The Well of Lost Ideas Part 2 – Revenge of the Magpie.

You know, there are times when the internet annoys me. Hobby-wise, it’s the rumours threads that delight and annoy me in equal measure, to the point where I always swear I’ll avoid rumours about upcoming releases right up until the point where I start to mainline said rumours like a crack-hungry junkie. The most recent case in point concerns the Eldar.

Hopefully you’ll have fond memories of my previous article about Hobby Magpie-ism, and this links nicely to the Eldar and the imminent 8th edition codex. Now, in that article I mentioned the following army idea:

  • Eldar. Lots of Scorpions and scouts. The army name was The Silence, they viewed humanity as a noisy form of vermin. Like a chav.
  • Over the last few months, that germ of an idea ripened nicely into the following hobby fruit:
  • The Lios’an, Children of a Shattered World, Keepers of the Broken Fury
  • Yriel – Dessembrae, First of the Shards, Herald of Fury
  • Banshees – Daughters of Fury, Swift Blooding
  • Scorpions – Sons of Fury, Hidden Rage
  • Hawks – Fury’s Wings, Hunters Reckoning
  • Pathfinders/War-Walkers – Keepers of the Paths
  • Red armour w/black and bone trim? Weapons in bone (wraithbone), gems green. Reverse for Hawks. Or trim in bone, weapons in black.
  • Nomad fleet clustered round the shattered heart of a Craftworld – Avatar destroyed and broken into fragments, can’t be rebuilt so pieces are used to give a portion of power to Autarchs, known as the Heralds of Fury, or the Shards.

There was even a painted example:

The rumours I had seen for the 8th Edition Eldar were promising – plastic Wraithguard with combat alternatives? Fuck yes. New Exarch models and plastic Warp Spiders finally? Alright, now we are getting somewhere. A Maulerfiend sized Wraith-construct? Sounds good.

And then….then it all went downhill with this new rumour:

“Eldar keep their distance from Tau from an overall design theme. They will be the masters of manoeuvre and outright speed. Look for multiple options and units types for jetbikes including up-armoured and even faster versions. Jetbikes as a family may well become the staple hallmark of the army. They will come in multiple flavours with both anti-personnel and anti-armour types.”

Man, I cannot tell you how much that rumour (and yes I know it’s only a rumour so might not be true, but bear with me here) just completely undid all the enthusiasm for Eldar I had. Suddenly, they weren’t an exotic xenos army with arcane, almost magical weapons – they were just my Marine army, with less armour and less buffly toughness. Added to that, there was another rumour of dual-Aspect plastic kits – could be cool, could be crap. I’m actually a fan of all the current incarnations of Banshees, Scorpions and Dragons, so the lure of new kits wasn’t that much of a selling point.


Now, I know that I could probably still do the Lios’an army that I had planned – but the rot had already set in, furthered by the fact that as pointed out by one of the Warbasterds, the colour scheme on the test Banshee was just a reversed version of the colour scheme for my Iron Talons Astartes. Good point Mr Cormack, good point indeed….. So, I found myself becoming more and more disillusioned with Eldar – besides, how many more small elite armies did our group need? After a few proxy-licious playtests, it was also fairly clear that the army was a bit of a glass hammer and relied on three tricks to work.

The good point of all this is that unlike previous examples, I haven’t dropped a load of cash on Eldar models – I only bought the one test Banshee on eBay for about 3 bucks. Good fiscal planning there and the lack of baby-shit on my carpet or indeed hands is a good thing.

However, I am now back at square one in terms of upcoming hobby. With only a handful of units left to complete for my Astartes and my Druchii done until the 8th Ed army book comes out (and I doubtlessly have to redo the entire fucking army, thanks GW…although the rumours so far of loads of new monsters mean that a) no new stuff I need to get and b) fuck you GW for only thinking Dark Elf armies should look one way), I have little in the way of hobby stuff to get on with aside from a few Inquisitor-28 characters. This is partly a good thing, as cashflow currently means there is little in the hobby-kitty, but also a bad thing as I will run out of things to paint.

But, there is some light on the horizon….

On the 40k Xenos note, our group desperately needs some new xeno-blood to break up the current glut of Marine on Marine clang-offs and blue-fish vag-face punching (that’s games against Tau for all you people wondering). I’m also thinking that doing something entirely different to the elite Imperial and straight laced Tau armies we have, something a bit more basic and brutal, a bit more crazy and ragged in appearance……So I’m looking at Orks. Bit of a challenge really, even a small army has a crazy amount of models to paint and aside from Tyranids, Orks are one of the hardest races for me to apply my mighty theme-brush to. But the model range is 90% great and there are some seriously fun units in there (hello Weirdboyz). Small steps though, first thing is to get hold of a random Ork and try a test scheme out while trying to work out a way of making Orks scary and brutal again fluff-wise as opposed to crazy and comedic.

And in Fantasy news, I’ve been dreaming of white snows and wolves again, with the Wolf/Wood Elf were-thingy pack idea coming back with a vengeance. I like the idea of the contrast between slim frail spirit-like elves and hulking brutal wolves and were-wolves, with a giant wolf as big as a Treeman. Let’s see where this goes.

That’s probably enough of a look inside the random magpie of my hobby-mind for now I think – feel free to give your thoughts on your upcoming army ideas, or to harangue me with ideas for Ork armies.

Cheers everyone.

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