The Fallacy of Risk vs. Resource Resource Management

Most of the time when an experienced player is trying to explain Warmachine and Hordes to a potential new player, they’ll use a common phrase to compare and contrast the focus and fury mechanics that drive the two games:

“Hordes is Risk Management, where Warmachine is Resource Management.”

I cringe every time I hear that.

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Ur game sux!

Despite what most non-gamers think, gamers aren’t a bunch of socially maladjusted slobs with no sense of hygiene or communication skills.   Most of the gamers I associate with are good folks who are friendly, outgoing, and dare I say normal.   But still it’s inevitable that any community has its own shining stars of asshattery.   One particular way this is embodied in the gaming community simply astounds me.   “Ur game sux!”

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Impending Painting Burnout

Miniature Painting Burnout.   I can already feel it coming on but there’s nothing I can do about it.   The same thing happened last year leading up to DieCon so I shouldn’t be surprised but I was holding out hope that this year would be different.

The army I want to play for Hardcore still needs a fair bit of work, either touching up old models or finishing new ones.   Right now I think I’m happy with about half the pieces for the army but time’s quickly running out.   And if I really want the army I envisioned in the beginning that means one more big project in the last month before DieCon 09.   I really want to try it but I look at how much time I’m going to have and wonder if it’s really possible.   I know, I know… that’s not very detailed.   I’m really trying to get the whole project done as a relative surprise so I can reveal it with full-army pictures here after the Con.   You’ll just have to bear with me in the meantime. 🙂

On top of that I still have the miniatures that will be given away as part of the Privateer Press Weekend that I need to complete.   I ran into a similar problem last time I did commission work – after a while it just gets harder and harder to stay motivated to paint something I’m not going to be keeping while my own unpainted models start piling up.   I made a commitment though and I’m not backing down, but it means pushing through the burnout.

I guess this is my biggest hurdle with miniature painting.   Typically I enjoy it very much because it’s a casual hobby – I paint whatever I want at my own pace.   If burnout strikes on my own models I can just set them aside and take a breather.   Then when I get interested again I can come back to the piece in question and work on it some more.

But commitments come with deadlines and deadlines mean not stopping just because I’m tired of working on something.   If time gets short (like it is now) painting on a schedule can start to feel less like a hobby and more like work and that’s why I do it.

Still though like I said I made commitments to people and I intend to keep them.   I’m going to keep pushing through to DieCon and finish off everything I can between now and then.   It won’t be the most fun I’ve had painting but I’m determined to complete the commission to my usual standards.

After that I’ll probably put the brushes away for a while to recharge.   Maybe I’ll take that time to catch up on my online miniature gallery.   Either way it will be disappointing because I already have a backlog of miniatures I want to get painted for my own armies (in addition to some figures I just want to paint for fun) but they’re for my own collection and they’re not going anywhere.   It will be far more satisfying to wait until I can enjoy the painting process again.

In the meantime… time to buckle down and get to work!

Ceiling Cat is watching you game

Most every Sunday afternoon you can find the gaming group I’m a member of in my basement seated around an old dining room table throwing dice, drinking Dew, and munching Cheetos. In addition to the gaming group, my house has a trio of additional inhabitants – my fiancee and her two cats, Baroness and Puck.

Baroness is a well behaved tailless calico who spends most of the day curled up either in her bed upstairs or on my fiancee’s lap while she reads or watches TV. Puck is the anti-Baroness, who has made it his mission in life to cause whatever grief he can. Any bags of chips left unattended for longer than 30 seconds will be opened and scattered across the kitchen floor when you return. If the garbage disposal doesn’t mince absolutely every bit of food we put down in it, Puck will jump in the sink and try to get food out of the drain. On more than one occasion Puck has knocked a full pan of chili cheese dip – bubbling hot hot mind you – off the stove and onto the kitchen floor. I guess he needed some dip for the chips or something.

Still that didn’t compare to his antics yesterday.

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You don’t have to paint to play

At the beginning of the year there was a movement on the Privateer Press forums to only play Warmachine and Hordes with painted miniatures for one year. I didn’t blarg back then; the only opportunity I had to express my opinion on painting and gaming was on a smaller fan forum I’m a member of. Now that my opinions are read by… well… three if not four whole readers, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my thoughts on wargaming and miniature painting.

The Fully Painted 2006 movement was started by the members of the Brushthralls – a group of fans who promote miniature painting with an emphasis on Privateer Press products. Let’s make this clear first: The Brushthralls are an asset to the Privateer Press community and their website is a great resource for miniature painters. The goal they set with their movement is lofty one, and I’m not about to begrudge someone for attempting. But in the thread where they announced Fully Painted 2006 there were posts from other community members referring to playing as unpainted miniatures as somehow substandard, as if those that played but didn’t paint were lesser individuals and were unworthy of playing against them.

I love painting. I would even go so far as to say it’s one of my passions. If I was forced to rank my hobbies, I’d say I’m a roleplayer first, miniature painter second, and wargamer third. That said I have to take issue with the attitude that if I place an unpainted miniature on the table then I’m somehow less of a player.

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