I’m preparing to close out 2020, and as I often do, I took stock of my painting and hobbying for the year and found something surprising and unexpected: I painted exclusively fantasy figures for the whole year. No sci-fi, no Warhammer 40,000, nothing with a laser gun or energy sword. Wow!
This is almost certainly the first time this has happened in my gaming career. I’m not sure precisely how this came to pass. The pandemic certainly had something to do with it… in terms of games played, I mustered just four sessions — only two since March of this year.
Another factor was the anticlimactic arrival of Warhammer 40k’s much anticipated new edition. The pandemic meant that my game group couldn’t gather to try out the new game, so the arrival of the new edition was basically a non-event, at least for me. I still haven’t played a game of 9th edition, actually. Ho hum! Here’s a picture from the last time I played 40k at our end-of-the-year apocalypse game in 2019.
For 2020, I managed to get in a couple games of Saga: Age of Magic early in the year, before all this pandemic stuff turned the world upside down. Those early games got me excited to revisit my all-metal Skaven army as well as my beloved dwarf army, which I built back in the early 2010s and have been augmenting periodically over the years. Both armies fit nicely into Üthdyn, our homebrew fantasy setting that we have been tinkering with for a few years.
I find that a strong narrative framework always helps me get “in character” and plan out my painting and hobbying. Üthdyn was the spark that lit my torch through the long dark of 2020, it seems.
I’ve organized a few posts from the past year so you can read about my work on my Skaven and Dwarf armies, if you wish.
- Starting an All-Metal Skaven Army, Part III (the third installment in a series that began in 2018; the post contains links to previous entries)
- Monopose Metal Madness!
- Starting an All-Metal Skaven Army, Part IV
Dwarves (or Dwarfs, if you prefer)
- Dwarves! Who would stoop so low?
- Ratnik & Scibor: A Few of My Favorite Dwarf Models
- The Fires of Progress (part real life update, part tabletop entry)
So although 2020 was a thin year for actual tabletop gaming, I still managed to make a great deal of progress on two beloved army projects. I am very close to actually completing my Skaven army…just one last unit of clanrats that I’m finishing up right now. After that, I’ll call the army “done,” although I still have a small pile of oddball figures that I’d like to add as time allows. But it’ll be nice to officially finish the army! I’ll be sure to take some glamor shots of the whole rat horde and share them here.
My dwarf army is in great shape and I have more than enough units to play most any game that comes across my table, from Saga: Age of Magic to Open Combat to Dragon Rampant to Song of Blades & Heroes, maybe even all the way up to Kings of War! But the allure of the bearded chaps means that I have plenty more unpainted dwarf models to work through. It’s been a real joy to discover and paint up some of the newer models that have come along from producers like Scibor and MOM Miniatures, as well as old favorites from the class Warhammer Citadel range. With a simple and consistent paint job, you can tie them all together into a cohesive and formidable tabletop army.
So — more dwarves in 2021, I think! I’m hoping to clear my palette by early 2021 as I am expecting the arrival of the Into the Abyss chaos warriors that I backed on Kickstarter. Stay tuned!