Tabula Rasa   2 comments

Let’s say that you had to start miniature gaming from scratch. Let’s say that you didn’t have the mountain of lead and the cluttered workstation. Let’s say that you could choose from any of the games out there. What would you do?

So, I asked myself this question last week. For me, it’s as much about optimizing my gaming time and experience as well as cleaning out some the stuff I won’t be touching for a while.

Here’s some assumptions I made:

  1. I only want 1 years worth of miniatures. That means that if i’m not going to use it in a year, I don’t want it.
  2. A large army game (WHFB, 40K, DBM, WM/H, Heavy Gear) needs about 3 months of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  3. A small army game (Mercs, Dark Age, Helldorado, Infinity) needs about 1 month of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  4. Just because i want to own fewer miniatures, doesn’t mean that i’ll never play another system. I still want to demo new games and do some ToG projects.

With that in mind i started to do some calculating and fantasizing. I came to the realization that I can really only support 4 large armies and 2 skirmish armies. Even four armies is a full schedule of gaming throughout the year. With these numbers in mind, I listed the possible candidates and came down to the following choices:

  • WHFB High Elves
  • 4ok Orks
  • WHFB Tomb Kings
  • 40k Ultramarines
  • Warmachine Khador
  • Hordes Trollbloods

I look at the list above and realize that even half of those armies would be a ton of work. The above has to be the upper limit for me, at least while I’m still employed full-time.

So now the selection is done, let’s get down to optimizing. To me, optimizing includes:

  • Finding great opponents and playing them as much as possible
  • Fielding beautifully fully painted armies
  • Being so well versed in the rules i only have to peek a few times into the rules
  • Finding that third or fourth layer of strategy and depth in the play of an army

40k Orks

This army was the first I ever started and will probably be the last one I hold at the Apocalypse. Currently I’m playing in a GREAT campaign league and having a ball. I own all the models I want for now. The only thing is that the painting is a bit of a slog. Orks are one of the easiest armies to paint, but at the same time the most difficult. You can get away with a rough slapped on paint job, but if you really want to do them nicely you realize that orks have multiple levels of painting complexity. Painting worn, dirty clothing, rusty metal trucks, battle damage and haphazard primative glyphs require a lot of work to get right…and believeable.



As for play commitment, this one’s a bit softer than the Orks. I’m definitely sure that the ToG on this one will go a few posts, but I’m worried that it will lose steam. On the bright side, we’re only doing starters so we probably won’t be broken by the sheer weight of the models we have to paint. I’ve got four trolls, nicely assembled by azmzero, that need painting.


WHFB High Elves / Tomb Kings

Here’s where things get muddy. Fantasy, while beloved by our group, is mostly a series of pick up and play games at random points values. I find that the inspiration to paint comes a lot from the anticipation of throwing down your force in front of another. That’s why my Orks, though difficult to paint, are so far along. The added difficulty is that i’m not sure which army to pick up and paint up first. The High Elves are newer, so the experience is fresh. Their elegance is also a nice sharp contrast from the feral quality of the Orks and the Trolls. Tomb Kings are an older army of mine. They are kinda all over the place, both physically and in their state of repair. Still, aesthetically I find them among the most interesting armies in minis gaming.

WH Khador

Most of these guys are done and ready to go. I’d love to throw them into the ToG, but Justin has claimed the Khador hat. So, i get the feeling my Winter Guard will be waiting in the drawer for the rest of the winter…

40k Space Marines

Last and least. I don’t own any of these so they are more an idea than a reality. They are on this list because they are iconic and have so much variety. Who knows, maybe in a few months I’ll replace this selection with a Historical Japanese Samurai Field of Glory army. Or a Mercs squad. Or a Dust Tactics Axis force. Or a Lord of the Rings Skirmish starter. Or a…well you get the picture.






Posted December 4, 2012 by coffeedream in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Tabula Rasa

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  1. A few things…WHFB it’s only sporadic because you aren’t booking games with anyone. You should also mention that the Trollbloods were free, that should help. I have lots of other Trolls so if this new endeavor takes off your investment won’t have to be too high. Finally, sad to see so many games hit the chopping block but since you weren’t coming out anyhow and you’ve kept my favourite of the lot it should be ok.

  2. Yes, I don’t book WHFB at the moment. I’m getting a bit spoiled by the organized play of the campaign.
    Hope one day we can have a similar kind of campaign run for WHFB.
    For the Trolls i’m not so much worried about the $ cost as much as i am about the time cost. I am just borrowing them for the ToG so i’m a bit afraid they will slow down my other builds.
    Let’s see…Heavy Gear went, Dystopian Wars went…and that’s about it. The Helldorado was a no pay and the rest was just my extra Warhammer armies. I’m sure the DA Skarrd will find it’s way back to my table…

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