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The Tiger Roars 

5 Things I’ve Been Thinking About Lately… (August, 2005)
Lately, I’ve been thinking about a few things, presented below (in no particular order) for your consideration….

Where’s the Beef?
In the latest White Dwarf (#307, U.S. version), there were no new 40K releases mentioned. None. Warhammer? Sure—lots of Wood Elves. Lord of the Rings? Oh , yeah. But no new 40K releases. I’ve been buying WD for 10 years and I’ve never noticed an issue with no 40K releases—until now.

Also, I noticed that in the same issue, every 40K article—all four of them—dealt with Tyranids. I know that the new Codex: Cockroach just came out, and I realize that people want to read about Bugs, and I understand that GW wants to promote them. But what if you don’t play/plan to play/play against Tyranids? You, my friend, are Sorely Outta Luck this month. Pick up WD next month, and maybe there will be something for you. Or maybe not.

I don’t like to bust WD’s chops, because I think that they usually do a good job with the magazine (I keep subscribing, after all). But if I were running the show at WD, I’d inject some variety into the 40K section.

Speaking of Nids, I’m building a proxy army using Tyranid rules and Lizardman figures. The new plastic Cold One Riders (below) are some of the best stuff Games Workshop has ever made. For $30, you get 8 plastic models (8 riders and 8 mounts)—less than $4 a pop (for GW minis, that’s dirt cheap). They assemble easily, they have a lot of modeling options, and they look almost as good as Jessica Simpson playing Daisy Duke….

New Cold One Rider
Above: One of the new plastic Cold One Riders

Epoxy Rocks, Superglue Sucks
In building my new army, I’ve had to put together several all-pewter models. For some of them, I used superglue; for the rest, I used two-part epoxy. There is no comparison: epoxy is the way to go. Unlike the epoxy I used (and abandoned) in the late 1980’s, when I started this hobby, today’s epoxy is easy to use and sets in 5 minutes—a lot faster than the hour or so it used to take.

Sure, superglue sets faster (unless you’re like me, and use too much at one time). But the bond is weaker, especially if you use an accelerant, like Zap-A-Gap, to make it dry faster. Drop a metal model that’s been superglued and Zapped together and it’s coming apart at just about every join. Drop one that’s been epoxied and it’s not breaking. In addition, epoxy fills gaps between pieces—no more buying “green stuff.”

Best thing about epoxy? You don’t have to worry about gluing your fingers together. 

Space Marines: Ehh... 
I’ve been bored with Marines lately. Part of it is that I’ve owned Marines since 1987 and even with the new codex, there’s only so many things you can do with them. But part of it is also because that every time I visit an online forum, I see heaps of people posting army lists and concepts built around exploiting the Chapter Traits from Codex: Jarhead

Sure, I use the Chapter Traits for my Fighting Tigers of Veda Space Marines: Cleanse and Purify and Die Standing. I chose C&P because I have lots of Tactical Marine figures with special weapons (flamers, melta guns, plasma guns) and few with heavy weapons. In addition, I think that Tac Squads shouldn’t stand still so one guy can fire a big gun: Tac squads should move and shoot, move and shoot. 

I chose Die Standing as a Drawback because according to my army’s fluff, the last time they did a big drop-pod attack, they got their stripey butts kicked. And because I don’t want to buy/convert drop pod models for my excessively large (7000+ points) Marine army.

I took an existing army and applied what I thought were an appropriate Trait Advantage and Drawback to make my guys a little more distinctive. But most of the lists I see on the forums seem to pick the Trait Advantages first, to secure some perceived tactical edge on the table top, then build the army around them (“I want to have an army that uses Suffer Not the Works of Heretics and Trust Your Battle-Brothers”). Which to me (and probably, the game designers) is wrong. 

Not “wrong” in the sense of tying your mother to a chair and beating her with a sock full of quarters is wrong. But “wrong” in the same way that it’s wrong to use “big boobs” as the base criterion for choosing a girlfriend (“I don’t care what she’s like so long as she has tremendous cans”). That might be exciting at first, but eventually the novelty of that will wear off, and then what will you have left? Better, I think, to view the Trait Advantages and Drawbacks as bonuses to an already-interesting army, in the same way that a nice figure is a bonus to a girlfriend who’s kind, loving, and intelligent. 

Regular Jungle visitors will likely know that I don’t have a huge problem with playing to win: you paid your money, Jacques, and if that’s how you want to build your army, go ahead. But I find it dull.

I have two hobbies: 40K (obviously) and writing. I can usually scratch my itch for both by working on this website, but I also feel compelled to write non-40K fiction: currently, I’m about 100 pages (and 14 chapters) into writing a kids’ book. 

For me, though, writing fiction is like digging a hole: it’s slow, it’s hard (though not too bad once I get warmed up), and it’s difficult to motivate myself to do it. It’s far easier, and more exciting, to do 40K stuff: play games, build models, work on this site, even paint (and I hate to paint). 

So I often do 40K stuff instead, and then the Type-A voice in my head nags at me that 40K is “a waste of time” and that I should “apply myself” and “use my time more productively” so that I can “fulfill my potential as a writer.” Sheesh. 

It’s not like I don’t get anything out of writing non-40K stuff: my kids like my story, and maybe someday I can publish it and make some cash—maybe a lot of cash (what writer besides Stephen King doesn’t daydream about being the next J.K. Rowling?). 

It’s just that for a “happiness” payoff, writing fiction is, for me, like schlepping to a job and busting ass and getting a paycheck (with some significant deductions) every few weeks. 40K stuff is winning $100 on a scratch-off ticket. You can’t live on it, but it feels good at the moment. 

I know it’s not an “all-or-nothing” thing: I can devote some time to 40K and some time to writing. I just have to find the balance between what’s Easy-and-Lots-of-Fun and what’s Difficult-And-Not-As-Much-Fun-But-Ultimately-More-Satisfying.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must finish Chapter 14.

© copyright Kenton Kilgore, August 2005 


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle