Sunday, November 7, 2010

Multiple Army Syndrome - Getting out of Control

Hi, my name is Sons of Taurus, and I'm a Chaos Marine addict.

Hi Sons of Taurus.

I suffer from Multiple Army Syndrome.  Not only different codexes, but an urge to build multiple armies from the same codex.  Same available rules, but I feel the need to build different completely distinct forces.


I may want a different look, or a different extreme of playstyle (as different as it can be within the same book), and instead of just adding units to an existing army, I want to make a new one.  My Project List will show where I'm currently dealing with this, with IG (traditional guys & guns Merkan 76th vs. The Scythiak Usurpation), Space Marines (Silver Skulls vs. potential Space Sharks), but especially with Chaos Space Marines.

With CSM I have my old Sons of Horus undivided force, with regular CSM and various cult elements.  A few years ago I added my "Hell Hounds" Word Bearers force, a straight-up undivided/Icon of Chaos Glory type army.  I'm also looking seriously at making an army for my Sons of Taurus renegades, using Slaaneshi rules, and potentially a whole 'nother renegade alliance with the Heralds of Oblivion, starting with an army of Tzeentchian renegades.  I also have about half the stuff I'd need to eventually make a Death Guard army.

As mentioned back when I was thinking about variety, I tend to build armies to a certain point with no or very little in the way of spare units in most cases, so when I want variety I tend to just pull out a different army rather than fiddle with a list.

I would like to try to change that a bit, and move a little more into the "completist" type of army builder and collector.  CSM would be the obvious place for me to start.  Why make up a bunch of HQ choices that I "can't" (obviously I'm the only one stopping me) use with the other armies I have from the same book?  Why buy, build, and paint X Rhinos and Y Defilers for each of four armies?  Wouldn't it make more sense to find a way to make it all one force?

But which one?

Some potential options:

Black Crusade - Just throw them all together, regardless of heraldry and say that they're allies.  Simple, lets me use them together with no delay for repainting, etc. and lets me add units faster without much regard to color scheme.  While it certainly would look Chaotic, I'm not sure I'd really like how it looked on the table.

Sons of Horus - My Black Legion-lite, I already saw them as a Stripes type conglomeration of various traitors and renegades, guys who've left other legions, etc. so it would be an easy transition.  I even already have a renegade SW as one of my Lords, so stripping and repainting the Word Bearers to be his followers would fit pretty easily.  I could also just set aside my distaste for Abaddon and just call them Black Legion.  Either way, no problem taking and using anything in the codex.

Sons of Taurus - Could just scrap current plans to make them solely Slaaneshi-rules and Hashut-worshiping and make them a more all-inclusive group.  Not sure how I'd like the paint scheme I have planned across different cult type units, but I guess I could vary it up a bit.

Heralds of Oblivion - Another renegade conglomeration, would be functionally the same without the advantages/disadvantages of prior associations.

Part of me is having a cardiac event thinking about stripping my Word Bearers down and starting over with those figs, but part of me is glad to be thinking seriously about this now before I get too deep into more CSM armies.

Thinking about this in relation to my CSM also makes my decisions about my Space Marines easier - I think that all my Silver Skulls will eventually transition over to Space Sharks.  I'll probably build a new Space Shark force and then gradually repaint the Silver Skulls, depending on how I end up wanting the Space Sharks to play out. 

For my Guard forces (the loyalist Merkans and the Chaos Scythiak) I don't feel bad keeping them distinct.  They're very different models, and by the very nature of Lost and the Damned type armies I wouldn't have much problem dragging some Merkan units into a Scythiak list if I felt the need, just considering them to be recently turned Guard or PDF.

One step at a time...


  1. I haven't really discovered this problem yet. I've been fairly selective in what I want and why, and when I do start collecting, I'm highly unlikely to get distracted by "ooh shiny" because I LIKE what I picked so much.

    However, when it comes to just about damn near everything else (Magic, RPGs, Music etc), I suffer fromt he same problem. I like options.

  2. Let me tell you... I feel for you, dude.

    I have 4 2500 point Chaos armies that I built and started painting before I got to thinking "Hey... maybe this could all be one army."

    I don't know what to tell you... For me, I ended up abandoning the little guys... Space Wolves came out right after I finished buying it all up and ruined my day by being better than me at what I did best for cheaper.

    Regardless of what you decide, it's a difficult road.

  3. I have a similar experience with my guard forces. Started out with Catachans, then liked the Cadian plastics so made some cityfight forces, then dallied with Orks for a while. Now I return to guard, but (and this is no bad thing) my painting standardxs have improved dramatically in the past few years. My orks are painted to a standard way beyond my guard. I still have the issue of integrating forces though. So here is what I have come up with.

    Whats painted before will stay as before. I can use them to bolster my forces in apoc games or test lists with. Any new stuff (or anything from the pile of stuff I accumulated but haven't painted yet) will follow one of two schemes. My cadians will go for an infantry based army I plan to do for a tournament next October, whereas anything Catachan will be painted up similar to my old jungle colour scheme (though I am changing the bases.) The vehicles will follow the old colour scheme (it works well with the old and the new, and the vehicles were never that bad anyway - plus apart from sentinals no base difference to worry about!) The large stock of vehicles will give me good flexibility, and the old models will get a run out whenever an apocalyptic throw down rears it's head.

    If putting your old models out to stud isn't an option for you, I'd go for a big Black Legion Sons of Horus army for the majority, but with a chapter set aside for your slaaneesh forces perhaps (to give yourself a bit of painting variety.) Eventually you'll build them up to be their own forces each, and can pick either or, steal a few slaaneesh units to bolster your main force, or throw it all down together for the big games.

    Those are my thoughts anyway...

  4. Thanks all for the comments and support!

    @Lo - I guess the trick is to find the most options in the fewest # of things - carry around one Swiss army knife vs. lugging around a tool box.

    @kennedy - Ooof, at least I wasn't that far along...although I guess at that point it's pretty moot!

    @Ginge - Your suggestion may be where I'm currently leaning. Go ahead and do the Sons of Taurus at a certain level, then whatever expansion goes into the Black Legion/Sons of Horus, and potentially roll the Word Bearers into the BL. Throw Nurgle stuff and Tzeentchian ideas into the BL instead of new forces for them.

    Now to practice painting black armor. After I finish the Scythiak.

  5. I admittedly haven't been in your boat since I always take the completist approach. However, I would not strip down fully painted models and repaint them, period. You've put time and effort into those and stripping and repainting just wastes that time effort and creates more time and effort required on your part. Find some means to justify what you have and I'm sure you'll come up with something creative and save yourself the pain of redoing things. You'll be far happier in the end.

  6. @Thor - Yes, repainting can be a pain. But when I think the end result will be better than they are currently, as is often the case with minis painted years ago, I think it can be worthwhile. I've repainted both my Orks and my IG (as well as adding to them), and have been very glad I did in both cases. Sometimes you have to look at it as not wasting time/effort but rather turning something from something you're not happy with anymore into something you're pleased with and will use.

  7. For when you start your Space Sharks, maybe you would like to join?

  8. I have striped down and repainted some of my older models and I am glad of it. My painting has progressed since I started the hobby and some of my favorite figure from years ago have been updated to match my newer models painted to a better standard. Some of my old models that are poorly painted will stay that way as a reminder of how far I have come in my painting.

  9. Not to be negative Sons, but I have found that over the last 12 years or so that it is hopeless. I've trimmed down 3 times now. I've had as many as 8 armies. My last trimming a year ago took me down to 2 armies, but I accidently ended up back up at three earlier this year.

    Wife and family tend to help limit it some, but as you can see, you can end up with a full 3000 point army overnight.

    What I try and do now with 5th edition is to work hard at being able to play one army very well with lots of different options. I have 35+ armor for my IG and tons of infantry. Gives lots of options, and lots of fun. At least now the 5th edition codexs really are good with variety.

    To sum up.... It's a lost cause. lol


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