Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Gaming Reflection

It's been a productive year for me in the geek department. In the past twelve months I've added to my Warmachine army, painted a substantial number of Gothic Horror models, finished two full Impetus armies, and created a metric ass-load of terrain. So, things are going well on the modelling and painting front, and as I have a new son being born in less than two months, this productivity is well-timed.

However, I've been pondering the other side of the hobby lately; that is to say, the gaming itself.  The perpetual question - Is there such a thing as being involved in too many games?  Can a geek be spread too thin, or is that just crazy talk? I've decided to ponder in writing the various games that are currently being played in our group with an eye to what lies ahead.

Warmachine & Hordes

My Cygnar force tussles with Marc's Cryx

The game that will always hold a special place in my heart, regardless of how frequently or infrequently I play it. Why you ask?  Simply put, it was Warmachine (and later Hordes) that save our group from the stranglehold of Warhammer 40k. The Privateer games are foundational in our group, and in addition to providing countless hours of play over the past few years, they showed us that there were so many better games beyond the insular world of the GW core games.


My 15mm Free Company ready to battle it out with the Milanese.

I remember the time in my life when talk of historical gaming caused me to glaze over and nod off.  When the time finally came that I was ready to dive in, after a few false starts it was the Italian ruleset Impetus that grabbed me. I absolutely love this game, and although Chris and I haven't played in over a month, Marc and I have been playing with the 6mm armies lately to bide our time until he finishes painting his 15mm medievals.

Chaos in Carpathia

A Transylvanian landscape ready to be fought over.

After our Old West campaign I was looking for another set of adventure rules with low model count, individual model activation, and character advancement. When I stumbled upon Chaos in Carpathia, my imagination was ignited in a most dramatic fashion.  We've been playing this one almost once a week since we got it off the ground, and with four warband-toting players in the group already, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Legends of the Old West

The main street of Assumption, Oklahoma.

I put an awful lot of work into creating my Old West terrain and we had lots of fun playing the game, so you can bet we'll be playing more of it in the future.  It's been a few months but the fires are still burning strong for those who took part the last time around.  I'm predicting a new Old West campaign starting up fairly soon, but whether it uses LOTOW rules or Gutshot remains to be seen.

Future War Commander

Chris and Chris throw down for some 6mm FWC.

This is the new kid on the block in our group.  Chris has a 15mm GZG force painted and I've started my 15mm army just recently.  However, in the meantime Chris has been churning out all of these Battletech models he's had poked away. Others are also jumping on this one pretty quickly and I predict that it will become a mainstay in the group.

And that leaves us, where?

Good question.  There are still other games looming on the horizon.  Some of us have Alkemy models poked away, others have 10mm WWII, and other still have Firestorm Armada.  Let's not forget the 28mm Fantasy Impetus that some of us have begun.  And none of this begins to address the unannounced ideas floating around in people's heads right now.

So, to reiterate the original question... can a geek play too many games?

I admit that I've been feeling a pulled in many directions lately, and it's reached the point that I can't play everything in the group with regular frequency.  I guess that's OK, and it's perfectly acceptable to let some games ebb and flow through the months or years.  Since I've really come to enjoy painting and modeling for its own sake, I'm not always concerned that everything I paint gets lots of table time. I guess for the present I'll concentrate on finishing off some odds and ends (i.e Warmachine, Gothic Horror, some terrain items), do my best to concentrate on a few projects for which I've already acquired models (i.e. Alkemy, 15mm Sci-Fi, 15mm Irish, 28mm Fantasy Impetus), and try to stop myself from embarking upon anything new.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. I'll be receiving a copy of Where Heroes Dare for my birthday next month, but I'll just read it. I won't start any pulp gaming. I promise. I think. - J


Dogui said...

"P.S. I'll be receiving a copy of Where Heroes Dare for my birthday next month, but I'll just read it. I won't start any pulp gaming. I promise. I think."

Yeah, right. :-D


RAZ said...

I think it is possible to be involved in too many games/projects. The threshold is probably different for each individual.

If you are asking yourself how much is too much or the hobby is starting to feel like a job, you're probably close to or past that point. It just depends on where you're at in life and how much time/resources/enthusiasm/family support you have available to you.

Ruaridh said...

I'm with Chris on this one. I think it is possible to spread yourself too thinly. Sure it depends upon who you are and how much time you have for gaming, but the physical cost of the figures plus the time investment adds up and there must come a point when you get a negative return on that investment. I certainly feel that way at the moment. We have a stash of games that we enjoy but I am dissatisfied because we are not playing each of them often enough. On top of that I have a lead mountain that will keep my house safe in the event of nuclear attack but is doing little else. I should get rid of some of it, but I find it extremely hard to decide which projects to focus on and play, and which I should sell. I guess that makes me a proper gamer! :-)

jmezz382 said...

The good thing is that you have many subjects to keep painting and game playing fresh ..... it won't get stale. My group has been playing FOW pretty steady .... we are getting ready to add Legends of the Old West to add variety.

StevenEwing2 said...

Looks excellent, you play several systems which will keep everybody interested.

MIK said...

Variety is the spice of life, there's too many great games out there to just stick to one. Especially when someone like yourself does such a good job with each one of them.

I appreciate those who can play just one game (or even just one genre), but I could never do that.

You're only spread too thin if you personally feel you are, and certain other aspects begin to become lacking. I know at times, my group and I seem to be doing many cool things at once, but none of them with any particular expertise. It's a fine balance.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

I wouldn't worry as you sound like a typical healthy wargamer to me.:-)We always play to many systems and have a horde of miniatures we will likely never paint.
Rare is the wargamer that keeps in time with his games and miniatures.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Oh btw we play WHFB,FOW and will restarting WAB with Chaos in Cairo and Disposable Heroes on the side.


Brendan Mayhugh said...

"The perpetual question - Is there such a thing as being involved in too many games? Can a geek be spread too thin, or is that just crazy talk?"

I think you can spread yourself out too thin, but if your models are seeing a table in a regular time frame then you are golden. If you feel that those miniatures that you have tucked away for months that have no paint at all on them. Then it's time to sell.

I got into a bunch of games (Warmachine, Warhammer, Future Wars, WW2, Fire & Fury) when I was a part of a gaming group... Now that I moved away from them, I mainly play Warmachine & Bloodbowl cuz that's what is being played.

In the end, you must decide if you have too many genres!

JET (aka Jason) said...

So many insights, and I pretty much agree with all of them. I know now what type(s) of gaming really satisfies me, and in many cases it's the genres that require very few models.

As ever, I'll keep on keeping on and see where I end up.

Millsy said...

Everybody knows the guy who dies with the most wins ;-)