It's been difficult for me to get to bed on time the last few days, as I find it difficult to stop painting and reading when I should. I suppose it's good that I am excited about my activities, but I can't say I feel very good when the alarm goes off. Right now I'm reading through the last few Gaunt's Ghosts novels, and I'm currently working my way through His Last Command, the ninth book in the series.
Of course, reading the fiction has got me thinking about the tabletop game. Lately my mind has been churning over various ideas for my Imperial Guard army. I don't think all of my ideas will fit into one force. If I tried to shoehorn everything in and they would wind up looking like my Space Marines, who have bits and pieces from every Chapter out there. I've been trying to come up with proper fluff for the Marines to explain why they have a strong Space Wolf influence, various parts from the Black Templars, Sanguinary Guard and other Blood Angel bits, and probably some Dark Angels stuff as well. The only way for me to go was a homebrew Chapter because I like all of it and I prefer to mix the parts all together. I think my Chapter (as yet unnamed) are probably scavengers or relic hunters of some kind, going to the sites of previous battles to retrieve artifacts and equipment. Of course, taking bits and pieces that by rights belongs to other Chapters isn't going to set well with those other Marines, so perhaps my Marines offer the relics up to their original owners and keep a few pieces for their own use. Or perhaps the equipment has been lost for so long on Chaos or Tyranid-infested planets that the original owners don't want it back for fear that it has been lost long enough to absorb some Chaos energy. I would imagine that every so often a Marine wearing this found equipment mutates, goes crazy, or grows a segmented carapace, lending an air of truth to the rumors and raising suspicion among "pure" Chapters. Or perhaps my Chapter spreads these rumors as a way to hold on to more of their found treasure. I've been tempted recently by some of the older Power Armor patterns on the Forge World site, specifically the Crusade, Iron, and Corvus pattern armor, although you can create most of a Corvus pattern suit from any Tactical Marine plastic kit. Those beaky heads are expensive on eBay, though, especially if you want a lot of them. Anyway, I think this paragraph was supposed to discuss my Guard army, not my thoughts on my Space Marines. I'll have to get to that.
I will definitely want to do a Recon force heavily based on the Elysian Drop Troops. For my basic troopers I will probably use Cadians supplemented by parts kits from Forge World, mostly a mix of weapons and grav-chutes. I suppose Catachans might work well for Recon troops, but it's sort of weird to attach a grav-chute to a guy wearing a tank top. I will have to find another use for my Catachans. In a perfect world this force will be equipped with light vehicles and air support, hopefully in the form of the couple of Valkyrie kits I have at home and some of the Forge World Drop Sentinels and wheeled Assault Vehicles. They'll probably all be painted to match the Red Planet theme I envision for all of my 40k armies.
The rest of my force hasn't received a lot of thought, although I would like to field a little of everything. I may split things up so that I can represent a couple of different regiments with slightly different uniforms and equipment. Perhaps that would be a good way to split up Catachans and Cadians, with the Cadians being the more regimented units with higher-quality gear and the Catachans having a more ragged, Mad Max feel. They might even be so depleted that they rely on Penal Legions to fill gaps in their lines or act as the first wave in assaults. Or maybe the Cadians would, to spare their superior troops for the clean-up work.
I haven't given much thought to how such forces would play on the tabletop. It doesn't really matter to me, I suppose. I've been thinking that playing games isn't the highest-ranking thing on my radar. I find it difficult to enjoy gaming, especially when I play games with people I don't know very well. I'm not very open with new people anyway, let alone when there is a competition at hand. I'd probably play more if I had friends or family to play with regularly as I can recall that playing computer or board games with them doesn't give rise to the same negative feelings I have when I play with strangers. That would mean I'd have to cultivate relationships with strangers or acquaintances by gaming with them, so it's just a vicious cycle of me battling against my own social awkwardness. I'd rather sit at home and paint than go out and fight my demons.
When I've been able to break away from my reading, I've made some good progress on my first batch of eleven Dwarf Warriors. Why am I painting eleven figures, rather than good round numbers like five or ten? That's when I ran out of paint during the first color's basecoat. There are seven or eight more figures in the unit, so in another week or so I hope to have a full unit of Dwarves finished. Hopefully I will get this first batchc finished or at least close to it after my shift is finished. I will have to wait to post photos until I return home, as I don't have a camera handy.