Thursday, 18 December 2008

What's it all about, Alfie?

M'buddy, Steve, and I are easily led. We both suffer from the Ooh Shiny Complex. This is when your mind alights butterfly-like on a new project and you instantly take it to heart. It is shiny and new, so you want to do it immediately. All the old projects are forgotten, possibly even discarded, in the excitement of this shiny new one. Unfortunately, newer, shinier projects appear with depressing regularity. The internet makes this worse because it gives you access to so many obscure ranges that are appealing, but which you would never have discovered if the internet were not there. A typical conversation over the gaming table might go like this:

Me: "Hey, Steve, you know what would be really cool?"
Steve: "No, what?"
Me: “What would be cool would be gaming the Gran Chaco War in 1:39 scale.”
Steve: “Hey yeah, that’s a great idea! We could even have little miniature guinea pigs as messengers.”

Two hours later, the credit cards have taken a hammering and we have bought a vast number of new figures. We begin painting the new figures with great gusto for a week or two, but then at the next gaming session …

Steve: “Hey, Ruarigh, I have had a great idea.”
Me: “Oh yeah, what’s that?”
Steve: “Let’s do a game based on a lost tribe of pygmy Vikings in central Australasia.”
Me: “Hey, that’s brilliant. We can convert CheapMiniatures™ Dwarves to use as the Vikings, but we shall also need an albino U-Boat Crew and some wheels on the U-Boat so that they can take it overland.”
Steve: "Yeah, and we need a Doug McClure figure."

Two hours later the story begins to repeat itself. The miniature guinea pigs lovingly crafted from fur left behind by my cat now languish in the drawer beside the half-painted Bolivian army. No doubt the pygmy Vikings will go the way of all lead and find their way into the storage in the attic. The story repeats ad nauseam like the remains of last Christmas' turkey. But then suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, Dave over at A Year of Frugal Gaming posted about his quest to reduce his lead mountain on TMP and on his blog. I saw in his quest one that parallels my own needs. Times are hard (well maybe not that hard but the old wargaming budget is diminishing rapidly) and the lead mountain needs scaling. Time to cut back, methinks.

Me: "Hey, Steve, I have had a great idea. See, there is this guy, Dave, and he is blogging about his attempts to buy less, play more and paint more. Why don't we try something similar?"
Steve: "That's a great idea. How are we going to do this?"

You see, this idea, even though it does not involve buying figures, is a shiny new idea. Therefore we both became immediately attached to it. Our goals and New Year's Resolutions are:
  1. To spend less on figures in 2009;
  2. To paint more of the lead we already own; and
  3. To play games using our newly painted lead
Therefore, we are resolved to try to complete one pre-existing project per month over the course of 2009. Each month we shall agree one project to complete for that month. At the beginning of the month we shall announce what we propose to do for that month. Each project will be chosen with a view to being achievable and realistic. I do not have much time for painting and the projects must take this into account.
Our first game of the following month will use the newly painted figures and preferably a rules set that we have not used before. We shall post a battle report for the battle on the blog and get on with painting the next project. Hopefully, by posting our aims on a blog, the threat of public humiliation will spur us on to complete each project and reduce the lead mountains. I look forward to seeing how it all works out and if we can sustain the effort required. Thus begins Mission: Ooh Shiny.


  1. Woo hoo! Welcome to the world of the frugal.

    That albino U-boat crew sounds pretty good though, make sure you post some photos.

    He he he...

  2. My Scottish, Yorkshire and Methodist heritage should have made me thrifty and frugal, but I rebelled and became a wargamer instead! :)

    I did a list for HoTT once that involved a U-boat on wheels in a lost world with Vikings, Neanderthals and Dinosaurs. One day ...

  3. As I keep delving deeper in the blogosphere I keep running into gamers with the same problems and solutions as myself.
    I'll be keeping an eye on your (and Daves) blogs to see how you guys are doing...

  4. Hi Rory (sorry, I can't spell Celtic on this keyboard, it was made in China...)

    That's a great post and you're dead right. I'm trying to cut back on new lead as well, or at least play more with the lead I have.

    I tracked you back from "Tempests in a Teapot", glad to have you about.

    Keith F.