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Friday, December 18, 2015

Down, But Not Out About Flames of War

By "Dirty" Jon Baber

As most of you have seen, there is certainly a drop in the amount of Flames of War coverage on the blog and in the podcast.  A few you have spoken to me or shot me a note asking me what's going on.  I figured that I would put some thoughts on the page, as it were, and see if I could figure out what is going on with my (lack of) interest in Flames of War.

Please note, I am speaking about my personal views only - you'll have to ask Steven, Luke and Eric what they think.

Too Much, Too Fast
Some of it is certainly that we played a LOT of it for quite a while.  Even more, I did some insane work painting and constructing FoW models - I painted and assembled 231 Tanks in 2013.  We went to a ton of tournaments and played a bunch around town.  If you listen to some of the old podcasts, you can hear about us playing a ton of games.

It seems to me that we went a little bonkers with Flames for a while.  As with anything, "those who burn twice as bright, burn half as long."

Other Games Got Good
Over time, we really got into some good board, card and lighter-weight miniature games.  Fantasy Flight has knocked a couple of balls out of the park with the LotR, Conquest, Games of Thrones and Netrunner LCGs.  They also have stepped it up with Armada and X-Wing for miniatures and things like Lords of Waterdeep.  Heck, I even got back in to Battletech a bit.

Right now, when we get together, it is just easier and more fun for us to play one of these low-maintenance games.  The setup and tear-down time is just not as appealing as it once was for Flames.  I also just don't want to play Luke or Steven for the 50th time.

Uninteresting Content
First of all - before I get a ton of crap from anyone - this is my opinion, and only mine.  MANY will disagree with me, and that is fine.  I have no interest in changing your mind if you love the new stuff.  I also have no interest in you trying to change mine.  With that...

...I'm just not excited about the new FoW stuff.  I didn't get into 'Nam, which I hear is pretty fun.  I think Team Yankee is wrong at 15mm - it should be at 6mm and a Battalion-Level game.  I am not interested in the Pacific from a ground combat game point of view.  This was never my area of study, so I guess I never developed a huge interest.  I think the last FoW content I was interested in was Remagen, which was great.  Berlin just didn't do it for me - seemed like the same ol' stuff.

What's next?  Apparently, Pacific and Team Yankee.  Meh.  If you like it, I am super glad!  For me, I just don't seem to have much interest.  I totally forgot about The Great War, so yeah.  Whatever the reasons, I am just not excited about the new stuff.

Nothing Local
There is ZERO FoW around my locality.  We had a pretty good group going back in the day, but with people moving away, shops closing or dropping FoW, there just isn't the level of interest.  Many of the "near-local" I95 guys have pretty much moved on from FoW.  I could scare up a game with Wally, Andrew or Luke, but where in the past I was all about that, now I just kinda shrug.  I barely have a table set up to play on these days.

Digital Content Move
I don't want to get the new digital content.  I liked Easy Army fine, but - for some reason I just can't figure out - I have no interest in any of the new digital content.  Maybe it is just that it is an extra step and I already kinda don't have interest in the books up there.  I have a wall of FoW books that I play out of today - I just can't get on board with the new digital stuff.  I really do not want to carry a tablet around at a tournament.

New Interests
From a modeling and painting point of view, I have moved on to some other things.  I have an active, interested group of friends who go to Comic Cons now and we make all kinds of fun stuff.  So, where I would grab a Panzer IV in the past, I now grab some craft foam and make a helmet. I find this challenging, interesting and fun!

So, I guess it is death by a thousand cuts, eh?  I am still plenty excited about going to tournaments and playing games there - I really enjoy it.  I dig talking some lists, tactics and what not while I am there, but when the tournament is done, I am pretty much done.  I am certainly not AGAINST FoW, but I think I might just be at a low-point.  Watch this space to see if I rebound!

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