It’s recently been brought to my attention (by my partner, who was getting a bit sick of hearing about it) that I change my mind a lot about the games I play.
Fickleness mental flexibility is a deep-seated trait of mine, and it can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation. In the case of miniatures gaming, the investment in time and money and the slow preparation required means that changing your mind all the time can be disastrous, financially and in terms of wasted hours. Plus you can feel committed to a game by the physical models you own, and feel guilty for not playing enough, like you’re wasting the time and money. In my case things are complicated by my long and ambivalent relationship with certain games.
So she suggested that I sit down and really consider what it is that I want from my gaming. This is not a bad idea, and I’m really glad that I did. Maybe some of you have similar issues. I thought I’d share below what I came up with after a few days of mulling it over.
Infinity: What I want from Infinity is to paint the gorgeous models, (using the army list rules as a vague sort of collection guide) and at some unspecified point pop down to my local club and meet some new people and play some games. I love the models and the setting, and the idea of playing, but I’m slow to get anything done. I need to stop feeling bad about not playing, and instead just enjoy the painting and collecting. I’ll play eventually when I’m ready, right? And if I don’t, so what?
SAGA: I want a historical fix from these models: to paint dirty dark ages people and really go to town on the research and history. I also want to get my two starter armies done, so I can play with my brother as we agreed. It’ll be a fun thing for us to do. Then, maybe play at a club if I ever feel like it? The local historical club plays SAGA and they’ve been going since the 70s so I don’t think they’re going anywhere.
Warhammer 40,000: This is the hard one. The skull-encrusted elephant in the room. It’s just so widely played in my area and social circle, and I still own quite a few models. But I just don’t wanna. After lots of consideration, I know I’m bored with the 40k setting, and I don’t like the aesthetic of the newer models. I will forever associate Games Workshop’s worlds with the hand-made look, so the new CAD-looking stuff just doesn’t do it for me. And the setting is a zombie as far as I’m concerned and leaves me totally cold.
However… I may not want to play 40k regularly, but I do want to be able to throw down with a mate if necessary as a one-off activity, like playing the X-Box or a board game. Saying never is not a good idea when you have a personality like mine – I’ve learned it’s always better for me to keep my options open.
The one thing I really don’t want to do though is buy and paint any more blocky, soul-less, extravagantly expensive models. Unfortunately, I have half-sold my old Imperial Guard army, so this is going to be tricky. I’m thinking of trying a painting service. Maybe buy a superheavy tank, send it to them to build and paint three colours, and then detail and weather it myself. Time to think outside the box.
So what’s the result of this introspection in a nutshell? I’m not really all that keen on miniatures gaming at the moment as it turns out. I just want to paint models I like, and pretend I’m going to play at some point. This is obvious in retrospect because it’s what I’ve been doing for about two years now.
Right. Now that’s all cleared up, I actually feel pretty fresh. Like some negativity has lifted. Back to cleaning my Asura for priming…