On Painted Armies

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“You shall not pass!”

Jake over at Cadian Shock made a comment about how my decision to only use models that are fully painted influenced him to make the same decision too.  I was going to reply on his blog, but it started becoming a bit rambling and long, so I thought I’d jot my thoughts on it down here.

In short I did decide about a year ago to only use my models once I’ve painted them, and I think I’ve stuck to it ever since.

Firstly let me say what this is not, it’s not a judgment on armies that are not painted.  I played for maybe four months with a varying proportion of unpainted models.  There was simply no way that I could play a game without having some of my models unpainted.  I don’t think that I could have spend four months not playing but painting.  How would I know if the hobby was worth the time investment?  So I’ve fielded legions of grey plastic models on a table and never had a bad word said against it.  Likewise I’ve played against, and continue to play against, armies in all sorts of states of painting.  There was one game that I remember where the enemy didn’t have any arms as the chap playing them wanted to experiment with equipment load outs, and it was fun game.

My reasons for only playing with a fully painted army boils down to these, possibly strange, personal opinions.

  1. I think that an all painted army looks really good on the table.
  2. I think that two all painted armies on the table look even better and consider making sure mine is painted a fair effort to try and have a game like that.
  3. Forcing me to paint a unit slows down the rate at which I introduce new units into my army, there’s a constant slow input.  So each model is given time to bed in and for me to see how it performs.
  4. That I have spent all the time and effort, and I’m not a quick painter, to paint a unit means that when the inevitable happens and it’s blown off the table in turn one that I won’t give up on the unit.  I’ve invested in it, I’m going to bring it back to the table.  If it wasn’t painted there might be many units I just wouldn’t give the chance to get to know and they’d be sitting unloved on my shelf.
  5. The rate I which is buy new models is choked by the painting stage, this helps me control my game budget immensely.
  6. I think that I get a decent feel as to how each new unit changes how my army works as it’s the only thing that’s changed for a few games.
  7. I dabbled with the game back when Rogue Trader first came out and had uncompleted units of Space Marines, Space Orks and Imperial Guard aplenty.  It’s really satisfying to now have, over 30 years later, a fully painted up army.
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My first fully painted squad!  It only took me 31 years.

So, in short, this is a personal decision that helps me manage, control and learn from my gaming.

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I think this is the last game I played with an unpainted model.

3 thoughts on “On Painted Armies

  1. Pingback: Contrast Paint – Plague Gardening

  2. Pingback: 800 Days of 8th – Plague Gardening

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