And here I sit, finally back home, finally able to finish them up (albeit a couple of days late), and I am procrastinating like I have never procrastinated before in my life. Let's see, instead of painting I have:
- Sorted through all the Eldar I got from Walls
- Organized my D&D tokens
- Cooked an entire day's worth of meals for my wife
- Tidied up
- Talked on the phone
- Played with the cats
- Helped colour my wife's hair
- Planned my next 11 months of Eldar painting
- Got caught up on 5 days of internet news
- Sorted all the bits I bought off eBay
And that's just been since this morning.
Here's the thing: I don't think I want to play High Elves any more. I got into them originally because I thought they would be like Eldar in Fantasy (which they very much are not). But the painting is proving to be a drag, and still after all this time I don't feel like I have a good handle on the army.
This was proved in my game against Walls the night before his wedding. I'd really like to have said I threw him a bone to stave off being nervous, but the cold, hard truth is he kicked my ass from here to Sunday. Against his 50+ guns, crossbows and bows, and his 2 mortars and a cannon, I didn't stand a chance (This was a list containing basically everything my army feared). Not to mention his pegasus champion with possibly the cheapest (as in dirty) magic item in the game (steals spells on a 4+, unlimited uses AND he can cast your spell at you the following turn). By turn 4 I had almost nothing left, with him having never failed to hit with his 2 mortars, and having stolen 3 of my 5 spells. He'd destroyed or had made to flee everything except a unit of 10 archers and 8 Swordmasters that had never seen combat, just gotten blown to bits. In return , I killed a single mortar, a cannon, and taken a 5-man Outrider unit down to 1.
I'm not going to lie. It was VERY demoralizing. That was a tournament-level spanking. And proof that I have no idea how High elves work (and perhaps Fantasy, for that matter). And I was already sitting on the fence about them. But this more or less frying-panned me to the side of the head and knocked me off that fence. I was dragging my feet, struggling to paint them. And then to be utterly destroyed with what I was told was a strong army list just tells me that I shouldn't be playing them.
I have a two-fold problem: I only have one opponent where I'm from, and he's been quitting Fantasy ever since 8th came out. After every game, he's declared he doesn't like the game, and doesn't want to play it any more, then after a few months gives it another shot just to declare that all over again. In fact, the day before Walls's wedding I got an email from him saying he's getting out of mini gaming all together. So it's very possible I have NO ONE to play against now. This problem is made worse by the fact that the Warhammer and 40k scene out here has been destroyed by some really bad decisions on GW's part. Even the most hardcore players I know out here say the scene is dead. So finding new players is going to be a real challenge.
The other part of the problem is I haven't really found my rhythm in Fantasy yet. Eldar in 40k makes sense to me, I know where I'm going with them (both in terms of collecting/painting and playing). Even 40k Orks have that same sense. But I don't have that sense in Fantasy. I like painting my Dwarfs, but dread playing them, because castle defence in the corner is really boring. I love playing my Orcs, but I dread painting them. There's SO MANY of them. I find painting the same model over and over just kills my desire to paint. And a horde army is all about the same model over and over. I haven't been enjoying painting my high elves, as is plain by the fact that I dragged my feet until the end of the month to finish them. And I'm not enjoying playing them. Too many times has the army disappointed me, frustrated me, and flat-out betrayed me. My first ever game with High Elves, back in 7th, I mis-cast 3 turns in a row, each time on the first cast of the phase. I was so mad I threw my dice out the door and down the stairs. I've NEVER done anything like that before. I should have taken it as a sign.
So I'm left in a quandary. I don't want to give up on Fantasy. But I need to find something more my speed. But I don't have a lot of options for test games. My regular opponent has quit and I don't know anyone else locally that would sit through test game after test game while I figure out what army is for me. And it's not like I'm going to go out and buy army after army, sight unseen, paint them up, and THEN find out if I like them.
Which means I'm looking for one of three things: Either a new army, a new way to play Dwarfs that is effective and fun, or a new way to paint Orcs that isn't a complete hopeless nightmare. Any suggestions?