So, let’s recap.
We have a Warriors of Chaos army which failed largely because I allowed peer pressure to dictate the way in which I played with my toy soldiers; should have bailed out of that poisonous meta and found myself an alternative play environment in which I could do the sort of things I wanted to, or at least negotiate the development of my Chaos more effectively.
We have an Empire army, mentioned in passing, which failed because it was simply too dull and too numerous to paint.
We have a Dark Elf army, which failed because it was purchased wholesale rather than established slowly, and bound me into a playstyle which wasn’t really my own; it functioned in that style, but something else would have done better.
We have a Tyranid army, which – despite my efforts – is failing, because it lacks something for me to project myself onto; it isn’t mine, no matter how I think about it, and I think that part of that is the way I’m building it, and part of that is that I only even started playing 40K for the sake of other people (and since I’m leaving my job shortly, the need to have something that’s compatible with the school club is rather less pressing than it was back in October).
We also have some increased insight into my goals in gaming; I’d like to refer you back to my very first Meta post, in which I attempted to unpack what had gone wrong vis-a-vis being able to enjoy my defeats, and concluded that there wasn’t enough narrative or emotional investment in the games I was playing these days. Now that I have a semi-regular club to attend, maybe I should start encouraging the kind of play that I enjoy there, and, counter-wise, attempting to match my gaming goals to the way that systems get played out there?
It seems, at the moment, that pickup games and tournaments with Warmahordes are the norm, so maybe that should be my ‘trying to win’ game (since I don’t invest as much in the less personalised narrative of the Warmahordes setting), leaving Warhammerses as my ‘theme/narrative’ game, one for story-driven play and extensive modelling?
The general thrust of my thinking over the last few months has been that, in following either the opportunity for a bargain or a mix of tactical advice and Frugal principles, I’ve picked a couple of armies that I just can’t sustain interest in, and ended up wasting time and money that could have been directed towards things that I’d actually have enjoyed and can’t stop thinking about, even if they weren’t ‘the best’ by whatever standards they were being judged.
I’m determined not to beat myself up over this. 2010 was a year of false starts, both in the hobby (with the Tyranids and Dark Elves) and out of it (with the job I took in September, which hasn’t been working out too well – some valuable experience has been gained and I’ve met some lovely people, but it’s time to move on for the sake of health, wealth and well-being). 2011, so far, has presented so many opportunities to make good on the career mis-step; time for the hobby to follow suit. The extant projects are being scrapped and I’m going to follow my heart – and take it slowly this year, so that I don’t end up squandering my resources if they do turn out to be wrong ‘uns.
Shiny put it quite nicely:
So we have a new theme for 2011’s Von-gaming: “guilty pleasures”. Armies you kind of think you shouldn’t play, but you’ll enjoy playing them and that’s the point of the exercise.
By curious quirk of fate, this came on while I was writing:
It feels strangely appropriate.