Downsizing; My journey to the skirmish side

My apologies for taking so long to post, but the holidays tend to vacuum up all the time and energy while completely leaving the stress and pine needles to be picked up later.  Since that time, we have completed our 7 man round robin for Warmachine and have began the journeyman league at one of our local game stores.  More on that later…

Looking back on 2016, one thing is certain; our shift towards skirmish gaming is nearly complete. Gone are the days of 5 hour warhammer games and the grueling crush of a hundred imperial guardsmen marching across a table to their inevitable doom. Gone are backpacks loaded to capacity with rulebooks, faction books, supplements, and guides. We simply don’t have the luxury of a misspent youth anymore. 

I’ve been considering the cause of this though. Is it as simple as I have less time? I’d hate to think that I gave up a 20 year love affair with a universe so full of creativity and potential. I cared about the characters I was playing out, I understood their motivations and fears. As I have matured, some of the allure of an eternity of war has dulled, and Ive come to appreciate a setting with more hope and less angst. I also have the advantage of an adults perspective on the game design as well as the marketing tricks used to ensure our adolescent devotion. 

Most of all though I have come to appreciate brevity. I have come to expect economy of motion and a dynamic play experience. There is the matter of time that I can invest on a hobby, but even if my time allotted is the same, I now require an increased quality of play, not quantity. 

I am also now allowed to increase the quality of my hobby aspect by reducing the quantity. By the time I had assembled, sculpted, and painted my 100th imperial guardsmen, assorted support units, and accompanied tank division, I had a very impressive army. I had also spent the year modeling the army instead of playing the army. While visually it was quite rewarding, I didn’t buy all that plastic just to put it on a shelf!  The reality of age is responsibility. The reality of responsibility is the need for time management.  With a skirmish game, I can assemble 10 models and then still have a full and rewarding game experience. I have spent a hundred hours imagining my guard army on the table, and a dozen seeing it first hand.  

In any part of life there come moments where you have to question if an element is there because you want it there or because you are used to it being there. My guard army is still a point of pride and I will keep it in a place of honor where I can look at my creation. Sadly all the potential as entertainment isn’t there any longer, and the dust will gather on them while the paint on my skirmish models chips and wears through use. 

 I can only hope 17 year old me would understand the choice 37 year old me made. 

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