There is no bigger decision in the hobbyist's life than deciding which of the various races they will take into battle. Dedicating yourself to any army is a massive commitment. It is a huge drain on both time and money and so should not be done without serious forethought.
It's difficult to explain how and why each of us eventually pick our own army. Perhaps it is our which army picks us? Perhaps each of the different fantasy races aligns itself to a specific personality type? Are armies star signs for geeks? Are we a destined to follow them? Have GW conducted extensive psychological profiling of a cross section of the world's population, established a series of qualities that appeal to each personality type and designed a range of species to suit all of humanity? Perhaps we will never know the truth. Whatever the reason, in the end we all somehow find the force that suits us. I have found (or rather re-found) mine.
I troubled over my options for a number of weeks, bought Island of Blood and contemplated both High Elves and Skaven, deciding against both. My thoughts then rapidly catapulted toward Beastmen and their perfectly acceptable plastics (the minotaurs not so much). I bought a few, painted a couple but quickly realised that, due to my rusty painting skills, it was going to take months to paint up the big blocks of models required. Eventually my train of thought landed square on the target I pretty much always guessed it would.
The Decision is Dwarves/Dwarfs
Dwarves were my first love and the army I had collected throughout my teenage years. It was inevitable I suppose, I just needed time to accept it and now I'm wondering, how could I have resisted for this long? I'm inexplicably drawn to the little men with their stumpy legs, bulbous noses and personality issues.
As much as I'm tempted by the excellent miniatures that other armies have to offer, and I appreciate the dwarves have some of the worst rank-and-file plastic models going, there's something about the little fellas that always draws me back. Aside from the fact they're tough as old boots, I find ranked up dwarves satisfyingly tidy (that psychological profiling in action).
On the battlefield other races fight with reckless abandon and seem willing to accept miniature sacrifice as part of war. This, to me, seems a wasteful use of life and painting hours. The dwarves, on the other hand, value every one of their number. Their playing style of (theoretically) sitting back, methodically picking off the enemy from afar, limiting sustained casualties and then stomping on what little of the enemy force actually makes it to them, suits my sensibilities exactly (the benefits of the profiling again). I love to field a compact Dwarf throng, heavily armoured, well armed and slightly sozzled and deflecting a disorganised foe like a breaking wave.
And so it begins. The long road of the hobbyist stretches out before me. So many plans, so many miniatures I want to buy and only one lifetime to fit it all in. Over the next few posts I'll be focusing on how my force is progressing and showing off my little fellas for the world to see.
Out of curiosity, dwarves or dwarfs?