Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My "State of the Hobby" address. /Rant

Just let me whine/cry/rant for a second, let me have my moment...

 Looking for a happy read?  This is not it!  Forgive my cranky rant, but I Just gotta get this off my chest.  A trend I've noticed for many, many months now...

I've come to the conclusion that the current state of my gaming hobby is a bit of a sad one.  Can I even consider myself a gamer, if I do not actually get any games in?  It's not for lack of trying.  Sure, I work crazy hours at nights, but this is an issue that extends past me starting my job in January.  Even before, I had issues getting in good, solid, consistent games.  A perfect example from last Saturday:  I find time to head up to the LGS for the first time in at least a month.  I get guilted by a bunch of the regulars I play with: "where have you been?  We should try and get some games in sometime.  You have my number, you should text me if you wanna play.  You should play (game X) again.  We need to get some games in!" etc, etc, etc.  I typically reply with: "I'd love too!  I have games, X, Y, Z with me in the car..."  From there, my night tends to follow along the same path that they always end up doing at the LGS, I spend a few hours up at the shop, hanging out, and yet i never even crack open the lid of a game!  Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I actually gamed at the store,  every visit seems to end up exactly as I described above.  That's the part that cracks me up, when I get "why don't you play game X anymore?"  and I reply "I'd love to play, but no one ever seems interested".

I'm kind of at a loss of what to do.  Solo gaming is not anywhere near as fun as playing with an opponent.  I keep searching, buying, and painting.  I spend hundreds of dollars trying out all the various game systems, in the foolish hope that I'll actually get to play one of them.  It's a bit of a vicious cycle, for sure.  Perfect example being Flames of War,  I have a fully painted army for Mid/Late War, and despite asking everyone I can think of, (several weeks in a row) I still have yet to get in a single game!  (How many people do you know with a large, fully painted army for a game they have never played!). So, what do I do?  I say to myself: "Maybe I should try Bolt Action, maybe someone will play that, or maybe I should try SAGA, maybe I can find opponents for that."  I'm really into Historical Wargaming, it's all I want to play in fact but it seems I'm often alone in that regards.  I've even thought about getting back into Warmachine, 40k, and Fantasy, just to have SOMETHING to play, but again there would be no guarantee I'd find opponents, adding to the cycle mentioned above, not to mention that it would feel like a compromise for myself, like I'd be going for "second best".  Like blindly throwing darts at a dartboard, hoping one sinks in.  Heck, I've even given Magic: The Gathering a thought, *shudders* and I do NOT particularly like the game, nor would I enjoy the constant money-sink it would require... BUT, I could consistently find opponents anywhere I went, as opposed to something I WANT to play, like the Star Wars LCG, or the upcoming 40k LCG.

Maybe I put way too much stock in my hobbies.  Maybe I should just leave everything be for awhile, wait till my daughter grows up a bit, and maybe her and I could play games together.  Maybe I should try even harder to find other Historical Wargamers in my area, maybe change up my entire approach of who I game with, and how I game.  Maybe I should just drastically wash my hands of the entire hobby, eBay off everything that I cannot play solo, and search for something to hopefully fill that hobby gap.  Maybe I focus even more on Tae Kwon Do, and staying in shape instead.  I'm sure I'm overthinking everything, but man, I didn't think something that was supposed to be fun could prove to be so stressful!  I'd like to think it is a sign that despite everything, that I'm still passionate about the gaming hobby.

So, what would you do in my situation?  Stick it out?  Give it up?  Try and find a new, equally fulfilling hobby?  Set up a gaming table in my basement and play the games I WANT to play (FoW, BA, SAGA) solo, and try to be content?  Cuz, I'm kind of at a loss.  Am I at a point in life where things just are not lining up right,  not enough time,  other responsibilities, etc.  Am I overthinking everything?

Now that I posted all this, watch everything change and improve.  Watch me start up some new game systems, actually GET GAMES IN, and I will look at this and feel silly...


  1. I'm guessing you are American? In the UK we tend to have games clubs rather than going to a store, and the point of a games club is to play games so games get played! You can usually arrange a game for the next week on the night, or most clubs have some online presence where you can arrange something. Is there nothing like this near you? Sounds like you need a more formal arrangement to meet somewhere and play, and arrange games and opponents in advance. If there is nothing like this near you, perhaps you could start something, because I expect there are other people in the same situation.

    Failing that what about trying to arrange games in advance at your/someone elses house? If you have each others numbers that might be more fulfilling than going to a store and not playing. Sometimes these sorts of arrangements evolve into an informal club, if there are a group of people interested. Harness the power of advertising!

  2. I have had some of the same issues with gaming. I have not played warmachine in a couple of years even though I still love the game. At this point the only times I play games is when I go to the once a month game night some of the guys from the shop have at their church. Even then I might only get the chance to get there once every month or two.

  3. Thanks for the comments!

    To answer Knight's question, yes, I'm US based. I know a little bit of the gaming clubs from elsewhere in the world, enough to be pretty envious that we do not have them here in the US. People in my area have attempted to create a true gaming club in the past, but have not had any success. They tend to fizzle out due to lack of interest, growth, and a consistent player base.

    But, I do think you are right, I'm just gonna have to try to prearrange something. I'm thinking of trying to create a Facebook group to try and find other Historical Wargamers in my area, and arrange some games from there. We shall see how it goes. I'm thinking Historical and WWII games (FoW, BA) just seem much more popular elsewhere in the world than here in the US for some odd reason.