Monday, 31 December 2012

Wargaming New Years Resolutions

Greetings one and all, and here we are again, the turning of the year. Behind us (if we dare to look!) is Anno Domini 2012, and I hope that you can think back on it with fondness rather than a shudder of dread. Ahead, if we listen carefully through the mists, 2013 thunders closer and closer towards us like the Flying Scotsman, lamps gleaming, and horns blaring.

It seems the done thing, whether by tradition or simple good intention, for people to declare to the world the promises they make to themselves for the coming year, their resolutions. People might resolve to go on a diet to lose the pounds they gained during the festive season (because we don't over indulge the rest of the year of course, Christmas is to blame!), or to read more books (always a good thing in my book!), or spend less money on frivolities like getting more wasted than Brandon Block or Linsay Lohan on a night out, which must take a significant allocation of financial resources I expect.

We all have things we would like to do in the coming year, whether borne of a regret from the past twelve months, or an ambition for the next, and when it comes to New Years Resolutions, we Wargamers are no different. And we often can't stick to them for more than a few weeks either!

So, typically in my experience Wargamers tend towards certain resolutions: to get that army painted, to start that new army they have been promising themselves (and quite possibly kickstarted by gifts or vouchers gained at Christmas) or to get more games played. All fairly standard stuff, but important nontheless, because if we don't do these things, then where are we? Hobbywise at least, nowhere. I guess that's where one of the most difficult things about the hobby is shown best - persistance.

Some people love to paint models. I like painting models, especially after getting back into painting properly about two years or so ago, because I think my painting standard is fairly good, when I take my time over something at least. This is also a good thing because in the past I have accumulated armies much faster than I have painted them, resulting in lots (and lots!) of unpainted models laying around waiting for some attention, and now that they are getting that attention (however sluggish that may be) at least they are getting painted to a decent 'battlefield standard'. Models perform better on the table when they are painted after all...

The problem is, I get bored of painting models after a while. I know I am not the only one, so sometimes we need something extra to help us stick at it, which is what New Years Resolutions are all about. They are easy to make, but hard to stick to, which I guess is what makes them worthwhile.

Here's a tip when it comes to keeping up the momentum with painting: if you use online forums to discuss your wargaming, set up a 'Painting Survivor Series'. Get some painters together, agree a start date, and then post progress pics every third day after the Opening Post, and see who can keep going the longest before they miss the posting deadline. You are painting to survive, and the reward is bragging rights and lots of painted models. You could even create some kind of 'badge of honour' to appear in forum signatures, to denote those brave souls who have tested their mettle in the painting arena.

I did this on my favourite forum (Astronomican which I thoroughly recommend you check out), and it works great. It keeps people painting long after they might otherwise have decided that other tasks were more appealing, like chewing off their toe nails...

So, what will my Wargaming Resolution be for 2013? Last year, I resolved to paint more models than I bought, and that failed miserably, because I traded away a large collection of Epic miniatures which I haven't used in about fifteen years and were just gathering dust, and replaced them with a 4000+ points army of Ogres for Warhammer Fantasy, which have already seen action and even paint! So, that resolution is not an option. It doesn't do to tempt the fates that way by making the same resolution again.

I have decided to keep it somple for 2013, and I advise you to do the same, because a simple (and more importantly achieveable!) goal is far more likely to survive January than a demanding and labour intensive one. With this in mind, I have simply decided to get more games played in 2013 than I did in 2012, which shouldn't be a chore now I have started attending a club close by every couple of weeks, and playing more games against skilled opponents with fully painted armies will inspire me to paint my own models anyway, so everyone's a winner.

After all, for me at least, getting models onto the battlefield and actually playing games with them is the culmination of all the other parts of the hobby.

Have a good ol' ponder about what your gaming New Years Resolution will be, keep it simple and achieveable, and you'll come through with flying colours. I wish you well for 2013.