Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Staying fresh while not playing.

by Chris Vinton

So I've had a lot of time to not play 40k.  Baby on the way, work taking more of my energy, a kid that now wants a buddy more than a person that just gives food and a pacifier, and a miserably pregnant have all really cut into my time.  So what do I do to stay fresh and scratch that 40k itch I have?

Well...not much.  At best I get to read the internet, and see what everyone else gets to do with their plastic toys while mine sit idle.  It is nice though, because even thought I don't play I get to see the meta shift around and grown.  I get to see a lot more than I used to while I was playing even.

My drive to play normally kept me off the internet in my free time, being that my game time was actually spent gaming.  But now, with less time at the table side that time has shifted to non-business hours of freedom so at night I get to prowl the internet.  And maybe like the belief that when someone looses one sense others make up for it, I get a better internet awareness at the loss of my time at the table side.  And I'm fine with that.  I almost feel as if I'm better for it.  It breaks up the small group meta that happens and on that occasion when I do show up I can pull out some really amazing ideas to the group.

You might think that because I'm not playing as much I'm painting more.  And quite the opposite is true.  Part of painting for me I will admit is the showing off.  I might be the first to say it, but when I paint a badass mini and really nail it, I don't put it in my display case in my basement where not even my family sees it.  Hell no.  I'm like a third grader at show and tell.  Post it on the blog, show my wife, put it on facebook.  Best part is when I take it to the shop and little crowds gather around to marvel at the detail.  Its vain, and people might say I'm egotistical, but I bet not one person that paints well does it and just packs it away.  And with that, loosing my table side play, I've also lost my drive to paint.  Its hard to fix, but I'm working on it the best I can.

Lastly absence makes the heart grown fonder.  My time away makes my time at the table side that much sweeter.  I play games now with my whole heart into them.  Laughing and joking.  If I only get to delve in occasionally, I'm going to go in full force and just love every moment.  It makes me really appreciate the time I have and no longer play games just to tweak and tool out lists.

In the end I can't say that time away from the table should hinder someone or cause them to 'get rusty' but instead reframe what it is that happening. Adjust to life instead of fighting it and you'll be much happier.  Having unrealistic expectations leads people to disappointment and therefor frustration.  Refocus on what you can do with the situation you have and make the best of it.


  1. Not playing much really makes you enjoy the time you do get. It also has made me a more laid back player I tend to enjoy "friendly" games more than tournaments now. I think it has to do with being able to just relax and drink some beer and "hang out" while playing more so than trying to min/max every last point and making sure every move is perfect.

  2. I agree with this. I have a game group that I 'oversee' every week but rarely actually play in (too busy adjudicating rules and recruiting innocent onlookers). That has actually led me to enjoy my games a tad more. Over the last couple of weeks, I've laid down some games at my house during the week and have not had great success there. As it turns out, I might be pushing myself into expectation rather than enjoyment and I may need to continue to 'take it easy' and just play less like the previous few months.
    I spend all my free time during the week scouring the blogosphere and reading everything anyone posts. I'm able to teach the gamers in my group some things and have a blast improving their hobby. Maybe I should start taking my own advice? lol!
    But yeah, enjoying everyone else's hobby (even if it's only reading about it) can actually improve your own and even help you enjoy it a bit more. I'm surprised at it, but sometimes fun is fun without having to plan for it... Great article!

  3. I have a bit of the opposite problem, plenty of time to play keeps me off the Internet. What are a couple of your favorite sites and why?

    1. I still check Bell of Lost Souls the most because they have 3-4 updates and posts a day. Their forums are pretty active too. I like Dakka Dakka for their forums also. 3++ is also some good reading. Oh and this site!