As you’re probably aware, we’re starting with Skirmish, with a beginning score of 35 Renown. I think it’s probably worth admitting that over the course of the last week, amendments were (perhaps foolishly) made in a bout of brazen dwarf-lust:
Yes, yes, the table is still completely WIP. Shhhhhhh.
I’ve been musing over the idea that my Kharadron expedition makes contact with a badly-depleted Fyreslayer hold in Ghur, and the two form an uneasy alliance to deal with their shared enemies. I’d want to paint them with the same realistic (or at least, muted) sort of theme as my main force, which means something like an offshoot of the Greyfyrd Lodge might work really well, since they’re basically Spartans-but-Dwarfs in terms of colour scheme:
Which opens up my Skirmish list a little more, maybe with a Fyreslayer scout leading the group through the savage undergrowth, or 2-3 Arkanaut crewmen as ambassadors joining a small Fyreslayer patrol to scout the lie of the land up close and personal.
In terms of painting my Kharadron minis, I’m still no closer to picking a sky-port. I’ve been reading the battletome again, and a few things have really hit home. Most obviously, the Kharadron Overlords book may be a year old at this point, but it’s also leaps and bounds ahead of the curve in terms of presenting a faction with some actual lore. It’s got a whole bunch of backstory to the culture, how it evolved, how it functions, and so on – plus (and this has always been important to me) it has art depicting more than just artists’ illustrations of the models fighting other models; it actually has pictures of the society off the battlefield, including what their cities look like, citizens during their downtime, and basically a host of precious, precious context.
That’s the stuff that gets me into an army. That’s the stuff that gives me ideas and makes me want to play. If you look back at stuff like 2nd Edition 40K’s Codex Chaos and Codex Imperialis, a huge chunk of word count is given over to history and culture, explaining factions and letting you immerse yourself in them – and, crucially, the art depicts the setting’s scale with insane buildings, weird-looking aliens, unknown Guard regiments, and whatever else. Immersion. Scale. Context.
The newer Age of Sigmar stuff has started doing that, and it’s been great for really hooking me into an army as well as the setting itself. The art’s especially great for this: You have stuff like the Halls of Barak-Thryng illustrated (and looking evocative as all heck), and Barak-Zilfin’s drydocks with chaos-barnacle encrusted ships drifting in after long voyages, and cleaned-up ones heading back out. A personal fave is a bunch of teeny-tiny duardin working on the corpse of some gross, monstrous sky-whale.
Which brings me right back around to colour schemes, and something in the book that caught my eye. Kharadron society is divided into various careers and guilds, which means a sky-fleet might not be quite as unified in colour and appearance as you might otherwise expect.
Most notably, two of the main units in the army – Grundstock Gunhaulers and Grundstock Thunderers – aren’t part of the Arkanaut Fleets, they’re mercenaries hired on by Arkanaut captains and admirals as professional soldiers to defend the fleet from attack. Which got me thinking… It might be awesome to distinguish the Arkanauts (Arkanaut Companies, the Admiral, Frigates, and an Ironclad) in the sky-port’s colours, but to make the Grundstock mercenary contingent stand out in a completely different theme, pretty much like you might find Aspect Warriors standing out from the Eldar Guardian citizens of a Craftworld.
Like I said, I’m still no closer to settling on a colour scheme (though I need to speed up, since I’ve already built three of my Arkanauts) and adding another colour scheme consideration is probably a dumb idea at this point, but I think it’d look awesome.
As for the Arkanauts and my choice of sky-port, to represent them as engineers and crew members rather than professional soldiers, I’m increasingly tempted to paint them in the most drab, Average Joe/Jane overalls-and-toolbelts colour scheme.
And that makes this really, really tempting: