Thursday, May 2, 2019

How do you Theme your Warhammer Armies?

Hey Everyone!  Recently I decided to repaint my Sylvaneth army from an Autumn theme to a more Spring theme and I am planning on making the bases a suitable Mortal Realms feel.  It got me thinking about how people decide on a theme for their armies.  Do they begin with a certain color, a bit of lore, box art, having a commission painter decide the theme or something else entirely?  Today I want to explore some of the ways I see people theme their armies and how I have themed (or rethemed) my own over the past few years.

One of the easiest themes I see a lot of hobbyists choose is to simply theme their army from the box art or a particular group or force from within a Battletome.  With the paint system, the Games Workshop has created this is a very simple way for new hobbyists to get started and is an achievable scheme.  More experienced hobbyists often take these themes to incredible levels and it always a joy to see these types of themes.  Oddly enough the only time I ever went after a box art theme was with my Dark Angels faction, but for fantasy, I always tended to make my own theme.

While I never really went after a box art theme for my fantasy armies I always made sure to fit them within the lore in some way.  My old High Aelves were themed to be from the Ellyrian Province and worse those colors instead of the traditional white and blue.  My Stormcast has a twist on this type of theming as well as they are based off the old Reiksguard Knights from The World That Was using Red and White to color their armor.  I even mix in some Empire bits here and there to help that theme carry through on a deeper level with the armies lore.

My Sylvaneth is another example of how a lot of people theme their armies.  Often times people will select a color palette they like and build the theme.  The colors of Autumn are always a welcome sight to me and I always had the thought of a Wood Elf army themed to match the season.  After The End Times when I finally got around to the theme on my Sylvaneth I quite enjoyed the process, but recently I have been itching to change up the force to have a brighter pastel theme with a very Mortal Realm style basing.  So I did just that and really enjoy the switch, but this is just one of the many ways to theme an army.

An army can also be themed off a small bit of lore, either from the official canon or a bit of fan-created lore.  A small blurb in the sidebar of a book can often set an entire theme in motion to great results.  There might be a character whose story has captured you or you might have created your own character to give an army theme a different and unique lens to be viewed through.  The simplest example for me is my Daughters of Khaine, The Tayrathina Cult, which is based off their Leader Tayrathi and her struggle to free Khaine from Morathi’s grip.  What began as a Pop star in our world now has a believable and deep story within the Mortal Realms.  It goes to show that an army theme can be inspired by anything or anyone at almost anytime!

The beauty of our hobby is the variety of what can be created with the same models.  Everyone has their own thoughts and ideas and we get to see these take shape on our imaginary battlefields!  How have you themed your armies?  Was it a song, a mood, a character, or do you prefer doing a theme that is already set within the lore?  I would love to hear about it so please share it with me in the comments!  See you next week and Happy Hobbying!

Chuck Moore