Look at how low-res Duncan is, right there.
Anyway, I got my blood test results back, and then I had to do more tests, and then I got those results back, too. And the endgame from all those results? The thrilling conclusion?
Basically nothing. Or, as my doctor phrased it, “not much of anything.”
I was low on Vitamin D and they advised me to take a vitamin D supplement (which, as Dr. Mark and the NHS website were both keen to point out, pretty much everyone in the UK should be doing during Autumn and Winter; what an interesting thing we could’ve learned in school instead of quadratic equations). I was also slightly low on folic acid, because, amazingly, a diet of lukewarm coffee and photosynthesised monitor glare isn’t as nutritious as salad.
But ultimately, no revelations there. Which means that the tremor is just a bit of a tremor, which is both reassuring and extremely boring.
It’s still there, but it’s also still scarcely noticeable, mostly consigned to my jaw and my thumbs where I don’t tend to remember it’s even a thing for 99.8% of tasks, and it only really comes back into focus when I pick up a paintbrush or thumb-type on my phone.
Even so, I’d fallen so far behind the other guys that I was committed to knuckling down in February and getting some stuff done. I got a bunch of minis from various armies, and set to trying them out, including the Blood Warrior I showed about a month ago. I did half a Tzaangor, most of a couple of truly crappy dwarfs, bits of a Slaughterpriest, most of a skeleton, a bit of a tomb banshee, and blah blah blah. It was a dull and frustrating February. I was practising armour colours, blood effects, various skin tones– essentially throwing a lot of things at the wall and seeing what stuck.
About a week ago, something stuck.
I hadn’t expected this specific thing to stick, so I messaged Colin, who surfaced from the 10,000,000 orruks he was drybrushing long enough to reply, telling me to do it.
But it comes with issues, I said. We’d both be playing Destruction. Except that was cool, because then we could team up against Dr. Mark and Ross, who were both playing Order.
Anyway, long story short, with Col’s blessing, I carried on. Here is the result:
I was going to get Ross to work some of his photo magic on it, like he does with his awesomely moody Sylvaneth images, but that can wait until the Skirmish warband is done. And honestly, I was a bit too excited to wait. Actual progress was so novel, and I’d gone a month with pure silence, so I was keen to share it.
When I started messing around with the orruk models I had, I wanted colours that would go with Colin’s scheme (i.e. a lot of greens), representing two warclans that were from the same general region, and allied with each other when they weren’t beating the snot out of each other. So I didn’t want to diverge from his theme too much. I was messing around with teals and pale greens, when I came across an awesome tutorial that sold me on the idea completely. I’m sure it’ll look familiar to anyone who knows their way around the Ironjawz community: WargamerOnline did a brilliant video right here.
Behold, hot greenskin backside, some Ghurian flora, and a bloody blade.
There are some Pros and Cons to playing Ironjawz. I’m committed to it now (I’ve already started my next two Brutes), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note the Cons as well as the Pros.
- If there’s one army I’ve tried and failed to raise more times than any other, it’s WHF’s old Orcs & Goblins. I loved them, but the sheer number of bodies needed always defeated me at the first step. Although that would make victory sweeter now.
- Their army book is among the less inspiring ones, with the art way back in that earlier, Very Bright cartoony phase Age of Sigmar seems to be moving away from now, and with the lore mostly relegated to “The Battle of X happened at Location Y”, which is interesting in moderation, but not great context in abundance. The whole culture is based around a small number of models released, rather than releasing models based on a detailed culture, which isn’t necessarily uncommon– but other armies tend to hide it very well, these days. The difference between the writing in the Ironjawz book and, say, the Kharadron Overlords or [Insert Secret Things I’ve read and you haven’t yet] is palpable. In terms of the Ironjawz, you can very much tell they were an early release in the game’s lifespan.
- Further to that point, they’re a very small army. Several Age of Sigmar armies that rely on new models are small right now, because as awesome as Warhammer Fantasy Battles was, those armies had decades of expansion, building on older cores. AoS armies, especially entirely new ones early in the game’s lifespan, are barely armies in terms we’re all used to: think of the Fyreslayers or the Ironjawz. The Ironjawz are, in total, 1 character on a monster, 3 infantry characters, 1 infantry unit, and 1 cavalry unit. You can count 1 special character (I don’t; I have zero interest in special characters in tabletop games), and 1 repurposed unit from WHF, but they’re still very small.
- Colin is also playing Ironjawz / Destruction. There could be some overlap there, but honestly, I sort of see this as more of a Pro than a Con. See below.
- Colin is also playing Ironjawz/Destruction. I like the way we’re both playing armies from the Realm where the campaign will be set, and I like the option to team up against the Order guys, or beat each other’s faces in, orruk-style, when the Order guys aren’t around.
- Yep, the army is very small for now, but the way to offset this is to expand via other Destruction factions. That’s both lore-friendly and a lot of fun, and– dare I say it– probably the point. I suspect Col and I will make sure our Ironjawz expand in slightly different directions, based on our army backgrounds. Even if we have a fair bit of overlap, it’s nothing that will break the flow of the campaign.
- I can paint them. And fairly fast (for me), too. Excuse me for wearing the company tie on this, but the Citadel painting handle helped me out a lot there, especially re: the tremor. A few months ago I was laughing at my friends for buying them. Now I have two of the bloody things.
- The Ironjawz models are amazing. There may not be many of them yet, but they’re among the best fantasy models I’ve ever seen.
- I have army background already done, which I’m pretty pleased with, and which will likely be my next post now I’m up and running again.
- This would finally give me a greenskin army, which I’ve wanted since I was about 15.
The list of pros is briefer, but a bit more compelling.
My starting warband, at 35 points, is looking to be 3 Brutes and 1 Warchanter. I need to order the Warchanter this week, but I’ve got two more Brutes on the go for now.
To sign off on this update of (gasp!) unprecedented progress, here’s a screenie from when I was secretly colluding with Colin, showing him the finished article:
That boy Duncan gets everywhere.