I recall as a child that it would take me an age to decide what toys to buy. The reason for this was simple, I had only a finite amount of pocket money and no matter how much I might wish I could, I could never possess all the shiny Transformers, GI Joe, or MASK toys that I had to choose from. The worst thing in the world would be to buy something that I would regret buying. Especially as you never knew when something else you really wanted could be discontinued without any warning, never to be seen on the shop shelves again.
Twenty-odd years later and to be honest, little has changed. The toys are just a bit more expensive and require assembly and painting.
Fatherhood has brought many challenges, and among them is having to keep to a much stricter personal spending limit for as long as we are a single-income family. I would never begrudge this state of affairs, but it certainly has made me aware of the importance off choosing what I spend my ‘pocket money’ on.
This might not have been so hard a few years ago, when I was only really aware of GW games, but now I am aware of other companies like Spartan, Privateer, Prodos, Mantic, Hawk, and so on. This means that there is a dizzying array of options to stun one into the paralysis of indecision, barely able to choose a game system, let alone an army (or perhaps that should be which army, first). I’m the kind of person who gets stressed if I feel I can’t do something ‘properly’ and this goes especially so with hobby projects so the prospect of juggling multiple army projects across multiple systems has always filled me with an irrational sense of horror. I’m also capable of getting irrationally resentful of the time it takes to build a fieldable army in some games, which is perhaps a sign that I need to relax and enjoy the collecting more.
That said, in times when I have had more disposable income I have managed to splurge hundreds on models that I never touched, so clearly a happy medium is the ideal.
I blogged a few weeks ago about the siren lure of 40k and Warhammer that never really goes away, even though it’s been years since I played either. If money was no object, I could probably slip back into the embrace of GW with only a few qualms, but the fact remains that you have to buy a great deal of pricey models to play those games. That said, it’s a lot harder to ignore the temptation now that the codices and army books for armies I might actually want to collect are being updated.
Skirmish games might be the way forward, but finding one that appeals is the key thing. One thing I have liked though is the new Warzone Resurrection game from Prodos, which I backed on Kickstarter, and in the next week or so I should be invited to select which new shiny things I want them to send to me. I’m 99% sure I’m going to get some of the Capitol faction. For a long while I was leaning toward Bauhaus, but Capitol won me over with models like the Orca walker, Terminator-esque Heavy Infantry and the Purple Shark jetbikes.
After clearing the decks, getting rid of a lot of unwanted stuff and letting the dust settle after some rather abortive attempts at getting back into the wargaming hobby. It’s good to find something I feel happy committing my money too and to have what could be the beginnings of a proper hobby project.
Spurred by this I’m also starting to seriously look at maybe doing some small forces for 40k and WFB – maybe starting at a Combat Patrol sort of size, and maybe only aiming at a 1000 points I can use for the occasional knockabout game. Something that size should be reasonably easy to collect even if I can only buy one box per month and/or set myself a ‘no new toys until what I have is painted’ rule. In addition to the box of unpainted Dystopian Wars ships somewhere in my spare room, it looks like I could have a goodly few projects. Which will mean it is important that I remember what i said in my last post about taking responsibility for making sure I get some enjoyment out of my hobby.