Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meandering Fantasy Wargaming Post

It's , at times, odd to be playing Warhammer. I think it's fair to say that players of this game have a slightly 'funny'  idea of this 'thing of ours'. Where wargaming is a hobby that has long-standing origins and spans a variety of genres and approaches, many players of GW games seem to happily (and unironically) speak of 'The Hobby'. As in 'The Warhammer Hobby'. I note this as context for the next bit: there seems to be quite a bit of doom and gloom about 'The Hobby' (ie not this 'thing of ours', the GW one) due to the recent financial reports of that company. I don't know if anyone genuinely believes the company itself is going anywhere soon (except possibly, gasp, to be snapped up by Hasbro) but I think the feeling is that the relentless focus on return on investment will lead them to narrow their offerings to focus on the bigger sellers.... Will Bretonians  (ie French Arthurians) get the axe? Will Beastmen (ie Broo)? Will the entire Warhammer game go in favour of 40k?
Who knows, but if so it won't be the first GW game I've played that got dropped from under me... I know that when support for WOTR began to go I pointed out to other players that it doesn't seem to have killed Epic, Bloodbowl or BFG. Fan support has rescued all of those. If only WOTR could be so lucky.

Anyway, I've been using the fan-made DOW list the last few games of Warhammer, vs Jason. It's a great list but lacks a certain something. That something is a War-Alter. I know something has gone seriously wrong with the little project when I've lost interest in painting the cool Perry Caroccio because, in my heart, I know I'll never field it. 

As a digressions: anyone remember me raving about the Out-Rim Smuggler and Tycho (for values of 'raving' that equal 'noting they might have been under-rated')? Well if a model is 'ok' then surely combining two of them in the one list is a good idea? I know, looks as stupid as it is when I type it out. Here is my Tycho getting an early bit of hull-damage (ie stealth device and all shields gone) vs Jason. I got nailed that game. Just not enough attack dice. Tycho is a keeper but needs some shootier friends. 

Diversion aside, now that I need to field a force with a Caroccio in it, I have been thinking of the Warhammer Empire list once more. It's a cool list and the sole flaw that put me off it was the distinct lack of Pike. Back to spearmen for them. It also has a Steam-Tank in the list. 

The fantasy tank is apparently the invention of Leonard da (not Vinci), continuing their trend of taking real world things and changing the name slightly. CF also 'Broo', 'French Arthurians', etc etc. Then it is their sole creation and IP to be defended to the death lol. I considered making a Da Vinci tank but the shape is all wrong, and it looks boring.

In my hunt to find something cooler, I discovered that Leonardo was hardly the first. Well obviously Archimedes, I meant hardly the first in post-classical times. Above is the wind-powered car by Guido Da Vigevano. Unfortunately he did that before they invented perspective, so I find it a bit hard to visualise from the drawing.
Here is his hand-cranked war-wagon. He did all this for Philip III of France as part of a manual on Crusading.

Taccola (he does know perspective, as he even interviewed the inventor) would be the bridge to Leonardo. I think he has some cool ideas but I am not getting 'Fantasy Tank' out of them. He is too practical and has too many ideas that are useful in the everyday sense. there is a surprising dearth of Fantasy warmachines out there and most amount to a simple wooden structure with a cannon. So I may have to stare at the internet for a longer time and see if something occurs to me. Or, you know, buy the GW Steam Tank as it is probably the best Fantasy Warmachine out there (yes but warjacks are also no good.)

 One thing I can get good miniatures of is Knights. These are the Perry Men at Arms that I have been obsessing over since I saw the greens. Here are the ones that will be elite knights (or Reiksguard). Yes knights actually had plumes like that. Cut Warhammer some slack, their stuff may be silly looking, in places, but remember they are copying actual history; and actual history can be pretty outlandish.

 It took me a few hours to get these assembled. Cool kits with lots of detail but lining up that barding was a challenge to my thick fingers. I have sort of achieved it. I just have to think of a paint scheme. I have several ideas.

I'm not sure if I will include this golden one though. Probably too historical for the fantasy army. I need to decide soon as I've got another dozen knights on the way from Caliver books. Or maybe that war-alter needs some attention?

Even if WHFB goes the way of WOTR I'm sure I can get a lot of fun out of the Fantasy army, regardless. So if anyone knows some good Fantasy warmachines that could be a tank, I would be keen to know. Mantic does a sweet goblin mincher but I am not running goblins. Old Glory has a thing. There are a few Da Vinci tanks out there, but I think we can do better?

If you made it to the bottom of this meandering thought stream then, congratulations and thanks for reading.


  1. Have you seen the Land Ship Forgeworld does? Another option would be to try and find the older (but not really old) metal GW steam tank. It looks very similar to the new plastic one but not quite as top heavy. I think I remember hearing it was a beast to put together though. Good luck on your search!

    1. I think the landship stuff is too big for a steam tank? Thanks for the suggestion with the metal steam tank. Will definitely bear that in mind. I like the turret and steam engine bit of the steam tank quite a bit so another option might be to come up with a body and then get bitz from ebay?

  2. Love this post mate.
    Actual history may actually be interesting?

    1. Lol well you will be pretty familiar with my (post modern? I'm not, I swear, but my take on history sure seems like it sometimes...) apprach to history by now. So perhaps not so much 'actual'. But yes we find more cool stuff that (lets just say) actually happened than we could ever wargame.

      Just wait till you see a post where I do `The Great Transformation` (Polanyi) as a Conan story. Because the first section of the book sure reads like one....

  3. We appear to be approaching a similar project. I started rebuilding my old Empire Army last year, and decided to add to it from Wargames Foundry's Landsknecht line. I like the look of blocks of Pike, so I am just going to field them and use the old 3rd edition pike rules (I have a 3rd/4th edition empire army.) I have been looking at the same sources as you to do a steam tank, but have not found a look I like either. I am interested to see what you come up with. Also, I just got some of the Foundry Gendarmes to paint up as 3rd edition Reiksguard. I am not sure how they fit with the Perry sculpts but I think the Perry's did the Foundry line as well.

    1. Foundry must have cost a mint if you bought from them, as they did that big price hike? The Pike and CP on your blog look awesome, based up for Impetvs. I really enjoyed the Charles V army that I used as a base for the original Fantasy Pike and Shotte project and am looking forward to being able to use the Perry stuff as a base for something like Venetians.

      I think I am almost resigned to getting a GW Steam Tank at this stage but we'll see. Sorry the comment sat in moderation so long btw, have just returned to my house after a month out for EQC repairs!

  4. Dont drop this project jamie...
    Look forward to seeing your knights all colorful and painted up :)
    Wat happened to impetus fantasy as a system... ??

  5. The rules didn't seem fun enough, somehow. Its not the fault of the Impetus core.... Something about the Addon?