Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Reflecting on 'My Way'

Nothing of import to report last night as I was on taxi duty although whilst waiting around I did manage to start reading Jac Weller's Wellington in the Peninsula. This is a very good one volume history of the Anglo Portuguese operations and it forms a great primer for the period. As I have said previously, I have no intention of painting figures for this era and am happy to use the unit blocks from Command and Colours Napoleonics for my games, at some point on my Hexon terrain. Mention of reading this book (again - it is one that I have owned previously) gave rise to a train thought around the cyclic nature of our interests. As a wargamer of nearly 40 years I have experimented with many periods over that time but there always seems to be some that I come back to periodically. Up until I moved to London in early 1978 I only ever gamed Napoleonics and WW2 but since that time I have added naval, ancients, WW1 and a host of others. These have then in turn also slotted into the cyclic round and regularly come to the fore of my interests - usually as the result of a new book appearing or perhaps a range of models or figures; even seeing an inspiring game at a show or in a magazine.

A number of other periods/genres have also appeared over time - sci-fi and fantasy, ACW, the Balkan Wars, Vietnam, 16th century land and sea and even the 18th century at one point. I suppose the point is that all this diversity has made for a very interesting and stimulating hobby but the downside has ironically been the strength of such an approach. Too many periods equals reduced effort in each one!

I don't know if it is because I have finally grown up in respect of how I tackle projects or not but taking the ACW ships as a case in point I have thus far managed to resist going off on a tangent and trying something else although I freely concede that I have been thinking out loud about what I shall be undertaking next. It is certainly true to say that I have had some frustrating times with some of the models I have built and potential distractions have been many and varied but I am still staying on the true path and so will be pressing on until the last model is built and painted before I undertake anything else. This is a first for me and no mistake! My attention span is usually quite a brittle one simply because I tend to throw myself at a project and work with a degree of intensity that is very difficult to maintain - 'the flame that burns brightest burns for the shortest time' (or something similar, from the film Blade Runner IIRC) - and so I hit a wall very quickly. I suppose the lesson here then, if indeed there is one when the truth is so self evident is that the only way to finish a project is to, well, finish the project by not allowing yourself to get sidetracked.

To reinforce this new found sense of conviction then I can do better than to echo some of the words from 'Ol Blue Eyes himself - "But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up, then spat it out!"

Yes, it was my way....


CWT said...

Always good to hear another wargamer suffers from the same angst over various periods and ideas. An endemic condition in the hobby, I believe, but thankfully not fatal!

David Manley said...

I find that I often hit a "wall" with a big project. What I usually try to do is have one or two "side orders" that take my mind off the main event. A case in point - I'm also crashing through all my oustanding ACW naval unmake models but I've walled a couple of times. In those cases I've diverted for a few days by doing Wings of War repaints, or 20mm desert stuff for the kids. That seems to recharge my "ironclad" batteries.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Now I know why you wanted a copy of my Balkans Wars article!

Doing it 'you way' is - in the end - better than doing it anyone else's way. It gives you more satisfaction in the end. It is one of the reasons why I have tended to avoid wargames clubs over the years. The idea of a club 'project' that everyone has to contribute to never interested me; in fact it filled me with dread ... which is probably why I joined WD ... which is a club that never has a club 'project'!

All the best,


David Crook said...


Not fatal - except perhaps to the bank balance!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi DM,

I have tried that in the past but what usually happens is the 'side orders' suddenly morph into the main event! My walls have tended to be terminal in the past or result in a large gap at the very least. This time though, thanks to much timely inspiration from a variety of sources (loved the Lioness BTW) I have managed not to stray too far into the dark side or, consume my destiny, forever it will....

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

Guilty as charged re the Balkans article!

I must confess that as my wargaming career evolves I am now much more likely to game with a fewer number like-minded individuals rather than en masse. I set great store by the all-important 'feel' of a period and so prefer opponents that are are on a similar wavelength.

Which at the moment means grids, grids and more grids.....;-)

All the best,