My doctor and I are coming at the tremors issue from significantly different angles. He wants to be reassuring, he sees it as no big deal, and repeats that it’s almost definitely nothing serious. This is great! But it’s in this moment I realise I’ve not been worrying about Something Serious. I’ve been worrying about it being just annoying enough to throw me off doing any fine detail painting on toy soldiers.
So we had a chat. A nurse harvested some of my blood for their bloodmantic rituals, which I’m absolutely certain are a thing.
I still have the tremor, but I’ve noticed that cutting down from 10-15 cups of tea and coffee a day– to about 2-3– have lessened it a fair bit, and getting more than three hours of sleep a night is helping, too. It’s still there, and it’s still not going to give me any joy with stuff like Kharadron belt buckles, but at least Space Marine eye lenses aren’t out of the realm of possibility now.
I also finally caught the flu that’s been going around since December. I’d even specifically avoided Ross and Dr, Mark for a few weeks when they’d had it, so I wouldn’t get struck down with the seasonal plague. Then we took my five-year-old kid Shakes (the irony of his nickname with my tremors is not lost on me, and I enjoy it deeply) to a couple of other kids’ birthday parties over the weekend, and BAM, he brought home the Black Death.
I ended up missing Part II of the Siege of Terra HH meeting, and the Horus Heresy Weekender. Admittedly, as much as that sucked, I was more concerned at the time with the weird sharp green crystals forming in my eyes and feeling like I was blinking through glass chunks. That was a delight, let me tell you. My eyes watered for three whole days. It was quite a thing.
When I could see again, I tried a few ways to make the Kharadron Overlords a little more classically dwarven. Here’s one of the crude hackjobs I came up with:
Honestly, the more I look at it, the less I like it– and I wasn’t exactly thrilled with it to begin with. As cool as it is to have beards back, as well as a more dwarven helmet, weapon, and armour bit, it stops being a Kharadron Overlord at that point. This was a pretty annoying surprise, but it makes sense: the army’s aesthetic is so intimately tied up in the details, like their faceplates with their goatee-style beards instead of the full classic dwarf bushy deal, and the fact the Arkanauts aren’t soldiers, so their axes double as practical hatchet/spanner combos for airship repairs, and their swords are pirate-style cutlasses. Adding classic dwarven elements shifts their theme in two directions at once, in a pretty ungainly way.
In the end, I think this ends up being a merge of two things that detracts from both of them. A little like if you put a Bretonnian helmet on a Space Marine or something. You can explain it. You can get away with it. But it is what it is, and the eye trips up on it, even if the brain can explain why it’s possible and/or cool.
In other news, I wanted to get something done, so I looked around for some models I could paint with mostly inks. Here’s a WIP in shitty lighting of the current guy on the go.
A Blood Warrior in my attempt at a more realistic colour scheme, in keeping with the ‘classic tabletop fantasy’ vibe of our board’s colour palette. Even this simple fellow took me absolutely ages with the tremor, but he was significantly faster (and came out a lot better) than the sky-stunties I’d been trying to paint over the last 2 weeks.
Happily enough, there’s already a Bloodbound warband with this scheme, called the Iron Horde, which is both entirely awesome and tickles the WarCraft player in me, too.
I’m not thinking of abandoning the Kharadon Overlords just yet, but at the same time it was great to actually get something done at last and not hate it. Army-wise, in some ways Khorne in both guises– mortal and daemon– represents a lot of what I disliked about the original launch of Age of Sigmar, with the Bloodadjective Bloodnoun names, and the absence of any real lore and context. Obviously if you’ve been paying even cursory attention lately, Age of Sigmar is changing hugely for the better in that regard, but I wonder how much love Khorne will get going forward; they’ve already been done, so to speak.
Just in case you wanted a list of why I’m hesitant to pull the trigger and commit, I have a list:
- As much as I love the Slaine comics and the Conan novels, those characters are defined in a lot of ways by the other characters around them, or their often-overlooked cunning and intelligence. Model variety is important to me, and pretty much 99% of the Khorne models are Warhammer: Age of Very Ripped Dudes. The new game being Age of Very Ripped Dudes was, for well over a year, one of the main reasons I missed the Old World so much. As great as the initial Stormcast and Khorne models were, there’s only so much you can do with the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun.
- I’ve always played extremely defensive armies, usually with a great deal of shooting and magic. Khorne are staggeringly and completely aggressive, with no shooting at all, and zero magic.
- My favourite Khorne unit would be Khorngors, which still don’t exist in model form. Boo.
Even with all those reservations, the idea of something so completely new to my playstyle is pretty tempting, and my brain keeps coming back to some ideas I’ve been having for a possible Chaos warband. I really like the idea of a recently-defeated warlord, losing his god’s blessings as he gets older and weaker, knowing he needs one last bloody crusade to make his claim for eternal glory.
Maybe with a few converted Chaos Chariots, one possibly with the new Darkoath Warqueen as a driver…
And a Skull Cannon, but driven by Blood Warriors instead of Bloodletters.
And maybe with a small regiment of Varanguard, who have been ordered to watch over the remnants of this once-grand horde. Guiding them, if possible, into a more useful state– or riding away and letting them die if they remain useless after their great defeat.
We’ll see. For now, I’m just glad to be getting something done.
One more thing probably worth mentioning, in case anyone believes in signs and omens. I joined a bunch of AoS Facebook groups over the last few weeks, and check out the member count right when I clicked Join on this one: