Fatigue, Summer or Something else?

Something a bit different from me today; not the usual match reports or painting table update.

There have been a couple of high profile KickStarters that have taken my interest, namely Guild Ball and DreadBall XTreme. I ran the rule over Guild Ball and decided that it wasn’t for me and I pledged $75 for DBX that I then increased to $100 when I saw that that level was the starting point for most of the stretch goals.

A couple of days ago though I cancelled the pledge altogether and I’m not regretting it one bit.

There are a few reasons that lead to me cancelling the pledge and at the time they all came from Mantic’s handling of DreadBall and the KickStarter campaign itself. I was getting fed up with new season teams being added to the KS and the value of pledge’s reaching $500,000 and in my mind the nature of the KS changing. I know they are still a small company but I couldn’t help feeling used by Mantic and when combined with my general apathy for DreadBall I decided to stay away. I like DreadBall, but don’t love it and it’s not my go-to game; it’s been completely overtaken by X-Wing as my second game to Blood Bowl.

It’s easy to take this cancelled pledge as a single event, but I think it’s actually part of my evolution in gaming and the hobby.

Before I got back into the hobby I was lucky to have money to spend on luxuries. Since my family’s life-changing events of the last few years and me getting back into the gaming world as a distraction, money – although not gone altogether – has been shall we say tighter. I’m able to give myself a little monthly spending budget which I mainly put towards hobby stuff, but the days of getting what I want, when I want have gone. Cancelling the pledge is partly due to me looking at the return that I’m going to get out of my pledge in terms not just of models and rules, but in game play and fun. I’m not going to play enough to justify the expenditure, especially on models that I’m not fond of anyway.

The 18 months or so back in the hobby, including a full summer and winter with a hobby cave, have allowed me to work out what games I play, how frequently and how consistently as well as how I work the other aspects of the hobby around my responsibilities as a father.

I’m a winter gamer. As soon as the sun comes out, the family and I want to be outside and in particular I want to be out in the hills running. It doesn’t stop me reading and listening or buying, but it does dampen my desire to paint and play when I consider other activities. I have to consider that over the next few months, I am going to play less, paint less and model less. It’s all about determining which projects I want to complete and then planning and preparing for those that I want to do at the end of the year.

I think too, that my focus is therefore on my real passion of Blood Bowl and my growing love of X-Wing. I’m a Star Wars child, so X-Wing will always have appeal to me and with new films coming out and my son reaching an age at which he can appreciate such things, it will stick with me for a long time.

Warhammer Fantasy and Epic are therefore always going to be sidelines for me. If I ever have to choose between those or one of the other two games to play then the other two will win. If I’ve got some money to spend then it probably won’t go towards these. Time to play games is a factor but the cost of building armies is prohibitive. I’ll still listen to podcasts and keep as up to date as I can on the community, but it’s never going to be my thing. I’ll still keep and paint up what I have as I like the models and with Epic in particular I like the connection to my childhood. Warhammer Fantasy too will always be of interest to me as I look to use and convert the models for use in Blood Bowl.

One struggle that I do have is that I want to go to tournaments and get involved in the community more. There are several reasons that I can’t get to tournaments at the moment, so I just need to suck it up. There’s no shame in it. There is a lot of focus on the tournament and competitive play world in podcasts and Twitter, but I think that that’s for a certain type of gamer only. There are hundreds of thousands of people that still enjoy the hobby and never play tournaments of have any desire to. I’d like to play as I’d get lots of games under my belt and more importantly I’d get to meet some of the people that I interact with on Twitter. I don’t help myself by reading Twitter, forums and listening to podcasts as much as I do. I find them all invaluable, but they do increase my desire to go and take part. As I said, I just need to forget this one for now.

Therefore, I think I’m evolving. I’m gaining perspective on where and when I want to focus my efforts and I’m happy with it.

We all have our daily lives and pressures to deal with, that constrict and define the shape of our hobby. We all have different things that we take out of the hobby too from painting, to modelling to playing. I’m just pleased to be well on the way to finding what the hobby means to me and how it plays a part in my life.


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