Well my Battletech box arrived. I'm going to probably whack a sacred cow by stating
(a) the new sculpts are much better than the 'iconic' and 'characterful' (aka crap) older metals
(b) the rules haven't changed from what I can see, which means they are a very clunky 1980s RPG masquerading as a miniatures game.
I could probably devote a whole post on ways to 'modernize' and 'declunkify' Battletech including heresies such as getting rid of the complex hit locations/multi-stage crits, hundreds of hitpoints, and 'bell curve' 2d6 - focussing on the effects and streamlining procedures. Alpha Strike for me missed the mark the other way; it's too simple and lost too much of the nuance of Battletech.
So I have these nice mechs but no rules to play them with, so instead I stalled by hunting for some other minis which I like which also have hideous rules: Warmachine. Actually, I don't hate the rules per se - they are/were quite clear, consistent and tightly written and also, in an age where GW rules run you $90AUD, free. It's the 101 special rules, and how it's more how you memorize rules and combos than actual tactics - resource management, knowing combos and 'deck building' and synergies IS the game. Warmachine is a card game masquerading as a wargame. I hear Warmachine is heading to 3D printing-on-demand to stave off their final fall (it really died fast a few years back - I think they shot themselves in the foot by removing Press Gangers) - but I have an even more radical suggestion for Privateer Press; scrap the minis altogether and pivot into a CCG.
I like the minis, the factons and the lore - steampunk mechs, undead pirates, dragons and techno elves all sharing the stage. Painting something I didn't intend to paint instead of what I planned to paint is, I suspect, a form of procrastination.
My 9-year-old did some of the photography as she likes to pose the minis. They are set against the toy castle we painted a few weeks back. As usual I've gone for speed over style; undercoat, base, 2nd layer, wash, highlight/fix.
After the nice bright Warmahordes, I found a few more LoTR lying around. That brings my 2023 LoTR painted counter to 31. The orcs are hunters or trackers - some sort of special unit. The Haradrim riders will also add a bit more flavour to an Easterling force. While exploring the box I found a LOT more mounted Rohirrim; I'll speedpaint 6 or so to tabletop standard as Rohan seems light on specialists and needs its mounted from what I can see. I keep eying my Balrog but I bet the sucker would be a pain to paint; flame effects are seldom quick and less so when painted 'into' cracks on a black model....
Lying on my painting bench are aforesaid Battletech, some Heavy Gear I also found while rummaging, 1:2400 sailing ships... and a new entry, French and Indian Wars minis from Warlord which have emerged from the dust of ages... ..and I'll probably end up finding something else!