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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Self Reflection and the Burning Flame of 40K

I'm not going to lie, I've been in a rut when it comes to 40K lately.  Yes, there is my normal summer malaise where constant family activities and outdoor shenanigans get in the way of my 40K time.  Yes, I've just started working again which has cut into my free time.  But I'm still dealing with this sort of funk in 40K.

I think it started the last gaming party.  I played 2 games and lost them.  One (against Steve) was close, and had the dice rolls gone my way on ending the game I would have won.  The other (against James) was a complete beat down.  I was obliterated, and what few models remained were completely violated in the butt by James' Tau.  I don't play very often, actually quite rarely, and so my handle on strategy, tactics, and list building alwasy seem to loosen between games.  But the fact I have not won a game really started to weigh on me.  I lost both games in what could be (depending on how you look at it) the worst way possible:  So close I could see victory, and so devastatingly bad I should have given up before the first round started.  For me the loss against James was the worst.  I cobbled together a list based on what wasn't being used in my game with Steve, and pretty much put together a list that fed right into James' strengths but had nothing to overcome my weaknesses.  Combine that with an assault that destroyed my entire Nob squad before they could do anything, and yeah I was bitter.

Can you blame me fore bing a little bitter?

So fast forward to last week when I started using my commute to play catch up on my 40K podcasts, and I listened to Episode 30 of The Independent Characters.  Episode 30 featured some great talking points about how to move from being a newb to being a veteran.  Within the overall discussion (which I highly recommend) they had a discussion about what 40K means to you.  The gist of the discussion was you have to understand what you are looking for in the game.  Are you looking for wins?  Are you looking for fun?  Is this a hobby, or a game?  And the light came on.  In the wasteland that is my game record I was losing sight of what 40K means to me.  I mean hell yeah I want to win, and hell yeah I want to kick those squishy fishy Tau in the teeth.  But more importantly, I want to get together with my friends, salivate over each other's paint jobs, listen to the compliments about the few pieces I've painted well, nerd out, and have fun.  Winning is part of that (there is a game to play after all), but 40K is so much more than just a game.  And the hobby encompasses more than just the gaming aspect.

I enjoy painting.  I enjoy the fluff.  I enjoy the discussion and debate about the rules.  And I enjoy writing about it all.  I have my dormant times, I think we all do.  It's just human nature to not be on fire all the time.  We're fickle, and we have other interests and influences that pull us away.  But like any good hobby, it's always there, and we always come back to it.

So I'm putting forth a challenge to myself.  Even with all the distractions that come with summer, by Labor Day I am going to have my customizable magnetized Nobz squad finished.  By Labor Day I'm going to have my customizable magnetized Deff Dread finished.  And by Labor Day I'm going to have another 20 Assault on Black Reach Ork Boyz finished.

I'm going to get some WIP pictures taken and set up something in the sidebar so you can track my progress.  It's going to be tough.  I have 2 camping trips, some family gatherings, and who knows what else on the agenda between now and then, but I have a lot of work that needs to be done, and I need to keep myself focused on more than just my pathetic win/loss record.

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