I just wondered where people get inspiration for their armies/ projects. I hear it discussed a lot on the podcast, particularly with some weaknesses (if it can be called that) to being inspired by fiction and buying new armies.
That had never been me, when I was a kid it was always about visuals (as it is a visual hobby) and background from Codicies. I had never really been one for GW fiction until recently. The visual/ background determined what I purchased and how I painted it. Coming to late teens and early twenties (when I also worked at GW) a slight competitive side came into play in that I wanted a coherent playing force as well, though my armies always had to look like armies on the tabletop, multiple troops, minimal spam unless thematically appropriate.
Over the past few years the three have crystallised for me like this for a new project in general:
- I think of a few key words to describe the army I want. Either in playstyle "mobile" "tricksy", pick key painting techniques I want to learn (airbrushing in the last instance), or sometimes as with my Imperial Fists on specific models (I wanted an army with dreadnoughts and terminators). This is my go to advice on someone stuck on their next project, find 3-5 words which encapsulate what you might want, then go find it. For me I find these keywords as useful touchstone for the rest of the process
- I pick a codex based on that (which has to have models I like)
- I pick a faction within that codex in which I either empathise with the background or has a striking colour pallette
- I write a semi competitive army list based on what seems to work in tournaments (as I don't want to get kerbsmashed and do want to go to tournaments when I can)
- I want a visually interesting army, both in terms of colour and content. I am willing to make concessions on the army list to make it "feel" right for the faction I have chosen. Small example for my Eldar, War Walkers are probably more efficient than Vypers, but the army is Saim Hann so in the Vypers come, though they fulfil the same basic role, same for the Imperial Fists. I wanted dreadnoughts and terminators, that is why I did the army, when the temptation came in to take them out when I played a few games and did not do great I resisted as it seemed stupid to pick an army for a reason then run away from that
- I normally buy the entire army outright then paint the full thing before playing. Partly as I am working somewhere with no gaming scene and can only play when I return to the UK, but also the fact that I don't want to tweak the army too much from what I wanted in the start. If it is suboptimal gaming wise that can be fixed or worked through. I always end up with 2.5-3k anyway, so I will have options to change
Now it should be said my primary aim is painting these days. I have won a few best painted awards and want every subsequent army to be able to at least get people to be impressed with it, so for me, painting will trump other things, meaning I am unlikely to paint a brown army any time soon.
I had never really understood the being driven my fiction, particularly Carl's shiny shiny syndrome (sorry Carl) other than it may have reinforced my existing prejudices. Up until now at least, I am reading "The First Heretic" by ADB and dammit I now want a Word Bearers army. A force I had no emotional attachment with the background as it stood and while their colours are striking it had not been on my list of hobby projects I want to do (which is extensive).
What is everyone else like on this? Or am I overanalysing and thinking this full thing? Would love to know.
2012: Imperial Fists painting project
2013: Traitor Guard painting project (ongoing)2014: Saim Hann painting project (ongoing) viewtopic.php?f=81&t=6450