Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The myth of "the great push"

Wargamers live with their myths, both collective and individual: realistic "rules", historical "accuracy", the most accurate uniforms painted on the most accurate figures, and so on. At the individual level, my personal, biggest myth is the idea of the "great ___ push". The "great Napoleonic push." The "great Colonial push." The "great WWI push." By this expression I mean to refer to the large quantity of half-painted miniatures I have sitting in boxes in my wargaming closet. The idea -- the dream, the myth... -- is that if I could only have 36 hours of undivided attention to dedicate to complete the project, in tayloristic fashion, I would indeed be able to complete my project "du jour." Of course, real life doesn't work like that, and the idea of a great push remains a myth. And yet it is an inspiring myth, and a comforting one. I know I am not the most systematic wargamer, I know I have tons of lead in a variety of stages of preparation, and in most cases I do really care about bringing a project to completion, at least in the sense that I want to be able to move some basic armies to the field to play some games. Wargaming projects never end, and there will always be the need for an additional unit, some more cavalry, a few more guns, a nicer officer figure, more suitable terrain, and so on. But if I could only, in one week-end sitting, through a "big push," bring to completion what I have preparing thus far for a long time, and complete a couple of armies in one long session... Ah, the myth of the great push!


Bluebear Jeff said...

I've found that I've been able to complete some large projects by getting together with another gamer or two for "painting nights" (okay some were afternoons, but most were nights).

The key to this is that you keep each other going with stories and exchanging techniques and just plain good fellowship.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

I'm still working on the myth of the completely painted wargaming figure. :>

But yes, I think having others to paint with might have an effect.