I've just added up my guard army for a mega apocalypse battle. Now normally against my usually opponents I'll have about 5k to play with and I'll carefully pick and choose what I want to take. This time I have been invited to play down the local workshop, and they said they were trying to set a record for how big a game they can play. I said I might pop down with my baneblades, to which the staff member inquired "Plural?" to which I gently reply "eight"
His eyes sort of boggled, a feat I've only ever seen in rats before.
So having totted up every thing i have (with the exception of a few unbuilt bits and plenty of special weapon options - I have more special options than I can use so I can use the same basic troopers but vary the squad loadout with ease) I've come to about 17,000 points. This is such a total that I am actually assembling a team of wargamers to assist me with this army, to take control of some of the force to speed up gameplay. These guys either haven't got 40k armies of their own anymore or are down visiting family in the area and have not brought it with them. Or just don't want to pack up all their models for the trip, who knows.
Now most of these forces are old models that I'm not particularly fond of anymore (paint scheme wise) and will only bring out to bolster forces where necessary. I do plan to do some updated units so I can play my Catachans to my current painting standard, but that is a work in progress. I also want to build a 3k or so Aircav army for those Catachans (of which I have about 1k of the flyers so far, included in the above total) I am also about to start a special themed guard army for an October tournament as part of a tale of four gamers style campaign. So within the next couple of years I "hope" to have somewhere in the region of 22,000 points. And given a few thousand of that will be stuff that wasn't available in the last guard codex, who knows what I may add the next time they release the codex and bring out a new toy as awesome as the valkyrie/vendetta. And heavy forbid what is coming for the imperials in this so called "summer of flyers."
But seriously, how much is too much? I like nothing better than to see this mass force forging it's way across the battlefield, though I think this will be the first time I've seen this since my very first game of apocalypse (my baneblade collection was much smaller back then) I do have to admit, whilst I rarely get to see the force in full, the ability to chop and change my army as I see fit is very enjoyable - my opponents never know if I'm going to bring an armoured company or foot guard, even in apocalypse! This has earned me a reputation as the most unpredictable guard player anyone has ever met, to the extent that one of my friends once said playing a game like me was stressful for anybody, as a hive tyrant could march towards me, and I will charge it, and the hive tyrant will die at the sheer shock of the situation! This reputation pleases me, as there are far worse reputations for gamers to develop :oP