Friday, 18 April 2014

Creating a Warmachine BioShock Army, Episode I: Conception

Welcome to Games & Tea, good readers, where the great will not be constrained by the small!!!
Excuse me, channelling Andrew Ryan there for a moment.
Good day, ladies and gentlegamers!  I'm afraid this is going to be the start of another one of those pesky tabletop article series which seem to be creeping into the Games & Tea lineup more and more often.  This won't impact upon our board game reviews (in fact our next one is due up in the next couple of days!), but as this is a very special project I've just decided to undertake, it was recommended by Gmorts Chaotica that I record the process.
So the project (as you really should have figured out from the title) is to create a BioShock army for Privateer Press' Warmachine tabletop system.  I don't play many videogames these days, but in the last few years there are two particular series which have left a major emotional impact and secured themselves a special place in the blackened cavity I call a heart.  The first of these is the Mass Effect series, and the second is BioShock.
My primary army in Warmachine is Khador, and within Khador my favoured warcaster is Karchev the Terrible.  Being mostly a warjack himself, he does favour very warjack-heavy army lists, which usually need to be complemented by a lot of repair crews, which in itself mens recruiting Mercenaries.  In a recent attempt to make his 50 point list even more jack-heavy and ridiculous, I decided to let some of the Mercenary fixers jack marshal their own warjacks, and that meant having to pick up my first Mercenary warjacks!  It only took a few moments on the Privateer Press website to decide which Mercenary warjack was going to be my first, as one glimpse of the Mariner immediately conjured up images of the underwater city of Rapture.  I knew I had to do something special with the model - I didn't want it to just be a Mariner, I wanted it to actually be recognisable as a Big Daddy, so with a bit of customisation, this was born...
Whilst I never intended for this to be the start of something greater, it did get me thinking.  Surely there must be other BioShock-esque models scattered amongst the many and varied tabletop systems?  Wouldn't it be a nice idea to collect and paint up some of these just to have a BioShock shelf in my display cabinet?  I popped into my FLGS Titan Games and spitballed the idea with the owner (who doubles up as my longest-serving friend and the man who got me into the tabletop hobby!), and he made a counter-suggestion that I build a workable Mercenary army around the BioShock characters.
I have to admit I wasn't instantly sold on the idea, but he always has a way of convincing me, and we were soon sitting down and penning a 50 point list.  Unfortunately there aren't a great deal of Warmachine models that fit the BioShock aesthetic - either for Rapture or BioShock Infinite's Columbia - so we had to start getting creative.  Being a Victorian alternate reality steampunk system, Wyrd Miniatures' Malifaux seemed to be the best place for us to find the characters of the BioShock series, so our list soon came to comprise of three sections:  The BioShock character, the Warmachine character they would be used in place of, and the Malifaux model used to represent them.
With many miniatures in need of some serious customisation, and several Malifaux crews required to complete this task, it's going to be quite a long and ongoing process (at this point I've bought 6 crews, totalling at over £150)!  However, I can't wait to see how the final army looks, and I'm looking forward to bringing you all updates as the months progress!

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