Slow grow/Journeyman battleboxes!

Tips for a Successful Journeyman League!

As you may or may not have noticed, Journeyman leagues are my ish. The past two I’ve been a part of have been complete  successes for me.  I’m usually in the top 3 across every category (always a groomsman?). With talks starting up about doing our 2014 Journeyman League earlier in the year (March it’s looking like), and with Journeymans starting up anywhere else, I’d like to take some time to share some tips that have helped me and can help you in your League.

Rhyas - The Rearguard Theme Force, Tier 4
Rhyas – The Rearguard Theme Force, Tier 4

2012 saw me begin Protectorate of Menoth. 2013 saw me complete 50 points of Rhyas’ Rearguard theme force (plus a couple extras).  What will 2014 bring?  You may have guessed Circle…but due to a very generous “contribution” from Gdaybloke and some other stars aligning on my end in relation to that contribution, I’ll have a surprise for you all when our next League starts!

But anyway, let’s get to the tips.

Journeyman League Tips & Tricks

1. Set Expectations

This one seems obvious but it’s killed our Journeyman participants in the past.  Our group uses a modified version of Privateer Press’ Journeyman Rules in order to better suite our player base since a lot of us are old hat at the game (for instance, free-form battleboxes to start with).  But with the focus on painting that our ruleset slants towards, it became something akin to a number game.  And if you couldn’t keep up, it killed your motivation to keep at the league at all.  It also lead to massive burnout as painting a bunch of stuff over 6 weeks is wont to do. This year I proposed a new way of doing things: Pick a 50 point list (what our group normally plays at) and stick to it.  By stick to it, I mean only worry about painting the models in that list.  Don’t worry about painting warcasters for bonuses, just worry about your 50 points of models.  Those 50 points are bound to contain your ‘important’ models, everything after that is fluff.  What I mean by that is those models are going to be the ones you’ll more than likely use day in, day out (like your choirs, MHSFs, Gunmages, etc).  So just about anytime you throw down after the league, your lists will have a majority of its models painted.

2. Avoid over analysis paralysis

I admit I’m guilty of this.  Especially in regards to color schemes. Pick your list, learn it. Especially if you are new to Warmachine in general.  Pick your color scheme, make it work. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Picking a color scheme

Nothing wrong with going with a studio scheme. If you go that route, your color coices and placement are easy and already laid out for you, especially if you have your faction’s Forces of… book.

But how do you pick a color scheme without getting bogged down in all the minute details on all these models and getting stressed out?  Work with a triad.

  1. Pick a primary color.  This is the color for a majority of your model.  Usually it’s the armor.  This is your unifying color, meaning this is the color that is going to tie your entire army together on the table as your army.
  2. Pick a metal.  This is usually for trim.  Pick a gold or a silver. Both are fairly neutral to primary color choice usually.  But to see which you like better: get a sheet of paper and paint a dot of your primary color, then a dot of your metal choice right next to it.
  3. Lastly, pick a “pop” color.  Check out a color wheel and pick a color that accents your primary color.  Something that really stands out or contrasts nicely with your primary color. It’s usually the complementary one on the chart.  This is the color you’ll use on things like sashs and the like.

All the other colors can be decided on the fly for little details here and there.  As long as you have a strong core color triad, you’ll be fine.

Learn it. Love it.
Learn it. Love it.

4. Tips for Painting under a Crunch

Arguably the most important.  You’re going to feel the crunch of a deadline.  A lot of us don’t have tons and tons of free time to devote to painting.  So how do we get our army painted within the time frame  and avoid burnout at the same time?

  1. Paint a test model.  Find a model that has a lot of elements in  common with your other stuff.  Paint it up until you’re happy with it.  This is your guide. Document your process, ie., for metals I did this, then I washed it with this, then I did this. I can’t stress this enough.  It’ll help you immensely with staying on track and getting things done.
  2. Split up your queue.  Assembly line painting works for some.  It doesn’t work for me.  I need to see progress as soon as possible.  Break up your 12 man units into groups of 3 (there are usually only 3 unique sculpts per unit in Privateer Press’ stuff) and sprinkle them in between a warjack/beast or solo.
  3. If you’re just going for a tabletop quality model, there’s a 3-step process for that as well (I’ll try to get some guides together):
    1. Base coat
    2. Wash
    3. Edge highlight or dry brush in a lighter color than your basecoat.  P3 paints make this easy.  They have paints with base  or highlight in the name.
    4. Or just paint with washes.  This is the easiest method I can think of.  And it looks good to boot.

5. Relax.

The reason I like the Journeyman so much is that it’s a bunch of us usually trying out new factions and having fun doing so.  It’s also a good way for new players to slot into our player base.  To be candid, our meta can be hard to get into because new players often don’t have hundreds of models or even 50 points worth of models to start playing with right away.  It’s gives them a chance (however small) to ease into things.

Just remember to have fun and remember what it is to be new again.

15 thoughts on “Tips for a Successful Journeyman League!”

  1. Why are there so many ads on the blog now. Are you sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance? I clicked on it thinking it was a hobby-related video only to find out it was an ad right in the middle of your blog.

  2. Our last Journeyman was dominated paint-wise by 2 new Cyriss players. The ease of painting simple silver miniatures coupled with the way that you can buy 3 solos for 2 points (but 3 paint points) meant that the top Cyriss player walked away with over 70 paint points. Your Journeyman seems a little more in control though if you won painting with only 50 points of models. Some of our players went from battlegroup to over 100 points (including one madman with 3 Earthbreakers).

    1. That’s a big issue I see. They’re probably the easiest faction to paint and you can basically spam all those little servitors for easy points to gain the lead.

      The issue with not setting boundaries is that one or a few of players can run away with the whole thing early on and then others start dropping off, killing the whole point of the league (getting your models painted).

      We do the same with scoring games.

  3. For 2014 we’ll be running an achievement based league. It’s slow-grow like journeyman, but it’s about hitting specific milestones and playing the biggest variety of players. Hopefully we keep people interested and trying new things without the people with all the time running away with it.

    1. That’s usually what we do in our leagues (ie, Paint 5 war-nouns, 10 man unit + UA, etc..)

      In order to keep it competitive on the gaming front so that those with seemingly near unlimited time to play games don’t heavily skew it and kill morale that way, is impose a limit on that as well. To use us as an example again, we limit the scoring games to your first three. Once we did that, we saw an extreme change in that the overall league was more competitive because you didn’t have one or two players with 90% of the points in the first weeks.

  4. My FLGS is doing a super-journeyman league. It will last 10 months rather than 6 weeks. For a casual guy like me, this is ideal. I am really excited about painting up my gators, and can actually take my time to do so. We will end up with two 50 point lists by October. The goal is supposed to be to play at Warmachine weekend… we will see. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the post!

    1. That’s a great idea!

      We tried something like that (models painted from the beginning of the year counted), but I abstained partly because if I went with my Menoth, I would have been “that guy” as I’m one of the more prolific painters in our 20+ member group. So I opted for just the 50pt Rhyas Rearguard list in the spirit of the league and to keep morale high!

  5. Wish we could finally get our asses up and about on doing a league. Apart from that; I can’t bring myself to “crunch” painting figures. I’m the kind of guy that really tries to get a lot of detail on every single model, so my painting time is pretty much very enjoyable yet only produces sometimes less than a painted model per week.

    1. That’s why I recommend sticking to a 50pt list. Trying to paint as many models as possible in the timeframe leads to not only extreme burnout but your quality starts to slip BIG TIME (which I hate)!

      1. I can agree with that. The stupid little things are expensive and just slapping paint onto it to get it done isn’t fun at all.

  6. Have you ever considered doing a journeymen showcase where all participants sit down at a set time and paint a single model as quickly and to the best of their ability as they can? You could put in novel challenges too like only use finger paints for 5 minutes or paint the model using your non-dominant hand or paint the model with your eyes closed. After the event you have made progress on a model and it is a fun time to get the whole league together in the same game store and have them painting instead of playing. Also, have you ever considered an all painting league? One where people use their game nights to paint instead of play for like 2 – 3 months. That way the game is fresh when you come back to it and everyone will have around 400 points of models painted. These are some ideas for a successful journeymen league that I think will make it a fun time for every player and also it will make it so that everyone ends up with a lot of painted models that have their bases flocked and are detailed in cool and unique ways like OSL or airbrush or wet blending or anything that someone wants to try. Let me know if you implement any of these when you do your league and let me know how it goes

    1. I forgot to mention that another good tip is to always make sure that you pick an army you like the look of and to only paint in in a scheme with many of your favorite colors. a lot of people want to paint it like it is on the company page and use the faction books but those books have so many paints in them that they are not a good start point for someone who is just starting out and wants to learn a few of the pros techniques in painting. also i do not like the way that the faction kits are sold as faction kits but dont come with all the paint you need to paint the faction. thats why i say pick a color and another color and a third that you like and those will be what you end up using the most so none of the paint gets wasted and it is a good place to start on adding other colors to your collection if you want to. just make sure that you plan out what everything will look like so you dont have the case of painting a pink troll and then a blue one and have to redo the pink one when you decide to keep the blue scheme.

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