This week (and for the immediate next few) I will be running a series of articles tracking the creation of my newest army! I am preparing something for one of my absolute favorite tournaments Astronomi-Con which I will be attending at the end of October. Each year I try to bring a new army with me to this event (though some years this has meant bringing a borrowed army) as I think it is really fun to have some variety. I have won a couple of Astro awards including "Best army appearance" for my Celtic themed space wolves The Hounds Of CuChulain and just last year I won "Best Army List" for my Vostroyan traitor guard army list (which I will photograph and show off here soon....) This year I have decided to do something completely off the wall. While it wont win me big points for list organization, or any best painted awards, I think it will make up for a lot in originality of presentation and will be something that people remember.
And im going to do it all in one month.
Yep. Just one.
While it has actually taken me about three years to gather all the pieces I needed, It is my intent to assemble, paint, and base my entire force between now (Sept 20th) and when I pack for the Tournament (October 25th). Part of this is to meet one of my personal gaming goals for the year - an article I wrote for GW where I stated :
"Resolution Nine will be to have more fun and to paint at least one additional army this year simply for fun rather than competition and show. I will pick a simple paint scheme - do a few quick conversions and start slapping paint so that I will have a new army for games with my friends, my club and as an addendum to this resolution - I will have it ready for my favourite gaming weekend of the year - Astronomi-con Toronto (http://www.astronomi-con.com/)"
I figured with this goal I would have started several months ago and be done by now - but alas life gets in the way! But I will not be made a liar on this, so here we go!
As of today I have started in four ways:
First, I made a concept list from an existing codex (fine tweaking left to be done but it gives me a fine starting point) and gathered together the models I would need - as stated above I have been gathering these for several years now though it wasnt until recently I really knew how I would incorporate them and what they would "count as".....
Second, I have cleaned up the models with file and knife as well as stripping old paint where necessary. They are not prepped anywhere near a golden demon level (which can take days of careful filing and filling) but I have managed to get rid of the big flash and obvious lines.
Third I have worked on creating several thematic large bases for some of the models. Though I am not yet prepared to give away exactly what I am building I will share these as a teaser......
The last step of my preliminary preparations is to do a bit of research and start preparing some background info for the army. This will be both explanation and justification for my...different?..... modelling choices and the rules I have chosen as representative.
The Old Ones
The Old Ones of Warhammer 40,000 history are an ancient race of nearly immortal, coldblooded creatures, who were probably the first race in the galaxy to have evolved sentience (though it should be noted that the C'tan predate the Old Ones, but the C'tan didn't partake in the affairs of the Galaxy until the Necrontyr gave them physical bodies just before the War in Heaven). A benevolent and gentle race, they appear to have wished to nurture the younger races and protect them from the C'tan. It is possible that the Old Ones are equivalent to the Dragons (or perhaps lizard men, as it is pointed out in their army book that they in fact traveled to the future to avert a great disaster) of the Warhammer Fantasy game.
They were inherently patient as a race, and before attempting to make the step out into the galaxy they made an extensive study of astronomy, which led them to discover the Immaterium. At the time, the Immaterium was unaffected by the psychic emissions of other races, and so it was a calm and steady realm. The Old Ones were able to exploit the Immaterium, allowing them to travel across the galaxy at a whim.
On their travels, the Old Ones seeded many worlds with life, and encouraged the development of indigenous life on many more. Earth is believed to have been seeded in this way, the Old Ones bringing primitive life to the world. Other sources state that the human race and other species on Earth (Terra) evolved without the intervention of the Old Ones.
Encountering The Necrontyr
One of the few races the Old Ones encountered that were already sentient was the Necrontyr. Where the Old Ones were long lived, with an average lifespan of many millennia, and had access to technology that allowed them to travel from world to world instantaneously, the Necrontyr were short lived, and were bound to one world. The Necrontyr grew increasingly jealous of the Old Ones, and set about going to war with them. The Old Ones easily out maneuvered these early strike by making use of the webway and the Necrontyr were defeated.
However, the Necrontyr then discovered a C'tan living within their home star. In a short time the Necrontyr managed to create the technology to allow the C'tan to manifest physically, and began to view the C'tan as gods. With the help of the C'tan, the Necrontyr were able to turn the tide of their war against the Old Ones.
In the wars that followed, the Old Ones created and modified many new races to help them. The C'tan had no ability to comprehend the Immaterium, and thus the Old Ones came to the conclusion that they would create a series of races attuned to the Immaterium, in order to use the vast repository of energy present there against the C'tan. Of these races, a few survive today, such as the Eldar, Jokaero and the Krork (who, it is speculated, became Orks), others such as the enigmatic Slaan, the mysterious Fimir and the oft maligned Zoats are also rumoured to be the children of this powerful pregenator race.
The new psychically attuned races had a devastating effect upon the Immaterium: their emotional emissions bled into the it, twisting the once peaceful dimension into a violent realm, fuelled by the strongest emotions, giving the Immaterium a new name, the Warp. The vast majority of the beings that dwelled in the Immaterium became malicious and dangerous.
One such race, called the Enslavers, managed to discover a way to force entry into the material realm, and began to enslave huge numbers of sentient beings. This new invasion dealt a fatal blow to the Old Ones (all of whom were killed or fled) and forced the C'tan and their minions into hibernation, as the C'tan (who feed on the sentience of other beings) had their food supplies stolen from them. It is hinted in recent publications that some of the Old Ones did indeed survive the War In Heaven.
The emphasis added is mine and brings me to the bombshell of what my theme really is - as the title of this article suggests I intend to create a list representing the servants of the old ones. With the reawakening and gathering of necrontyr and c'tan forces in the universe comes a need for cosmic balance, and the return of the forces of the old ones - eternal enemies of the Necrons - equal in power, bred to destroy them with pstchically charged weaponry and powers beyond the understanding of even the eldar.
As an added taste of things to come here is a prepaint picture of one of my personal footsoldiers of the anti necron forces of the old ones - let the universe tremble before the might of the terrifying FIMIR!!!!!
Yep thats really it. Im making an army using these friggin things.
This particular one was made for a GW/Miltron bradly collaboration called Hero Quest...... I collected about 30 of them so far as well as some of the larger ogre sized metal ones that Nick Bibby sculpted for GW. But THATS NOT ALL!!!! Tune in next week to see what other madness I have in store!<Insert suitably evil laughter>
Astronomi-con may never be the same again.......