Does Your Hobbying Eye Ever Wander?

I’ve thought about writing this before because truthfully I’ve been a bit unfaithful to LOTRSBG/HobbitSBG/MESBG despite being madly in love with it in 2019.  Once I started playing Escape From Goblin Town scenarios, I fell in love with the wargaming hobby and keep looking for other games I might play in addition to my adventures in Middle Earth.  How can I love one game and one want to find another?  Well, we all have varied interests and while I love the fantasy that Tolkein wrote, I love history, the post-apocalypse, and Sci-Fi too.  I love how narrative focused MESBG and I wouldn’t mind having other narrative flavors to dabble in from time-to-time.  Adding another game would obviously give me some additional variety in both what I play and paint.

The trouble is, I haven’t found another miniatures game that I want to commit to playing but I’ve certainly tried!  Fallout miniatures are intriguing and the game offers a solo option.  I really enjoy the video games and could see some great narratives emerging from the game.  I’ve come close to ordering the starter set a couple of times but when I see painted minis, I have doubts about the quality of the sculpts (and thus, how much fun they would be to paint).  It would also be an expensive proposition as there is a lot to buy and paint.  There would be a lot of terrain to create even if the game doesn’t require a lot of miniatures as well.

Fallout Wasteland Warfare

I’d love to give Gangs of Rome a whirl because it doesn’t require a huge amount of painting and hobbying.  I love Roman history more than any other era even if the game isn’t a real historical wargame, but again, the quality of the minis is low and they don’t look terribly interesting to paint.  You have to do a lot of extra work for the bases which is one reason I’m leaning towards selling my copy of Mansions of Madness.  There are a number of other games I’ve thought about trying even if it is just to dabble but I just can’t bring myself to do so yet even if part of me really wants to.

Gangs of Rome

Why?  Well I’m worried about diluting my time too much so that I cannot get any games in.  MESBG has a steep painting, cost, and terrain curve that I’ve been working against ever since I started.  With that said, I do get tired of painting the same types of minis and would love a break from it.  I have learned that I’m most motivated to paint something when I am going to use it in a game.  I still want to paint it to a high standard in almost every case as I want to have great looking minis and terrain.  I’ve found that display painting is very frustrating and difficult because if you mess up or a project doesn’t go even slightly as well as you had hoped, you’re left feeling frustrated and defeated because that is really the sole focus of each mini you tackle.  So for me, buying something with the intention to game with it is definitely best.  While I’ve been window shopping for weeks and months now and I’d love to get another skirmish game to add to my hobby queue, I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on anything.

Do any of you run into this dilemma?  If so, how do you deal with it?  Am I right to be scared to dabble in too many games?  Of course, if you have any solo wargame recommendations, I’m glad to hear those as well 🙂  I’ve been pondering getting a new game for a while now and it might be slowly driving me mad!

12 thoughts on “Does Your Hobbying Eye Ever Wander?

  1. Probably no great surprise, but I’m all over the shop when it comes to my purchasing and games. I’m good with it, though – and most of my non-40k purchases can be used in at least 2 games, and in many cases, a lot more. For example, my entire LotR/SBG collection is also lined up to be used in Kings of War, and I’ve got a ton of historicals that I purchased to use in LotR/KoW – many of which also work for actual historical forces in KoW (as opposed to as ME proxies) and then into games like SAGA, Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant, and so on it goes.
    I wouldn’t stress too much on the bases, though – dirt, grime, cracked earth work across genres pretty nicely. Just because the demo models for Gangs of Rome have cobblestones doesn’t mean the gangs can’t be based for a dirt road. Think of the variety of landscapes (and ground) that fights can take place in video games like the Assassins Creed series…

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    1. I wondered if you might be able to provide a bit of advice in this regard. I think buying minis and games that work well together makes a ton of sense. I should probably think more about doing that although it is challenging because I want to play something that has similar qualities to LOTR like great narrative play and is solo-friendly but also would add some variety to my painting queue. Not a small ask there I fully admit.

      I appreciate your advice on the basing as well! I rebased all of my Mansions of Madness minis which look way nicer as a result but having to pin them and many of them being quite flimsy even after being pinned proved very frustrating. In hindsight, it wasn’t worth the effort but I was brand new to the hobby at that point and didn’t know any better. Your advice does lead me to think Gangs of Rome could be a fun game to dabble in when I need a break from LOTR.

      Thanks for weighing in, mate! 🙂

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      1. No worries – and as far as Solo play, if you can get hold of a copy of Space Hulk, it also works quite nicely as a solo game with some lovely models to paint.

        Similarly, Zombicide (or Zombicide Black Plague/Green Horde/Fantasy expansions) have a lot to offer as well. The minis are pretty good for boardgame ones, the game is solo-friendly, and all of the Fantasy versions offer some crossover with Middle Earth gaming – orcs, undead, etc as well as any other fantasy game you might later play. Most importantly, the game is FUN! – solo or with a bunch of friends.

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      2. Space Hulk does look cool! Blackstone Fortress looks great too but it requires a fair amount of painting and I probably wouldn’t get it all painted until 2222 or something like that. Zombicide is a great recommendation. I will look into it further as I’ve heard great things and I would love to play a zombie game again. I tried The Walking Dead: All Out War and the starter didn’t hook me, sadly. There are a lot of great looking board and miniature games that leave you feeling spoiled and overwhelmed with choices at times! I really appreciate your recommendations 🙂

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  2. I was just thinking about this the other day… One does need to be mindful about starting a new game/genre. Especially bc miniature wargames take so much time, effort, and $ to bring to the table. While a good sculpted miniature is easier to paint (and makes you appreciate how good GW miniatures are) I wouldn’t let just that determine a new game. For me, it’s more the game play and setting. Beware though of games like Gangs of Rome, that maybe don’t require a lot of miniatures but need a ton of terrain. It’s why I haven’t taken the plung into Wild West game like Deadman’s Hand; while I only need like 16 miniatures I need a whole western town! Lastly, I have found that terrain making is also a good break from painting to keep the creative interest high. Good luck!

    On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 5:48 PM Battles in Middle Earth wrote:

    > Kuribo posted: “I’ve thought about writing this before because truthfully > I’ve been a bit unfaithful to LOTRSBG/HobbitSBG/MESBG despite being madly > in love with it in 2019. Once I started playing Escape From Goblin Town > scenarios, I fell in love with the wargaming hobby” >

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    1. I appreciate you weighing in Stew and it is nice to hear it isn’t just me who thinks about this. I obsess over painting miniatures well and I take that part of the hobby seriously. It is the one area you could say I’m competitive in so I struggle with mediocre sculpts because you can’t produce top-level work from them.

      With that said, the terrain point is a great one. LOTR already takes a lot of terrain that I’m slowly building up and while a game like Gangs of Rome is a low mini count game, the terrain is significant both in cost and time. I have been itching for a Western game to play too and have certainly looked at Deadman’s Hand 🙂 The short answer is probably to join a gaming club to dabble in different games but I’m too introverted for that so we’ll see what I end up doing (if anything!). Hearing others perspective has been invaluable though for sure so I really you sharing yours! 🙂

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  3. My eyes certainly wander. MESBG was my first experience into wargaming, about 17 years ago. I immediately fell in love with it. There have been long periods of me not doing anything with it, but I always imagined that one day I would return properly and fully. It turns out it’s not as clear cut as I thought it would be. I don’t think there’ll be a point in my life where I dedicate all my attention to this great hobby, rather it’s more spread out over time and goes in phases. I think I am at near maximum capacity currently, preparing for and playing the campaign I’ve always dreamed of doing (properly!). This is actually my biggest hobby dream, so no other game system can come close.

    That said, I am also interested in Star Wars Imperial Assault, Star Wars Legion and to a smaller extent, Star Wars X-Wing. I also really want to buy and play Mansions of Madness, though I am too focused on MESBG right now to justify this purchase. I have collected everything from Imperial Assault and have painted most of the miniatures that come in the Core Set. I really enjoyed painting those! The larger scale and lesser detail really made it easier for me to make the mini’s look good. Which boosted my confidence in painting, which allowed me to more seriously paint Middle-earth mini’s. I will never claim to be a great painter (especially compared to you!), but I am satisfied with the results I achieve in the time and effort it takes me to do so. For me the gaming aspect is by far the most important and enjoyable aspect of this hobby. If I didn’t enjoy the game, I certainly wouldn’t bother with these miniatures at all.

    The problem is that before I want to play a game, I want all the participating miniatures to be painted and the correct terrain to be made or available. So while I’m in this hobby for the gaming, I (currently) spend far more time painting mini’s and building terrain. But that’s simply an investment, once everything is painted I could get a lot more games in.

    Anyway, what I noticed is that there is only one game system I can really focus on at a time. While I do buy miniatures from other game systems if I have enough money, I’m not painting them until I am more in the mood for that particular game system. Since starting the LotR campaign I haven’t made any progress in other wargame systems I enjoy, except for some batch spray painting (together with ME models) and the occasional collecting. I am not too happy about it, because it feels like I am buying stuff I don’t use and keep increasing my backlog, despite making progress by painting. Painting the LotR miniatures only makes me want to buy more. I do occasionally get tired of painting similar miniatures, but it makes me tired of painting altogether and thus prevents me from painting any miniature.

    I don’t think there will ever be another game in my life like MESBG. It brings me a lot of joy and excitement on those rare occasions that I actually get to play it. At the same time I can also really enjoy other game systems and I do enjoy some variety, both in painting as well as in playing. The Star Wars setting is of course very different from MESBG, so together they kind of cover my interest in both fantasy and science fiction. I think being more serious about this hobby makes you more critical about starting in a new game system. And for me that’s a good thing, I’d rather have a few game systems I am deeply invested in, than a larger number of game systems I am only shallowly invested in.

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    1. I really appreciate your thoughts on this! Since I wrote this article, I’ve come to realize that I love MESBG the most and that I don’t have the time, money, and energy to play another wargame. I would be better off picking up a board game because at least then I can cut out the need for making terrain. If there was a wargame I wanted to play where I can use MESBG terrain with it, then that is a possibility.

      I appreciate your perspective on collecting, painting, and gaming as well. I love painting the most but gaming and collecting are not far behind. I can imagine how frustrating it is to see your backlog get worse and worse. I tend to get frustrated by that so I’m going to try and stay away from developing a huge backlog as much as I can. With that said, I do own Mansions of Madness and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I haven’t bought many of the expansions as the minis are not fun to paint compared to GW for me anyway. Even getting expansions for MoM seems daunting because I know it would just slow down my progress on MESBG. MoM is lacking a bit in replay value and I am finding that the experience of telling my own stories in MESBG to be more fun and satisfactory. MoM is a great solo board game though and it really captures the feel of being an investigator so if that sounds appealing, it is worth adding to the backlog 🙂

      As a result of this, I’m probably just going to stick with MESBG and paint the odd Warhammer or 40k miniature when I need a break or want to push my skills. That will absolutely keep me plenty busy and I probably can’t juggle multiple games anyway, no matter how tempting they sometimes appear 🙂 Keep on hobbying and I will be looking forward to seeing more articles from you soon! Don’t be afraid to post some WIP type of articles to keep you motivated to reach your hobby goals as well. I enjoy doing that quite a bit and it certainly keeps me motivated at the same time.

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      1. Thank you for your reply. I will think about making WIP posts. Right now though I feel very close to finishing what I need for the next scenario, so I think I’ll focus on that for now. Hopefully I’ll be done before the end of this week.

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