Monday 17 August 2015

The importance of easy victories

When playing Warhammer, easy victories are no fun. You have to work and think to beat your opponent otherwise it's no fun. When painting the miniatures, however, you need all the easy victories you can get.

Painting miniatures can be dispiriting. Personally, I've always enjoyed it. I find the activity relaxing and it gives me something to do with my hands when I'm catching up audio dramas or podcasts. However, there are times, especially when I'm starting a project, when it can get me down a little. Those moments when I'm just not making progress and all I can see are the dozens of other models after the ones on the table.

It is just about the only criticism of old-style Warhammer Fantasy I can get behind. Sort of. A bit.

This is where my Easy Victories are important. For the better part of the year I've been chipping away on and off on a Space Orks army and something Space Orks have in abundance are Gretchin. Gretchin are small, simple models and there are lots of the little beggars. You don't have to spend much time on them (more importantly, you don't need to spend much time on them) to make them look good.

So recently a little corner of my painting table has had a Gretchin or two sitting on it most of the time. So when, to take a current example, I'm having trouble working out how to make the Bastiladon's carapace look good and not like I've never held a drybrush in my life, I can work on one of those Gretchin and feel like I'm making progress instead of just staring at the thing that's giving me trouble for hours on end.

And what's even better is that because the Gretchin are for one of my other armies, the feeling of making progress actually involves me making progress. Tiny, barely significant progress but progress nonetheless.

And when I run out of Gretchin there are always the simple as can be Night Goblins and Squigs for my Orcs & Goblins army. Or the very limited palette needed for Space Marine Scouts. Or Skinks. Or Zombies. Just simple, little things that can be finished with only a little effort as I wait for more complicated, time-consuming things to dry or for inspiration to strike an ongoing problem. 

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