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"When is an Army Project Complete?" Topic

25 Posts

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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 7:02 a.m. PST

This one keeps coming up, usually with some claim that wargame armies are never complete, since we tend to add units over time. But certainly some are incomplete. My suggestion:
1. No single army is a completed project. This is a wargame, not a diorama. So two opposing armies, rules and terrain is a complete project when either you can match your scenario generator, or you can design games without being seriously handicapped by troop shortage.
2. The project is incomplete if you can't put on a game. (And spare me the sad story about the guy at the club who was supposed to build the other army. Surely you didn't believe him?)
3. A gray area exists where you can put on a very limited number of games because the armies are horrendously unbalanced--perhaps one side has no cavalry?--or so small that you can't vary the OOB.

Other positions?

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 7:21 a.m. PST

An army project is complete when I finish painting the last figure for it… Until I find new figures for that army project that I must have for it! I play fantasy. So when a new figure comes to my attention, which I think will be a perfect addition to that army, I buy it, and it goes into the painting queue.

Truth be told, this happens with common irregularity! I don't care, though. It is my hobby, and I hope I never stop having fun with it. Cheers!

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 7:24 a.m. PST

When you have everything painted that you need. In other words, never. There is always one more thing…

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 7:24 a.m. PST

I think you can sometimes reach a point of diminishing return. For example, I have a 700 point Seleucid army for Hail Caesar, which includes eight 40 man pike units. We rarely use the entire army on the board at the same time as there is literally not enough room or depth on the board! I'm not sure what the point would be in me adding yet more units to the army.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 7:38 a.m. PST

When I can field the forces I want on the table. What this means is highly variable.

My mid-19th Century Mexican Army fights in only one battle. The civilians that fight along side them fight in various engagements across a broad number of milieux. The French and Zouaves they fight see battle in several historical battles of the mid-19th as well as pulp FFL Sometimes against each other. And so on …

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 8:07 a.m. PST

When I sell or give it away or when they tighten the last screw on my coffin lid.

Martin Rapier30 Mar 2022 8:17 a.m. PST

I tend to plan what I need, buy it and paint it. Each of those increments is a 'project', some of them might be very small (those ten extra bases of WW2 desert stuff I did a couple of weeks ago), some may be large (two entire ACW armies with all the bells and whistles done in two increments which I did last year). But as long as I've finished each planned increment, that is a 'complete project'.

Now, I may have programmes consisting it multiple projects which run and run over a number of decades, but a programme isn't a project. Projects usually have defined inputs, budget and desired outcomes, and I'm pretty good at those.

A broader definition is (1) in the OP – when you've painted enough stuff and built enough terrain to put on a game, a wargames project is complete. Obviously you can have another project to add some more stuff later.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 8:50 a.m. PST

Since I like DBA/LR an army is done when I have the DBA army & variants done & LR army flushed out to where I want it.

d88mm194030 Mar 2022 9:12 a.m. PST

Malcolm Forbes coined the phrase "He who dies with the most toys wins."

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 9:17 a.m. PST

In a purist sense never – but for me when you a game-worthy army you could say it is done

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Mar 2022 9:34 a.m. PST

+1 to Fredrick

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 9:52 a.m. PST

So, for "complete" we're looking at
1) Game ready.
2) Every last figure.
3) DBA all variants or equivalent.
4) Completion of self-defined project.

Have I missed anything?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 10:37 a.m. PST

It is complete (from your perspective) when you sell the army on to someone else. Otherwise it never truly is :)

Titchmonster30 Mar 2022 11:23 a.m. PST

When you've painted all the figs you have for it and no one releases something new that you have to add later. So it better be obscure or it's never ending.

Grelber30 Mar 2022 12:00 p.m. PST

My problem is usually "moving the goal posts." I bought and painted a Viking army. Then, I decided to do a Viking Army Expansion. I've kept that title, though there is a good case for actually being on Viking Army Expansion VIII or IX.
The original Viking army was intended for gaming the fights in various sagas, so small forces. There were few rules for that back then, so it morphed into a WRG Ancients rules army. Then, it was changed from 25 mm to 28 mm. Then I got into Pig Wars, requiring more scenery, animals, and figures of little or no combat value. Somewhere in there, I decided I needed to have something other than Viking on Viking games, so added other armies for them to fight.
Then, on to Saga and I found I needed more archers. Now, I'm looking at smaller scale skirmishes (like Five Leagues from the Border) and need (or maybe "need") some character figures for this. I don't think I'll ever finish them.
In another case, I built armies based on historical accounts, then ran a game, and found that though one side had practically no cavalry, and for game purposes, it was necessary to add a small unit of cavalry.
At Genghis Con, I participated in a Bolt Action tournament, and found my Greek army was geared for historical battles, not for tournament battles. If I want to continue along that line, I can see my "completed" Greek army will need some new units.


FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2022 5:09 p.m. PST

1, Game ready for me. Of course I'll still add figures.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2022 4:57 a.m. PST

When you run out of money.

Decebalus31 Mar 2022 5:12 a.m. PST

Zulu Paul. The problem is, you are a tournament gamer or you are not ambitious enough.
I play DBA too. But I want to regularly play DBA Big battle. And I want to play historical battles, so sometimes you need troops, that aren't even in the list.

evilgong31 Mar 2022 6:08 p.m. PST

No work of art is ever completed, only abandoned.

Personal logo MondayKnight Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Apr 2022 8:32 a.m. PST

Gotta go with Big Red on this one. When my kids have to worry about my armies because I have moved on!

Col Durnford01 Apr 2022 5:56 p.m. PST

An army/project is completed when you stop actively shopping for figures and have all the figures for that project painted and table ready.

I have several completed projects. Now, if I stumble upon some figures that strike me just right, the project will be reopened.

On the other side of the equation, I have sold off some figures from completed projects. Will I ever really use the British colonials in home service uniforms?

The Beast Rampant02 Apr 2022 5:02 p.m. PST

When this magic lamp I keep rubbing coughs up that genie, lazy git.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2022 2:03 p.m. PST

When SWMBO says it is.

No … seriously. Right now hers is the only project on my painting table. (The rest of the minis are afraid to encroach!)

The Last Conformist09 Jun 2022 11:44 p.m. PST

And spare me the sad story about the guy at the club who was supposed to build the other army. Surely you didn't believe him?
Several of my armies have been painted to face armies other guys at the club already have. The idea that they're somehow unfinished because I don't personally own both sides is silly.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2022 1:51 p.m. PST

Kevin +1

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