Monday, February 22, 2010

Pondering Early Retirement

Every time I have a bum game at the table I think about quitting.  I've spent so much time and money on the hobby already, even though I've only really been in it since the Space Hulk re-issue.  I constantly try and figure out an acceptable timeline.  When is too early to know?  When is it too late?

I walk away from bad games feeling soured on every aspect of the hobby.  I'm not one of those people who can turn to painting for a while when I'm on a bad run, because I'm primarily a gamer.  I enjoy competitive gaming and that's the biggest draw of the hobby for me.  When I get bummed at the table, I question why I spent all the money and time on the preparations for just getting there. 

I keep track of how many games I play, what the results are, and whether or not I have any fun when I'm playing them.  Out of 33 games played, I have had fun in a total of 8 of them.  24% of my games have been fun, for one reason or another.  That's ridiculous.  I quit WoW a few years back because I only spent about a third of my time actually doing things I enjoyed - why shouldn't I do the same with tabletop gaming?  If you take into account the time painting and modelling, two things that I do primarily as a means to an end, I'm getting way less of a return on my investment than I did with WoW, a game that I quit and never looked back.

Is it time to give that a try?  Walk away and see if I get sucked back in?  Like WoW, the biggest draw of the hobby for me was the game itself, but the social elements quickly took over.  I enjoy hanging out with other gamers and having a game to talk about.  Shouldn't it be a game that I actually like, though?

I'm really unsure what to do with miniature gaming.  The other elements of the hobby have failed to reel me in.  The games leave me wanting.  It's expensive and murderous to my free time.  Tournament play has turned out to be a very different experience from what I was hoping it would be.

On the other hand, I love the world and I love the toys.  I've got a board's worth of terrain being built for me right now and it looks fucking awesome.  Seeing minis on a the table is a gaming experience unlike any other.  I've met a bunch of rad folks already, and I'm sure that could continue if I stick with it.

So, what am I supposed to do with myself?  I think my experience with WoW served me well, and it's time to give walking away a shot.  We'll see if I come back.

6 comments:

  1. Dibbs on your stuff!

    Just kidding actually I cannot afford any more armies at this point... kidding again.

    I hear what you are saying - but you better not quit before March 20th you bastard!

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  2. Before doing anything rash you should have a look and see why you are not having fun?

    Is it the opponents? the area you play? The army you play with?

    I think if you can nail that down and fix it then your fun level will go up and you will have a better time.

    I had the same issue. Moved away from my usual gaming store. I found that I did not like the one too much. It was small and cramped, the players iffy and argumentative. It started to feel like a chore.

    I didn't play for weeks at a time because I could not summon up the enthusiasm for it. Luckily the manager at the store changed, which changed the dynamic over there and I met up with an alternate groups as well. Now I play with both groups and my fun level has gone up.

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  3. What was it about those 8 games that caused you to have fun? Were they extremely close? Was it the person you were playing or the scenario? Why did those 8 games stick out for you? Or was is something about your army that you enjoyed using?

    What was it in all those other games that you disliked? What curbed your fun? Maybe it was something in an opponents army or just maybe a combo that your opponent didn't enjoy playing against in yours and they ended up acting negative towards it?

    I regularly battle with this very problem and can honestly say there is no easy answer. Find people you like to play against is the first step I would suggest. Then talk to them about their experience and find out what they want and what you want from a good game you both will have fun with. Then adjust your armies and have at it.

    Playing tournament level games all the time burns you out quick, and just changing it up sometime can to help relieve stress and promote a more friendly and fun game.

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  4. I feel your pain. What you do is, take a break from the game, but make sure you DO NOT sell off your stuff. I can't tell you how much you'll regret it if you decide to come back.

    I was getting into a rut in my gaming, then had to move up the artic for 2 years. Let me tell you, I really missed not being able to play. I really got into anything 40k related up there on the internet, got a shitload of painting done (summertime with 24 hour natural light helps too) When I came back for visits, my games were less competitive, purely because I was now playing for the love of the game, knowing I had just that one game for the next 6 months!

    Now that I have moved back, I have kept that attitude, where I just play to play the game. I have a good group of guys to play against, rather than the GDN's that play at the local store, and we keep each other motivated.

    Lastly, I don't know if this will work for anyone else but me, but if you have a camera that can take video, take videos. I LOVE going back over my games, seeing the models on the table, and its shocking how little of a game i seem to remember once I watch it again.

    We have 18 video battle reports so far, plus other assorted nonsense videos, over at http://drunken-gamer.blogspot.com/ if you want to check it out. Not plugging it or anything, just putting it out there. I am so glad I took the competitve gamer part of 40k out of my gaming, it really changed a lot of things for me. Maybe it can do the same for you.

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  5. I had the same problem until a few months ago. I am also a competitive player. I really enjoi winning. And losing was bad for my hobby apetite. But then i had the Game. I was in a double tournament and in the first day i got serious pummeled. So we were going to the last game to play who was getting the honour to be last. Damn...and i was lawyas a top3 player. We were Eldar (me) + CSM vs necrons+orks. And it was a fantasting game. In fact i had 2 hours of non stop laughing. We lashed the necron warriors to assault (3 times) the obliterators, we rammed monolits with rhinos, the monolit rammed rhino also, daemon prince lost wounds from scarabs, the monolith died when a fire prism suicided into it, the orks looted an objective (we actually allowed that) and they run with it and they got caught by a lonely csm plague sarge who smashed the all on the ground. Was hillarious from start to the end. I whink we won in the end but it really did not mattered. After that i am still a top 3 player but i can lose laughing. Just start see what you really like in the game.

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