Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Zero Backlog Army Project

Often times when I'm working on a new army I either have an army list I'm building towards or I have a huge pile of stuff waiting to get painted because I bought in bulk; or even both! With my Necrons I've actually approached them in a completely different manner, and to be honest, it's been very refreshing!

There's something about buying a big chunk of your army all at once that can feel very satisfying. It's the retail therapy part of the hobby. You got all the new toys that you want and you know you'll have it all ready when you're ready to paint. This is how I've approached a lot of my armies in the past, or at least in ways similar to this. Maybe I didn't buy the whole army all at once, but I definitely got around 1,000 points at a time, or maybe just all the new releases on release day. I'm also usually working towards an army list of some kind. In the before times I would go to 2-3 larger events a year, pretty evenly spaced out. So one in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall. This meant I was either painting a new army towards an event, or fine tuning an existing one. Buying and painting units that I think would most improve my army. I also painted stuff just because I thought it was cool, but even that was usually with the goal of having it done in time to show off for the next event.

With my Necrons all of that was flipped on its head, sort of. I'll admit, the whole first half of the army came at once with the Indomitus box. That's close to 1,000 points of models on its own. So while I was painting my first unit of Warriors, I did still have the entire rest of the set waiting to be painted. What I didn't do though was go out and buy a whole bunch of Necrons to pile up while I painted. I waited until I was nearly done with all the Indomitus Necrons before putting in an order for some Immortals and the Nightbringer. After those were done I got some Lychguard. 

I finished these right around the time of the Necron release, at which point I bought the new Heavy Destroyer and the Doomstalker. By the time I had finished those two I had just gotten some Ophydian Destroyers, and in the final days of painting those my Command Barge showed up.

This effectively means that I've pretty much only been painting what I had instead of having a huge pile of stuff waiting to be painted staring me down during the whole process. This is pretty unique for me and really came about through things entirely out of my control. When I started the Indomitus stuff I wasn't even sure I wanted to do an army of them. About half way through the set I knew I was going to collect them, but since the new Codex had yet to come out I had no idea what was going to be good, plus I really liked the look of a lot of the new models. This led me to holding off for awhile. I finally ordered some Immortals because I figured those were probably a pretty safe bet, and then the Nightbringer just because I've always loved that model. It also turned out that he was great in game!

Next I picked the Lychguard because I knew I wanted some elite bodyguards for my army. At the time, the Codex still wasn't out, so I wasn't 100% sure on what weapons to give them. I chose the shields in the end for a purely aesthetic reason. I thought the big blocky shields would help break up the sameness of the army a bit.

Finally, the Codex and the new stuff was released! The Necron release has been pretty drip fed, meaning it's been almost impossible for me to buy it all at once. If everything had come out within the first 2 weeks there's a good chance I would have just gotten it all at once, but it was literally impossible for me to do this. I also haven't played 40k since one game at the start of 8th, so my knowledge of what makes a good army is pretty limited, meaning I ended up collecting this army more to look cool and somewhat play well (maybe. I still need to even play a game with them).

So what's the point of me writing this? Well, it's been great collecting an army like this for the first time in years! I don't have some massive stack of boxes staring me down as I work on my latest unit. In fact, after I assemble the unit, I put away the spare bits, recycle the box, and get rid of the sprues, so I have zero clutter from them!

My entire Necron backlog at the moment

This has been really great mentally. Hobby clutter and a looming tide of grey plastic can really mess with your mind sometimes. By collecting this army in this way I feel like I am accomplishing things with each step of the process and am also avoiding the hobby hoarder feeling I get every time I look in my closet of shame. At the moment, all I have in boxes are 5 more Immortals and the Command Barge, which is next. I really want the Flayed Ones and new Crypteks, but they're not our yet, so I'll have to wait for those too. This forced waiting period has been a godsend. I'm not ashamed to admit that sometimes an army or hobby project can start to feel oppressive if you're not making a large enough dent in it. This way there is no dent to make. I'm completely clearing the slate with every unit or two that I finish.

About 1/4 of those boxes just have
mostly empty sprues, but still...

With the holidays approaching I'm a bit afraid of slipping back into the "buying everything at once" mode of hobbying. It's not a horrible thing by any stretch, but I really do like this buy-build-paint method of hobby over the buy-buy-buy-buy-buy-buy-buy-paint-buy-buy-buy method. We'll see what happens I guess. If you're starting to feel a little oppressed by your army though, give this a shot. Only buy what you think you'll have the time and the will to paint, and don't buy anything else until you're nearing the end of that first batch. It's definitely helped that I've been very motivated to paint my Necrons as well. We all have hobby projects we buy, build, and then get sidetracked on. 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you like to buy everything all at once and slowly chip away at it or do you prefer to go from unit to unit, only ever having a small backlog?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

No comments:

Post a Comment