A lot of my Cygnar army is currently unpainted and recently I came to the conclusion that may be okay. Not to say I will never paint my whole army only that I’m not in hurry to paint freshly constructed models. I can already hear the wave of “play it painted” advocates but hear me out.

I’m relatively new to miniature war games. I’ve only been playing Warmachine for the past three years and I’ve never played any other miniature war game before starting Warmachine. In the past, the only miniatures I would paint were the handful of player characters for role-playing games. During that time, the most heart breaking thing to happen to any mini was to have a fully paint, sealed, and based mini fall apart during play. The wizard’s staff hand pops off. The warrior’s shield falls to the table. The cleric would drop their holy symbol. Gluing the pieces back never fully hid the scars of the damage. These kinds of structural failures help to motivate me to learn about pinning and other useful construction techniques.

When I took the leap from RPGs to war gaming there was a push from more established players to get my army to fully painted as quickly as possibly. I enjoy painting models but I’m not a great painter and not a very quick one either. And aside from my painting issues, I was still learning the mechanics and deciding on which units I enjoyed running. I didn’t want to sink what little bit of hobby time I have into painting models I didn’t want to play. Also a part of me knew, “these models are going to be touched a lot and will fall apart if I’m not careful.” I wanted that eventuality to happen while they were still unpainted. At almost every tournament and convention I’ve attend there has been an instance of someone’s models falling apart during events. The most heart breaking moment is a tray with two fully painted lists crashing to the ground from elbow bumps. The more common are just arms falls off while moving a model. When those models are painted I feel my heart break just a little bit for the owner.

Three years later more than half of my Cygnar models are unpainted, bare metal even. While experimenting with new units I’ll construct them with hopefully enough glue, pins, and green stuff that they don’t fall apart just as I charge an enemy caster. After a few rounds of play testing and I feel comfortable they won’t fall part without extreme conditions, they will get put in the long line to be painted.

 

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One thought on “An Argument for Playing Unpainted

  1. I quite agree. I like to paint but I don’t like the painting snobbery which persists in some groups. The game is about gaming; not everyone wants to (or is willing/able to) spend their time painting miniatures.

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