Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Conflict of interests...

Alternative title: How I cope with multiple wargaming projects.
All of this is, of course, just my opinion, and what works for me.
This post is more of a short essay about wargaming, and an aspect of the hobby most of us deal with at one time or another; how to be productive and complete projects.

Here's a typical wargamer / hobby conundrum...What to paint next?

what to do, what to do --  1/200 ship on the left, 18mm ACW on the right.

Here is a shot of the projects on my hobby desk.  I just got my next ship in the mail, and I eagerly tore open all the packaging to verify it was all there, and giggle.  AoS is my newest genre and I'm all excited about it.  But while I was waiting for the ship to arrive, I picked back up my ongoing ACW project, with some CSA reinforcements that are nearly done.  Which project to do?

(of course, it doesn't seem nearly done when you start thinking about what steps are left; paint some rifles, paint the flesh, paint the hair, paint ALL the bases, Wash in AP strong tone, spray with antishine, flock all the bases, and then attach the flex steel to the bottoms for storage).

My CSA troops, needing reinforcements to stand up against the Yankees.

Like most people, even though wargaming is really my only hobby, I have limited time and resources (bascially money) to devote to it; after work, family, chores, and everything else that people have to do.  And I have learned that if I spread those resources too thin over a too many projects then nothing gets done.  When nothing gets done I get frustrated and unhappy in my wargaming.

When I moved a couple of years ago, I did some searching into my wargaming soul, triggered by having to pack up and inventory all the wargaming miscellany.  It was quite sobering how many half started (or purchased and then never started) projects / genres that I had lying around.  Miniatures bought and never painted.  Rule-sets read and never played.  I ultimately determined that this was a BIG waste of resources (money and space) and looked very hard and very ruthlessly at what I was likely to complete in the near future, what still held my interest, and determined that most needed to go.

I won't bore you with a list of what I jettisoned, because it would only make sense in the context of what I kept, and that's a lot of writing for what I suspect would be little interest, even to me.  But I sold some stuff at a flea market or two for very cheap, gave a lot away, and just threw away other stuff.  Threw away in the trash!  It was a tough but necessary step, and honestly I can't even remember what it was now really that got tossed.   It was the great purge of 2014, and honestly...

It was a very liberating experience.
In one fell swoop (one fell swoop that actually was over a month long of packing, sorting, selling, etc..) I rid myself of the thought of "guh, when am I going to get around to painting those Romans (and the Gauls). "  "I can't start another project because I have so many already..."

I am now waaaaay more selective of what I invest in and collect.  But the up side of this is that when I do start a project there is actually progress and sees the wargaming table, versus being bought, and just being put into storage when the next "oooohhh shiny" comes along.

I limit myself to purchases of miniatures in only two genres as at time, as in, only have 2 projects going.  I like having 2 genres going at once, because it's too hard to focus on 1 project for an extended period of time but bouncing between 2 will still provide some variety.  An 'extended period of time' for me means about a year or more, because it takes that long to go from nothing at all to having 2 painted armies plus some terrain.

For example, going through my emails I see that I first started talking about starting an ACW project in October 2014!  That's over 2 years ago, and during that time I focused on ACW and Dark Ages, and it's paid off because now I have a decent collection of both.Here's  a shot of an ACW Game I ran at Kublacon.  Enough figures for 5 players.

ACW game, the Union attempting to push the CSA off the field.

The civil war project has benefited from my constant focus, as it's gone from nothing to a large force of Union, a medium force of CSA, plus fences, fields (see the other post about plowed fields and cornfield), some cavalry, and artillery.

Normans cross a river to attack a Saxon village.
The "Harrying of the North."  

Here's a Hail Caesar game that I hosted at my place while ago (I had to did through my pictures to find a shot).  There were more figures coming on as reinforcements even.

The Dark ages has been complete 'enough' for awhile now, having enough troops to play any skirmish game I like and big battles large enough for 3 players per side (though there is always some more I would like to do, like even bigger battles!).   The DA collection  includes about 200 miniatures of Vikings, Saxons, and Normans; also civilians, movement trays, carts, and terrain.

Completed genres hang out in the storage containers, ready to be broken out whenever I like. This makes me happy and increases my enjoyment in wargaming.

In closing; I have found that I get more done and enjoyment by focusing my limited resources across two genres at a time.  I get the variety of different things to paint or model so my hobby doesn't become tedious (though painting is always a little tedious ins't it?).  The focus also means that 'things get done' which results in the thing I like best; playing with painted armies!

Painting the ship will result in a second ship complete, for a total of  1 French and 1 British; meaning that games that focus on smaller actions (like ship versus ship),  like the rules Post Captain, are ready to be played.

Painting the CSA will result in having enough troops to play the next scenario that I am interested in playing, taking place in the wheat-field of Gettysburg.

I'll write more on another post about  how I keep my focus and avoid the "oh new shiny" more often than not, and some thoughts about using 'the rule of 2' and organizing your hobby.

I hope this was, at least, somewhat interesting.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Wonderful figures Stew, your limited time bas been well used!

    1. thank you for the comment on the blog and about the figures!

  2. Far too bloody sensible attitude to all this. Succumb to the shiny-itis and like it.

  3. It will not do. The wallet can not contend with the imagination. And I only have so much storage.