Thursday, September 18, 2008

So many projects so little time.

A topic which has come up a couple times in the past week is why do I have so many projects yet none of them seem complete. As was pointed out my project list look someone took out a shotgun and fired at a list of projects and whatever got hit I bought into.

The truth is a lot simpler I am a gaming whore and enjoy the hobby. I enjoy painting figures as well as playing the game. So over the years I got involved in a whole lot of projects I shouldn’t have, picked up the figures and gotten started with them; then of course the project falls apart and I have a half painted army.

Let’s look at some of my projects.

Clan War is a 25mm Fantasy Japanese miniatures game I got into heavily in 1999. I collected my first army, Lion, and started expanding it and adding figures to make an opposing army, Dragon. It was, and still is, a fun game but the Manufacturer, Alderac Entertainment Group, in 2002 sold the figure rights and got rid of their casting machines. Long story short the game died and I was able to pick up dozens, okay more like hundreds, of figures extremely cheaply. I occasional pull the figures out and paint up a few more on hopes of restarting the game around here but it hasn’t happened.

I own two Warhammer Fantasy Battles armies, Lizardmen and Bretonnia Questing Knights. As funny as it is these are the only two fully painted armies I own. The lizardmen have actually won several awards for their painting. It’s too bad the Lizardmen Army has NEVER been used ina game, and the Bretonnias haven’t been a legal army since the Big Orange Book, like four editions ago.

I have a large Black Templar force for Warhammer 40K. Been used three times (give or take a couple) in like the past five years. I keep buying figures and adding them to the collection. I know own about 25,000 points (a typical army is 1850 points).

In the Napoleonic period I have started 1799, 1809, 1810, 1813, and 1815.
The 1799 project is the only project truly of my own accord. I figured it would be interesting to play a game where everyones troops suck.
1809 was Herman Schouten project, until he became a she and moved to San Francisco. I suddenly had the start of 1809 Austrian Army which has gotten expanded over the past 20 years to be damn near complete Austrian Army. I have been working on the French Allied for the game. Next year I will be doing Wagram and it will be all worth while.
1810 was another Side project that I was involved in starting but not entirely my fault. There is a side war in Northern Europe pitting Russia and its Ally France vs. several small Allied States supported by Britian. I painted up a goodly number of Russians, started some Swedes but that where the project ended when everyone else backed out.
1813 was Fitz project, there are a number of good reasons for playing the period, parity amongst the troops and such. I have a few Austrians for the period (in Shako vs. Rottenhelm of 1809).
1815 is a project everyone seems to do. Not sure who started it, but I later decided to so it as 1:30 project.

I can say the same about a goodly number of projects. Good intentions lost when everyone else backs out.

One of the few projects that I stayed away from was the Seven Years War project. Actually I bought four bags of Prussians when the project got started in 2003 however after several people made it clear that they expected me to paint more than my own command, the figures got handed to Fitz. So until people show up with painted figures no interest. While finally five years later Fitz has hosted two games. Now I may actually have to paint up an Army for Koenig Kreig.


Anonymous said...

It's one thing to provide extra figures to help jump start a project... it's another to be expected to continually provide the toys for leeches. Gamer geek daycare ain't cool.

I understand that hobby money is tight for people... hell, it's that way for me. That said, if you're going to show up, sooner or later it's time to pony up for at least a small army.

I still have the temptation to jump into a lot of different things. I'm just doing a better job of resisting urges more often. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.

Jeff Johnson said...

The problem of jumpstarting is you have to have the mass of intested people in the same like mind. look at teh Seven Years Way project, taken Seven years to get a mass of people interested and than it fragmented into four, five groups? How do anything for that?

Money has always been tight, we have been an expensive hobby for years. The thing that most people forget is that a small starter army can be purchased for $45 to $60 and in small chunks. The real problem is the initative to get the darn thing painted. And unfortunately since so many projects these days have one or two primary pushers there is no reason to paint something.

Anonymous said...

True 'dat.

The proliferation of projects does encourage folks to paint less for several different reasons.

That's one good reason why picking a handful of 'core' projects and then playing them regularly can be helpful. Back in the day we had a ton of people playing Classic Battletech, Napoleonics and a few other periods because they got played one or more times per month, guaranteed... weekly in the case of Btech.

While weekly gaming isn't an option for many of us any more, I know. I wonder how putting games into a regular rotation might help encourage some of the fringe players to take the plunge and invest in some figs.