I've withdrawn from this year's Analog Hobbies Painting Challenge. I'm feeling a bit demoralized regarding wargaming and miniature painting as a whole, and struggling right now to see it as being worth the time and money I'm putting into it. The local wargaming "scene" especially, has me despairing a bit - seems like my options are either to buy, paint and play a game that doesn't particularly interest me, or play boring games of "our armies line up on opposite sides of the table and run at each other with no objective but complete annihilation" with people who either outright cheat or at the minimum conveniently ignore rules that would lessen their army's advantage. I've met a couple good guys who wargame, but trying to work around schedules is like pulling teeth out of a chicken it seems.
If there's one thing I learned from how little I enjoyed Age of Sigmar in the past year, it's that not wargaming at all is better than wargaming and hating it while you're doing so. But then, it becomes very hard to look at the armies I've painted or am assembling for Dragon/Lion Rampant knowing that the local wargamers won't touch it because it's not 15mm WWII tank battles or supported by a chain of boutique retail stores catering to that game almost exclusively.
So I've packed up my tools, my paints and the boxes of figures in various stages of assembly and prep, and put them in the closet for now. There is, as they say, a season for all things, and right now doesn't seem to be my season for wargaming. I'm sure the time will come again.