the last 14 months.

The last time I took a "whole army" photo was 6 months ago, so I figured it was time to take stock once more. As usual, I struggled heroically and futilely with the camera, lighting and lack of skill at my disposal in order to take the best picture I could. The result is disappointing, but if nothing else I have another milestone to refer back to if my insanity somehow continues for another 6 months.

Rather than just throw up the new picture, I thought I would chart my progress through the pictures I've got. If nothing else, I find this sort of thing can be motivational for me - to know that I have actually made visible progress over time, and that the time spent painting wasn't for nothing. There's only a few pictures, so bear with me...

April 2011
Army size: 3000pts (approx)
This was the first picture I had taken of my entire Empire army. It had first reached tournament size toward the end of January, and had grown slightly further since then. It's a relatively normal sort of army at this point, with the exception that it includes an abnormally large unit of Knights of the White Wolf. I discussed the army and its early construction here.

June 2011
Army size: 4000pts
The reason I have 2 different pictures so close together (it was actually barely more than a month since the last one) was that I had assembled my forces for a "big as you can go" (for me, at least) battle report against a friend's Vampire Counts army. The Battle of the Eerie Hills was born. As a result of the short gap, not that many additions had been made to the army. I stole the Griffon from my High Elves and painted up an Empire rider, I painted a Dwarf Wizard and a Master Engineer in a hurry for the game, and I successfully located my Pistoliers, who had in fact been available for the previous photo, but eluded my attention by sitting on a shelf right under my nose. I had also converted my first Empire Ogre, and he was leading a tiny detachment of Halberdiers at this point.

December 2011
Army size: 6000pts
This photo was taken 6 months after the previous one, when I realised it was time for a progress update (much like this one). The army had seen substantial changes in that period, all of which contributed to the 2000pt increase in size. I now had a Steam Tank, Rocket Battery and unit of Outriders. The Halberdiers had swelled from a detachment to a full-blown regiment. The converted Kislevites stepped in as Free Company, and the Knights Snow Leopard made their first appearance, 18-strong. Sundry characters rounded out the changes.

June 2012
Army size: 9000pts
And then we jump forward another 6 months, to now. The army size is an estimate, but based on the fact that I have over 7000pts of painted models without characters, so it's a fairly safe bet. In some ways I feel like the army is really coming together in terms of my eventual plans for stupidly large games. The 3 units of Knights have all been pushed out to the final target of 40 models, meaning there are twice as many Knights in this photo as there were in the last. There are actually 12 half-painted guys in the Venators here, but they're hard to make out due to my lousy photography. They will probably be finished within the week anyway, so it's not really a big deal. The Swordsmen have arrived since the last photo, as have a Volley Gun and a second Mortar, although they're a bit short on crew. The converted "Demigryph" Knights are by far the most significant (and recent) addition. The Crossbowmen and Handgunners have basically doubled in size, but my missile troops still lag far behind the rest of the army. There are 8 painted Halfling Archers who declined to be included in the photo, largely because I forgot them. Another Warrior Priest and mounted Captain/General complete the changes.

I have added this last shot (and a couple of others) to the permanent gallery, and will try to ensure it stays up-to-date.


  1. That is some awesome work! The army is huge and very consistent. Great work! How far do you plan to take it?

  2. An interesting question. I haven't set a hard and fast limit on it. My plans largely revolve around the unpainted models I still have waiting, and there are plenty of those... I may discuss my plans in my next post.