Thursday, 8 September 2011

Ruleset Roulette

I have a habit of becoming intensely interested in new projects on an imaginative level; after all, one of the central attractions of wargaming to me is the visual way in which you can give life to those imaginings.  The problem is, I have an interest in so many different subjects that I tend to move from project to project very quickly with nothing overly tangible to show for it!  Suffice to say, the only thing I have from my first six months back wargaming is a pile of rule books and reference material.  I can spin this in a positive light, of course; I have been very deliberately trying not to buy more miniatures than I can realistically paint!

A history of digression

I had piles of unpainted miniatures in my teenage wargaming years from army and game system "false starts", and I currently have two boxes of Perry British Line Infantry sitting in my closet from Garth's and my "postponed" Napoleonic efforts of last summer.  I've since acquired 1500pts of Flames of War miniatures for my British Rifle Company, as well as the Haqqislam starter set, Djanbazan Sniper, Djanbazan Heavy Machine-gunner and the Naffatun blister for my Haqqislam force in Infinity.  Probably enough to keep me painting into 2012.  Garth's and my planning for a Italy-themed Flames of War terrain board in 15mm has already got me contemplating its use in 15mm Napoleonics using the General de Brigade ruleset.  As you can see, my "fear" of lead hasn't really stopped me so far.  To this end, I've come up with a couple of guiding principles for my re-entrance into wargaming:

  1. Stop buying rulebooks (!); and
  2. Get a painted army on the table as soon as possible so that I can actually start participating properly in the hobby.
I'm doing okay with #1 in that I haven't bought a rule book in a couple of months, though I have had a couple of close calls (I also don't count my future purchase of Corvus Belli's Infinity: The Human Sphere as I've already invested in this system and the only reason why I haven't bought it yet is that it seems to be out of stock everywhere - I'll convince myself of anything...).  The reasoning behind #1 is that I'm going to have to be realistic and honest in order to achieve #2: I don't need distractions!

Given the amount of painting required in order to field a reasonable army of Napoleonics in 28mm, I've strategically redeployed my British Line Infantry into reserve as a "long-term project" (hopefully by then the Perry brothers' 28mm plastic British cavalry will be out, if their French cavalry are anything to go by they will be gorgeous).  Instead, I've decided to focus on Flames of War for my first tabletop army and rule set.  Without delving too deeply into my desire to game World War II, my reasons for choosing Flames of War over my other options are:
  • I've had a lifelong interest in the Second World War, an interest I have in common with Garth;
  • The game is popular so there should be no dearth of opponents, and as Battlefront is a New Zealand company it is well stocked and supported here;
  • It is the one game that retained my interest when I quit wargaming Games Workshop games 10 years ago; and
  • It's in 15mm so my very rusty painting skills won't be overtaxed, and the painting time should be lower.
To be honest, bullet-point #4 is the fundamental reason why I chose to run with Flames of War first.  I really do want to get gaming as soon as possible, and 15mm should definitely be quicker than 28mm.  The decision to build Flames of War first might have been different had I discovered Infinity earlier - with 7 figures in my starting 150point list I think that I could have had them painted much more quickly than my Flames of War British.  On the other hand, I'm not sure that I would have been willing to inflict my very raw painting skills on Corvus Belli's beautiful miniatures!

Even with focusing on 15mm, I'm finding painting to be very slow going.  It's taking me a while to get back into the swing of things, having not painted in so long, and I'm finding that with work, football training and family during the week as well as football matches and commuting to spend time with my partner during weekends, I don't actually have a whole lot of time left for painting.  I suspect that starting this blog might not have been the brightest idea in terms of my painting progress!

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