Sunday, December 19, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Lola is My Lady

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Lovely, lethal, long loved- Lola; angel of annihilation. Also, actively analyzing the adoration of armies.]

swing swing swing
chop chop chop

My axe is my buddy
- ICP, My Axe

Earlier this week, the talented J Croxford was featured on FTW's Top ten for this lovely piece:

Seeing it really struck a chord with me. I had forgotten what originally drew me to Khador and their frozen wastelands, their harsh women, and their furry hats. I'd forgotten all about Lola.

Lola originally caught my eye, and then I was drawn to her faithful escort, Butcher. His manic, brutal mien was as alluring as her strong lines and great curves. I knew the moment I saw those two, I was hooked. 

I was recently talking to a friend of mine and he was telling me what he liked most about C:SM. It wasn't the funny pointy bitz, the Noise Marines, The Possessed or any of that. No, what drew him to the Choatic side was the ability to make every piece on the field a *character*.

 For my friend, the appeal of his armies is the ability to do something different with each guy. He loves the ability to create a narrative that's deeper than a little bit of fluff. He enjoys sharing his twisted,
cranked-out unique vision for each soldier in his army, and has the inventiveness to make it work.

Seeing Lola once more stirred up my intense affinity for her, for Orsus, and their reign of terror across the fields of Immoren. I opened my Khador Kloset (ok, it's a drawer) again and my love affair with big Red Machine was reignited. Seeing the Reavers, The Dark Prince, the 'Jacks, and the WarDog- it all came back.

I bought an army because of my love affair with a lady named Lola.

Fairly amusing and appropriate to this anecdote is that I don't actually PLAY the army in question; I just paint it. Additionally, Lola has so far resisted my attempts to woo her, staying steadfastly in the arms of the very
protective Butcher (at the game store).

What is it about her that's so fascinating? What does she bring to the cold wastelands that another weapon doesn't? How is she different than say, Haley's guns or Fiona's pigsticker?

I'm not truly sure, but I love her all the same.

Both my conversation with my friend and my rediscovery of that alluring axe caused me to consider the things that make me love an army. At first blush, there's almost nothing similar between Orks, Khador and Black Templar. It's when I look a little further that I see the common bonds.

There's the obvious: simplicity in color. I'm attracted to armies with an easy to paint schematic. While I'm probably a bit better than I give myself credit for, I know I have a long way to go and I like to make
things as simple as possible for painting.

Then there's the themes. Those require a little more thought. The themes running throughout these armies are twofold: violence and madness.

Obviously when you consider miniatures and wargaming, violence comes into the picture- but I'm talking about a specific tenacity for dealing damage that comes across even in the modeling. The Orks, for example, are all points and sharp edges, with a few blunt objects thrown in for personality and emphasis. Every conversion I've seen for Orks shows a certain glee in the capability for carnage, and compels me to revel in their sheer determination to decimate. Khador and Black Templar also demonstrate a brutality that's immediate and recognizable, something I cherish more than just a little. The swords, axes, mauls, maces, claws and other choppy bits just make my heart sing.

I find the inherent madness, the completely crazed carnage and the adamant adherence to assassination the most fun. These armies each have a motto. Maybe it's a simple one (“Kill da 'humies!”), but they follow these
tenants with ruthless and reckless abandon. I find perverse joy in knowing that the plan, the personality, and the tone of the armies I chose is ardent, zealous, reckless mayhem.

Looking at that perspective and these factors, I start to see some other options opening up as future possibilities. I start to realize that protectorate of Menoth and very possibly Blood Angels fit my particular criteria fairly well. Both armies have a pretty straight forward pain & color scheme, and they are more than just a little crazy.

Some of you may remember my reticence regarding Blood Angels from previous comments; but of the two armies I just mentioned, I find them the most likely to suit my personal tastes. TheDude plays Menoth, and I've seen them in action more than a few times. I love the simple colors and the classic attitude to enemies: Burn 'em all, let Menoth sort 'em out.

It's the actual composition of the army that gives me pause. As a rule, they're not known for close combat. They're the template machine, attacking at will from range (and often quite effectively). I still haven't learned the range end of any game as well as I'd like, and that makes the Protectorate a little difficult for me. That, and they blow themselves up quite frequently. I'm not a big fan of kamikazi efforts as a tactic.

Blood Angels are truly intended for the style I enjoy playing; it just took me a while to understand it. "I'll come & get you" is a sentiment I totally agree with, and have heard used to describe effective BA tactics more than once. 

So in the future, I might consider Blood Angels as a secondary army- because they love up close, fast death, because they have some serious mental unhingedness going on, and because there's really a couple ways to paint them.

All of this, from one glance. Lola is my lady. Who's yours?

Be well,



  1. Here's one for you:

  2. Well if you like brutal close combat tactics there is a few ways you can build your Blood Angels. I personally prefer a pure Jumpers list because it has a few but effective models (quite cheap to buy too). Nothing spells "violence" than a bunch of red power armoured maniacs charging from the sky!
    My lady would be my wife since here potential for violence is limitless!

  3. Great article. lady wouldn't be a lady at all but a large mean green Warboss. I'm with you, it's the brutality of the Orks that drew me to them and no other model relays that brutality like a Warboss does.

  4. The old RT Space Marine communications officer (second row, 1st from left in linked pic) is what originally really sold me on Marines, and partly on 40K in general. Different, a little extra sci-fi-ish with the extra helmet stuff and datapad on his arm.

    For Chaos Marines, one of the Sorcerer figs stood out to me, and was one of the first things I got when I was returning to 40K/building up CSM. As fate would have it, I've never actually finished him yet, a decade on.

    Plus a lot of the old Chaos fantasy figs I really liked, and this guy reminded me of them. I love a lot of the old fantasy chaos figs and the early 40K traitor marines.