Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spoiled for choice. Possibly just spoiled.


So, the refund from Blizzard came through, the order to the warstore was sent, and the package, I am told, is en route. Dystopian Wars is a comin'. Huzzah!

So, what do I do with the rest of the money?

I realise this is a bit like a kid complaining because he's got too much candy, but there's a degree of logic to my lament. I generally try to keep my geek habit (aside from the occasional puchase of locktight and Wargames Illustrated) self-financing. If I want to get into a new game, buy a new army, etc., I either trade for it (hellooooo, Bartertown), sell some of my painted stuff (helloooooo, EBay), or do without.

Having disposable geek income is kind of blowing my mind a little.

Everyone has those "Rainy Day" projects kicking around in the back of their head. For me, it's the notion of an army for the SYW or the Napoleonic wars. One of my earlier memories is reading a book my dad had of famous battles, published by Sandhurst, and illustrated with minature dioramas. The chapter on Leipzig is, I think, what hooked me on miniature gaming, history in general, and the Napoleonic period in particular. Thanks, Dad! Once upon a time I had a rather nice French nappie army from Baccus, but I sold it off in what turned out to be the run-up to my divorce. Frankly, since then, I've missed the army a hell of a lot more than my ex-wife.

FoW has also introduced me to the wonders of 15mm scale. While 6mm is great, 15mm seem to be a sweet spot for me - small enough that you can get a dioramic effect (check out JET's work at Geektactica to see what I mean), but large enough to really pick out the detail on the figs. While you can do the latter with 6mm (I once painted tartan on a 6mm fig), and some of the 6mm sculpts are outstanding (take a look at the Baccus Franco-Prussian war range), I find the effort tends to be wasted, as the detail is lost in the mass. 15mm strikes a lovely balance between payback for attention to individual figs, coupled with dioramic / mass effect.

So, one option would be a napoleonic army in 15mm, using one of the newer rulesets - maybe Lasalle by Sam Mustafa, or even using Polemos rules, as I enjoyed playing with them at 6mm scale. Another would be something for the SYW, though my interests there tend more towards the North American theatre.

The problem here is time and opportunity to play. While I have grandiose visions of a 5-year project gearing up towards a 200-year anniversay replay of Waterloo, a) I don't think I have that degree of concentrated effort in me, and b) who the hell would I play with?

Another option is an ancients army. I always feel slightly guilty for never really getting into ancients. It's sort of like being the 40 year-old virgin of miniatures wargaming. For years, I've toyed with a number of rule sets, and even have a good idea of what army I'd like to do, having been fascinated by the indo-greek successor cultures for years.

Brief aside - do you know why Buddhists have statues of the Buddha? Because of the hellenistic influence of the greek successor cultures in India, who adopted Buddhism as a political counter to the association between traditional / indigenous authorities and Hinduism. The humanist tradition in hellenic culture prompted them to make statues of the Buddha as a person - something that hadn't been done elsewhere, or before, but which spread along with Buddhism form that point. The army is cool too, as the Indo-greeks combined the traditional elements of a Macedonian army, like pike and horse, with local troops. The ability to take pike, Indian bow, a range of cavalry, and Elephants in one army is, frankly, the bomb-diggity. But again, who would I play with? JET emerged out east as a sort of one-man Impetus road show in NFLD, but the local scene here seems kind of devoid of interest in ancients. Instead of being a 40-year old virgin, I'd have a trophy wife. Or possibly just a trophy.

I could just sit on the money, and dole it out piece-meal when I want to buy something. This is probably the most sensible thing to do, as it means I don't have to muck about with trades etc. every time I want to pick up a blister, but it seems . . . boring. I have an opportunity here to one-shot my way into a totally new dimension of the hobby - a new army, a new game, a whole new kind of gaming. Spending the moola piece-meal feels like wasting an opportunity.

Any thoughts?


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