Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Sermon: Learning to say no!


We all suffer from varying degrees of what psychoanalysts call "shiny toy syndrome" (it's not actually a condition in the DSM V, but it should be). Be honest with yourself, and I'm sure at some point in your hobbying career you will have procured for yourself far too much crap. More than you could ever possibly need, or indeed paint in a reasonable time-frame. We've all done it. I know for a cold hard certain fact that I have. It's a curse most geeks will have to carry at some point, whether it be owning far to many collectible figurines (toys) or periodical graphic novels (comics). We have a tendency to want to hoard all the cool stuff and things we love. I'm not sure if I have an addictive personality or not, evidence would suggest I don't, but I certainly have a touch of the kleptomaniac about me. It's a terrifying thought actually the amount of "geeky" things I have hoarded over my life.

However, during 2013 I've learned a new word, a powerful word and it's one I wasn't aware existed when it came to buying new toy soldiers... and it's no. It's a simple word, it is really easy to spell and just as easy to say. Yet it can be quite liberating. I'm not really sure when it happened. But at some point this year I looked at the ever increasing pile of miniatures, and said enough is enough. I think the first thing that happened was I got a few Kickstarters sent through to me. Now don't get me wrong, some Ive been very pleased with, but others I've not been so happy about. The quality on some of the things has been utterly shocking. In fact had I seen these products on the sheves of my local hobby shops I would not have brought them. So the first thing that went out of my purchasing window was crowd funding.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday Sermon: Finding the time


There are, I am reliably informed only 24 hours in the day. Despite the fact that of late it has felt paradoxically like there were too few hours in the day, yet it felt like there were far more than only 24 in a day. It has certainly felt that way at the end of many days recently. I'm not too sure whether that is a full on complaint or indeed just merely an observation. Simply put I've not enough time to ponder on where such thoughts come from nowadays. They pop into my head briefly, and I shrug my shoulders and just get on with whatever it was I was getting on with. Time it seems is a very scant resource round my house at the moment. Which in some ways is an entirely ridiculous state of affairs, but also given the state of daily flux in my routine isn't altogether unsurprising. In short I quite often don't know whether I'm coming or going.

This, as I'm sure you are all aware, is an absolute nightmare for our hobby. I can't just figure out that I might have a spare 3 hours this afternoon, and call up some friends for a game of Infinity or HoMachine. They too have lives, and more annoyingly their own routines. So you need to plan things more than that. Getting to play a wargame requires planning, dates, times and quite often I am unable to give firm answers, it seems, to many of those questions in advance, or more accurately enough in advance to ensure I have an opponent. As such my hobby has suffered horrendously of late. Just picking up a miniature to clean the mould lines and flash off of them has been all I've been able to manage recently. Seriously, I've cleaned five miniatures in 4 weeks. That has to be a new record in tardiness even for me.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Frontline Gamer fire sale!!!

OK so perhaps 'fire sale' is inaccurate. But yeah, I've got a lot of stuff on my hands that I'm willing to consider selling, because it turns out I'm not going to be able to take everything with me on my move to Scandinavia. If the Swedes and Danes built decent sized homes we wouldn't be having this problem... as they don't I'm looking to shift some stuff on to good homes. That's where you lot come in, and where you might pick up a bit of a bargain. So here's the list of stuff by type:

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Sermon: Do you know what the definition of insanity is?

If you haven't played Far Cry 3 you really should. Just for Vaas.

Any of you who have played the excellent Far Cry 3 will recognise the question posed in the title to this Sunday Sermon. In Far Cry 3 the rather unhinged and violent bad guy Vaas Montenegro asks the protagonist of this little adventure, Jason Brody, whether he knows what the definition of insanity is. It's actually a rather interesting exchange, and while it doesn't explain why Vaas is as clearly certifiable as he so patently is, it does explain some of his rather 'erratic' decisions. The definition Vaas is referring too is of course that is often thought to have been proposed by Albert Einstein, although it might actually have been coined by American born author Rita Mae Brown:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results"
 Rita Mae Brown, "sudden Death" (Bantam Books, New York, 1983) p.68

Yet still it is contested whether Rita Mae Brown was the individual who is responsible for this oft misquoted soundbite.

Truth is for my purposes today it doesn't really matter who said it first. Or even that it has become a cliché I myself have tired of hearing. Nope, what is important is that actually there is, as is often the case with these things, a grain of truth in them. For the past couple of years Dr Brainiac and myself have driven ourselves mad trying to make ends meet, and eek a living out of doing the same things again, and again. Telling ourselves things would get better. I've applied to countless jobs that quite frankly only a few years ago I was considered far too qualified for, and been knocked back again and again. Each time I've dusted myself off, put on a smile and carried on stoically because that's what us Brits do. It has though been slowly grinding us both down.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sunday Sermon: At what point should you concede defeat?

The Capitulation of Kars, by Thomas Jones-Baker, 1855.

This isn't something that I've had to deal with genuinely all that often in the recent past, mainly because I haven't played that many games. However, in the past few months I have been there to witness a number of interesting arguments and some etiquette issues that have gotten quite heated. It's not something that I for one have ever had that much negative experience with. I mean I've had people capitulate on me far too easily and early and just pack up because things haven't been going their way. That's fine I guess I don't mind that so much, although it's annoying that they don't want to play the game to its proper conclusion, I get that their heart isn't in it anymore and they just want to walk away. On the flip side I've never once waved the white flag unless my opponent has offered me that way out. I guess I realise that it takes two to tango, and I'm there just as much for my opponents enjoyment as I am my own. I feel it should be always the gamer with the upper hand who offers their opponent the chance to exchange handshakes, although it should always be by mutual consent.

Capitulation at Baylén, by Maurice Henri, 1895.
So what have I witnessed? Well the first thing I witnessed that shocked me was a young teenager walking away from a game of Warhammer Fantasy because his opponent had got off Purple Sun to devastating effect. It was his opponents second turn and he's only had one turn. I could fully understand his frustration and angst, but the thing was the game was far from over. Yeah sure it'd have been an uphill struggle to bring it back on terms, but a hard fought draw was not out of the question and still seemed more than possible. Doing so would have been a moral victory unrivaled as well. He though, "couldn't be arsed" as he so delightfully put it. This left his opponent fuming. He'd turned up to play a game, and now he was having to pack his stuff away after roughly 45 minutes and give his table up to somebody else because his opponent had in effect thrown a hissy fit. I had to say I personally felt this was just utterly terrible form, and I felt the need to say so. The young lad gave a shrug of his shoulders and said "I don't care".

Monday, 19 August 2013

Z War One Video and Kickstarter


It has been a fair old while since I updated this blog, and some of you have been getting a little restless shall we say. I'd like to make it abundantly clear that neither I nor this blog is dead. However, I do think things are likely to remain 'sketchy' round here for some time yet I'm afraid. You see other things are still having to take precedence, and even my gaming time has taken a significant battering of late. So I figured I'd best keep my trap shut until I had something worth saying rather than force out articles that quite frankly would have been page filler at best.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Backseat Gamer


Just a really brief update today, and I'm sure most of you won't be interested in it any way, but I've started writing a blog about my thought's on computer games. If you at all interested in what my thoughts are then please head on over to Backseat Gamer. Yes I know it currently looks as ugly as sin, but I'm working on that. For those of you who are wandering about updates on here, I have some reviews incoming, later this week, probably starting with the Bushido rulebook. So I've not forgotten this place at all. In fact over the past month or so I've actually been able to get some gaming in and I'm feeling re-energized. So keep an eye out for updates... oh and those of you waiting on my massively overdue Dark Age story competition, I have started moving on that today and am getting in touch with Cool Mini or Not over it again. Sorry for the delay, but with my head in the wrong place recently I didn't want to not judge things properly or fairly. I hope you can understand. Thanks. Peace out!