Warmachine: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions
The start of the New Year is for many a time to set new habits. What Warmachine and Hordes habits are you setting?
Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War, writing today about gaming-related New Year’s resolutions. Usually people choose true habit-breaking resolutions: things designed to create a completely different approach to life in general or certain aspects of life. The most common are losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, writing that novel idea, saving money, accomplishing a creative task, and so on. These are all fine and good, and there’s some folksy wisdom about our ability to change: do something for sixty days straight and it becomes a new habit. But for the gamer, often times our resolutions and plans for the year involve our hobbies and passions. So I wanted to address three good areas for New Years Resolutions involving Warmachine and Hordes: collecting, learning, and painting.
Show of hands if you’ve made this statement in the past: “I’m not going to buy any new models until I paint the ones I have.” Okay, that’s pretty much everyone who is reading this. I’d do a show of hands for how many of us resolve to make 2016 the same, but it’s likely the same group. It’s the perpetual tabletop miniature wargaming situation: wanting more models than we can finish.
Secretly we’re all Marvel Comics’ “Collector” at heart as miniature wargamers.
While it’s a good resolution to say “no more until I finish these”, there are other resolutions that can be made on the collecting side of things. For many Warmachine and Hordes players, the New Year is a time to say “I’m going to focus on this faction”,” or more specifically, “I’m going to focus on these two casters”. That focus begins with a collecting resolution too–but players often don’t recognize it. When you’re deciding “this is my focus”, you’re making another set of decisions. You’re choosing what to add to your collection: what pieces do you need, what pieces might you want to add in order to switch things around? It’s a collection resolution, and as always it’s best to treat that as it’s own category. If you want to be successful at the choice of focus, don’t let yourself off the hook without a resolution to accompany: “I’m not going to purchase any more Trollbloods until I fill out my Cryx solos and play enough games to work out which ones I’ll get the most use out of.”
If the collection-side of gaming isn’t an area you want to devote New Year’s resolutions, know that the learning side of Warmachine and Hordes can be a good spot to challenge yourself for the year. Like everything in this world, Warmachine and Hordes is a game that takes some practice to develop as a player. So many of us players might make a resolution to do something about it: to improve our ability to play and be successful at the game.
Far more than a matter of X’s and O’s.
The good news is, there are plenty of methods to accomplish this goal. Reading Bell of Lost Souls’ Warmachine and Hordes articles is only the first step (but huzzah for at least starting here!). You can resolve to play more games, as there is no substitute for getting games in to learn how your own force works and how opposing casters function. You can decide to consume forum posts or listen to podcasts on a regular basis. You can resolve to build a list each week and blog about your games–there’s definite value in having to describe what you did with models each turn. Or you can simply share that list with others for their thoughts and feedback. Whatever strategy you work out, if you stick with it over the long term it will soon become second nature.
Linked to the collecting category above is the other common resolution among miniature gamers: getting in more painting. It’s a laudable resolution simply because playing with painted models makes the game better for everyone. The board looks better, the experience is better for your opponent, you have more pride in your force, and–the true secret of a fully painted army–the dice roll better.
So where does one start with a painting resolution? Focus on defining one of two goals. Either you’re developing a painting habit with your resolution, or you’re aiming at some amount of completed pieces. The two different types require different resolutions–so it’s worthwhile to figure out which one suits you. The painting habit goal is about setting a time structure: you’ll devote 15 minutes each weekday to painting, you’ll make sure you get one good afternoon of painting in per week, or something similar. It’s not about resolving to produce a given number of miniatures, but rather to encourage the habit of a painting life. This should be the first stop for anyone creative (painting, writing, sculpture, whatever), as before you can worry about output, you’ve got to get a regime of when and how much time you devote to the project. For those who do have some sort of regime, then a focus on specific completion is okay. It can be a set of faction models you’ve been meaning to get to, or a more specific pledge about what all you complete in a year’s time.
My resolution is to paint 365 points in the year of 2016. Yes, a full point each day.
Starting with this backlog of Cryx that is lurking in my display case, waiting for paint.
It seems like a daunting resolution: 365 points is a whole lot of models! But I have the support in place to get it done. The primary support for completing resolutions is social pressure and accountability: making sure others are tracking your progress. To that end, my advice is to recruit some friends (gaming and non) to expect interval appointments with you that show your progress. Having someone “hold one’s feet to the fire” when it comes to painting makes an instant deadline obligation–and it’s deadline obligations that cause us to deliver what we promised.
In my 365 points in 365 days attempt, the great news is that I’m not alone. There are over 100 people who are members of the Warmachine and Hordes painting group on Facebook who are also participating, and it was the moderators of that group that started the idea of the attempt. In addition, they got Broken Egg Games to commit to giving raffle prize support for each month–those who meet the 30 points in a month threshold are entered in the drawing to win. It’s a vibrant group of painters, and having to show my progress each month will help me keep motivated and obliged to complete the painting.
In conclusion, the great thing about resolutions when it comes to tabletop miniature gaming and Warmachine and Hordes is that you can make them personal. They can fit your life, schedule, and budget. They can be a way to lock you into a project or faction, or free you from old habits (and old armies that you’re always tempted to go back to). They can be a path to change, to betterment, and to improvement. So take a moment this New Year’s season, and think about what gaming resolutions you might be willing to make.
~ What are your Warmachine and Hordes New Years Resolutions?
Want to watch Chalkboard’s tragic attempt at 365 points painted in 365 days? Check the blog at www.chalkboardwar.com