So, for the first time in longer than I care to remember I can open my windows in my house without Snowpocalipse 2014 rearing its ugly head. Most of our UK readers and freinds are at Salute seeing goodies I won't know about until Monday. What's a lonely blogger to do? Oh, how about an informative introspection piece!
So, this is going to be a little different than most of my articles, but I'll try to keep it interesting and to the point. There's a moral to the story, a method to the madness, and I hope you follow along to the end.
A little over a year ago, I was feeling really worn out on the Hobby. I was playing predominantly two games and their spinoffs, and that was it. The problem is, I had been playing those two games for literally decades. Sure, there were edition changes, but even edition changes (with good reason) do their best to remain true to the "Stylization of the Property" from one version to the next, so those two games had, by then, gotten quite stale.
At the risk of sounding egotistical, I was pretty good at them. And had built/painted/competitively succeeded with almost every faction available, and I generally knew an opponent's army list and its properties better than my opponent did. In short, I was bored, and the Hobby had grown dull for me.
Then, the best thing possible happened- the company drank and extra large mug of stupid juice, and royally upset my blogmate B97. To the point where he was literally tourretes-spitting mad. We went from organizing campaigns and tournaments to boxing up and shelving over $30,000 worth of models and terrain overnight. Which to be honest was a really sad moment for me- half my life has been dedicated to a Hobby that I love, in various forms of endeavors. What made it worse was aside from one or two other games which I really wasn't interested in, I had bought into that company's propoganda that "this is all there is on the market" so I was fairly confident that the long strange trip was over.
I stumbled around a bit, and started trying to look for something out there I'd missed- maybe there was some game hidden somewhere? I guess I could break out my old Battletech stuff... and then it happened. The Internet happened. We started finding A WHOLE FREAKING LOT of games out there- not just companies producing their own flavor of someone else's models, but entire game systems with entire product lines that had nothing to do with what we had just boxed up.
I was tickled. I found models that were original and creative, from great sculptors and great designers. They weren't the "same old Space Trooper, now with more medals!" but were unique and beautiful snowflakes all their own. We found game systems that were engaging and new and dare I say it, fun to play.
Folks, this is why I do what I do. Somewhere out there, this weekend, there's a gamer who positively hates the new army book his faction just got, or is simply tired of painting the same color scheme on the same style figures, or maybe just wants to roll a different type of die. That guy is one more unfulfilling expensive purchase away from leaving this Hobby we all love. Unless, of course, someone hands him a strange little soldierdoll from a game he's never heard of, and offers him a demo.
B97 created this brainchild for that reason- to boost the signal. It's something we all have to do. This Hobby doesn't belong to multi-million dollar companies. It doesn't even belong to the smaller game companies that LXG supports. It belongs to us- every single person who gathers with their buddies (or mates if you prefer), knocks back a pint or two, and rolls dice complaining about their outcome. It belongs to every one of us that picks up a brush and tries to put our own mark on our models. It belongs to every one of use that every read a bit of backstory and thought "oh yeah, that's the guys I want!"
Take your Hobby back, and help those around you find the game they want to play to. There's a ton of really inventive "boutique games" out there which will challenge your perception of what a miniature game can be, and should be. If you feel your hobby is getting stale, I urge you to try something new.
Keep an eye out this week for a big Spinespur battle report (I'm editing down the photos tomorrow) as well as an article from a new Contributor, about a new Game. Exciting times!
I'll see you on the other side of the table
The Second Class Elitist.