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Monday, July 7, 2014

Oriental Heroes and the lands of Nippon, Warhammer style

All kinds of amazing!
Blog Note: WoooHooo! 100th published Blog post, better make this a good one! Onwards towards 200.

Much like my foray into exploring the topics of Oriental Adventures in A&;D I thought I'd pause and retrace some steps back to Warhammer. I'll be taking a moment to comment on Oriental Heroes and the line of minis for Nippon in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I've been working on a Nippon Army in an on again, off again fashion over the years.

But first, a very cool diorama, see to the right. I'm not sure where its from, but I found it scouring the web for Nippon imagery for Warhammer.

Right now I'm in a bit of a prolonged lull in regards to Warhammer that has been going on for a number of years. After being burnt out with the Word of Hashut
webzine and all I've been largely uninterested in Games Workshop's wares. I've found its far better to wait until my disinterest wanes and I'm interested again, rather the forging ahead for no reason other then to do it. This happens to me from time to time, but this one is far longer. In the meantime I've been having fun collecting minis from the Oriental lines of Games Workshop in the 1980s.Minis I realled wanted back in the day but was never able to secure more then three of them being on the other side of the pond...

Nippon was a curious case for minis, they figured right from the earliest days of Games Workshop, they appeared in the rules here and there but never had its own dedicated army other then the mercenary contingent in the 3rd edition Warhammer Armies book (see below). In the orange, 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook it notes on page 205 "Lustrian, Steppeland and Cathan creatures and races are dealt with in sufficient detail for you to assemble armies of Slann, Nippon etc. but we feel that only by dealing with each area in a separate supplement can we hope to do them justice." It became obvious when looks at the history of Games Workshop at the time they were already underway with 4th edition Warhammer and weren't going to revisit these lands.

It was not to be however, aside from this blurb along with the Nippon mercenary force listed in the afore mentioned Warhammer armies would be it. It have a feeling it was a number of factors that lead to this decision.

  • If they did a Nippon army would they have to create a Cathy one as well? Would there be an outcry for Amazons? Norse? Pygmies?
  • By the time the 3rd edition warhammer rules were gaining steam the "ninja craze of the 80s" was already wanning.
  • Limited resources?
  • The rise of 40k which would be and is its "breadwinner."
  • The oft repeated line of "there are already two human armies in the game."
  • Some combination of these?
  • Perhaps none of these?
  • Too many manga/anime inspired fanboys?
In any event GW showed no inclination to move on an Eastern themed army. I don't see them ever doing it either. I don't have an inside info, this is more or less just a hunch, a hunch backed by 25 years of watching Games Workshop.

Here is a partial list/number of links of the actual GW line of minis, at least enough to give an idea for those not in the know.
Oriental Heroes at the Stuff of Legends
Ninjas at the Stuff of Legends
Ninjas at the Stuff of Legends
Ninjas at the Stuff of Legends
Older Oriental Heroes at the Stuff of Legends
Temple Dog Riders

Onto my oft delayed Nippon Army, as of right now it has a serious amount of lead for it as chronicled here. I'm hoping as the weather turns colder in the Fall to get back to working on it. In the meantime I'm continuing to trade for minis at the excellent site Oldhammer Forum. I'm a big fan of the guys and the excellent work they are doing there. In fact I just secured some more ninja bringing me closer to having one of every GW ninja from the Oriental range.

Unlike in the past when I've worked on an army I've always been in a rush and with an eye towards playing. In reality I get to play so infrequently that its no my prime concern. So with that in mind Im working on my Nippon warband in terms of how they might have looked or been configured for 3rd edition warhammer using the 3rd edition Mercenary contingent as a guide.

In the meantime while I get my act together regarding my Nippon army here are some great images to get inspired by (I found the thread here).

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