(Being a series of articles relating to the hobby of historical miniatures wargaming, meaning to bring out thought and discussion. Sir Deven is in fact a very extraordinaire wargamer, who's thoughts wander much on the deeper side of the hobby. Come enjoy his little diary of sorts as he explores the hobby of historical wargaming.)
Been thinking a lot as of late about my NEW projects for the year - I think we all do this when January rolls around. So many kool new rules and periods to choose from. However, I must admit that I am not one to be so easily tempted with all the NEW toys that seem to proliferate the hobby these days - so I tell myself anyway. However, the real question that confronted me was not what NEW period to get in to, but rather, do I really need to do anything that new? Do I really need to start a new period/conflict?
If it wasn't for my intense interest in military history - and history in general, I don't really think I would be the miniatures wargamer I am today. Historical wargaming is one of my passions, there is no doubt, and I use it not only to be entertained, but also to gain new insights into the history I am representing on my tabletop. So, this whole question about what NEW period to get in to this year is not really relevant to me. It is more a question of What am I not doing that I am interested in. For example, considering the periods I already play and collect models for, is there something I have not explored? Is there another set of rules I have yet to try? Perhaps a scenario to be created? If I really am drawn to this period of history, what else can I do to fully enjoy this period so fascinating to me - so fascinating that I have spent countless hours painting, collecting, and reading this period. When I get bored with my current situation, instead of looking for NEW periods to play, what about NEW ways to play the period? Wouldn't that be a better question to ponder, instead of further convoluting my brain with yet more and more NEW periods that perhaps I have less interest in?
Looking at my current situation I can safely say that as for wargaming I am doing everything that interests me the most - and I am talking "periods" here. Napoleonics, WW II, and of course Ancients - each of these focused on a particular campaign/conflict. I am basically where I want to be in order to really enjoy this little hobby of mine. Of course, I could argue that there are some conflicts I am deeply interested in but have yet to explore with wargaming - such as my beloved American War of Independence. Such are not critical at the moment, however. What I do need to do is take a closer look at what I am doing now and what I can do further in order to fully explore and enjoy the periods that fascinate me the most. Ahhh... the rich rewards of a focused mind.
Situation: I was so fascinated by a particular set of skirmish rules the other day. The rules themselves were not well known in the wargaming community - at least as far as I knew. However, it looked great fun and I had more than enough painted and unpainted minis to give it a go. Now that would be a great project indeed! However, it covered a period of history that I have no great fascination with. Hmmm... hold on a second here. Yes, I caught myself just in time. I was forgetting the very first rule of my personal wargaming, which was to ask myself: does the period fascinate me?! Ahhhh.... the answer was of course, no! The rules perhaps, but not the period. If I went any further with this little effort all I would be doing is trying to get a quick fix - playing something NEW! Yet more distraction from what I really want to do - or should be doing.
So then, what could I be doing instead? Rather than jump on to the next BIG thing in the wargaming community, what could I be doing to enjoy this personal hobby of mine? That my friend we will discuss in the next part of this series.