Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dark Eldar, a 40K Game, Inspiration?

To be fair, this was owed to the community yesterday, so it counts as old news now. Regardless, I can happily say that I look forward to November and the upcoming Dark Eldar. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but the Dark Eldar are the other army I used to play regularly, and I loved them to death. Basically, the three armies I have warmed to most in 40K are Eldar (of course), Dark Eldar, and Tyranids.

Now the dilemma that is about to land in my lap is this. Years back (right after the Wood Elves were released) I had a discussion with my wife about the models I have in the house. I had just seen the Wood Elf line which had been "completely redone" and heard that Dark Eldar would be getting the same treatment from the same sculptor. This was an exciting prospect for me and I decided then to sell my 2000 point Dark Eldar army with an eye toward picking up the new DE when they were released. Well, now they are on the horizon of being released. Exciting, I would say so. I am particularly excited to see what new toys they get in thier codex along with seeing what exiting new sculpts are released.

On the down side, I have a fairly massive High Elf fantasy army that is clamoring to be built. Add to this the remnants of the DTP that I am trying to push myself over the line to complete (more on that below). Adding another $600 - $1000 purchase of Dark Eldar to the mix does not necessarily inflame my imagination. That's disappointing to me, as I really thought I would be more excited when this time finally came. Regardless, I will wait to see what November brings, and more importantly wait to see what the future second wave may bring.

That brings me to my most recent game. As many of you may have noticed, my playing of GW games has decreased drastically in the recent couple of months. I played a game vs Neil from the 11th company podcast at the NOVA open, and have only just gotten another 40K game in last night. Last night was the "kick-off" of our local GW gaming night at our new store, Huzzah Hobbies. I had the chance to play against local Ordo NOVA founder Sham and his Necrons. Now Sham has not played 40K in about a year, and this was my third game of 40K since the middle of June. Fairly even odds if you ask me......

Lets take a look at the lists:
Dead Tau Project - 2000 points
Farseer (guide/doom/spear)
Autarch (WJG, power sword, fusion gun, madiblasters)

6x Fire Dragons + Exarch (Flamer) + Wave Serpent (scatter lasers, cannon, stones)

6x Rangers
6x Rangers
9x Dire Avengers + Exarch (dual shuricat, bladestorm) + Wave Serpent (Bright Lances, cannon, stones)
9x Dire Avengers + Exarch (dual shuricat, bladestorm) + Wave Serpent (Bright Lances, cannon, stones)

8x Warp Spiders + Exarch (dual spinner, power blades)
1x Vyper (missile, cannon)

2x Prism (stones, holofield)

Sham's Necrons - 2000 points
Lord (various stuff but no shroud)
11x Immortals
18x warriors
18x warriors
4x destroyers
4x destoryers
2x Monolith

Overall this game was an exercise in my dice punishing me for playing Malifaux, and his dice rewarding him for a return to 40K after a year. At one point Sham even made the comment that he may have sacrificed a goat prior to our game. The game was a standard book mission, spearheaed deployment and kill points. We played out the game, ending with Sham winning 5kp to 3kp. A couple highlights of the game:

Sham set-up everything minus the monoliths at the start of the game, keeping the monoliths in reserve to deep strike. I set-up the rangers in some buildings, and my prisms taking cover between some ruins. Sham then proceeded to steal the initiative.

Sham deep-strikes the monoliths in on turn 2, both of them coming in. 1 drifts into a ruin and immobilizes itself, indicating to me that things might look up. I proceed to get 1 squad of avengers, my warp spiders, and my fire dragons in on turn 2. My vyper did not make its reserve roll until turn 3, and my autarch dies on turn 4 keeping the Farseer and Avengers out until the automatic turn 5 reserve deployment.

My serpents make multiple twin-linked shots with rolls of 3's for the first roll, and twin linked rolls of 1 and 2. My avengers unload on one squad of warriors, bladestorming for 32 shots. Math hammer says that 32 shots with no cover should hit 50% (16 shots), wound 50% (8 wounds) and necrons should save 50% (4 wounds). Results are actually hit with 27 shots, wound with 14 shots, Necrons save 13 shots, and WBB the 1 that fell over. Shams dice loved him.

Overall we had a great game, and I did enjoy myself. I believe Sham had a great time as well, although the game had some incredible highs and lows throughout
So I want to write a bit about being inspired and how important that is to our hobby. I am not sure exactly when it happened, or even what happened to be fair, but lately the DTP has just not inspired me. I originally (a couple months back) thought that the Malifaux models were grabbing my attention but would be a "short term" distraction. My thinking was that I was going to paint them up, get a couple crews together to play with, and it would be a nice "pallet cleanser" to getting back to the DTP and completing the project. That is not what seems to have happened. Maybe its that I am getting to the end of the DTP and just not looking forward to my next project (whatever that may be) but that thought doesn't seem to fit perfectly either. Its disappointing, but for whatever the reason is, I am just not inspired by my latest Eldar models any more.

Now, this is the strange part of this whole feeling. I look at the models and I still go... "Damn, that's going to be a cool model!". I still have ideas on what I want to do that should inspire and excite me such as my winged Seer Council, the challenge of painting my harliquins, and my Titan and Phoenix! I am even still pushing through with painting, as the multiple drybrush layers on my titan base and a primed titan attest too. Overall, its just a very blah feeling of no inspiratino when I sit down to paint. As an example, lets take last weekend. On my painting tray I have 2 Night Spinners, my assembled and primed titan, my titan base, and a fogeworld Phoenix flier. I sat down and fired up my air-brush this last weekend and started working on the night-spinners and the phoenix. I ended up spending several hours pushing myself to stay interested in painting these models because I felt driven to complete them, but just not excited about them. The titan base came out pretty good, although it still has some work to go. I also reached a point where I thought my Phoenix was at a "table top" standard, although not where I would want to bring it eventually. After dinner that night I showed the flier to my wife and her first reaction was not really positive. As she pointed out, the quality and "messiness" of my painting was a set-back of painting level by almost a year. Now, this is fixable, as none of the work was such that it cannot be fairly easily touched up. What shocked me (and I do agree with her) was that:
  1. I had missed the errors when I thought I was "done"
  2. That it was so tough for me to paint such a cool model that I have been looking forward to
I want to ascribe this to being burnt out, but I am still inspired by other games. While I am not as "rabid" about getting my new malifaux models done, I am certainly excited about painting more up. I also got to look at a new game Jay and I will be demo'ing for the podcast, Ex Illis, and those models were fantastic! Just looking at the sprues ignited my imagination for demoing the game. I jut cannot put my finger on what is discouraging me about the GW models.

Add into this the upcoming tournament series going on through the end of the year. I have felt fairly ambivalent about registering and competing in these tournament. Now, this feeling I ascribe almost entirely to the popularity Malifaux has gained locally and the amount of Malifaux I have been able to play. I am regularly getting in 2 games a week on our Malifaux Tuesday's at the local store.  I am also preparing to run a Malifaux tournament myself, which I am fairly certain is influencing my opinion about 40K tournaments.

Ah well, I am hoping that I will get back on the horse soon. I am confident I will be able to push through and maybe this could be as simple as an after effect from the overwhelming amount of family and work stress going on lately.

As a note, here is whats "left" in the DTP:
  • Revnant Titan
  • Phoenix Flier (with swappable weapons)
  • 2x Night Spinners 
  • 4x Winged Warlocks (Seer Council on Bikes)
  • 9x Swooping Hawks
  • 2x Swooping Hawk Exarch
  • 8x Harliquins
  • 1x Harliquin Troop Master
  • 1x Harliquin Shadowseer
  • 1x Harliquin Death Jester
  • 5x Striking Scorpions
  • 1x Striking Scorpion Exarch
  • 5x Fire Dragons
  • 1x Fire Dragon Exarch
  • 10x Guardians (probably storm guardians, modelled as corsairs)
  • 1x Farseer on Jetbike (chapter house)
  • 1x Warlock on jetbike (chapter house)
  • 1x Autarch on jetbike 
This will leave only support weapons and shining spears missing from my Eldar force. As neither of these really interest me, they will be on the back burner to add later on.


  1. From someone still using paints that are literally 20 years old... some aspects of this hobby will always be work (seriously - who actually wants to paint dire avengers? =p) but painting something you enjoy usually gets me back into the swing of things.

    Working on getting into the habit of painting or modeling most days. Just stripped a bunch of ebay'd figs (that's work) so I can paint them.. Drop by the blog - would love to hear your opinion.

  2. I hear you Chris, and I am having to agree. I will probably go back and touch up the Phoenix just to make sure it looks acceptable to my mildly refined taste... but I am going to hold off on the titan for now. I hope my mojo returns quicker than not though.

    I also appreciate the "normally paint to at least" jab... nicely done sir! Consider that taken in true friendly form!

  3. Bill, as much as I am loathe to tell you to do this, let the models sit on your painting tray. You've seen the results of not being interested in your models. You still want the figs to look good (to the standard you aspire to or normally paint to at least), so don't feel pressured to paint them now to get them out of the way. I've had models sit on my painting table for months (if not close to a year) and just let them slide, adding new stuff I would rather work on. Your interest will come back to them eventually. When painting feels like work, your not in the hobby zone any more.