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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Wargaming is meant to be fun isn't it?

A comment on my previous post about targets has really made me think.   We presumably all do this hobby because we enjoy it - setting targets can make it seem more like an obligation, or work even.

On reflection to me the hobby splits down into a number of parts some of which are more enjoyable than others

1) Reading, research and the fruits thereof.

I find this fascinating.  Finding out about a new period and getting into more depth in a period I already know something about are definitely great fun.  Also under this heading come reading rules and army lists.  This cumulates in getting an army ready for the table on paper at least, which can be a major undertaking in itself if an historical battle is to be recreated.  For non historical forces I suppose it can also includes the creative process of bringing together an imaginary setting.  The running of campaigns will also fall under this heading  for me.

2) Painting and modelling

If I want to put painted figures on the table I have to paint.  I enjoy painting as much as I enjoy working.  There is a challenge there and it feels good when the challenge has been met and achieved.  A deadline will often help to focus my efforts.  It is however still work and not pleasure. I get around this as best I can by buying painted second hand figures and getting others to paint for me when I can.  However it is sometimes just a case of biting the bullet, getting the paintbrush out and getting on with it.

I actually like my job and think I am quite good at it, Painting is like a part time job that I am only just competent at.  Modelling is different again, an activity where I vaguely know the basic principles, just enough to understand the depths of my incompetence.  I don't like separate weapons and shields because I have to stick them on the figures - that's about as far into modelling as I ever get.  (I nearly forgot - I can make archers stakes from cocktail sticks so perhaps there is hope for me yet)

3) Wargaming

Fun, fun, fun.  The best bit.  Want to do more.  If it's got figures/models and dice (or cards at a push) I want to play. I also need opponents.  Decent human beings with a good sense of humor preferred but not essential. Nuff said

4) Writing and blogging

I have always enjoyed writing but have never been able to persist with it - I may have a novel in me but I don't think it will ever get out.  I have written the very occasional wargames article and it is a huge thrill to get something published so that must count as fun.  I am still not quite sure with blogging.  It is a great way to record things and gives the feeling of being part of a wider wargaming community which I do like.  Comments are also nice.  The downside (or is it an upside?) is that time spent blogging is probably time I could have been painting. I will give it a year and see if I decide to keep it up.

Thanks for the comment on my earlier post Rory - as you can see it got me thinking.  Another advantage of a blog is that capturing your thoughts and posting them is a good way of parking them and moving on rather than letting them rattle around your head all day.  


  1. Agree with you on these points. Being a keen reader and history lover i really enjoy learning more on my periods, it allows me to bring the wargames to life. I do really enjoy cutting and milliputting too as it allows me to make something I've never seen done by anyone else, and a paint job brings it to life!

  2. It's interesting isn't it? I play wargames largely because I like to paint the figures,research is part of the fun for me too,lastly it is the game;haven't got too much of a competitive streak .However I've just started a Late Roman campaign with about 10 players to run,I love the re-creation of history and the social aspects of such an campaign.


  3. Thanks for the comments and signing up to follow the blog gents

  4. I share your thoughts on painting entirely David. A complete chore in my eyes!

  5. I can't disagree (much) with any of those points. For me, yes, painting is a chore, but worth it for the pleasure of seeing a finished unit ready to do battle.
    If you do set targets, they should be stretching but need to take account of your own attitude if you don't achieve them. For most people it is probably better to set the targets low - if you manage to do more you can reward yourself with a few beers :)

  6. I like the list of four. I used to like painting but is my least favourite of the four so buy painted figures now. I vacillate between 1 and 3 being the favourite as I *love* reading history and never tire of it. re: 4, I only took up blogging as a way to write gaming stuff I could not find easily on the internet. I only do it as opponents are rare. I am likely to minimise the blogging when I get more time to play.

  7. Good post Dave, your right about doing what your doing with the blog about capturing thoughts etc, good idea really. The modern version of the diary writers of old (Johnston, Pepys, Boswell etc) and equally valid when hobby related when the hobby covers such a wide range of activities. Good show all in all, I kind of feel that I should keep things directly hobby related but going by other blogs people. connect to your idea of recording thoughts. Might do a bit more of it myself ;-)

  8. The games are what float my boat, closely followed by the reading/research side. My problem is that I haven't got to grips with any of the rules in use as I find myself playing a different lot each I find that frustrating.

  9. Oddly enough, it is 3 (the actual gaming) that I dislike the most. The actual game never turns out as good for me I imagined it would be whilst doing 1 (research) and 2 (painting).

    Luckily 4 (blogging) retrieves my interest, as even the most disappointing game still looks good if 1 and 2 were done well, and so is worth showing off on my blog.