Most veterans of the art we call “miniatures gaming” will no doubt be aware of, if not afflicted by the pathological condition that I henceforth call “New Army Syndrome” or NAS for short. I think that the greatest casualties of this virulent disease are those who grew up on the staple systems of the great gaming behemoth that is Nottingham’s finest, Games Workshop. From the selection of games that I am involved with, releases are staggered across all factions except for the Warhammer and 40k crowd. I’m not saying that this condition is therefore solely restricted to those involved with Games Workshop’s games, however I would hazard a guess that it is far more prevalent in that environment, our pathogen has found its ideal incubation zone.
For those of you who may be staring in bewilderment at the monitor wondering what it is that I am babbling on about let me give you the 6 Inch Move dictionary definition of the pandemic NAS.
New Army Syndrome
Due to the release schedule of the Games Workshop product every few months a new army book is released for one of the major systems produced by said company. At this point a person infected by NAS will feel an overwhelming compulsion to purchase the new book and, once read/glanced through, will be almost helpless to resist coming up with an army list and thinking seriously about collecting said army. In terminal cases the victim is an unwilling thrall destined to collect every single new army that comes out. He or She finds him/herself unable to control the impulses that drive them into kitting out a full army of the new release. Some severe cases have been reported where the infected has gone out during a lunch break, picked up an army book and has “woken up” from some sort of waking coma and realised their front room is packed full of plastic sprues looking suspiciously like this quarter’s flavour of Space Marines. These poor souls as well as having 6 million fantasy armies and 5 million 40k armies can also field the entire starting Legions of every single First and Second Founding Space Marine Chapters.
The real sadness arises from the fact (not that they have so many Space Marines) but that there is no known cure for this condition. Instead, long-suffering spouses/girlfriends find their houses consumed by a never-ending tide of gribbly alien horrors, scantily clad Elven maidens or Technicolor armoured supermen. Only the strongest willed of humankind can fight off the insidious disease and success at doing so varies year on year.
It is more than likely that someone you know, or someone you love is afflicted by this crippling illness. Hopefully, they haven’t entered the final stages of debilitation. If you have come across someone rocking themselves, huddled in a corner crying like a little girl that they’ll “never get it all painted” then I’m afraid you have found someone in these last agonising moments of self-realisation. This melancholy exists only until the next release however, and then their poor hypothalamus is forced to produce greater amounts of Endorphins giving them the dizzying high of collecting yet another 2000pts they’ll never get around to taking out the box.
Some may wonder if this unhealthy expertise with such a disease could only come from one who suffers from it themselves. I would however only class myself as a minor case. I do enjoy looking over the new releases, however, I am free of Space Marines, having only one army for 40k and Fantasy but I do cast an appraising eye over most of the new books that come out. I can hold my head up proudly though as there are a lot of books I do not own, ones that have passed me by without sucking me in and I am thankful for it.
So, the next time you see your other half standing there looking over a new army book, drag him/her away! Break their arm if you have to, they’ll thank you in the end! Remember, you may be living with a NAS sufferer, this is an illness to be understood not ridiculed, the infected will need your help and if you have just picked up a paintbrush or assembled your first model, chances are you may already be incubating this condition.