Each year at my local store, we run a Christmas tournament. Each participant shows up with a painted model, securely wrapped, and attaches to it a label with a handful of hints to its identity. We play Warmachine all day (the last two years, the format was Thunderdome), and as people score points, they can unlock the clues to each present’s identity and creator. Then at the end of the day, people use the hints to choose which model they think they’d like to swap their current present for, with higher-scoring players getting later swaps to better ensure that they keep what they choose.
The entire exercise, from model creation to playing to opening presents, is the most fun I have gaming all year.
This year I’ve been trying to focus more on scratch-sculpting than on conversions, so I decided that whatever I ended up making, it would be entirely sculpted out of Fimo, which would give me more leeway in creating an interesting model. I originally tossed around some ideas for a custom warbeast, but had just finished scratch-sculpting a few rather large models, and was in the mood to work on something smaller and faster. In the end, I had a fantastic idea; a counts-as Withershadow Combine in the guise of different collection of immortal magical cobblers: