Saturday, September 18, 2010

PAINting



Lately I have been working on my backlog...mostly High Elfs I never bothered to paint in 7th edition because I was A) painting/basing/movement tray making for the Warriors of Chaos and B)not playing the High Elfs.

But on top of that...the unpainted models were either Silver Helms or spearmen/bowmen.

One thing they had in common in 7th was their value. Or, more properly, their complete lack of value...

The Silver Helms are comparable points wise to Dragon Helms...but in effectiveness, they are maybe half as good. Maybe. Probably not. So they were always a poor choice.

Spearmen would seldom if ever get to attack since so many 7th edition tactics relied on wiping out the front rank on the charge, thus rendering them impotent and a horrible choice....though the ASF rule helped.

But there were always better things to take like...well...NOT spearmen or Silver Helms.

In 8th, rule changes such as "remove casualties from the back rank", "Combat reform", "Volley Fire" and striking in Initiative Order all combine to make, in my opinion, Lothern Sea Guard a viable and potentially outstanding choice.

Take a horde block, for example...10 wide, 4 deep. They will be firing 30 shots a turn and striking with every possible attack in the first round of combat. No wasted manpower.

This provides them a flexibility unmatched in the Warhammer world. To be sure, they still struggle with traditional High Elf weaknesses...one attack per model, low S, effectively no armor so super easy to kill. But that has always been an issue, so it is all good.

It made the task of painting them up quite reasonable. I actually painted up 50 in roughly a week. It was no big deal because I knew if I ever overcome my list building mental block, they will see the field so it was valuable effort.

I also wanted to complete my backlog before starting in on the dragon and on the models from the Island of Blood.

The problem is...to complete the backlog, I also need to finish painting 9 or 10 Silver Helms.

And therein lies the rub. Painting Silver Helms stinks.

Not because it is hard...they are noticeably less detailed than the Chaos Knights, of which I have painted 20. They have mostly smooth, clean lines, but enough ribbons and so forth to give them some color and panache.

It stinks because I cannot conceive of a scenario in which I field them. They are not a core choice, they are inferior to every other choice in the High Elf list, and I cannot think of any other reason to take them.

So they sit there on the painting table. Staring at me. Mocking me. Insisting I paint them...but knowing I will not invest all that much effort because they are just going to be sitting on the shelf, never in play. They have a better chance of being fielded as Bretonnian Knights of the Realm than as Silver Helms.

Once I complete them, I have 4 or 5 miscellaneous heroes, then I can begin work on the box set. The models I really want to get to as they look pretty cool and like relative fun to paint.

But between me and that reality sits...well...useless models.

Worst part is, I could half-effort the stupid things and finish them in an evening and they would still be passable...block color the horse, splash a bit of blue and purple on them, maybe highlight a bit with copper and gold and they still have the standard color scheme.

It probably took as long to write this as it would have taken to finish painting them...but really, is there any doubt this was more valuable?

7 comments:

Shrink to Fit said...

Are you located in Portland? I have the same Blazers collectors cup from a couple years ago.

John said...

Ah the never ending painting backlog - I found the best way to get through it was to hide the majority of it away, bring out one unit at a time and paint it one rank at a time.

I agree with you about Silver Helms. Ill probably never use them except as proxy Dragon Princes... but 8th has meant having to fast track painting archers & spears

Darth Weasel said...

Shrink to Fit...yes I am here in Portland. Season ticket holder, in fact. Woo-hoo!

Darth Weasel said...

John...

Yeah, I actually sat down, finished them off and am three colors into the Swordmasters from the Island box set. If I had not forgotten to purchase some new paint brushes, I would be further along.

I didlike the look of my water efforts, so use oil paints...and those are hard on brushes!

I do have 15 - 20 archers and about 40 spearmen, 5 Dragon Princes, 10 White Lions, and a few miscellaneous hereos painted so might field them soon.

Shrink to Fit said...

@Blazers

Nice! This will be my 5th year as a season ticket holder.

Darth Weasel said...

you have a year on me...this will be 4th. Well...3-1/2. Shared with co-workers the first year.

What section? I am in the nosebleeds...309

Shrink to Fit said...

Ditto on the nose bleeds--section 311.