Waiting to Settle

My head feels like it has something in it to express, though I am not sure what that may be. Possibly it’s just full of things and needs a release valve. So excuse me while I unload some of the accumulated gubbins.

It’s been a busy weekend gaming with a friend visiting from out of town. He’s been putting up with my experimental game designs for years, and we used to play every week. Since his work relocated him to another town our gaming sessions have become rather rarer, though perhaps even more fun for all that. So whilst he was down we have been catching up and alternating between playing the old favourites and trying out some of my latest work.

By “old favourites” I mean things like Nuclear War, Lost Cities and Naval War – none of which require so much brain that you can’t chat while you obliterate each other (and curse the Dark Hand of Reiner). We also had a long discussion about Dropzone Commander which I have got and read most of, but haven’t played yet. I’ll be doing a series of articles about that soon enough, and it was interesting to go through the rules with him to see what his reaction was. Of course, we also tried our hand at some unpublished stuff, including the latest project that shall not be spoken of. As has so often been the way, we ended up playing a game where everything was pretending to be something else because the models simply don’t exist yet. It does keep the imagination exercised though 🙂

Speaking of imagination, I’m looking at painting again, partly because of DzC, but mainly for a fantasy army. As many of you will know, I haven’t painted in years and so the notion of me painting an army is not to be taken with anything other than a large sack of salt. Still, the intention has to be the first step. I’ve also been sorting through stacks of stuff and need to put a bunch of things on Ebay to clear some room (probably for more toys). Considering what was worth keeping and what I was ever going to use was the main driver to actually make something out of the bits I’ve been collecting for army X or army Y over the years.

Painting has always been a problem as I don’t like the results when I paint fast, but don’t get much done when I paint well. I have painted quite a few armies over the years, though never as many as I wanted to, so I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. What I need to do is devise a process for painting which produces acceptable results in a realistic time. The Holy Grail of army painting, if you will. Of course, what constitutes an acceptable quality and a reasonable speed depend on who you ask, and I’ve not really decided myself. I’ll know it when I see it though.

There’s more rolling round among my little grey cells, DreadBall included, but I’ll spare you for now. There’s loads of real work to be doing, and I’ve got another meeting first thing tomorrow so I should make sure I’m ready for that.

One last thought before I go. Are people looking forward to Christmas? For me it’s generally a huge time sink which threatens deadlines, but that’s probably just being a freelancer. Or Scrooge. I forget. Will you get lots of cool toys and play fun games? Is it a season to be jolly?

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14 Responses to Waiting to Settle

  1. Minitrol says:

    I am hoping to play some games! Got a few projects to do. Looking forward to your DZC thoughts. I must admit I’ve been avoiding your site due to all the Dreadball content -not that that’s bad I just want to wait till I have my copy to read in context- Painting is something I find really hard as well. I can do great results but I get so bored. And I hate cutting corners as well!

    Decisions, decisions

  2. killaminis says:

    I totally understand your painting kunundrum. I too am in search of the holy grail of painting as taking way too much time on a model is not always desired. It yields me the best results but it would take a lifetime or two, to paint an army. One idea I’ve been messing around with that you may find useful.
    The idea is to paint your army/troops at the most basic – 1 basecolor, I shade/wash and 1 carefully drybrushed highlight as needed. Then spray with a clear coat/varnish. This creates a “Save” Point. From here you can field your armies if needed and if you want to go back and add some more shading & highlighting.. you can. Just make sure to apply a clear coat in between painting rounds. The idea is to go back multiple times, layer after layer,until your happy with the ratio of time spent and overall result and all the while not having to sacrifice the ability to field your army.
    I will definitely be trying this technique to it’s fullest when my DreadBall palette arrives. Since I have every Team offered, It will be an amazing opportunity to proof out my system.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve seen this idea suggested before – base coating everything so it can be used, then withdrawing a unit at a time to tart them up. I’ve never tried it myself. I spend so much time looking at models that aren’t even the right thing that looking at half done models doesn’t bother me as I know it would some folk. On the other hand, I think I’d want to finish a model before I started using it. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s simply the unfinished-ness of it that would niggle. If it’s not painted at all then it has potential. If it’s finished then it’s done. If it’s in the middle…

      Look forward to seeing how your system gets on with the DB teams 🙂

  3. tornquistd says:

    Xmas for me is a bit humbug and one of my favorite holidays. Running about drinking with people you don’t know seems to take a lot of time and energy from important things like hobbies. If you are trying to get work done every time you need to contract someone it is harder because they are running around with holiday stuff. I hate short days so the idea that Xmas marks the spot where days will start to get longer makes it the best of holidays. No other holiday has a gift attached to it that compares to more daylight every day.

    My solution to painting is skirmish games so I can get by painting less. I plan to try some things to speed things up but as it stands it is four hours from out of the box to just ok per figure. If I ever do a 1000 figure army something would have to change.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Painting single figures and armies is a very different proposition for all but a tiny handful of folk. I’ve met a couple of people who can do their amazing highest standard painting across whole armies (and finish them!), but I can possibly count them on my thumbs. All the sane folk dial it down a notch for the armies.

  4. Lee says:

    “the latest project that shall not be spoken of”. Oh, such taunting! Excited to see what’s in store down the road. As for painting, it has always been anathema to me….until recently. Before, I always looked at it as something that got in the way of my gaming time. Now I am slowly (very slowly!) coming to appreciate it as part of the hobby. I am actually looking forward to painting (though not as much as playing!) my Dreadball stuff!

    Christmas? Love it! Especially when it snows. And yes, I am hoping for many new toys, or at least gift cards to be spent on them. One of my favorite past times is my long time gaming group always holds a Christmas party where we all get together at the same time (a bit of a rarity, especially since a few of us have been scattered) for a day of gaming, ridiculous amounts of unhealthy food and a gamer gift-exchange. Good times!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A gamer reunion sounds like a great idea. various old gaming groups I’ve been in have scattered after years of fun times, and it’s a shame to see them all so seldom. Maybe I should try to arrange something similar.

      Some people are gamers, others painters and there’s no “correct” mix. No prizes for guessing where I sit on that spectrum. But I am also drawn to the painting, at least in part because I’ve always been surrounded by it and encouraged to do my own. In some ways it’s me being lazy – I know I can paint, so that’s not as interesting to the little grey cells as exploring some new game design conundrum.

  5. Douglas says:

    I am particularly looking forward to this Christmas — there are LOTS of nice new toys in the pipeline, including a copy of ‘Warhammer Quest’ in shrink-wrap!

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