As you might have all noticed, the past year my miniatures painting and wargaming has been going steeply downhill... until as recent as last week when it suddenly started flaring up like a Phoenix rising from it's ashes.
I'm stroking the brushes again at a speed nearing my old tempo, and even though I laughily say I blame my Nemesis for corrupting (or re-corrupting) my mind, in a way it is true.
So what happened now, and what happened the past year then that it had gotten to this terminal downhill, near flatline state, and what caused it to resurge?
Let's have a look at it, from a more or less chronological point of view.
The first 'signs' where there a few months before Crisis 2012. I was still a member of TSA back then, but I wasn't having fun anymore. The gaming group was in shambles and undecisive, ever since a 'difference in opinions' caused me to pull the plug on a Full thrust campaign. Yes, I can say that now, sorry again Willie, that wasn't my most shinniest moment of my wargaming career.
After that, the 'Far Side' just couldn't decide what to do, what to play, where to go in a gaming direction. And as a result, most of the time was spend turning thumbs, playing nothing, painting forces of the 'new idea of the week' and generally getting nowhere. Campaigns and gamesystems where launched (Future War Commander, Pulp, Historicals, Superheroes, etc etc) and sank faster again then the Titanic.
Now I understand more my Nemesis in his reluctance to buy into yet another range models only to have them collect dust again. We ran a very succesful Babylon 5 three year era, and a good going one year long Flames of War campaign before, and just thought everything we tried would be the same success. This was my mistake, mixing up effort and taking for granted with each other.
I played my most battles in that last year in the two Warhammer Fantasy Battles tournaments, comming out twice with the bronze medal after not having played WFB for years, and no 'training weeks' beforehand. I'm not saying I'm worlds best wargamer at all, but this wasn't fun at all.
In the meantime, I finally got together with a girlf I had a lightswitch relationship with the years before. We're still together and very happy thank you, and I haven't killed her kid yet so I think me and the Munchkin get along quite well ;-)
However, a few months after we went steady, and I knew this in front, she would be moving to the other side of Antwerp and far from the gaming club. Taking the bad transportation connection and the costs of having a serious relationship into account, the fact that I hadn't had fun (again, not the club was to blame for this) the past months, I decided to pull the plug on Crisis 2012 and haven't been gaming since then.
Fast Forward three months, and bigger changes in life. By then, I still was painting though, mostly my anime models, when I got troubles with what Blood Bowl afficionados would call a niggling injury. Years ago, I had a sporting accident, breaking my right fore-arm in several places, and since then I can't put much strength on it if making a 'wringing' motion like with a dish towel. But another, more irritating sideeffect is that when a cold winter hits (like last year), one of the nerve centres at the bottom of my palm 'shortcircuits'. The result of this is that the pinky and ring fingers cramp up, and at times the hand shakes violently out of the blue... very unhandy for painting... Lasting usually then until spring, my backlog had grown so big and my motivation so low, I put aside the brushes until a later moment.
And started trading off a lot of dead projects like War Machine, Full Thrust etc in order to fund my Saints collection.
Come summer, my girlfriend, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, had a huge uprising, so it fell to me to be the man in the house and the munchkin entertainer in one. This left me after 3 months completely drained, both mentally and physically, but I carried on. Needles to say, once again painting for no goal was far on the back of the mind.
In the meantime, I also left my job due to stress issues (I ended up in the hospital over a year ago) to reschool myself into the IT sector, something I'm busy with at the moment. This left also a serious drainage on funds (about 1/3th of what I made before) and so I wasn't able nor willing to spend euros on models not to be used anyways. I preferred (and will always prefer) to spend the limited budget on my anime Myth cloths instead.
Until last week...
Nemesis, during two marriage parties we attended of two mutual friends couples, kept talking wargame here, club there etc etc. At first this kindled my intrest of going to have a look at Crisis 2013, and get the excellent looking entry model. Then slowly my willingness to paint started flaring up again, and I got the GF to approve my paint moving (see an earlier post about that) to keep me occupied in the dark hours of night or when she needs to have her recuperation naps, having material on place now wherever I am. Just like I have Playstation 3's at both locations...
I was rummaging through my boxes for possible bring and buy materials, and found some of my 15mm armies again. ACW, Irish from Comitatus, my Japanese ancients, fantasy 'evil' dwarves...
I decided not to part with all of them, but paint them and maybe, very maube get a game under the belt. However, I quickly learned that Field of Glory isn't popular at all in Belgium, and it seems over at TSA it is still a preference for 28 over 15mm. So I won't be going there frequently again, maybe pop by once or twice in a year to have a chat and a drink (if they still led me in hehehe).
I will though participate next year in the new ACW battle, I really missed it this year, but I didn't want to have the mixed feeling of on the hand the 'need' to paint again, and on the other the frustration of the hand-issue not allowing me to paint...
No, but I keep painting those armies, not under the who knows one day (well, yes, that too), but I just have some practical and usefull reasons for this.
First off, as I said, the budget issues. I have decent forces based on the 'sample lists' that are in the FoG books, so 'upgrading' them to a tournament force size of 800 points is usually only adding a few battlegroups. In 15mm, most blisters give you enough models to field a full unit on the contrary to 28mm. I'm not going to say it is easier to paint, as I find both scales just as paint intensive to complete a unit.
Secondly, there is the space issue. A base of 15mm in most systems is usually a 4 by 2 (a Warmaster base for the GW afficionados) with anything between 4 - 8 models over them. A unit consists of 4 to 8 of those bases, but more importantly, the models usually stay within the 'surface' of the base, where 28ers tend to have weapons and all portruding over the edges. A full regiment would as such be as large as a small 28mm unit of 8 to 16 models, and much shorter and compact.
I can place three armies basically on the spot of one 28mm average force. With space at a premium, this is a huge benefit for me.
Thirdly, from a gaming point of view, one might never know if 15mm (not talking Flames of War here, mind you) MIGHT take off after all. If not, i'll have at least two Field of Glory armies painted up and can invite like, my Nemesis, over for a game even. Or invite myself to his place as he has scenery ;-)
Who knows what time will bring in the end, at least for now the recucitation has been more or less succesful and we have a pulse again in the hobby.
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