[WFB] An Imperial March?

I can’t get that Empire army concept out of my head.

Discussion on the sixth ed. Facebook group, regarding Knights of the White Wolf and their eminent superiority over other, lance-toting members of the cavalry fraternity, has given me a renewed enthusiasm for the Black Bears (look, they both have alliterative, animal-focused nomenclature, they are both renowned for boisterousness and bruiserhood, I think I can sleep easy giving the Black Bears cavalry hammers if I want to).

I’d already totted up the possibilities for Knights, State Troops of a static character (spears and handguns or crossbows; crossbows would mirror my Sylvanians very nicely, handguns would make the point that this is the modern Empire we’re working with) and Kislevites (either a couple of Ungol Horse Archer units or a bigger Gryphon Legion line) out of the Perry range, but there’s a lot more out there.

Poking around Wargames Atlantic’s website (I forget why) has revealed a large box of plastic Halflings; of course, Averland borders the Moot, and thus it is not beyond possibility that a regiment of Halfling Halberdiers (Halfberdiers?) and associated Archers and Huntsmen might be amassed to join the rabble.

I’ve been playing around with the Ogre Mercenaries in TWW2, and of course Ogres are an age-old feature of the Imperial armies; somewhere deep in the pits of my festering mind lurks the long-ago concept for Phat Tum Pot and his Legion of Lard (early-twenties Jonathan was a classy bloke when it came to naming armies). I don’t think I’m going to go all the way in on that name, but I’ve always liked that one Ogre Maneater done up in Empire clobber, and I’d forgotten how much I liked some of the others, especially the Paymaster. Being Citadel they run a bit pricey but one big stubborn oaf won’t kill me.

And of course, there’s something I forgot about the whole affair the last time I mentioned it: the Frostgrave Wizards, whose master/apprentice blister packs lend themselves ideally to a Lord and Hero level caster, or the same caster at different stages in their career. I’m very fond of very many of these models and if I’d gone all in on Fadgrave I’d probably be up to my neck in them by now.

I’ve been rereading the Woffboot Wizards’ Cup posts this week, and thanks to that I have wizards on the brain, so many of the Frostgrave figures have implied narrative potential coming out of their ears. I’m especially fond of the Sonomancer musical magicians, the original Beastcaster pair whose master-figure has turned into a cat fella, the carnivalesque Fatecasters and the sinister, overdressed Spiritualists.

But I think for Warhammer purposes the smart money is on the Astromancers (Heavens magic being the go-to for the Empire), the second generation Thaumaturgists (who’d do very nicely as a pair of level 2s from different, competing colleges) or either variant of the Sigilists, who are suitably bedecked in Scrolls to serve the true purpose of wizzos in an Empire army.

The whole is in grave peril of becoming a right old mess, but I wonder if the shabby black and old gold colourscheme would hold things together where the model ranges fell apart. There’d be some variance, of course, the Halflings in a more rustic brown-and-tawny version with more variety of colours under the surcoats and the Knights all glossied up to proper lacquer, with the State Troops falling somewhere in the middle. It occurs to me now that the wizzos could very well be variants on a theme, in white (well, off-white) and gold. Light wizards, to combat the gathering darkness. I’ve never played Light wizards before.

In battle I see the force advancing in oblique line, detachment by detachment almost; spears, handguns and artillery holding the centre, halfling halberds and bows advancing into the field, ogres taking point a little ahead of them and the knights out in front, racing for first blood.

If I had the capacity to rush out a new army just for Resurrection, this would undoubtedly be it: a muster at Grenzstadt, with the County of Averland, the Order of the Black Bear, the Elders of the Moot, the White College and a passing Ogre who thought “the hell with it” all contributing forces to a ramshackle errand of war; its duty to cross the Black Fire Pass and hold the way out of the Badlands against whatever nonsense the emerging conflict sent its way.

The background is writing itself at the moment, living in my head rent free; bereft of electoral guidance after the Storm of Chaos, a captain of Averland takes matters into his own hands, touring the province and meeting one eccentric character after another: drunken and boisterous knights who could probably command the whole fiasco, enigmatic lady-wizards with whom he shares a Past (TM), a Kislevite boyar who will probably kill him in the morning and, of course, the malodorous runts of the Mootland and their big smelly associate.

I have the Wood Elves to finish. I have over three thousand points of Tomb Kings who have been in the queue for four years. I have chronic pain conditions and can barely hold a brush for ten minutes at a time. I do not have time for this.

… I wonder if I can convince Shiny to paint them for me?