Oath of Moment – taking stock of what I can do in a year

2015_Orks

The beginnings of the horde – what I managed of the Orks last year. Three completed units, and a few friendless test models. The latter’s mates are some of the guys I’ll be cracking into imminently.

Towards the tail end of 2014, I came back to the “painting and playing games with little toy men” hobby, after a break of about ten years. I’d previously worked up at GW head office in Nottingham, and upon leaving that job and moving to London, a combination of factors meant I just kind of drifted away from hobby stuff. However, the 4th Edition of Space Hulk sucked me back in. Not long after that, I stumbled across Corehammer, which was very encouraging in terms of discovering people out there approaching things in a way that appealed to me, rather than the relentless tide of tedium and negativity which seems to comprise the majority of internet discourse surrounding tabletop gaming.

In my year or so back astride the Hobby horse, a couple of things happened. First, without the constant bombardment of new stuff (at GW staff discount), and with more limited hobby time available, I became a bit more disciplined about actually finishing off painting projects. Second, in spite of the former point, I still managed to amass myself a reasonably-sized Pile Of Shame™. (There is an entirely different PoS™, consisting of the majority of the stuff I amassed in my time as a GW employee, sitting in the loft of my parents’ home, but that’s another pile for another time).

Getting in on Oath of Moment seemed like a good way to achieve a few things – to sustain some of the painting momentum I’d built up over the previous year; to encourage me to deal with the stuff I’ve neglected; and to provide a method of documenting what I managed to achieve in the year ahead. So I sat down and had a bit of a think about what, exactly, it was that I wanted to achieve, and I came up with the following list:

PART 1: I made some reasonable headway last year on the 40K Space Ork army I never quite got round to completing before, with a mixture of updated paint jobs on old models, and exciting new bits thrown into the mix. I’m rapidly approaching 500 fully-painted points of Orks, and this makes the task of painting an entire, complete army – something I had never actually managed before – seem like an attainable goal. A lot of the stuff I painted last year was Boyz and Gretchin, so I reckon with the inclusion of some fun/big stuff, I can get a 1,000 point force done.

Head_on_a_stick

Left: one of the guys I’ve tarted up for my army. Right: the same guy, as featured in the 4th Ed. 40K rulebook, prior to my Hobby hiatus.

PART 2: Never having previously got a 40K army fully-painted, I didn’t stand a chance with its fantasy equivalent, particularly given that the army that most appealed to me (Skaven) was so reliant on vast numbers of troops. So I was actually quite pleased when Age of Sigmar came along, freeing me of the obligation to paint a hundred guys before I could even start thinking about playing a game. I picked up the Skaven component of the Isle of Blood box off eBay last year, and managed to get the beginnings of a useable force painted. This year, I want to add some Chaos (specifically Nurgle) lads to the mix, because I like the idea of a sort of warband of pestilent bastards and the AoS rules mean I can quite happily mix up my force composition. Also this will allow me to potentially split it into two, smaller, armies if anyone without one fancies giving the game a go.

AoS_Skaven

The Rat Guys so far. It’s small, and I need to finish some banners and lavish a bit more attention on the Grey Seer, but it’s a fully-painted, game-ready Warhammer Fantasy army, and I’m pretty chuffed with that.

PART 3: Encouraged largely by other members of the Corehammer Facebook group, I hopped aboard the Frostgrave Fadwagon, and have played a few games with whatever figures I’ve had lying around. But I’ve got the beginnings of a warband I’ve started from the ground up, and I’d like to get that polished off as soon as possible. This, in particular, seems eminently achievable, given the low model count required for FG.

Frostgrave_bash

A game of Frostgrave Alice and I played at the Corehammer bash in November, using a mix of random proxies and borrowed (thanks Phil!) models. That Rat Ogre at the back is standing in for a bear, and spent most of the game blind and clattering into scenery.

PART 4: When I got hold of the 4th iteration of Space Hulk, my original plan was to paint all the guys in the box, then maybe think about digging further back into the hobby. Obviously, that is not how things panned out, and I’ve only got a handful of the (fantastic) Terminator models painted. I’m less enthused about the Genestealers, largely because I’ve yet to alight on a satisfactory, yet reasonably quick, paint scheme for them. But I think I just need to power through them, because I love the idea of being able to play SH with a fully-painted set of minis.

PART 5: I probably shouldn’t be allowed on eBay. I’ve also recently acquired an almost-complete HeroQuest boxed game and I want to get all the guys from this painted up too.

Wouldn’t these look better with all the guys painted?

Wouldn’t these look better with a fully-painted complement of figures? PS Yes, that is a very confusing rug to play Space Hulk on. A proper table is also on my list of things to get done this year.

A quick count revealed I’d managed to paint approximately 90 models last year, and that to achieve the above, I’d need to paint somewhere in the region of 130. Initially, that seemed like Too Many but then, what’s the pointing of setting oneself a challenge if you know you could do it without even trying? I’m also hoping that a few things I picked up last year will help me be a bit more efficient in 2016. For example, I’ve already nailed down colour schemes for a lot of stuff; I can now paint Gretchin extremely quickly and that should help with HQ goblins, etc.

Because I’m a super-cool and interesting guy, having roughed out these goals, I immediately sat down and made myself a spreadsheet. Ladies, control yourselves. This allowed me to have a complete list of all the stuff I’m trying to paint and to keep track of what percentage of that stuff I’ve got painted in relation to what percentage of the year has elapsed. MATHS IS FUN, KIDS. Anyway, the upshot of this is that I need to paint an average of 2.7 models a week to get everything done by the end of the year. This doesn’t really sound too bad at all – hopefully the major projects I’m likely to get precious about (I’m looking at you, uncompleted Bad Moon Warboss conversion from 2004) will be balanced out by stuff I can batch paint nice and quickly (e.g. the aforementioned Goblins).

HOT SPREADSHEET ACTION.

HOT SPREADSHEET ACTION.

My first few weeks, I’ve decided to concentrate on getting anything partially painted that I have lying around polished off. So, I’ll be cracking on with them, and looking to report back shortly, hopefully with fewer words and more exciting pictures. Time, then, for me to stop writing, and crack out the paintbrushes. Bye!

1 thought on “Oath of Moment – taking stock of what I can do in a year

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