Friday, 11 October 2013

What you like: Sprue Cutters Union #12

Greetings wargamers and hobbyists, and welcome once more to my humble hearth.
Thank you for joining me for the Sprue Cutters Union weekly topic number #12.

The Sprue Cutters Union, guided by the steady hand of Jon B over at the Combat Workshop, continues to grow. This week, in a contrast with an early topic asking what models or kits will never find their way onto our work benches, the Union members have been asked to comment on the models and kits we like to collect and assemble. Therefore, this week's topic driver is:

- What do you like to build? -

So, as you might expect, as a wargamer, again my answer could be quite different to that of my scale model building Union comrades. Playing games like Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000, there are various things which influence which models you collect, when you are collecting for the purposes of playing tabletop wargames with your collection. It's not (at least in my case) just a question of which models you like the look of, because you buy models to serve a purpose. It is also significant that in most cases, armies contain multiple different types of units, from single impressive character models riding monsters, to large blocks of infantry in Warhammer, right through to bikers, tanks and aircraft in Warhammer 40,000, so it's not even as simple as selecting a 'type of unit', unless you were going to break it down significantly to a unit vs unit decision.

I have never been able to look at my collection of models as individual models or units. Everything belongs somewhere, and in many cases, are critical components in a wider force, and the rest of the collection cannot function as a gaming resource without them. Rules must be obeyed.

Another important consideration for me is that I have never been able to separate my model collections from the in-game background material that accompanies them. When you are a (balanced or hobby) player of tabletop wargames, your choice of which models or armies to collect is typically influenced by three questions:

  • Do I like the models that comprise the army?
  • Do I like the back story of the army, does it engage me?
  • Do the army rules suit my preferred play style?

If the answer to any of these three questions is no, and if you are anything like me, there is only so much mileage in the models. I would never collect an army whose background material I dislike or am unsympathetic to, because I am unlikely to develop that critical personal connection to the models. Equally, if the army doesn't gel with my play style, I may struggle to be successful on the gaming table with them, and consistently losing with an army can sometimes undermine your desire to play them, despite liking the models and background material. Finally, if you really aren't overly keen on the models, you're probably on a non-starter with the army to begin with.

So, given the criteria above (which are not necessarily hard and fast. Some players collect an army purely to smash face at tournaments, and couldn't care less about the background material or what the models look like) I guess the simplest way to tell you which models I do like to build, is to tell you which armies I do collect and play. These are my Warhammer and 40K collections, though I have many models for GW specialist games as well, but we haven't got all day...here are some sample pics from the interwebs:

For Warhammer 40,000, I collect, paint, convert and play games with the following armies:
  • Dark Angels Space Marines - futuristic genetically modified space knights, champions of humanity - include bikers, armoured walkers, tanks, and elite infantry.

  • Sisters of Battle (sorry Adepta Sororitas - thanks GW for fobbing us off with a digi-dex which is just the 'free in White Dwarf' Codex that has been wiped over with a damp cloth, and want to charge us for the privilege) - Heretic and witch burning nuns with guns, elite infantry with armoured vehicles and lots of flame throwing weapons. Oh, yeah, a living saint too.
  • Tyranids - voracious aliens from another galaxy, that cannot be reasoned with, and just want to eat...well, everything. A tide of small creatures supported by multiple large creatures which can dominate under the right circumstances.
  • Orks - a warlike alien race who fight anyone, just because it's fun - A tide of howling infantry accompanied by clanking and ramshackle vehicles and some crazy weaponry, plus lots of small buggies, bikes and helicopters.
  • Dark Eldar - a sadistic alien race that see the rest of the galaxy as prey and fodder for their gladiatorial arenas. Models covered in spikes and blades, ultra fast vehicles and units, every surface of every plate of armour honed to kill anything it touches. Mean just doesn't cover it.
  • Imperial Guard - we are but men. The sledgehammer of humanity, millions upon millions of unmodified human soldiers from a million worlds, supported by the worlds supply of tanks and artillery. A tread-head's dream.

And now my Warhammer Fantasy armies:
  • Vampire Counts - The walking dead, hordes of shambling corpses, vampires going to war!
  • Dwarfs - mountain dwellers, elite infantry, the finest weapons and artillery in the world, and stubborn as all hell. Beer.
  • Ogre Kingdoms - ravenous horde, all big guys supported by even bigger beasts from the frozen mountains. Fewer models than most armies, but that doesn't matter, because your whole army is monsters. Gonna eat you.
  • Warriors of Chaos - Warriors in the extreme, heavily armed and armoured elite infantry, twisted creatures of chaos, who live to attract the blessings of their gods by their deeds on the battlefield.
  • Bretonnians - the flower of chivalry, traditional knights supported by peasant bowmen and trebuchets. Servants of the Lady of the Lake.
 And there we are. When the models a collector likes are categorised by army rather than individual model, the easiest thing to do is show you.

As a member of the Union, it is my pleasure to be able to provide links to the posts of other members for you to enjoy, please see below:

Yet another plastic modeller
The Combat Workshop
Fill n Sand - a new Member Blog!
Martins Bench Corner

And finally, if you are interested in finding out about and even joining the Union, look here. All you need is a blog, and a passion for miniature modelling in one form or another. Check it out.

As always, thanks for reading...