Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hordebloods Arrive!

Unveiled: My next big project!

(Though if you follow my Twitter, you'd've known something was in the works)

That's right, I've joined the ranks of the Trollbloods from Privateer Press' Hordes game. That means over the next while you're going to seen some distinctly non-GW stuff on Wargaming Tradecraft as I build what I intend to be an artistic army.

As I create this army, I'm going to document my steps... not always as direct Step by Step (because it hampers the creative process) but either as WIP shots with descriptions or broken down into tutorials related to specific tools or techniques.



A little background first... starting with "Why?"

Well, I've always wanted to create an "artistic" army... to really pour myself into a work. After painting my Space Hulk Terminator, I realized I could do it and do it right. After painting him, I fully intended that it would be the Space Hulk Terminators... but time and other projects just kept getting in my way.) Beyond them, it was going to be an Ashen Dark Angel Deathwing, that I'd field as my first art-scale army.

Then I got a new job. It meant moving 3 hours from home and to a community with barely a 40k presence. One overpriced shop continues to sell GW products, but the main gaming store, with tables, in the area's only wargaming product is Privateer Press. (Hordes and Warmachine) I worked with a model before on a Dungeoneer project, and liked its uniqueness, so I decided to check out both the game and the community.



After months of "getting around to it" I finally swung by one Sunday morning and sat in for a day of Hordes and Warmachine battles. I chatted with gamers and one of the shop owners and found that not only is the crowd an awesome bunch of people and very inviting, but that the games seem to run so much better than 40k. The group is a friendly bunch who were more than happy to have me watch and explained rules, armies, what they were doing, and other forms of geekery you'd expect from our type of people.

A brief note before I continue. I was curious about the lack of 40k in the area, so I talked with some of the gamers and one of the store owners. There used to be a GW shop in town... and when it was, nomatter how much Games Workshop tried to say "We don't compete with local hobby shops," the reality is that in this business, they do. That prompted this store to switch to Privateer Press and stop carrying any GW products - but where did GW disappear to?

Well, as we all know from all the news recently, GW's price model from one country to another has nothing to do with currency values and is pretty much a factor of what people will pay. Canada is no exception, with pricing being roughly 10-20% higher than our US neighbours even with our dollars normalizing a while ago. Being a border town, gamers preferred crossing from Canada to the US for the discount and this eventually shut down the local GW store.

Not knowing anyone from the area, this seemed like a good way to meet some new people and have a bit of a hangout. So I kept coming back, and liking the group and the game the more I hung out. Even TheWife felt comfortable there and is eyeing her own army. The decision to game again meant putting my other projects on the backburner, but also that I can make this project my art-army instead of the Dark Angels.

What I think lends to making the game more fun are the smaller armies, cleaner rules and a turn sequence that involves doing turns unit by unit rather than phase by phase. (Pick a unit, move it then shoot / close combat, pick a new unit) It keeps everyone involved and prevents the game pace from waning. The only complicated thing about the game is unit synergy - While the game itself has straightforward rules, EVERY unit/model is very unique with its own abilities that you need to keep track of and pick to work together. (which compares well to Magic: the Gathering) Also, their steampunk and fantasy lines are completely compatible, so you can pick any army you like.

And so I looked at armies... I pondered. I knew I wanted to try something different from my Eldar. I had previously looked at Warhammer Fantasy and liked some of the more brutal and in-your-face options. I _never_ get into close combat with my Eldar... it just never works for me. I wanted something fresh and something I would have a blast modding and painting - and then inspiration struck:


!!! FOR THE HORDE !!!
For those not aware, that's a crest belonging to the Horde faction [example 1 and example 2] from Blizzard's Warcraft games. The other faction being the Alliance.. [example 1 and example 2] I won't go into all the details, but for quite some time my friends and I were addicted to World of Warcraft. It's still the best game I've ever played - but it is an unending time sink. Something I did bring away from it, is it's where I looted met my soulmate and the woman I now call TheWife. (Also providing an activity to assist our long distance relationship) For this reason, it'll always hold a special place with me.

The plan is to do a lot more than just paint a bunch of Trollbloods green... there's going to be serious modding as I create my Hordebloods.

The first thing I did was create a new Word document and put a picture in it for every Trollblood model available... then I searched around the internet for pictures from Warcraft that would make excellent replacements for those trolls. What really spoke to me was just how well these two armies meshed. I found inspiration and ideas everywhere I looked and a clear picture of the project came together in my mind.

I'm still going to use troll models - but there's going to be a lot of hacking and green stuffing going on to make everything fit...

before signing off, here's a teaser... some shots from my planning notebook:







oh yes, there will be Tauren...






Take a look at my Step by Step page for the entire Hordebloods project.


Here you will find each model broken down into links showing each step:
Concept, Works in Progress, (for both modelling and painting) and Final Shots


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