Thursday, November 5, 2015

Feeling the Wargaming Bug Again

Traditional historical wargaming, for whatever reason, is essentially a dead hobby in America, I think.  I don't know if the evolution of Dungeons & Dragons from wargaming contributed to its decline, or if it's somehow seen as an "English" thing that we, as Americans, have turned our backs on out of some sense of patriotism, or what.  Either way, I cannot drum up interest locally for historical gaming; wargaming, if it occurs at all (especially where I live), is strictly Warhammer/40K stuff, with a little bit of Malifaux seeming to float around as well.

I don't have the money, nor the time, nor the steadiness of hand and keenness of eye to handle that sort of gaming.  I'm realizing that as I putter at applying paint to a few Reaper Bones figures; even my big, chunky Bugbears are giving me trouble (in part because I can't lay down a basecoat on these figures without clogging the detail).  I think, for financial and eye-strain reasons, if I resume wargaming I'll need to go down to 1/72 scale plastic figures or similar.

Nevertheless, I'm craving the act of setting up painted toy soldiers, pushing them around a table, and creating a narrative of a battle being fought between them.  This flared up extra-hard yesterday; I was listening to the Hardcore History podcast's newest episode, on the rise of the Achaemenids, and I just desperately wanted to recreate the battles fought by the powers of the time - the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Hittites, all of them.

This is probably because I'm some sort of crazy person.

I also want to not spend money on things right now; Gina and I have agreed to do a giftless Christmas because the consumerist urge and the constant media barrage demanding that we SPEND SPEND SPEND BUY BUY BUY takes away from what really has value in our lives.  I don't want to keep up with the Joneses; I want to celebrate what I have that's important.

Instead, we're putting money away instead for two trips to Columbus, Ohio in Summer 2016; in June, to attend Origins Game Fair, which we may attend strictly as civilians or which I may try to run a game of Call of Cthulhu at.  Haven't really made up my mind yet, and I have a few months yet before event registration closes.  Then in July, we'll be returning to the same hotel to attend Pulpfest 2016; we both had a very nice time at the 2015 show, and met some really great people and ate wonderful food, so we'd like to return to that show.

So what's a crazy person to do?

I won't lie, I came close to pulling the trigger on some 1/72 scale plastic Egyptians and Sea Peoples yesterday; each box would have sufficed as a full-sized army for Neil Thomas' One-Hour Wargames (which I still want to try out one of these days; and there are solo play rules in there...) but restrained myself; even if it only came to $25 for the two boxes of figures plus shipping, that's still $25 that could have been a meal for Gina and I at Origins or Pulpfest, or a new book at either show.

I took a pretty significant pay cut when I switched jobs back in August, and I'm still adjusting to the new pay-schedule (I get paid every other week now, whereas every other job I've held since 2004 paid weekly), plus Gina just went down from working a per diem job plus two part time jobs while going to school full time, to just school and the two part time jobs, so we don't have a ton of excess money right now; we can cover our bills just fine and have a bit left over for fun, but it would feel very irresponsible of me to throw away money on a hobby on a lark like that; What does it matter how little I'm spending on armies if I've got nobody to play with? Playing a solo game just seems lonely.

So I'm going to bank this for now and see how I feel in the coming weeks; if the desire's a passing thing brought on by listening to the history of Cyrus the Great, I'll feel better about not buying two boxes of soldiers.  If this keeps up, I may just have to bite the bullet and play by myself for a bit.

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