Thursday, 29 December 2016

Year in review and general rambling comments on gaming life...

The end of 2016 is here, and a good gaming year it has been. It has seen a rebirth in my interest in miniature gaming. I suspect that I have played more miniature games this year than I have ever played, not just in any previous year but ever! Now my memory is only so so, so take that with a grain of salt.

Okay, now that I have had some time to think about it, I admit it, not 'ever', but certainly the most games played in the last decade or two.


First a brief background, I have been a gamer all my life be it kid board games like Green Ghost, or family games like Monopoly, Rat Race etc, or even home made games created by my brother. I certainly remember getting Airfix kits at Christmas time (Roman fort/Robin Hood/castle) and playing rudimentary games "I kill you well the I kill you"nothing serious just the typical playtime activities of any child. Actual formal structured miniature gaming started around 197?. My parents had returned from a trip to England with two gaming books, Introduction to Battle Gaming by Terrence Wise and Discovering Wargames by John Tunstill, if only my parents could have had the foresight to realize what they had started...From these wargames I moved to role playing games in the late 70's with of course D&D, that then led to more RPG's and an obsession that ate up my free time.  Friday night gaming, Saturday night gaming, overnight gaming, with a group of like minded male friends, assured my parents that there would be no risk of unwanted/unexpected teen parenthood in my future! Role playing games replaced miniature gaming for the next decade at least. 

These two books were the catalyst for my gaming life, miniature and otherwise, they started the obsession that shows no sign of abating. Much like Leonard Nimoy who at times rejected Spock, I denied that I was a gamer for many years, but I have accepted the obvious (see below)  and embraced the notion. However my gaming life of late has been a bit spotty. I look at my miniature collection in an attempt to remember what I have played, and to be frank it has not been that much.

The obvious
As I sit in my gaming room/Geek cave, I scan my surroundings. I have 5 main cabinets of miniatures a total of 100+ 30" x 14.5" shelves. From left to right I see, Dystopian Wars, 15mm Sci-Fi, and Epic 40K. Next is the 1/72nd WWII, Then a cabinet of Congo, Pulp, Wild West and my various WarHammer armies, then a cabinet of VSF, Gothic Horror and original 40K Rogue Trader era figures. Finally we come to Battlefleet Gothic, and some pulp Sci-fi figures. Somewhere in the recesses of my basement can be found 15mm ACW, Lord of the Rings, AQMF and Blood Bowl figures. One wall is dominated by pen and paper RPG's while boardgames have invaded another corner of the basement.
I am Groot er oops I mean,  I am a GAMER!

Yet despite all of these figures at my disposal, prior to 2016, very few had actually been on the table. Some test runs of Hail Caesar (fantasy) the odd game of Dystopian Wars and a game or two of Rapid Fire was about it. Thanks to a buddy from Burlington, we have played some VSF games too. But even that, a game genre that I like, took someone else to get me to set up and play games.

Truth be told, my friends and I have played a fair number of board games in 2014-2016, getting together once a month to play 3-4 games of any number of games. RPG's while having dominated my high school life and to some extent my university days, had by the start of the 2000's largely faded from view. Miniature game playing had also largely ended. What did not end was the continuous buying of games of all types, RPG's, boardgames and more figures, not always the painting of said miniature acquisitions, but certainly the purchasing of more and more figures. A friend and I often joke that we may yet escape the radiation impact of a nuke thanks to our lead line walls...never mind that the floor seems to be sinking where our miniatures are stored.

Time is a harsh mistress! Time slips away and if you are not careful you can loose it entirely. Like many I find myself torn between a variety of commitments, work vs home life vs extended family. What spare time I have does not all go to gaming. But what time does go to gaming is not always utilized properly. All too often I spend my time thinking about projects, not acting on these thoughts. It often feels like 2 steps forward 3 steps back. Fore instance I seem  to be constantly cleaning and prepping my gaming room. Where does all this garbage keep coming from?!? Why can I not just clean it and keep it clean?

Clutter is one of my chief enemies, however my greatest arch enemy is procrastination. It has been my nemesis for my entire life and while I achieve the occasional victory, like any good comic book villain it just keeps coming back. The sidekicks of Procrastination are Inertia and Despair. I am proof that a body at rest tends to remain at rest! Even now I should put down the lap top and get up and...clean my room. (yes mother I will get to it...)

Despair appears as a guest villain just when I think I have a handle on what I need/want to work on I suddenly feel the stony grip of despair telling me that I will never finish all that I have. Those thoughts are probably right, but better to do what I can and let my estate deal with what I could not finish in my lifetime!😊 (baby steps, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, celebrate the inches not just the milestones, hang in there kitty...)
So while looking at the mountain of lead and plastic and resin I despair of ever making a dent in what needs to be painted. In fact it is the overwhelming aspect of what I have to work on that can often lead to inertia. A deadly duo for miniature production!

But not 2016! This year I was able to rise above the morass that was my life. I found time to game and to paint. I actually accomplished stuff, and I will continue this trend into the new year! Not just a pipe dream or wishful thinking or an exercise in positive thinking, to hell with thinking Do or do not, there is no trying! I have truly enjoyed my renaissance of gaming, and it is the memory of the fun that my gaming has brought me that will sustain me in my hours of need. Some may have noticed that not everything used in my games was fully finished. there are many, many bases that have not been flocked, there have even been some not fully painted bases, and figures. No bare metal, but some not fully rendered figures. The reason is simple, if I waited until everything was done, I would not have played any games!

To beat procrastination I would set a date to play a game, and come hell or high water we would play that date. So many times I found myself painting/prepping just minutes before my friends were set to arrive. Hell I have even painted figures for a second game while the first game was being played. But it meant that I was able to beat back inertia, and get things done. Also playing and prepping games, motivates me to play more games and so on and so on. Courtesy of playing a preset campaign like Pulp Alley Perilous Island allowed me to focus in on specific figures for the campaign, and not get distracted by the great unpainted hordes, thus defeating despair.

The creation of this blog and my increased activity on Lead Adventure Forum have both aided me in my pursuit of gaming glory. LAF is one of the most encouraging sites on the web. ♪Seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the comments keep me gaming a lot!♪  Seriously I really like to look at what others are doing, to become inspired by their activities, and to flatter them by stealing, incorporating, emulating their great ideas . Then with my own blog I get to demonstrate what I have stolen done as a result of their inspiration. My blog also makes me want to post more regularly, and to do that I need to 'work' on my games more. I also like to share some of the strange items I have found, and some of my ideas in a way to pay back for the help I have received.

I have rambled on way too long!
If you have made it this far take a moment and think about what productive gaming activity you could have been doing with all the time you just spent reading my dirge of a ramble. (but thank you for reading, just a little bit left to read)

2017 sees me working on the Vice Alley campaign, which means I will be able to focus my attention on the multitude of gangsters and cops that I have and on the buildings that litter my gaming table. Hopefully that can be done in the first half of the year, which will allow me to find another project to work on. Maybe I can reduce some of that bare miniature legacy. At any rate it is now 1:30 pm and I need to eat and then get at it, that gaming room is not going to clean itself!       

3 comments:

  1. Very thought-provoking! I should learn from your example in terms of getting things done.

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