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Milliardo
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PostSubject: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 30 Sep 2010 - 21:48

Hi there. I posted this on another Warhammer forum I frequent and I thought you guys might enjoy it as it comes across as suitably crusty. :3

Firstly, this is going to be 'one of those posts' where I rant about stuff and generally try to shame some of you into uniform behavior with my elitist bent. Hear that? I gave you an 'out'. It's up to you to whether or not you use it.

Alright then, it's been awhile since I've done one of these rants (damned self-satisfied streak!), and I've managed to build up a mild headwind. Draw the anchor of melodramatic rhetoric, unfurl the sails of self-righteousness, and to open seas we go!

Dead Piles - A plea to all gamers, new and old

To clarify on the title, a 'dead pile' is not an expertly modeled and painted pile of dead soldiers made into terrain, all ready for a post-battle burning or a good shove into a communal grave. I happen to like those a lot - they make excellent terrain, good objective markers, they scare off the weak-willed if gruesome enough and are an excellent use of all those spare arms and things left over in your bits box.

No, the 'dead pile' I'm referring too is something quite different. Webster's defines it as the act of placing all your dead and defeated minis in a haphazard pile of varying size. From my observations this results in, at the very least, chipped paint, bent swords and banner poles, and in the very worst case, the figure breaking to the point where its nearly unusable.

Why does this bother me enough to write a small essay on the subject and barrage you, gentle reader, with my fiery will made words?

Well, arguing on financial reasons, I'll happily admit the first part of it comes from being near enough to poor, mostly due to poor/good life decisions, and not being able to demolish my models on a weekly basis. It's less a matter of jealousy and more that I find you an appalling human being with no respect for something I probably have too much for. Also, jealousy.

I have no problem with people being able to buy 10 boxes of Goldswords just to convert into State Troops (WHY!?) or used as corpses for terrain pieces - while equally mad and a disgusting waste of money, at least they're being used for something. GW does this all the time, so I guess I've built up a bit of tolerance... (23 tower sections on one board... holy hell...) ... but to just dump your delicate models into a pile, a pile that probably comes to about $135 US, really gets my Irish up. My German too, and whatever you do, don't underestimate the Portuguese. You wouldn't like me when I'm Portuguese.

The second reason comes from age, specifically the age of the players who seem to do this the most. While I'm certainly not a grizzled veteran by any stretch of the imagination, at the tender young age of 25, I've been playing war-games for about 15 years now, which means I started a good deal younger than the majority of people I see doing this. While I'm not quite evil enough to hate children for the sake of being children (Oh, but I'm getting oh so close!), it smacks of 'My Mommy bought me this because my Daddy divorced her and she's buying my love, so I don't care about this stuff because she'll just buy me more.'

A separate but related incident comes second hand from a friend of mine - its validity may be dubious, but its too good of a story to keep to myself.

Upon defeating his much younger opponent, so sez my friend, the child in question broke one of his minis in a rage, got up, ran out to the car lot, and came back in with his parents, who had apparently been sitting there waiting for him for the past hour. My friend just watched from the table, fearing a lecture from the spoiled child's parents, but it never came. Instead, the child proceeded to buy the exact same army he just lost against, model for model, without so much as a single whinge, plea or stamping of feet. His parents blew enough money to buy an entire 2k army without so much as batting an eye.

Yes, this is a ridiculous and extreme example, but the point remains this is what is fueling my hobby now. In some sense I'm glad that they're throwing that much money away, because in the short term it will help Warhammer grow... but I can only wonder if he'll grow up to value the game at all. My instincts say he will not. Hopefully some kind, gentle chap will take him by the arm... and then rip it out of the socket and beat him half to death with it. I can almost hear the towns' people in their jubilant revelry.

The final reason, and by far the most pretentious, is artistic expression. I'll happily admit I am a first class expletive when it comes to painted armies. I'll play insanely competitive gamers, and I'll quietly chuckle to myself because I've seen the exact same list one-hundred and eighty-seven times on ten different boards. I'll play super fluffy commanders too, who bother to write out the genealogy of their commander since the first war against chaos down to their mothers' brothers' sisters' fathers' uncle twice removed. So long as I don't have to read it or hear about it.
But when it comes to painting, I've flat out refused to play people based solely on the fact that the army was spray painted black or worse, left gray plastic...

... But at the same time, I'm not talking about when you've painted 90% of your army and there's the odd unit of troops that are spray-black, that's fine. Clearly you've gone to the trouble of painting up that much already, so its a sure bet it'll be painted soon. I also don't care how well you can paint, and I don't give a damn if you're color blind and paint your army bright fuchsia with lime green accents, but put in some god-damned time and effort, I beg you. Hell, I love inks. More power too you if you can make them look good. The point I'm trying to make in such a roundabout way is that if you can afford to spend $600 on the army, you can damn well afford the $50 in paint and materials... and caring for your models is free!

Being a fairly insular player who doesn't get around to the larger tournament circles with great regularity (and then mostly only to watch and wander around and look at booths), and because I hadn't played 40k in a long time, I was spared from this abominable act for a long period of time. You all may be desensitized to it, but it hit me more or less all at once.
It seems the movement trays in WHFB seem to keep people from doing it as much as in 40k. The first time I came across it was during a series of Youtube video battle reports, and although it was quite painful to see, I chalked the act up to being Canadian or something, but in my wanderings I see it popping up more and more. Later I learned that it wasn't just a Canadian thing, but its rife throughout the US and the world abroad, and I feel I have a debt of apology for Canada. But they're not getting it. Ever. They know what they did.

TL:DR

In the end, all I can do is ask you to please paint your army and don't stack your models in a pile. While I've got you, get a proper case for them too. While you may not care about your models in the slightest, you may be sitting across the table from a future Milliardo in training. At the very least, you'll give them a painful migraine and indigestion. As they travel further down the path of madness, you may find yourself on your back being punched in the throat repeatedly for no apparent reason. And then it'll hit you, just before your vision fades to black... you'll look up at the gaming table and see the pile of your unpainted miniatures leering down at you, and as the brain damage sets in, they'll almost seem to be smiling at you as you finally pay for their cruel, capricious, callous mistreatment.
"Damn! I should have painted my bananas!" you'll try to say, but you'll mean minis instead of bananas, because your head is caved in. So for your own sake, paint your damned models before its too late!

Animism for the win! :3
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 6:12

lol! ...there now, I hope your feeling better for your rant. What a Face
I would like to think that the wasteful, spoiled child thingy is a recent manifestation. Unfortunately it's not. As long as I've been involved in war gaming I've had the misfortune of running into the "spoiled children"; AND they're not limited to Folks of an age that could be classified as "children". Some of the "children" are old enough that one would assume they had attained a degree of maturity. One of my erstwhile gaming acquaintances used to regularly embed a base or two of minis in the wall for the crime of not passing a morale test...he was also a mini -piling person & a JERK. The wasteful & spoiled are, however, the market that G.W. is working, & has been doing so for a fair number of years.

The unpainted armies is something more recent. When I started out you couldn't field troops that weren't painted...not EVER...NEVER. When I started going to a gaming store several years ago was the first time I saw Folks with armies of naked minis. The unpainted troops seemed to be more heavily of the fantasy variety...40K stuff was generally covered in enough colors to qualify as painted. AND the unpainted stuff far out numbered the painted.

My observation of armies at the now nearest game store has turned up a new painting trend,...at least with the Austin crowd...color keyed minis. I was watching a W.F.B.. All the troops were painted in a single color including their bases. The color represented troop type or races or both for easy recognition, I was told. They rather looked like large markers for a board game. I suspect that the only attraction for these Guys that mini gaming held was that the rules were more subject to creative interpretation than board games or gamers would tolerate.

C'est la vie, eh?! Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 6:42

I do feel better, thank you. Somehow I thought you of all people would appreciate it!
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 8:46

I agree with you in many things. Spoiled brats need to be furyfied Cathayan Monk 2

And of course, meeting an unpainted army/warband just makes you want to go play Dawn of War on your computer. A friend of mine never takes his time to paint (though when he does, it is friggin' GREAT looking!), but often just plays with black-sprayed minis... and I do NOT like it one bit...


Also, the bananas instead of minis part made me laugh out Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 8:53

Nice rant!

I do not play WHFB myself, thus not all my models are painted, but in my Mordheim games I'll always try to field as many painted models as I can.


And people leaving models in a pile should be punished Cathayan Monk 2
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 1 Oct 2010 - 9:41

My current army (chaos) is unpainted as my mordheim projects keep interfereing (uber zombies, prisoners etc) aand I just can't decide on a colour scheme but I always put them in a nice neat pile.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 13:11

Yes, that was quite... informative... Well, you should feel lucky you don't live anywhere close to where I do, because you wouldn't like me...

I like the hobby, and consider myself quite the veteran. I first started when I was just 12 years old, playing Warhammer and collecting models even before the first GW opened it's doors here in the Netherlands... Now I'm at the age where GW-staff are adressing me as 'sir', but even after all these many years I don't even own a single finished army. My current Fantasy armies, Dwarfs and Empire are far from finished. My Dwarfs are quite far along (for my standards anyway, the army is now close to 4000 points and about 2500 is painted) but my Empire could best be described as a huge 'dead pile' (well, not really, but want to 'paint' you a picture here)... I spend a lot of time converting and building my armies, I just don't always take the time to paint them.

Why? Painting is, by far, my least favorite part of the hobby! I like building stuff (check my scenery thread here on the forum), converting models and I like gaming(which you can do just as well with unpainted models, really), but painting things just isn't my cup of tea (again, check my scenery thread). Combined with the fact I always seem to end up with more models than I need, getting an army finished is something I cannot hope to achieve... As an example, this afternoon I started work on a horde (40) of Dwarf clansmen armed with great weapons, and I'm quite sure that they won't see any paint for at least a month or two. I would like you all to know that (at least) my Mordheim gang is finished, bases and all!

When (or if) I finish a model or unit, I treat it with the utmost care. I 'dislike' painting models, but I HATE touching up damaged ones...

As a parting word: we all hate spoiled children, and as a teacher of kids whose parents drive cars which cost more than I make in a whole year I know what I'm talking about...

Sorry for my 'rant'...
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 14:38

ACTUALLY...it's rather a shame we DON'T live closer to each other: i.e., with Guys who love to paint, Guys that love to model, & those of us that love both, we could form a commune with each doing what he or she loves to do most...why do I keep hearing the theme from Hair when I bring up communes? Suspect What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 14:52

While I agree with most of your rant, I do have the problem of not having fully painted armies. I try, but I'm not so great a painter and get frustrated with my lack of skills causing me to stop often. I can only do a couple models before this happens and I take a break for a while. Sad

I do care for my models though. I just bought a nice fancy Malifaux bag to hold my Malifaux and Mordheim minis, and I always do my best to keep them in good condition. It bothers me when I see people just tossing minis around like they are nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 18:27

DeafNala wrote:
ACTUALLY...it's rather a shame we DON'T live closer to each other...
I agree!! I'd happily paint someone else's minis for the cost of the paint and brushes involved, rather than playing against unpainted minis.

Svenn, have you tried going through your army and trying to paint all the models in basic colors? I've known some people who have that problem going that route. You can always go back later and add further detail that way, but I've been told it helps pull them along.

In any case, you shouldn't feel so bad about your painting skills. I posted this same topic on Ulthuan.net, and a poster named Spellarcher brought up Nigel Stillman's Questing for the Grail army and the article he wrote for it in White Dwarf. Your painting is head and shoulders above Mr. Stillman's - his minis were always quite muddy, with the colors bleeding into one another. But he went to the trouble of converting a lot of them... and he based and painted all of them... came up with back-story for them and even went to the trouble of making a special case for them along with many other investments of time and effort.
Somehow, despite his sub-par painting, his passion for his army came through in spades. It was one of those perfect examples that an army doesn't need to be perfectly painted to be beautiful, so long as you really put yourself into the effort.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 18:33

Well, I did try painting basic colors on my high elves way back when, but it's a bit harder to do with a Mordheim or Malifaux crew since they vary so much (all of my Rotten Belles had completely different colors). It didn't seem to help much anyway.

I've been making progress lately. I just get frustrated that the images in my mind are not what comes out when I try to paint so I have to stop before I get angry, lol. I'm usually fairly happy with how my minis turn out. I realize they will never be amazing, but as long as they are not terrible and at least fit what I'm going for I'm happy. My Rotten Belles, for example, I am very proud of (especially the bases) even though I realize they are not amazing by any means.

It's hard to describe, but it's a motivation thing that's made worse by my being frustrated with my own skills. The more frustrated I get with trying to accomplish something I think I should be able to do, the lower my motivation gets to continue.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 19:07

I'm afraid I have a bit of a hard time relating, at least when it comes to painting, but I've certainly had my ongoing frustrations when it comes to other areas... particularly with work. While my painting isn't great either, I'm generally happy with it... but I've never really felt like I've been applying 'skill' or anything as great as that.

I feel more like I'm painting by rote, applying technique after technique that I've picked up or copied from painting books, white dwarf, trial and error, and staring at people's pics on forums. Before painting a minis, I like to try to find a few different examples of how other people (usually better than me) have painted it.

If there's any skill involved in it, its in the spaces in between those techniques or in their application. I find that if I stick to these techniques and am always searching for more, there's little room for skill, or my lack of it. In fact, I almost think good painters use as little skill as possible.

The other important part comes from having correct tools. The proper sized brushes for the job, and making sure they aren't too old or worn, and the right paints.

As long as I keep to a relatively structured path like that and use correct tools, things generally turn out pretty well even if it wasn't what I was going for.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Sat 2 Oct 2010 - 22:45

At LEAST just spray the white and dip them in devlan mud, then they can actually be mistaken for being painted from a distance Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 28 Oct 2010 - 5:41

WORST PART OF GAMEING OUR HOBBY IS PAINTING! I LOATH IT! I HATE IT!

How much hate you ask?

I get a model, I repeat A MODEL painted once a month. I rarely have fun with it. I find painting a VERY SLOW and stuped grind, so stuped, infact, that, I wonder why I got in to the hobby. So stuped I take a bat and start smashing stuff, SO STUPED THAT I WANT TO KILL SOMETHING, SO STUPED THAT I THINK IT'S A CURSE FROM DEAMONS AND WANT TO GO TO MY LOCAL GW AND SMASH EVERING THING FOR REVENGE FOR WHAT THOSE DIVELS HAVE DONE TO ME ONLY TO REALSE THAT THERE IS NO GW IN MY HOME TOWN AND ALL I CAN DO IS BASH MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL TILL MY BRAINS BUBBLE OUT!!!!!!!!!!

AGRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

*Takes deep breath*

I am considering not painting at all and just paint the stuff thats worth wile. Like captains and warlocks.

Thats how much I HATE painting

As for the other stuff I try and take care of my stuff but it just ends up in dissaray and catching dust.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 28 Oct 2010 - 6:36

Haha, that's always something I find strange - people who love the hobby and gaming but can't stand the painting.

Why don't you like it? Have you ever considered paying or asking someone else to paint your stuff for you?
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 28 Oct 2010 - 7:27

Hah. This reminds me of a scandinavian grand tournament in Sweden a couple years back.

My good friend had the fortune, talent and perseverence to score second place in the 'best painted army' part of the competiiton. After prizes were handed out and a good clapping of hands was performed by all, the 'best painted' nominees were all carefully wrapping their little soldiers in various packaging materials, and placing them in their individual compartments in the foam trays. Except my friend - he opened his cleared-out case wide, and using his whole arm he shoveled his whole army into it in one sweep. Judging by the horrified looks he got, you had a few sympathizers in that room.

So how did his army fare after this rough treatment? Perfectly well. How can such a thing be? It's all plastic., and it's all varnished.

Seriously, warhammer minis aren't that fragile. If you've properly pinned, undercoated and varnished your little dudes, they can take some punishment without showing any wear. Sure, there are exceptions, and the same really can't be said for the old metal Confrontation minis. Overall though, they don't need the 'kittens made of glass' treatment.

This coming from someone with a severe lack of funds, and who spends a fair amount of time on my conversions and paintjobs. My post history should be evidence of that much.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Wed 17 Nov 2010 - 13:54

I unfortunatly fall into the catagory that our friend here abhors. At least when it comes to 40K or Fantasy. Although my guard army is more than half painted finally. Which takes a LONG time when you are a slow painter like me.

However Mordheim is very different. I can take my time with each and every model and still finish a warband in the same time it would to paint two basic guard squads. I'll have to find my wife's camera and take pictures of my Pit Fighters and my newly finished Condemned. (I made him out of over 50% citadel parts! Although most are buried underneath green stuff)

My personal rule is to allow unpainted minis. Except for Mordheim which i expect you to be working on them. At least your heroes...
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 1:05

Personally I think half painted armies are fine.. But mostly because i've seen someone playing with little bits of paper to represent each unit...
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 6:48

To throw in The Ferret's 2 cents worth, I was raised at a club where no paint = no play. I know that not everyone is a master artist but it is possible to give figures a good basic scheme. Having said that, I have a cupboard full of half painted Orks and WH figures because I probably try too hard to make everything a masterpiece, I have also spent most of the last 12 years trying to balance a full time job with University studies ... and the garden ... and ...

My advice is as I said before, try and go for a basic coverage, don't go for the all the shading and highlighting unless, like me, you really DO enjoy that side of the hobby. It is a pity fronting up for a multi-player Mordheim, Fields of Glory, DBA etc and finding that 3 out of 4 have made the effort, and the other warband is mostly bare metal and flesh!
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 7:46

I'm guilty of being a non-painter. In my defense though I just started war gamming in Sept when 8th WHFB came out and since then I'm on my 2nd army and have been playing Mordheim regularly. One of my Mordheim warbands (Marienburg) was completely painted and then I found I didn't like the way they played and ended up switching to Witch Hunters which are currently unpainted. Fortunately my wife really enjoys painting so I let her handle that aspect of it. She spends alot of time on each individual model though and they look great but take some time to finish. When you figure she's responsible for painting all of our figures that takes a while, especially those fantasy armies. Luckily she's Brettonian and I'm High Elf now so at least the model count is fairly low, but it's still pretty high Razz
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 22 Apr 2011 - 3:53

^_^ At least 10 yers passed since my last tournament with my dwarven army...and mybe i'll never do a torunament again. Thanks to those "childs" you mentioned.
I like painting...i painted my friends' minis for years...the result? My army is painted at 10%. While i'm still enlarging my dwarven army (i like them too much to stop) i stopped painting them (but someday i'll paint them all, i swear!).
C'mon changed my mind...all my painted minis take from 3 to 6...it seems i'm not a good painter as i tought... but my conversion takes a 7... i found a friend who's painting my skaven little army in exchange of some convertions (i.e. the squigs...)...so i STOPPED painting. I have too many conversions to do.

The worse part? My girlfriend did artistic senior high school ...but won't paint a single model! No

PS:when i find a pile of dead i ask if he/her has to put them in the trash...if so...i'll (not) do that for him/her (and take them home with me for my convertions) lol!
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Fri 22 Apr 2011 - 7:16

I'm really surprised this topic is still getting replies after so long! Very Happy

Really, the lack of painting part of my rant is a distant second to the whole dead piles bit - seeing models getting smashed or broken is far more painful to see. Thankfully, its also much less common.

Lately though, it hasn't been bothering me much at all. I've gone back to my mountain hold (my room) and am contented on just painting rather than playing. I'm following other players much less often (though a lot more painting threads), and posting much less often as well, and I feel better for it.

Misanthropy for the win! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 23:23

I too am guilty of having paintless warbands. However, in my defense, they're long-term projects. I'm sort of off-and-on painting some chaos knights and a couple units of skellies. And since I had money, it seemed like a good idea to stockpile for things to paint, thus giving myself something to do in lean years.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Mon 2 May 2011 - 14:37

Hrok wrote:
And since I had money, it seemed like a good idea to stockpile for things to paint, thus giving myself something to do in lean years.

I like that - that'll explain my 5000pts+ Chaos Space Marines, my 2500pts Ore Kingdoms, my 3000pts High Elves, my 13 Mordheim warbands, my Dramatis Personae and my 100 Hired Swords...

At least my Dwarf Treasure Hunters are painted though! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: 'Dead Piles'   Today at 23:18

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