Dethtron of ‘Dick Move’ would like to say a few words…

In celebration of the When Cannons Fade two year anniversary extravaganza, I’m getting to write an article for Hoagy. I’ve been keeping up with this blog since its inception, so I’m excited to take part in the celebration and contribute a little something of my own. This is only fitting since Hoagy has often declared me as responsible for getting him hooked on gaming again. While this bears a modicum of truth, (only a modicum? – Ed) I don’t feel like an apology is necessary since he’s clearly been enjoying getting back into painting and gaming. (yup, you got me there! – Ed)

With this spirit in mind, I’ve decided to write a bit about why I like to play and what gets me pumped for a game. If I’m being perfectly honest, which I usually am, playing a game of 40k or WFB is just a form of escapism and a way to get my competitive juices flowing. Being surrounded by good friends a few libations and a good pizza has never hurt things either, though.

Like reading a good book, playing a good video game, or watching a great movie, playing a game lets me escape from the demands and drudgery of every day life. As with all of those other things, a good game let’s me forget about my troubles for a while and get absorbed into the action as I identify with various characters or game pieces. More than any of those other media, though, gaming gives me complete control over what’s going on. I think a lot of us gamers tend to be managerial, leader type personalities. Controlling your game pieces gives you a situation that, unlike real life, you are faced with a situation where you are clearly in the drivers seat at all times. If that’s not a good time, I don’t know what is.

Being neither a WAAC or FAAC gamer, I enjoy all aspects of the game from painting to playing.  Since we’re talking about playing here today, though, I have to admit that I’m a pretty competitive person.  I took the ‘Strengths Finder 2.0 Gallup’ test years ago and came up with “achiever” as one of my talent themes.  This came as no surprise to me, as I love crushing the competition and achieving any goals that I set for myself.  This isn’t to say that I’m a sore loser at all. I’m mature enough to know that if I lost, there is a reason that I need to find- mistakes I made that I can learn from. Gaming really gives me a chance to let my competitive nature out of the cage, but in a nice relaxing way. A game of toy soldiers isn’t exactly high stakes most of the time, so it’s nice to be engaged in a competition that won’t have any repercussions in real life.

This brings us to the last reason I play wargames- camaraderie. For years I have kept my gaming in the basement. (With some lotion and a basket? – Ed) While I occasionally shop at the FLGS, I just can’t bring myself to go in and find a pickup game.  Possibly I’m a little shy, but I really I think this stems back to some bad experiences playing MtG and video games with total strangers who turned out to be complete dicks.  Take playing Counterstrike, for example.  I’m not very good at it.  So, back in the day when I tried to get in a pickup game online, things typically wouldn’t go very well for me. Most of the time I’d be dead within seconds and didn’t have the opportunity to get better.  Just try asking a hard-core counterstrike player to let up for a second so you can get used to the game play or level layout some time and see how well that works out.  Much like this, I’ve found experiences in gaming in the past where, the community isn’t willing to help a new player- they’re more interested in seal clubbing.  I’m starting to change my tune on this a bit lately, as I’ve found a lot of really cool people in the community online, but I’ve still not had the opportunity to start going to tourneys yet, but it’ll be happening soon, I promise- especially now that I feel I’ve got my game up to a pretty high level.  I guess I don’t have to worry about getting my ass kicked by 14 year olds too much anymore.

There is one thing the FLGS and tourney scene typically can’t offer, though- pizza and beer.  While I can admit that there are decent people to play with out there, no game outside of my basement can recreate the experiences of good friends getting together over a close game, sharing some drinks, and grabbing some food.  Now that’s something to get excited about.

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And there you have it. I asked (read: pestered) Dethy to write up a little something for WCF as part of the 2 year celebration. So, I would like to say a big THANK YOU! to him for squeezing this in between School, writing for Dick Move, House of Paincakes and all the other stuff too. Not only is he the master of large batch painting, he’s also the master of the cowbell:

Cheers for now!

Hoarding or horde-ing?

I was feeling ansty yesterday. My kid had wrecked the place. The living room looked like a Thomas the Tank Engine graveyard, intermingled with crayola crayons, pieces of chalk, balls and magnetic letters from the fridge. It was driving me nuts. We only have a small place, so a small mess looks like a hurricane blew through. Obviously, there is no point tidiying up when you have a 2 year old, as it’ll be thrown about the floor again in less than 5 minutes. We do all that after he’s gone to bed. Thats when the veil of calm descends 🙂 So, as I couldn’t clean up his mess, I felt I should really do something.

So, I went to my closet. Actually, i’ll correct myself, the ‘area I store my figures and hobby stuff, along with the coats, hoodies and other crap we can’t find a home for’. For a while now, it has looked a little like a GW independent stockists back stock. So, I dutifully used my little step ladder thingy to get up to all the stuff stacked on the top shelf. I went through all the boxes, pulling out sprues with odd bits and bobs on, throwing out boxes, empty FW bags, instruction booklets on how to assemble your cadians/rhinos/Land Raiders, devastators etc etc, and any other crap that I didn’t need. My plan is to condense all the sprue bits by cutting them off the sprues and bagging them up for easier storage. I’ll get to that this week hopefully. So, I restacked everything and stood back and looked at my handiwork:

It was then that it occurred to me that it didn’t look like I had actually done anything at all. This image belies the fact that I threw out an entire 13 gallon garbage bag full of stuff. Yikes. I want to get some better shelves in here. The ones I have were a temporary measure to give me somewhere to stash my minis. I also have 2 mini cases full of minis, that you can’t see here, plus the various foam trays you can see in the picture which also have stuff in them.

So, it made me think about all the stuff I have. I have plans for all of it, but it really made me think about the practicality and the time it’s going to take to get it all done. It seems to be a well known trait amongst gamers with having several armies and not one of them being fully painted, unless, however, you are my buddy Colin, whom I am convinced has elves and faeries that come out at night and help him paint all his stuff. Anyway, I digress. I look at what I have, and I often think, ‘should I get rid of a bunch’, in an effort to bring it under control, but I dearly enjoy all the stuff I have. I recently started revolving the armies for painting, to keep morale up and also to try and get more done and keep interest going. Maybe its because there is so much cool stuff that gets released, or is pending that it creates that ‘must have’ mentality. Before you know it, you have yet another army patiently waiting for a coat of paint. I will admit that a few times I have been eyeballing the new Blood Angels, but have thus far been successful in ignoring the ‘phwaaaooor! thats AWESOME’ feeling I get when seeing them. I never was one for getting in on the current trend, so I won’t be getting my IPhone Blood Angels. I’ll stick with my Bellbottom jeans Sisters haha!

PS yes, that is a signed Bolt Thower picture on the wall.

TTFN!

Paul