Settle, Settle: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Tonight, I’ve had a couple of long conversations with old comrades LexingtonNet and Herr Doktor Shiny on the matter of hobby projects.

 

Lexington says:

My thought here, and it is the reason I stay in GW stuff, rather than abandoning it completely, is that a GW army is yours.

I mean, you only own them as much as you want to, but if you do something and really put your own energy into it, you get something unique that appeals to you. Something that can live and die in stories, with characters you enjoy.

I’ve come, over the last little while, to embrace a philosophy that I define as “own your own gaming experience.” Game companies and players, especially in the specific case of GW, have interests that often are only tangentially related. So it’s my responsibility, as a player, to make my own fun with my fellow players.

GW makes rules, but they’re driven by interests that aren’t our own, necessarily, so we mess with them where we want to. That’s been my drive here. Just get a group of people who don’t allow their gaming experience to be controlled by either the companies that make the products, or the whirling maw of phlegm-stained tomfoolery of the online gaming community. Say “guys (and possibly girls), we are smart, capable humans who want to leverage our imagination and hobby skills into an enjoyable past time. Let us commence.”

Now, as I think about that, I realise that I don’t own the Tyranids.  Despite my work on a colourscheme and a name, they aren’t ‘mine’; they’re Generic Tyranid Army #LOTS, and I just can’t find a way into them to take any sort of ownership.  Pushing them around the board is vaguely satisfying, but I can’t work out how to get inside them.  The Orks, who I pushed aside in order to pursue the Tyranid project, might not have been as strong on the table or even as Frugal in their acquisition, but I started out with a concept that was very much mine.
While Shiny, on the topic of WFB armies, gave forth thusly:

Von says:
How do you do it?
Von says:
How do you sustain interest in an army for over a decade?
Dr. Shiny says:
To sustain interest?  It helps that I can’t really afford to do another army from scratch.
Dr. Shiny says:
Also, the Skaven are FUN.  I do complain about them a lot, but then they do something spectacularly unexpected and send me cackling deliriously.
Von says:
Mmm.  Have I ever had a WFB army that had me doing that?
Dr. Shiny says:
Your Orcs and Goblins did it every now and then, but you tended to be dissatisfied with the random elements getting in the way.
Von says:
Mmm.  I seem to recall issues with that huge wedge of Boarboyz making contact with the enemy and bouncing off while the rest of the army squabbled ineffectively behind them.
Dr. Shiny says:
It may be a matter of perspective.  I tended to lose 95% of all games I played, so I was in a mindset where it didn’t matter if my troops ran away, my war machines exploded and my wizards died, because this paled in comparison to the simple fact that I was outclassed by the opponents constantly.  What my Skaven actually did had little significance.
Von says:
So you’re saying I’d been spoiled by being competent with other, less random armies?
Dr. Shiny says:
Yes, basically.  You’re used to armies that do what you tell them, and have a reasonable chance of doing it competently.  The trade-off is that you know what they’re going to do, so it doesn’t surprise you.
Dr. Shiny says:
The trade-off with Skaven tends to be that some players complain that they don’t feel in control of the army.
Von says:
Yeah.  I had very similar issues with the greenies.  Did I ever cackle deliriously when I was playing the Vampires?
Dr. Shiny says:
You had plenty of opportunities to laugh.  Not so much out of delirium, more a power-trip laugh.
(some time later)
Dr. Shiny says:
What, in your opinion, is your play style?
Von says:
Brutal melee grind.
Von says:
Ranged elements are present in order to suppress those of my enemy.
Dr. Shiny says:
By “grind”, so you mean powerful melee troops?
Von says:
Aye.
Von says:
I hate to say it, but it’s possible that I might be all about the Worst Army Ever…
Dr. Shiny says:
Ok.  So unpack for me the pros and cons of the army of Heavy Metal and we’ll see what we can do.
(… we’ll get back to Von On WoC later…)
Dr. Shiny says:
I’m not really seeing why you shouldn’t take this army.  You might bemoan limited ranged potential, and you might have a few nemesis armies, but when you get into combat you’ll shine.

And, much later:

Dr. Shiny says:
Tyranids don’t seem the type to emotionally invest in to begin with.
Von says:
Indeed.
Dr. Shiny says:
They’re more for the cold and calculating.
Von says:
And, well, I tend to be slightly more… anarchic in my approach?
Dr. Shiny says:
You need a degree of passion and relatability.  You won’t care about winning without it.
Dr. Shiny says:
Same as me, I suspect.
Von says:
Aye.
Von says:
And that’s where, I think, I’ve been going wrong, and why I’m basically thinking I’ll scrap and sell off my Tyranids and Dark Elves and have a go at some stuff I actually care about.

5 thoughts on “Settle, Settle: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Add yours

    1. I don’t follow many of the HoP guys. Most of you are either on my RSS feed or I check up on you through the HoP page. So :p to you with big brass bells on… but I’ll follow you, if it’ll shut you up.

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