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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bolt Action - How To Get Your Groove Back

Hey Gang, Old Man Morin here.

I thought I would take on a rarely touched on subject, but one that I think we can all relate to. What to do when your love for the hobby... wanes.  In my many years of gaming, there have been many highs and conversely, there have been countless times that I have almost thrown in the towel - and a couple of times I literally have. Thankfully that never sticks.  The trick is to get out of the funk.  Welllll, having just kicked a funky kink out of my hobby, I thought I would share how I went about doing it.

A)Watch a movie, TV series or read a book about something that inspires you.  Hollywood is treasure trove of great source material for people who love war, war games and WWII.  I know that The Guns of Navarone, Force Ten From Navarone and Band Of Brothers are directly responsible for my interest in WWII.  Sure films are not typically very realistic and do little to stimulate the growth of quality neck beard action, they do however, glorify war in a big way and, in my case, take me back to my childhood love of G.I. Joe and one-piece plastic army men.  If you are looking for a longer lasting experience, get yourself stuck into a good book.  Commutes got you bored?  Grab a good book.  The battery never runs out, and these days very few people will mug you for one.  There are literally thousands of great WWII books, spanning every text type and genre from action/adventure fiction, to biographies, to non-fiction battle reports, to romance to - you get the idea.  Ask around on one of the great FB groups out there, or on the forum.  There are lots of great suggestions out there.

B) Play a different game.  Hear me out on this one.  Years ago, Games Workshop was famous for putting out fantastic "side" limited-run games. Warhammer Quest, Necromunda, Mordheim, Inquisitor, etc.  These games were never supposed to last or draw long term attention away from GW's main games.  They were cool, quirky, side projects that were meant to drum up excitement and reinvigorate people's love of the hobby of toy soldiers (and "help" them to spend more money).  It was a great philosophy that I am sad to see die. GW should have NEVER picked up the LOTR contract, in my opinion, but that is story for another day!  I remember this lesson well though.  I have recently picked up a few cool side games: Judge Dredd, A Fist Full of Kung Fu, and Ronin.  While I have not played them much, I have painted a few models using colours and techniques that I don't often get to use in WWII paint schemes - yellow and fire engine red anyone?  These games use very small model counts, and similar terrain, to what I have already bought/made for Bolt Action.  Which means that they do not really bite into my time poor schedule, or limited budget too much.  Having fun with "secondary"games helps me to remember what war gaming is all about: Pushing toys around and having fun.

C) Play some games.  I spend a lot of time listing, building models, and painting under a lamp in a dark recess of the ol' LRDG bunker.  While these activities are fun and I LOVE doing them, they are not my true love.  I am a gamer, pure and simple.  I love to look down and across a beautiful table, covered in great terrain and models, and try to out-strategise (Nice! - J) my opponent.  Failing that, there is nothing more satisfying than pulling a victory out of a close fought battle, or one that looked completely lost.  Because of this, for me, playing games is the easiest way to recharge the old batteries, so to speak.  This is not to say that all games are created equally.  We have all played, and will play, games that go wrong, where nothing goes right, where our opponents are jerks, and where we might just lose our cool.  The key is to remember the good times!  Learn from your mistakes, and get back on the horse sooner rather than later.  Don't let a bad game fester.  Play with yourself if you have to (yeah, I said it).  Get boots on the table
and get stuck in.  You will be glad that you did.

D) STOP DOING THE SAME OLD CRAP! This may sound stupidly simple, but monotony is a killer.  I have been working on the same stupid German Army for... ever it seems, but every time I feel like quitting on it, I do.  In the span of hammering out the Germans, I have finished and played with Partisans, Americans and an entire Japanese army in various tournaments throughout Australia.  Sure, I probably could have knocked my boys in grey out by now, BUT I am dead set against doing anything less that my best on them.  As a result, I have stopped and worked on other projects from time to time, but without fail within twenty-four hours of every event I have played in... I am back at that table, reinvigorated and painting gaiters and jack boots.  If something is crushing the life out of your hobby, STOP! Do something else.  Find your great white whale and avoid that tubby bastard until you are ready to get wet.

Til next time...

(Have any secrets to escaping a game funk? Tell us about it on the forum! - J)

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