This was spurred by an article of mine showing my WIP Warpsmith. A problem I was having with the model was knowing when to stop, when it was complete. There’s often a fine line between perfection and overdoing it. Well, in response to Dave G. in the comments I was saying how I really enjoy working on models like this, the ones that take some time, because it creates character and I felt like expanding on that train of thought here.
We all have our favorite elements in whatever gaming system we play. For me it’s the modeling and painting, in this case Warhammer 40K. I also love creating fluff, even if most of the time it never gets put out there and it stays in my head. I create fluff most often as a result of some game that had epic moments that were inspiring or because I created a model I absolutely love. Today I’m talking about the latter.
I have created a lot of models in my armies. Most of the time it’s a HQ option, a one-off. The more time I work on a model the more character I find is infused into the model. I don’t know how else to say it or make it sound less hokey. It’s as though at some point in the process the model just takes on a life of its own and actually becomes what it’s representing. It’s hard to quantify but hopefully some of you are nodding your head knowing what I speak of. It doesn’t have to be something you built either. It might be the paint job you did just brought it to life. That feeling is just awesome; the pride of putting down models you’ve poured your efforts into.
There’s so much more enjoyment in a game when you are using models you are enthusiastic about. I mentioned the other month that in a tournament I was playing in I was using Soulgore, a Chaos Lord of mine. Every player I faced knew Soulgore and called him by name during the games instead of my Chaos Lord. I can’t tell you how cool that was. I have way more fun putting down these models with character, even when they fail me in a game, then I would if you handed me an army guaranteed to win every time but lacked that unquantifiable character. Armies with character just have life on the table and demand to be used.
That’s a reason I always create my own army and never use anything established, the freedom to create my army in my vision and foster character. Everything from the models, to the paint scheme to the fluff is another layer to establish the army and eventually it takes on a life of its own. I feel sorry for those who do not enjoy the hobby side of a gaming system so much and just prefer to play the game because they are just playing with lifeless figures and will never know that amazing feeling. To some the army is just a tool, a means to victory. It’s that feeling that keeps me playing an army even when I get my ass handed to me game after game. It’s what has kept me in this hobby for so long and why you seldom see me complain about the balance of the game. I can’t fix the balance of the game and power levels will ebb and flow but I can always enjoy a game I play because I have created an army that’s enjoyable to field no matter what.