Thursday, October 21, 2010

Talking yourself off the ledge

Despite the ominous title, it's not that serious and a purely rhetorical post here. I'm well aware I have not had an update in a couple weeks. I've been working on polishing up my 600 point Grey Company force for the Bilbo's Birthday Bash tourney coming up in a few weeks I've been working on few odds and ends here and there and seriously need to set up the photo studio and post some new stuff, I do have lots, its just combination of overall hobby malaise and being extra busy.

Something's in the air here ever since Core Competency and even slightly before I have been a funk over 8th edition WFB. Don't get me wrong I do like the game, certain things I like much more than 7th edition. I just think after almost 4 years of constant Warhammer it's natural that eventually you get that "meh" feeling, and then when your biggest/favorite local tourney has a 50% turnout reduction and its like pulling teeth to get our usual rock solid TO to post the final results, almost 3 weeks later! You got to figure somethings up. It also didnt help the previous tournament back in May didn't post results either and as far as I am aware people still havent gotten awards. So with creeping malaise going on all around me it sure doesnt help me move my new lizardmen army along.

Games Workshop certainly doesnt do themselves any favors by doing second waves of model releases now, before another army book. GW really needed to capitalize on 8th edition and get some new books and updated model lines out to cash in on the interest with the new edition. I am unbelievably hearing March 2011 for the next book and it's Orcs (being playtested right now)...IF thats true GW really has its head where the sun don't shine, while "supposedly" Tomb Kings and Ogres books have been ready for awhile...and where are those Empire Knights I keep hearing about, instead we are looking at Skaven second wave, one containing a Abomination? a bit soon I'd say especially for all those folks that made custom ones, and have barely seen the table for a season.

GW's horrid management of its own lines aside, the general funk I am in got me thinking about my friend Tim's post from early in the month regarding the highly underrated Lord of the Rings SBG. From the commentary there it seems people seem to have the opinion that the 'lack of customization" seems to be culprit. You'll have to excuse me but as for all but the most fanatic that's a wheelbarrow of horse dung. With most robust alliance rules of any GW game and at least of half dozen different models of every major've got a slew of options in both list and modeling options, plus the plactic figures, while not at the level of GW's flagship stock are still way better than say the current Wargames Factory plastics I have boxes on boxes of that I struggle with for Warhammer Ancient Battles, and basically just as convertible.

Personally I see attention gap coming from the games narrative. Both 40k and WFB are open narratives meaning while there is plethora of background information and stories, and even a current timeline, the narrative is flexible nough that just about everyone interested can find their "special" place within of what interests them and create their forces accordingly.
Games like Lord of the Rings and even Warhammer Ancient Battles are closed narratives meaning the books, models and events operate on a historical perspective. LotR really just operates as 3 chapters of fantastical history novel. In the end Boromir is still dead, Aragorn is still King and Sauron is destroyed. I find the parallels between WAB and LotR interesting because currently playing my Saxons, I fight the same battle more less every week, its 1066 and I am fighting Normans..or hypothetical Arab invaders or 9th Lost Legion of Rome reborn making it military comeback.

Obviously WAB is about the battles and the excellent ruleset more so than getting hung up on the narrative. LotR is special because it has both rules and narrative, the tools are there for you to create whatever scenario you want, with whatever forces you want it doesnt have to be a replay or the movies or books. So I think the games biggest stumbling block is really a matter of perception or even perspective. (Keeping in mind Sci-fi regardless is just more popular than fantasy.) To its credit GW is digging in deeper with obscure new releases that get into the books more than movies, I expect a big shot in arm for the game when "The Hobbit" film gets released expect 28mm Battle of the Five Armies, "War of the Ring" style for sure.

As to the "what does it take" question in the end I think it takes the same thing it takes for any game to gather attention people to be out in public place playing with awesome looking terrain and models..that is what attracts people to any short for an experiment..I may drag myself, 2 fully painted armies and some awesome terrain over to my local shop and get some SBG games going and just see if drives any interest..until I get my Saxons painted to where I can stand looking at them or WFB gives me a big shot in arm..seems like a good goal..of course I still have host a 10 player Legend of the High Seas event at Adepticon next year, there is alot to do there. Photos soon I promise!


Oddjob said...

"combination of overall hobby malaise and being extra busy"
I think everyone gets to that point - especially being busy with real life!
Looking forward to seeing some of your new stuff when you have time. Also, your blog is of such good quality that I think even when not posting for a week or two people will keep coming back. I certainly do!

Lord Azaghul said...

I'm kind of the 'over-hobbied' mode myself. 8th was exciting, but I still haven't gotten back in painting much. 40k, but I'm finding myself taking it more then its less fun!!

I'm hoping our 40k escallation league kicks my interest back up.

BTW - the May tourney thing...I was kind of wondering about that myself, I was declared 2nd in two catagories and I kind of wanted to see 'posted' results!

Felix Flauta said...

At least you've identified your Fantasy malaise and you see the end of the tunnel for it. I'm still only going to be interested again when a Wood Elf book drops, and if you're right about the releases, I've got a good long while until I need to look into 8th.

Adepticon will be a good place to get fired up about Fantasy, I think. Just seeing the armies on display helps.

Wish I was going ;)


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