I’m actually a little surprised that I haven’t had a post tagged for Warhammer 40,000 in over a year. I’ve been tinkering with it here and there during 2011, and I played a handful of matches, but unfortunately I also slacked off greatly on my original plan of being able to play more often. See, I love to play the game. It’s the preparatory work that I really don’t much care for, and by preparatory I mean “painting”.
I am not terribly artistically gifted. I have a general sense for what colors look best together, and in terms of technical ability I can paint my miniatures up to be serviceable, if not gorgeous. I’m not looking to win the Golden Demon here, but at the same time I certainly would like to make it easier for me to see where I am on the board versus just having the bare gray plastic. I have no problem putting in the time, as I find building the models to be a lot of fun. I just realize that I can’t really paint on the level of the other players.
That’s part of it, but not entirely. Games Workshop hasn’t exactly been doing its players any huge favors lately, either, especially by clamping down on the rumor mill for when new products and codexes will be released. I have been waiting for about a year and a half now for the new Tau Empire codex to be announced, let alone released, and the continued and oppressive silence had made wanting to work on my Tau army a chore with no reward in sight– the old codex just doesn’t stack up very well against the more recently-updated threats like the Necrons or any random flavor of Space Marines, which discourages me from wanting to play them. And let’s not even get into how ridiculously overpowered Chaos Space Marines are; at Legions they’re the most commonly encountered army simply because they have any number of ways to rip apart everyone else.
I also still have a couple thousand points of Imperial Guard to paint up, and I’ve been sitting on an equal amount of unassembled Orks, on the theory that “well, once I get done painting the Guard, I can turn my attention back to the Orks.” Don’t get me wrong– I got into 40K primarily so that I could play the game. But there’s a lot more satisfaction for me in playing an army that I’ve fully painted up, even if it’s not perfect. I set forth a rule that I’m not going to buy more than I can paint, and that was at the beginning of 2011. I have bought incredibly little since then and have painted even less.
This past weekend, though, I finished up the last of the Tau (almost– I still haven’t put together drones, mostly because I don’t know how many I want to put together) and made some serious baseline progress on some of my Guardsmen. I’m also dedicating a couple of hours each weekend– likely Saturday morning– solely to painting, in addition to doing some painting when the mood strikes me during the week. I did a little one evening this week, too, just to wrap up what I wanted to do Sunday (when I fell asleep instead), and already I’m feeling more confident and far more motivated than I had before.
The first goal I want to set, really, is to have a 1000-point list for each of my factions painted and ready to play, to help me get over being stuck in a rut playing the same army over and over again. I have plans for that, and am slowly but surely grinding my way through to the next phase of readiness for it even though it’s likely to take a bit longer than I had initially anticipated. Still, this past week has shown that I can make progress on that, and that eventually, the rewards will be worth the trouble, particularly once Sixth Edition comes out later this year. As that release gets closer, I’ll talk more about it.