It looks nice, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the point! Your army should look nice as you lurch across the battlefield launching your Orc regiments towards the enemy with an 18″ measuring tape. It’s why i got into wargaming to be honest. It’s why i fell in love with Orcs and played them for a good few years before i moved (unfortunately) on due to lack of time. Lack of time to assemble the miniatures, lack of time to pack them, lack of time to deploy and ultimately lack of time to actually play a 3 to 4 hours WFB 6th Edition game (you might say i skipped painting and that is correct as back then i hated painting and would rely on botched paint jobs or no paint jobs for my army).
But ultimately the love of the game chooses to ignore time and if you really really like the system and the game you will find time, right? And that’s what happened to me. Slowly over the years i built that yearning back. The yearning to collect and field an army. And i was dreaming also about painting the miniatures in a certain color scheme (you might notice that i was a bit grown up now compared to 8 years ago) and about conversions and cool stuff that i could do with my Orcs. But then the first issues cropped up. Warhammer Fantasy was not the way i knew it anymore. It wasn’t about big regiments and maneuvering (you might argue that it was never the case however when you play a 6th Edition Orc army that has 4 regiments of 25 Orcs, 6 regiments of 30 goblins, 1 regiment of Black Orcs, a few fast cavalry, Giants and chariots it was the case for me) but it was packing the biggest punch you could get in either a character or spamming big rare monsters (or even big special monsters).
And on top of that some of the rules were totally out of favor with the local crows and everyone was looking to 40k, so Orks it was. I even managed to buy a huge painted army at a very good price and i actually did play a game with them and it was so fun. Again i had 100+ boys on the battlefield, all yelling war cries and stomping their boots in anticipation of a good fight. But right about that time i discovered Flames of War and a bunch of other Historicals due to the people that just wouldn’t play 40k. And so followed a long agonizing process of decision based on the following aspects:
1. Historical miniatures never go out of fashion: You know that Imperial Roman battalion box you bought from Warlord Games 6 years ago? Well, in 20 years time they will still be Imperial Romans. It’s not like Hail Caesar v.7 comes out and now you have to buy a whole new box just because they now have a modified X pattern armor on them and the Pila has been replaced with a repeating lance launcher. And you know those Panther G that you bought from Plastic Soldier. Well, they are going to be Panther G’s for a long long time now.
2. Historical rulesets use the same troop types: Yes, if you’re playing WW2 Germans and you want to go the Armor way you do have a long long list to go starting from the lowly Panzer I and II, going all the way to King Tiger, coming back down on AT alley with Jagdpanzer I to Jagdtiger, back again to StuG’s and Sturmpanzer/tigers, diving head first into the Sd.kfz. 7 or 10 series for AA together with Wilberwinds and Ostwinds and finally getting to Recon Pumas and other Sd.kfz. 222 like vehicles. Don’t forget the half tracks! But even if that list is long it will NEVER go out of date as long as you collect it all. No one will ever create a new King Tiger v2 that you need to buy because you don’t have that model. Once you have a full 5 or 10 out of each (that’s the goal!) you can play (in the scale that you chose, be it 15mm or 20mm or 25mm or 28mm) any system that you want. I own Flames of War, Battlegroup Kursk and BlitzKrieg Commander as rules. I can play all these 3 games with my small but developing German force.
3. Historicals are cheaper: For one there’s allot of competition in the historical market. And that’s because no one can trade mark Space Mari… sorry, Panzer IV and interdict everyone else to even think about creating a new one. Nowadays for Flames of War you can choose from Plastic Soldier, Battlefront, QRF and a few more for a Tiger. Sure, Battlefront has basically all options available (and you should go to them for specialist vehicles) however around 30 USD will get you either 100+ 15mm miniatures or 5 tanks (and even more if you’re getting Zvezda’s). For bigger scales the price is still cheaper then what it takes a Space Marine player to buy 3 boxes of Tactical Squads, which he wont do anymore anyway because he has to invest in the new Space Wolf Gunship which does cost around 80 USD.
This all took probably 6 months or so. But by the end of this reasoning i decided. I just sold my Ork force (and i still regret it on a purely soul crushing sort of point of view) and started to invest (slowly) into things that won’t go out of fashion. And if a certain WW2 ruleset does not please me i will look for another one and use the same miniatures. And if i feel like bashing some barbarians all i need to do is buy an Ancient ruleset (Clash of Empires is the last one i stopped to look at) and get around to paint my Imperial Romans. What i won’t have to do is cry over a heap of plastic that i paid 600 USD for and is now made useless because of the new rule edition or because the models are not in the Army Composition chart anymore.
Special Note: This post is not aimed at bashing Games Workshop (although their recent policies do make one wonder, coupled with their financial report) but rather describing exactly why i chose to take G.W. out of my life for good.