Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Going retro

No, this is not a suggestion that I have decided to become an Oldhammerer or something like that.

There may be an element of spoiler in this post, so if you're trying to avoid finding out what has been happening in the End Times, don't read on. I think by now most people that care are across things, though.

The destruction of the background that I have known and loved as a Warhammer player has left me more than a little bit nostalgic. I have not yet read the final End Times book, but I will do so when it arrives on my doorstep (I have ordered a copy). I've read the other ones though, and it's pretty clear where things are heading. And by the end of the Thanquol book, there's really not much left of the world. In fact, I am somewhat curious to see how the remaining events can fill a whole book. Apart from Nagash's undead forces, the only major settlements left standing against the Chaos and Skaven in the old world seem to be Karaz-a-Karak, Averheim and Athel Loren. Perhaps the Forces of Order are done, and all that remains is the Forces of Destruction bickering over the ruins.

I have always been an Elf player at heart. My first armies were High Elves and Wood Elves, and despite sometimes spending years without touching those models (I've been avoiding them recently because they're just too popular), I've always considered them to be the true heart of my collection. It is somewhat strange then, that the thing I find most depressing about the events of the End Times is not the destruction of Ulthuan. Nor is it the smoking ruin that remains of the Empire, which I focused almost exclusively on for the last few years. Instead, it's the obliteration of the Dwarfs.

They may not have always made for the most enjoyable games, but the Dwarfs have always felt like an important part of the Warhammer background. Their glorious history, sad decline and grim determination to hold on to what was left gave them a strong identity and depth of character that I always found appealing. And they had great models back when I started playing in 4th edition (Marauder Dwarfs 4eva!) The ruined holds made some of the best background for things like Warhammer Quest, and glorious campaigns to retake them were probably the most appealing in terms of potential campaign material.

The End Times is basically the end of all that. The Skaven have given the Dwarfs such a pasting that nothing really remains. And if I fail to let go and move with the times, the Dwarfs will be a large part of the reason why.

Anyway, it's with these thoughts in mind that I am finally breaking out of my hobby malaise and painting something. Now that he is dead, it seems the perfect time to paint up Thorgrim Grudgebearer. The same could be said of Belegar, Kazador and Kragg (all of whom I have kicking about), but Thorgrim feels too iconic to ignore, and I feel the need to work on him before he fades into irrelevance. I want to paint him (and maybe some of his contemporaries) up and take him for a bit of a spin on the battlefield.

Now, I have never really liked the more recent "viking boat" model of Thorgrim. I'm a traditionalist, and I like the original model. I've had a second-hand one for about 10 years, which means it's probably his turn for some love and attention (although he is by no means my longest-suffering model). I've re-based him to be consistent with the more recent model (which can actually rank up properly in a unit), and he's just about good to go.
Back in black. And really not fitting on his new 40x60mm base. Barge-ass.
In keeping with the retro-ness of it all, I think I'll basically be painting him like GW did. That's not my habit at all, but I am feeling very nostalgic at the moment.
Yep, that's the biggest pic I could find on the net. Behold his tininess. I'll do something about the flags. Mine lacks banner poles at the moment - I'll have to make some. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

On a road to nowhere?

My hobby efforts have stagnated of late. After a frenzy of activity preparing for and reporting on Heffengen and then Cancon, I am a little burned out. However, that is not the true source of my recent lack of motivation. What has really been killing my hobby mojo is the End Times and the threat of 9th edition coming close behind. 

The End Times books have been coming thick and fast since End Times: Nagash first appeared in August last year. The fifth and final book in the series is due to be released on Saturday. That's 5 supplements in 7-8 months. The level of uncertainty caused by this steady stream of change has made it incredibly hard to focus. In fact, it's been hard to even really absorb everything that has happened. I've managed to read each part of the story before the next one arrived (sometimes barely), but that's about the limit of it. I really have not had a chance to make use of any of it at all.