Sunday, 5 December 2010

Back on the Wagon

My gaming has been suffering recently. I’ve definitely been on target with ‘spend less’ – although the temptation to grab a new rulebook or two has been pretty strong, I’ve managed to avoid it. Unfortunately, real life has been getting in the way of getting any actual gaming done – I’m busy, my gaming group is busy, no-one ever lines up a day together. I have, however, used a few days off of work to get ahead on my Dark Elf painting.

The particular style of batch-painting that I favour is ‘do every model at once’, meaning that my current batch is about 60 Corsairs. The downside to this is that until you pick up a model and examine it, as I did this week, it becomes difficult to work out how far away you are from completing. I’m just about entering the final detail stage, which for me means that I’ll be dividing models up into groups of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ for particular things. The first will probably be gemstones – every model with a gemstone goes in one group, which becomes a small batch for painting. When that’s finished, I’ll go through the batch checking out models to see if they need anything else done – belts, buckles, whatever. If they don’t, then I can actually call that model finished! So for me, entering this ending stage is very exciting, because the psychological obstacle of having sixty scowling warriors staring at you on a painting table makes the sense of achievement that much greater. And the increased sense of achievement will make me want to play more, meaning it’ll be more likely that I manage to organise a game!

Another thing I was doing with my free time was planning a role-play campaign. I’ve got a rough skeleton story sketched out, I just need to flesh and structure it a bit more and see what it becomes. My gaming group also have a role-play campaign going that was geographically inaccessible to me, but has fortunately moved closer, that I’m now invited to. That’s a weekly affair that will score many many points on the ‘play more’ part of the deal, and possibly save me the trouble of buying new rulebooks – role-play groups are great for borrowing and sharing books, or buying second-hand. That should also help nip the temptation to spend in the bud.

I think role-playing games are one of the best kinds of games for a frugal and/or social gamer – you might well buy a few expensive rulebooks, but you can bet that someone else in the group has done the same and that becomes a pooled resource. To get started, all you need is to borrow some dice (or still rather frugally, buy your own set for a few pounds) and there you go! I’d heard somewhere that they first took off in popularity around the time of a recession, where people were watching their spending and to have a game based almost solely in imagination was a very frugal way of enjoying yourself – it may not be true, but it sounds plausible!

So to recap, I’ve had a lousy time of not playing enough games. Real life has been interfering, preventing the planning of games nights (for my board games fix) and regular wargaming opponents. But it looks like regular gaming is getting back on the agenda, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my new year’s resolution experiment, it’s that having a real plan of action (not just a hopeful goal) will make all the difference. So you can expect next year’s plans to be much more solid!


arabianknight said...

Well done with your massed painting. You're obviously more patient and organised than me - I was totally fed up by the time I finished a 10 strong Warmachine unit recently. I can't imagine having to do 60!

And as for RPGing I think you're right. Once the initial hit has been done to get the core books & dice you don't really need anything else (apart from some friends) for hours of entertainment. To be more Frugal you could pick up old RPG book on Ebay, or some gaming shops. D&D 2e core book go for a snip for example, and provided many a gamer for years! (Or even some of the free old school rpgs on the net!)

Frugal Dave said...

Yikes! The most I managed in one go was 20 Goblins. Even that put me off painting for a while :(

I'd have to agree with you (and AK) that RPGs are probably the most frugal of games. They're not called pencil and paper games for nothing.

pete the pagan-gerbil said...

Thanks guys - I feel the need to clarify that I don't routinely do batches of 60 models! Usually 20 or so at a time. If you get bored halfway through your third-sub-base coat (for example) then take some of the completed ones through their next shade (complementary mid-shade #2). As long as you keep them organised, it's possible to go through a nice little production line like that.

Of course, that works best when you're not playing regularly!

Big batch painting is also good if you don't paint regularly. I can see myself getting annoyed if I had time to paint every day, rather than every month!

Von said...

You are so right about the RPG thing, especially if you have a will of iron when it comes to supplements (which tend to be largely unnecessary to the business of playing and enioying games).

I don't think I could batch-paint that many models at once any more. I've done 25 Skeletons in a day before, but that was many years ago, and also a VERY lazy paintjob that I was slightly embarassed by in the years that followed.