Saturday, 3 July 2010

Von's Frugal Year: Month the Sixth

Spend Less - haven't spent a penny all month.  Bladder beginning to ache.  Ho ho.
In all earnest, time and money have both been a bit tight this month and only one of those is not an issue (in that I now have lots of time, but not masses of cash), so June and July are going to be about getting the most out of what I already have, rather than running off and buying new things.

Game More - one WFB game, painted up my Executioners and made a good start on the Shades and Witch Elves, the expected brace of Dark Heresy sessions, and quite a bit of World of Warcraft (I seem to have acquired access to the beta test for the next expansion, so I'm going to spend a few days knocking around on that and see if there are any gaping holes left for me to stick my electronic finger through).

I've had to endure quite a lot of mid-year, end-of-year, mid-module, end-of-module, end-of-course, hey-look-it's-Thursday-and-we-haven't-had-a-review reviews during the last few months, but one more probably isn't going to kill me: my Frugalism is going fairly well, with lots of purchases being held up and examined for genuine value, lots of things that I really don't need being brushed off like the worthless chattels they are, and the plan to invest time and money and energy in a board so I can actually USE my miniatures at home has paid off.  I've had my moments of weakness - the Dark Elves were a bargain but they were still a fairly hefty expulsion of cash, and the board wasn't as cheap as it could have been, but I've behaved better than I did last year, which is a start.

The biggest change to my habits has probably been the emergence of a Look, But Don't Touch behaviour pattern, in which I can allow myself to plan new armies and roll new characters, but I don't oblige myself to go out and buy them or play them. After all, most of my ideas are sparked by something I read or see or hear about, and then gutter out within a week or so.

Now, I could tell myself that a given idea is a flash in the pan, and that I can't do it and should stop thinking about it, but that makes me sad.  I'm excited about and inspired by something, and stemming one's inspiration isn't healthy.  Gets me all angsty and guilty and yearny.

So, rather than telling myself "no, this brilliant and exciting idea is a flash in the pan, don't waste time on it", I try to ride the wave out by doing things like writing a character profile, making a list of miniatures I'd need or thinking about conversions, and - this is the important bit - identifying the time, money and energy costs involved in the project. 

Theory-gaming, while it gets a well-deserved sneer from the sensible people who think that actually playing a game is a prerequisite of knowing how to do well at it, does have its place.  It lets me enjoy that rush that comes with a new OH SO COOL IDEA, and lets me let myself down gently, discovering the obstacles as I explore the idea and do something creative rather than just telling myself NO.

It also means that I have a plan on the table, should circumstances change.  If I'm still interested in doing something three months later when I have the time and money to do it, chances are it wasn't a flash in the pan after all.  If it was... well, I got to enjoy it while it was enjoyable and let go of it when it got boring.  I call that a win.


Ruarigh said...

I do a lot of theory gaming too. I sometimes think I enjoy planning projects more than I do executing them! One thing you missed from your theory gaming is the sorting through the lead mountain looking for stuff that would work with this new project too. That is another pleasurable experience for the cash-starved and time-poor.

Von said...

I missed that largely because I don't have a lead mountain any more - I sold it. It was time to admit that unpainted models from fifteen years ago when I started gaming was probably never going to see a battlefield again...

You're right that it's fun digging through bit boxes, though.

Mahon @ said...

Another theoretical gamer here. I tend to analyze a lot, read a lot of rules, plan a lot of projects and armies here.

Often I am sure there would be no opponent for me to play with my new army, period or setting, so many of my projects are purely theoretical and I know it.

Still I find it very enjoyable to plan them. You may be right that sometimes the planning part is more fun than the execution.
And it's much cheaper :)

Chest of Colors: All About Miniature Painting

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