Well, this Christmas and New Year has been a revelation, I can tell you! I've been doing a lot of thinking about my hobby in recent months. A lot of this has been caused by my complete change of profession. For the next few years my finances, which were never great, are going to be a lot worse. I therefore decided to shelve a lot of stuff as I was not going to be able to purchase enough miniatures to complete my projects. Financially speaking, nothing has changed. But I think my approach has. And although this is probably about as clear as mud, I'll try and explain.
I love painting miniatures. The end goal of my wargaming is, essentially, a desire to see well painted miniatures on some great looking terrain. The game is fun. It's what drives my passion for an historical period or sci-fi / fantasy concept. And on a practical level, it determines base sizes, number of figures required and the size of the gaming surface, which in turn determines how much scenery I need to make!
My revelation? That I am, at heart, a skirmish wagamer, both in practice and in planning. As much as I want to see huge armies sprawling across a gaming surface, and as much as I have tied to work towards that, i have always been beset by two problems. Finances and Space. Why, in thirty odd years of wargaming, have I not amassed a Napoleonic, ECW, Medieval or Ancients army? Finances. Pure and simple. And space. I simply don't have a table, let alone a room, big enough for one of those 9'x5' minimum gaming surfaces.
Yes, I know that if I used a small scale I could halve the table size. But I just can't bring myself to do it. why? Because, I like 28mm miniatures, blast it! I did once paint a block of 10mm Warmaster Empire troops. They looked stunning, according to my friends. Friends who also labelled my painting style for such a small scale as, and I quote, "Absolute madness!" Now, I know 28mm isn't a scale. It covers anything from 25-34mm. And that's only foot to eye. But I like the level of detail. and it's a nice scale to make scenery for. I d a lot of that, you'll realise by looking at this blog.
So what am I going to do? Well, I'm going to embrace the skirmish wargamer in me. I'm ging to shelve the idea of large armies, as there seems to be little point in wasting life dreaming of what will never be.Instead I'm going to play lots of skirmish wargames as it lets me dip in and out of many time periods and fictional milieu. It allows me to buy the miniatures I like for the periods I'm interested in. It lets me make a lot of suitable scenery that creates real flavour for each game. It means most boards are going to be 4'x4' so I'll be able to fit them on my dining table.
And in order to stay fresh, focused and creative, I'm following the advice of good friends in GooglePlusWorld, particularly the sage advice of John Tailby, and making sure i remain creative rather than follow a factory process. So I've reopened my Napoleonics, Wars of the Roses and Frostgrave projects. I've even created collections for these in GooglePlusWorld. Will I have time to post on all these projects regularly? I don't know. But having a collection reminds me the projects are there. Even if I don't as of yet have all the miniatures I may need for each of them. But I do know I'll be dipping in and out of them as my creativity leads, and I'll post progress on each as and when it happens.
And perhaps best of all, this revelation is rather liberating. This in turn, makes me probably the happiest I've ever been with my hobby. And that's a wonderful place to be!