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Painted vs Non-Painted

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My general opinion is that painted models enhance the experience, but they are by no means a requirement. I encourage people who wish to paint their models, and I will offer advice if asked. I have certain standards I hold myself to but I don't require them of others. 

I recognize that this hobby not only has different layers to it but that not all people are or can be committed to it at every level. I'm certainly not. I don't spend every waking moment cranking out painted minis. I don't want to lower my paint standard just for there to be blobs of color on the table. I'm not always inspired to paint and will instead engage in the many other hobbies I have instead. I'm not going to force it because it's a hobby, not a chore. 

I'm happier seeing other people enjoy the hobby they want to enjoy than seeing people driven out or not attempting the hobby because they think painting is required. I work in an FLGS and one of the first things I hear when people express interest in miniatures games is "but I'd have to paint it all"!

No you don't! Just play! If you enjoy it, play more! Try painting! If you like it, great! If not, don't! Painting is good, being a part of a community engaged in the discussion and comraderie provided is even better. Some people only want to paint. Some people only want to play. There is a whole spectrum in between.

And all of that is ok. They're only toy soldiers after all. Let's all just play together.

Edited by ImhotepMagi

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I do not consider myself a good painter. Painting has always be tertiary for me in the wargaming hobby, the primary being playing the game, strategizing and theorizing and the secondary being building/modelling. However in Legion there isn't a whole lot of modelling required (compared to say 40k). All that said, I've just finished painting all my Rebels and I am SUPER stoked about it. It has a great look and feel on the table which I am happy about. I've got 3 units of Stormtroopers, Scouts an E-web and Boba and my Imps will be done but painting white sucks. Because of my predisposition I have no qualms seeing unpainted models. Let's play the game and have fun.

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I'm not a 40k player but I've heard that, at one point, they forced tournament players to paint at least Three colors on their minis due to the fact that entire tournaments consisted of unpainted armies and players trying to protect their painted models. This was bad rep for GW, so they made a new rule. All this did was make these players quickly spray three different shades on their models before tournaments.

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Painted, all day every day.  To me this is very much a visual hobby, and when I play I do so to get down low to the table and look at beautiful little toy soldiers and imagine all sorts of things.  Unpainted models totally turn me off.  Bear in mind I come from the wargaming/Hobby side of this, so that’s not unexpected:)

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29 minutes ago, Lord Ashram said:

Painted, all day every day.  To me this is very much a visual hobby, and when I play I do so to get down low to the table and look at beautiful little toy soldiers and imagine all sorts of things.  Unpainted models totally turn me off.  Bear in mind I come from the wargaming/Hobby side of this, so that’s not unexpected:)

But if someone has just cracked open a couple new expansions and slapped them together mostly dryfitted and wants to test them out would you refuse a game?

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I want to paint mine, but I have to buy all new paints, and with school, small child, and house renos, I don't have the time or money to get the stuff.   I am sad I can't do it, but I'd rather spend my very meager budget on getting the minimum units (that I like) for a legal force.  

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44 minutes ago, chieftom22 said:

I'm not a 40k player but I've heard that, at one point, they forced tournament players to paint at least Three colors on their minis due to the fact that entire tournaments consisted of unpainted armies and players trying to protect their painted models. This was bad rep for GW, so they made a new rule. All this did was make these players quickly spray three different shades on their models before tournaments.

It was 3 colors not including primer, bases had to be finished. It wasn't because of "bad rep". It was old communities (this was back when gamers till ran the gaming companies) trying to retain the old norms from before M:TG and similar casual games drastically altered the landscape of the hobby. 

This was "grand tournament" rules and at those tournaments, you also got points in the tournament ranking for the quality of your paintjobs. There were, iirc, 3 or 4 "big" prizes. Best Army, Best General, Best Painted, and Best Sportsmanship.

You have to remember, when you go back to early roots of post-WWII wargaming it was running on an assumption of all painted, all the time. They mostly used factory painted toy soldiers and then created other stuff as needed. If someone didn't want to bring a diorama to life, and just cared about tactics, they played with cardboard tokens and tighter rules than are usually achievable on a model railroad layout covered in lead soldiers.

I don't think an unpainted unit (in itself) means that a player is lazy, unsporting, or doesn't care about their opponent's experience. But it is evidence towards those things if other data points indicate such things. I've met gamers who can't be bothered with lots of other basic things, and ALSO don't paint their minis. Seems like a lazy person. I've met gamers who are pretty anti-social the whole game long, and don't paint their models. Seems like they're just looking for a moving target to get an algorithmic fix, not a social gaming experience. I've played with people who's lists ignore any sense of the game background or verisimilitude... and they don't paint their models. Seems like they don't care about a good story. If they take some weird unthematic list that consistently places first and don't paint the models, it seems like all they care about is winning at something, anything. The more of the above that you combine with unpainted models, the harder it becomes to draw positive conclusions about one's opponent's reasons for not painting their models.

On the other hand, I have friends who I know are pretty busy and can't get all their stuff painted by game night and that's that. When it's the same person over and over we give them a hard time (or if they have a painfully minmaxed list and didn't paint it) but I usually play where everyone knows each other and if it wasn't the models, they'd be making fun of bad dice rolls or something. And we never make fun of the painting quality, unless someone buys a horribly painted used figure.

When I play in stores, I have a plastic shopping bag that contains 3 brushes, a pallet, 10 acrylic craft paints, and can of white spray. It's free to anyone who "can't afford" to paint their armies. No one has ever taken me up on it, leading me to believe that lack of money is not the problem: it's their solution to the problem of painting minis.

Ditto on here. Anyone wants 10 paints and 3 brushes and a pallet, they're free, PM me. I won't ship a can of spray paint though. If I get flooded with requests I'll have to start charging shipping.

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I dont get angry etc when somebody hasnt painted, each to their own but imo its partly about re creating epic SW battles....and Rebels didn't look like one tone grey ghosts.  The game comes alive when everything is painted.

Whenever I receive a new game system..I dont even play till I have everything painted...in fact I often dont even read the rules beyond a few skims through until its all painted up....but I am a bit OCD regards that I realise ?

 

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I certainty prefer painted. I'm an old 40k player myself. I love tons of well painted minis and unique terrain, but I'm not going to begrudge anyone who can't get it pianted. I'm in this to play a fun star wars game like everyone else..

On a side note.... Isn't it about time FFG did a nice Arkham Horror miniture batle game on the same scale as SWL? ??

Edited by Obvious_Ninja
Typo

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19 minutes ago, GreatMazinkaiser said:

If you're not trying to paint your figs you may as well be playing on TTS or using chits; why buy expensive models if you're just going to treat them like green army men?

Because i thoroughly enjoy playing the game at my FLGS, 

have the means to spend money on the hobbies I have chosen 

And personality do not care if they are or not painted.

Why should this matter to others?

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A person isn't lazy or worthy of insult if they don't paint their minis. They are simply enjoying the hobby the way they want to enjoy it. Painting simply isn't the be-all, end-all of the hobby. It's one aspect that makes it more aesthetically pleasing. 

Becoming the arbiter of how other people should enjoy their things is plainly rude. Expecting others to put time and effort into something they don't want to do is selfish. Giving those people people a hard time because of it is rude AND immature. Refusing games with people because they don't have armies painted hurts the hobby and reduces our player pool. 

It is better to hold yourself to your own standards and be an example to follow than to go around telling everyone they are unworthy of your time if they can't or won't devote the same amount of time and effort to playing with toys as you do.

Edited by ImhotepMagi

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34 minutes ago, Matt3412 said:

Because i thoroughly enjoy playing the game at my FLGS, 

have the means to spend money on the hobbies I have chosen 

And personality do not care if they are or not painted.

Why should this matter to others?

Unless you are playing solo, I think why it matters would be clear; some opponents like the visuals of the game, as it helps you immerse yourself in it and really pretend it is Star Wars, as opposed to little plastic figures:)

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I have come to really enjoy painting. However, had I not previously played 40k (briefly) and had just a little bit of experience painting, I probably never would have tried Legion just because I used to find painting so intimidating. The only reason I felt comfortable starting 40k was because I was part of a RPG group where all the other players played 40k. They would paint during RPG sessions and taught me the basics. If it wasn't for this coaching, I would never have started painting.

It's easy to say how easy it is to paint until your painted figure that you are so proud of is on the table next to somebody's army who has been painting for 20 years. It can also be frustrating to be new to a game and be in the process of painting while others have been playing longer and have fully painted armies. Painting confidence plays a big part in actually painting an army.

With 2 units of Legion released every month, my goal is to paint 3 units a month so I can eventually have 2 fully painted armies. However, I live in Montana and the weather has turned bad so it has been difficult for me to even prime units so I can get them painted. I've also put off painting some figures that I really want to paint well but are more highly detailed (Fett).

It is easier for me to find time to paint than to find time to play, so I don't really care what my opponents army looks like. I'm just happy to have an opponent.

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21 minutes ago, Lord Ashram said:

Unless you are playing solo, I think why it matters would be clear; some opponents like the visuals of the game, as it helps you immerse yourself in it and really pretend it is Star Wars, as opposed to little plastic figures:

If you are playing painted to enhance your opponents' experience, that is laudable.

If you are requiring others to play painted to improve your own experience, that is selfish.

A lot of these "respect your opponents' experience" arguments don't seem to take into account that an unpainted player is still an opponent who is seeking an experience, just a different one.

Edited by ImhotepMagi

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I say use painted as much as possible. I just finished making 3 custom E-Webs (see drop down box)and didn't have time to paint them before the match... While they don't hurt the look as bad as the space mats, they definitely stick out in an army of painted figures. 



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Originally, I wouldn't let myself game unpainted, but that mindset led to me missing out on months (possible a year or two honestly in total) of potential play time as I gradually learned the techniques I needed for the army I was working on, and painstakingly tried to get things painted to what I considered "good enough." Painting became a barrier and a chore rather than an enjoyable activity, making it harder to motivate myself to spend time on my models.  Then I learned the three foot rule (it only has to look good at three feet), and improved my assembly line technique (instead of trying to paint the same colour on the entire ARMY, only focus on a squad at a time) both of which majorly sped up my painting, either through not worrying as much about every minute detail, or by making the task seem less daunting.

I also gave myself permission to play with unpainted models at least casually, so I could learn the game and use the enjoyment from the game to refresh my enthusiasm for finishing the army. I use tournaments and event games as "deadlines" for motivation to finish up a project I have been either slow leaking or haven't even started as I moved onto a new conversion project (arguably my favourite part of the hobby). 

@TauntaunScout I mostly agree, however some of the worst games I have played were against people with painted armies but were blatantly cheating ("bumping" models, "accidently" pre measuring in games that don't allow it, etc), behaved rudely, or generally were poor sportsmen. So my experience is the paint job or lack thereof is not a good indicator of an opponent's personality or how enjoyable the game will be. I can understand given your experiences why you would mentally prepare for bad behaviour upon seeing unpainted miniatures being placed down at a tournament. 

22 minutes ago, GreatMazinkaiser said:

If you're not trying to paint your figs you may as well be playing on TTS or using chits; why buy expensive models if you're just going to treat them like green army men?

Well, for one thing the LoS rules for Legion require a physical model, so using chits would require some amount of house ruling. Additionally, the cards required to play are in the box with me models, and "expensive" is relative.

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12 minutes ago, Caimheul1313 said:

@TauntaunScout I mostly agree, however some of the worst games I have played were against people with painted armies but were blatantly cheating ("bumping" models, "accidently" pre measuring in games that don't allow it, etc), behaved rudely, or generally were poor sportsmen. So my experience is the paint job or lack thereof is not a good indicator of an opponent's personality or how enjoyable the game will be. I can understand given your experiences why you would mentally prepare for bad behaviour upon seeing unpainted miniatures being placed down at a tournament.

I don't but it removes some benefit of the doubt too. I've faced a lot of weird anti-painting attitudes though too which has soured me on the whole thing. Besides, decades ago, we were pretty happily playing with an assumption that everyone was a goodfaith actor and would paint their figures. Then swarms of grey armies started showing up from people with a very different set of goals and attitudes. It was like being pushed out of your old neighborhood by yuppies or something.

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4 minutes ago, TauntaunScout said:

I don't but it removes some benefit of the doubt too. I've faced a lot of weird anti-painting attitudes though too which has soured me on the whole thing. Besides, decades ago, we were pretty happily playing with an assumption that everyone was a goodfaith actor and would paint their figures. Then swarms of grey armies started showing up from people with a very different set of goals and attitudes. It was like being pushed out of your old neighborhood by yuppies or something.

What I'm hearing here is that the player pool increased with a larger set of opinions on how to play these games. Decades ago, the hobby was pretty niche and attracted a certain small crowd. Decades is a long time to learn to adapt.

If you are approaching it from the idea that those who don't paint are bad faith actors, then possibly that attitude created push back from non-painters and fueled that anti-painting sentiment.

In any group, you have jerk players and that number increases as the population expands. The amount of paint on their minis rarely changes that. They are just jerks about different things.

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