The recent changes to VAT for ebooks and Corvus Belli's decision to suspend production of their 15 mm historical ranges ensured that I was propelled headlong into Christmas and kept busy until today.
After much thought I've decided to take a break from regular wargaming in 2015. "Shock horror" I hear you cry! Let me briefly explain why:
Playing vs Painting
- I seem to have spent the last 2-3 years painting the extra units required to translate my DBR armies to FOGR. These mini-projects have prevented me working on my next major project: my Timurid / Islamic Persian project which I began in 2008! That's long enough for my painting style to change significantly. Whilst I am guilty of a lack of focus I'm gutted that this project is still a long way from finished. I have loads painted but after 6 years they still don't add up to a decent 650 point army.
- Last year I was playing twice a month on average but as the year wore on I struggled. For the last few years I have played in the last round of the Northern League then taken a break until after Christmas to recharge the batteries but last year was different. From October onwards my enthusiasm just faded away.
- Over Christmas I decided that I really need to spend more time painting at the expense of playing. I must get my Islamic Persians to a size where I can get an army on the table before my eyes go west for good.
Lack Of Variety
- It's been FOGR, then some FOGR and then more FOGR. Yet I have 4 or 5 medieval armies sitting unused in their tool boxes. The demise of FOG AM v2.0 continues apace and, like many others, I've struggled to settle on an alternative set of medieval rules.
- At MAWS I can only play on Sunday which restricts the number of potential opponents. Other pressures have made it difficult to invite others to MAWS because I've just been too busy to organise dates sufficiently far enough in advance.
- I have basically played with two main armies (TYW Danish & Italian Wars French) for most of the time. I have dabbled with morphing a few medieval armies (Tatars & Early Lithuanian) but both of these need to be fielded against period opponents or in themed competitions.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
- After two years of playing FOGR I've failed to internalise the rules sufficiently well to really enjoy the game. Not that much has changed since I wrote about why rules are so complicated two years ago this month. There are certain parts of the rules that have more than a whiff of the "if it's Wednesday, and there's a "r" in the month then ..." that was (is?) so common in DBMM. Despite repeated efforts on my part I just can't get the rules to flow. In the Northern League I have played experienced tournament players who get basic rules wrong so it's not just me.
- The rulebook is badly organised which doesn't help. In one instance I knew a rule must be in the book but I couldn't find it for love nor money. In the end I asked a really experienced tournament player if he knew where it was. Even he took a while to find it tucked away in the definitions at the back of the rules. I suspect this is a result of large parts of FOGR being "adapted" from FOG AM and pressure on page count etc.
- The basic system in FOGR really suits the unit based warfare of the Renaissance but the breath of technology covered by the rules means that there are a lot of factors to deal with ahistorical combat; between early 16th century heavily armed gendarmes and late 17th century battalion guns for example. This results in lot to learn (see point 1. above).
- Certain things in FOGR are inconsistent like the rules on captured artillery. One rules author has finally suggested that destroyed artillery should indeed be removed. Now there is a move to change the points values.
So what does this mean for 2015?
Well firstly I am going to limit my visits to MAWS to once a month (at most) until such time that I have made significant progress with my Timurid / Islamic Persian project. Secondly, I do not intend to compete in the early rounds of the Northern League this year. I may play in one of the later rounds, or the Stoke Challenge, if the mood takes me; we'll see.
Rest assured I will continue to play this year but the plan is to be back in 2016 all guns blazing.