Over eight months ago, Jeff posted his plans for the army he’d be using in the Beard Bunker’s campaign. Meanwhile, only a few days ago, Maisey said he felt like he’d dropped the ball in not getting a vampire painted for his skellingtons. That may be, but at least he’s painted a Necrononcer by the name of Mallick.* I haven’t even painted a single character yet. In fact, the best thing I’ve got is a Green Stuffed butt crack. There’s only four months left before I’m meant to have this army ship-shape and ass-kicky. Until now, my plan for my Hochlanders ran thusly: “Bimble along and paint things in green and red when you fancy it.”
Well, yeah. That there ain’t enough beans for a stew, grandma.
Turns out I’m almost as good at painting Hochlanders as I am at making up American-South-sounding metaphors. Ooooooh, self-buuuurn. Self-flagellation aside, I’d better get my posterior in gear. Put simply, I need a plan.
When it comes to concocting a plan for a new army, there seem to be two schools of thought: one, plan everything and stick to it, lest ye trundle off the rails. Two, to start buying pretty things and keep it up until you can put them on a table and shout “I made this!” with childlike glee.
There are disadvantages to both of these methods. Proponents of method one can feel beholden to their plan even if it stops being fun, and the I Made This! crowd often end up with a dragon, three elite units, and fourteen beautifully painted character models.
I suspect the way of joy is a balance of the two: plan your army, but be ready to change said plan if it’s not working. Don’t just stick blindly to your guns. Half of being organised consists of assessing your progress and amending your plans accordingly.
My plans always seem to go like this:
1. Decide what I want.
2. Decide what I need to make what I want rules compliant and fun to play with/against.
What I wanted was a unit of scruffy knights and a big unit of handgunners. Hochland’s famous for its fine quality blackpowder weaponry, so having a bunch of them seemed in keeping. Also, my other Empire army isn’t very shooty, and I wanted this one to be different.
What I needed was to not turn this army into a gunline. Those are boring to use and to fight against; no-one needs that. So, that meant having enough missile troops to make the shooting phase a meaningful one, but also not taking artillery that’d be useless in the close confines of the Drakwald Forest (stick to the theme, stick to the theeeeeeeeeeeeme!). I also needed some infantry regiments; so far I had nothing that could take a charge.
After prodding the Empire Army Book for a wee while, this is what I came up with for the first two thousand points:
However, the roster’s only half the story. With concepts I’m unsure of (like “will that many missile troops actually do anything?”) I find it helpful to visualise how the army will deploy. Behold:
|The bottom of the image is the Empire table edge, the top faces the rest of|
the table. The odd-coloured blocks denote characters.
The left flank is definitely the weak one. During deployment I’d probably stick the centre of the line down first, and then switch up the flanks depending on where the enemy’s deploying. Another weakness I’ve tried to account for is the army’s inability to deal with big monsters. To that end, I’m packing a level two wizard using the Lore of Death, which specialises in hurting individual models.
Oh, and a really finicky note (in case someone thinks I'm thpecial): between making the deployment map and the roster, I changed a regiment of handgunners into a detachment. Obviously, now that they're a detachment, the Helblaster isn't going in between them and their parent unit.
So. What do y’all think? Is this army a big slice of retard pie, or am I on to a non-cheesy winner?
Either way, I’d better get painting.
*Necrononcers are Necromancers who, on ethical grounds, only animate the corpses of pervs and serial molesters.