A little bit of hobby: Beastmen

Posted: June 16, 2016 in Gaming
Tags: , , , ,


As promised, here are a couple of beastmen. Me and my regular gaming partner are playing a little Path to Glory campaign at the moment. As I’ve bought a fair few beastmen to play with in Age of Sigmar, I had to include some in my warband. The campaign has given me the excuse (if I really needed one) to buy some Slaves to Darkness models too. I find the start collecting boxes great value, so I got one of those and a box of Chaos Marauder Horsemen. Actually, only the Chaos Warriors are currently in my little army, but like I said, excuses to buy more models…

I really enjoy the opportunity to put whatever I like in my army. It works particularly well with Chaos, which is so diverse an alliance. I’ve got a bit sick of painting orruks for the time being, so having that all important gaming rationale for working on a bit of this and a bit of that is very welcome.

One thing I’ve noticed in putting all this stuff together is how constrained the sculptors were by having to get the units in old Warhammer to rank up. The older models, while nerd-ticklingly cool, lack the dynamism of the latest Age of Sigmar products, so I did a fair few arm and weapon swaps on my 30 beastmen to get a bit more variety and some attacking poses.

I’m halfway through the first little lot of ten Gors. Then I’ve ten Ungors to paint. I dismissed these as being puny in game, but I’ve become rather fond of their goaty little legs and their angry little faces. Pictures soon(ish).

  1. morvael says:

    Nice looking miniatures. I like that their skin is not brown, but pale grey.

    The sculptors were constrained by base size, true, but that’s not their fault. If the same models of Space Marines could go from 25mm round bases to 32mm round bases (it was a good move, because during close combat there were problems to position them in b2b contact – except I now have a whole army of Salamanders on wrong bases…), there would be no problem in switching Beastmen (and other large models like Chaos Warriors) from 25mm x 25mm square bases to 32mm x 32mm square bases. Less models on bigger bases would still look nice, just like in AoS. But I guess the company wanted to sell more models… Maybe I’m nostalgic about the good old days of 4th Edition, but I was really used to smaller regiments, and I think 12 models in three ranks four models wide are already looking like a nice regiment. No need to have 40, 50 or even 60 model hordes. They don’t add much to the game, and require a lot of money to buy, effort to assemble and paint, space to store, time to unpack and arrange, and you really need a movement tray to operate them, whereas tactical decisions for a 12-model unit don’t differ from decisions for a 60-model unit.

    I don’t know why there was a conflict between model and base sizes in GW, either the sculptors should made smaller models to fit on such bases as were available (20,25,40), or larger bases should be used, so that bigger models would fit on them without “spilling over” (20 to 25, 25 to 32, etc).

    • guyhaley says:

      Obviously it’s not their fault, it’s just the game. Looser formations allow them more freedom, which we should all feel glad about.

      I love horde units – my night goblin regiments 100+ strong – but I’m also completely on board with what you’re saying there. Age of Sigmar scales very well, I’ve had games with thirty models a side, and others with two hundred. Either is enjoyable, the game accommodates that smaller unit aesthetic very well.

      The reason there was a conflict between base and model size doesn’t have much to do with wanting to sell models (though it probably played a part!). It’s mainly a legacy issue. The base sizes were set way back in the 1980s when the models were significantly smaller and made of metal (and the bases used to be card that you had to make yourself!). I have plenty of models from then – a 1980s lead alloy orc is about a quarter of the size of a modern plastic one. The figures gradually got bigger, the technology improved allowing for more flamboyant posing, but the bases did not increase in size. The sculptors were working to these restrictions. Indeed, while I was working at GW, they were trying to make the poses more action oriented, but had to scale back their ambitions so that the models would rank up.

      • morvael says:

        Right, a good system should scale well. I’d prefer more smaller units, rather than just few huge blocks. It’s the maneuvering that should be the heart of the game, not rolling more dice in one or two huge combat situations. But the rules in final editions of WFB promoted big blocks only.

        I think they should become aware of this problem earlier, as the models grew, and switch to larger bases. If figures got bigger, bases should too. Not really a rocket science 🙂

      • guyhaley says:

        No, not really rocket science at all!

        There was this idea with the last editions of Warhammer to create these epic set-ups, hence the increase in unit size. They looked great, but of course, that only made the game very expensive to play as you said.

        In my Path to Glory warband I’ve 10 Gors, 10 Ungors, 2 Spawn, 9 Chaos Warriors (we’ve a house rule for casualties), a Brayshaman and a Chaos Lord. That size makes for a very fast, very fun game, as well as a diverting hobby project.

      • morvael says:

        That’s a very nice force of 33 models. And since you have 4 units and two heroes it’s exactly the same number of entities I have prepared for a 1500 pts game of classic Warhammer, but there I have 59 models (78% more). We should have a similar number of decisions to make for the same number of entities, and since “a game is a series of interesting choices”, we should have similar amount of fun (but yours was achieved with less expense of money and time to prepare). Good game rules should be supporting any number of models (ok, maybe without the extremes). And if I would be a kid with no stable income, I would look more favourable on a system that would allow me to enter the hobby and enjoy battles with just two-three dozen of models. Late Warhammer editions were not good from that point of view. That’s one good thing about AoS. There, I’ve said it 🙂

  2. RB says:

    “I’ve become rather fond of their goaty little legs…” Interesting fetish, but OK.

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