Sunday, 6 March 2011

Twenty Years Ago

I was up in the loft yesterday, sorting through some old photos which I intend to scan and store digitally. I came across some buried treasure...of sorts. In among the piles and piles of old family snaps were some pictures of a couple of my old armies. I will get them scanned and post a few samples in the next few weeks.

I also found my old boxes of White Dwarf, which I had bought occasionally during my Heroquest era, then pretty much every month for years after I took up Warhammer from issue 153 onwards. That was in 1992, this picture shows the cover of that White Dwarf, it was also used as the box art for the fourth edition game, my first copy. Naturally I started to reminisce about my first games, my old armies, my painting, etc. Then I realised (with a sigh of resignation at the passage of so much time) that it was nearly 20 years since those first faltering steps. I want to mark the anniversary in some way, some big way, which is why I am thinking about it now, 18 months before the actual event.

The first thought I had was to recreate the armies from the fourth edition box. If I remember correctly it contained plastic figures (elf and goblin spearmen and archers) as well as cardboard pieces to represent the bigger characters and war machines - a high elf on a griffon, an orc shaman on a wyvern, an elf bolt thrower and an orc stone thrower. I actually have all these pieces, mostly in their current or recent form, some the original models from the early 1990's, some even painted already! So it would be relatively easy to put them together in the coming year. It's achievable but not particularly balanced in the current version of the game.

The second option is to recreate the main characters and units from the fourth edition box set, but build them as part of my current army projects. For example, include an orc shaman on a wyvern and a stone thrower, plus archers and spear gobbos, in my existing greenskin army. This is a tempting option, as I will be working on the greenskins in the near future, with the allure of a shiney new army book just days away. The High Elf army would be even easier to achieve, as I have long ago painted the griffon, speamen, archers and bolt thrower (along with other troops). An 8th edition equivalent of the 4th edition starter set is a tempting option.

The third option is not particularly related to the fourth edition starter set, there's not an elf or goblin in sight. Broadening my thoughts to my Warhammer history, I could attempt to recreate my very first fully painted army. This came about because I attended my first tournament in 1997, so this option would be a joint celebration of 20 years of Warhammer, 15 years since I first entered a tournament. This is probably the most exciting option because it allows me to rebuild one of my first armies, but also I would incorporate some ideas I have harboured for yet another army, giving me a "two birds with one stone" army. So this is the most ambitious option, the most exciting in my head, but also the most daunting in terms of work required. If I do go for this option I will have to make a start in summer this year.

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