Friday, October 23, 2015

Grand Wargaming Strategy, Part the First

Does it count as a manifesto if you know deep down that it's really more a set of guidelines?

The other day the inimitable Peter Del'Orto had a great post on why he doesn't wargame so much anymore. So that got me thinking about my own view of wargaming as a hobby.

Oddly enough, wargaming is largely my solo hobby.  My hobby time has to be squeezed into the odd nooks and crannies of the day when the kids are busy, and the only things left on the Big To Do list are too small to stress over and too big to start right now.  Which means that the bulk of my active hobby time is spent getting ready to game.  It's all moments of quiet solitude spent at the work table building terrain, painting, reading rules, and prepping orders of battle.  The nearest thing to human contact my wargaming provides is pretty much this blog and the blogosphere, and one or two forums.

Yeah, I get in maybe a game a month solo and one a month with the kids.  Let's be honest, depending on which kid it is, gaming with kids pretty much is gaming solo, just with more distractions than usual.  On average we're probably talking about one hour of game table time for every ten to twenty hours of work table time.

And you know, that's fine.

I get human interaction in countless ways away from the gaming table.  I get gaming time by playing D&D with a regular group of guys who abandoned wargaming long ago.

It's not a waste of time to paint figures that never see the tabletop.  The time spent relaxing with a brush in hand is worth it all by itself.  The enjoyment derived from thinking about all the ways this one figure might be used is not retroactively destroyed if that figure never actually gets used.

Think of it this way.  If you enjoy running, and spend a year training for a marathon, and then get injured and can't run the marathon, that time spent training isn't wasted.  You got out of the house.  You burned some calories.  You look and feel better than you would have if you'd spent all those training ours on the sofa.

So I say, stop worrying about the big collection of figures you haven't used.  Hobbies are processes, not goal lines.  It's great to have goals.  It's enormously satisfying to host a big, successful convention game.  But if you enjoy the process, why worry about the

That's why this blog is more likely to present, "look what I made last night," than it is to present, "look what I played last night."

And there ain't nothing wrong with that.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you whole-heartedly. I seldom game, and then it's nearly always solo. Sons have left home, but I still enjoy the preparation so why worry?

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