Monday, 7 March 2016

Paint by numbers

Dr Walnut

From a few of my other posts you'll know I try a bit harder with the hobby side of 'faux than I do the gaming side. This isn't due to any particular talent in that area (but I am a better painter than I am a player but not saying much) it's more because painting is on my terms, I say what I want a model to look like, I say when it's finished and if I want to repaint something ten times trying to get it right I can.
The same can't be said for playing there are rules, times restrictions, points to score and talking to people (none of which sit well with me traditionally).

So what happens when these two things cross? Painting requirements are something I don't see too much of currently in Malifaux but I'd say they are coming. Currently the only painting clause in most rule packs is a painting competition, which seems to be won by the same few people. I have no problem with that fact by the way, the best voted painter is the best painter on the day, same as the best player on the day gets the trophy.
The issue I have is does this discourage people from even trying? Do people think that I won't win so I won't try? I hope not but painting is quite a personal thing and people often don't like to feel that they are being judged so they find it safer to just do the bare minimum.

Personally I try to always enter the painting competitions and I always make sure I vote. This isn't because I expect to do well but because it's part of the "tournament experience" (for want of a better term).
So I think the next question is do we raise what is classed as the minimum standard? Then how and when do we enforce it?
Now more experienced gamers than me have discussed this issue lately so excuse me if I'm not adding any ground breaking revelations to the subject but when has that ever stopped me.

So what do we class as the minimum standard a model needs to be to be used in a tournament? For me personally I won't use an unfinished model on the table (partly because adding a base is one of my last steps in painting but we'll call it principle just to make me feel better ). But talking of a minimum standard do we say base coated, three colours , tabletop standard?

Base coated? Do we mind which colour base coat a crew of grey based models might as well be
bare. A black base coat can obscure all details so you can see what the model is.

Three colours? Well I don't see many people getting three colours on to one of Ramos' spiders? What happens when someone does an amazing monochrome crew a third colour could spoil it but they can't use it with out. This takes away a few style options for people.

Tabletop standard? My biggest problem with this would be who has final say on what that is. If two TOs disagree you might be fine at one event but not at the next.

So no solution there just a list of problems, lets jump to the next problem.
When do we enforce a requirement?

Every event? Poor new players have to get everything painted before their first event and then hope that they like it enough to justify the time put in.

Only big events? Events over 26, 30? If an event has a big enough draw to attract a big crowd does that mean it's big enough to add extra restrictions to? Would this mean events not selling tickets because people don't want to paint their models?

Still no answers, but I don't think I was even hoping to find an answer to this problem. One of the great things about this community as it stands now is that there are so many people running events and willing to try new things that the eventual solution to this will evolve to fit the tournament scene when it needs to.

Unfortunately this does mean you've just wasted your time reading this if you were looking an
answer, this was originally going to be an angry rant until I realised this isn't actually a the problem I thought it was, but if it makes you think about what you would like to happen with painting requirements then we're moving in the right direction.

To make up for my rambling here is a bit of culture

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."

 Edgar Degas


  1. I think unpainted models should stay on your painting desk. At least paint them for events.

  2. and for the standart... if you think they look decently at the table, then at least you have tried. and they are painted. Cant demand more. Painted is painted. And yes, other ppl might have nicer stuff, sure. but if ppl did their best, its cool.

    I have run a few small turnaments, and i just set "painted" as the bar. Im not going to lord it over if someone is good enough at painting to be here