Escalation leagues or campaigns are something you read about people doing. It sounds fun, but it feels like a massive vow to keep every month, like its takes all hobby time, and even like it involves a lot of spending. A vital requirement is also mates that are in the same early spot in their army as you or just about to start a new army. Occasionally, as for my Orks and my Skaven, I have had buds to share the hobby with (in the first case me and a friend shared the Assault on Black Reach starter set and dived together into the world of 40.000, and in the second case I was more or less building up my Skaven army as another buddy began wargaming with a Dark Elf force.
“Together” is the key word here. Escalation is about wargaming together, building up armies together exploring the rules and missions together, and so on. In both of the latter cases somewhere along the road the paths of me and my buds deviated so clearly from each other that it was clear that our journeys were different. I had more speed and enthusiasm, and perhaps recklessness behind my Skaven. I decided to keep on building my Orks after that little while, and then again – we worked at different speeds.
Now, my 8 army fantasy player friend is interested in Necrons, my Dark Elf nemesis is taking up Tyranids and our local Space Pup/Fish’ead player has not painted any of his Space Pups. Always getting to little hobby shot up his veins, while we were having a pint week or so ago, suggested an Escalation campaign. Sure I thought, his collection being what it is – fantasy based, “my vamps need some love”. But after some consideration we had built up a realistic picture of other peoples involvement would be higher if 40k would be the name of the game. A few days later we were four.
What is a bit different about this Escalation league is its speed. We have decided to build, paint and base 1 box worth of models per month. However, if a box builds only 70 points or less of an unit entry we can add another box of equal to, or less points, providing it is an addition to the same unit. (A good help for horde armies.) An exception to this is the first month where we will build enough to make a Kill Team of our choice. We have also decide to keep a rudimentary points system (apparently it is essential for some to decide a winner):
Each month you can get 5 points:
-1 for assembling the box contents
-1 for painting the box contents
-1 for basing the box contents
-1 for conversions/magnetization of the box contents
-Up to 2 points for playing with your army
The winner gets beer. Only units that have been included in the Escalation can be used. The idea for this is to start from scratch, and thereby equalizing the board. (I have luckily gotten a small respite when it comes to Sammael – I’ll have no use for two, and what little I have painted.)
So, as you have learned between the lines – I have decided to participate with my Dark Angels – still focussing on my Ravenwing. This choice has not been easy at all. Several times, in fact, I have pondered the wonders of the Ork Horde, and the endless means to expand my horde and the joys of being green. A major contribution to the indecisiveness was also the rumoured Ork Codex update in June-ish.
In the end a few things decided my choice (in no particular order):
-The collection of Dark Angels I already have, unpainted is enough to keep me going for almost a year.
-I have only a small collection of Dark Angels, whereas my Orks are already 6000 pts (and I don’t know how I’ll want to play my Orks after the update.
-Space Marine boxes come in various sizes and shapes, meaning that I have very good options to dictate the effort I put into them.
-Orks require a larger effort (20 models per month) to get anywhere, and a much larger investment, as most of my models are painted already.
(But It would have been nice to get a bit closer to a Green Tide formation.)
Anyways, it will be nice to have a common goal that spans more than being forced to play certain games. Again the together-factor. Also, very suitably, on the Bolter and Chainsword forum has started a new event “Brotherhood of the Angels”. The purpose of this is to write Chapter background for your chapter until April. Very suitable indeed as I then have a suitable background, and a more established vision for my Angels of Death.
To be expected is therefore a tide of green – but less maniacal, brutish and mad than one could hope. A bit of Kill Team, a bit of painting. But first of all will be my Kill Team, which has been vowed with these words:
Ravenwing Attack Squad (5);
-2 Special Weapons
-Heavy Bolter Attack Bike
For the Lion!