Potentially the most serious of leisures that doesn’t involve firearms or eluding some sort of government authority, and I’m pretty well ensconced in the business.
I actually started picking up the figures last year, in preparation for the arrival of my Reaper Minis Kickstarter. My beautiful bride was kind enough to encourage me in my trepidation about painting a massive load of plastic men, women, and beasts, and therefore supported my purchasing more plastic men, women, and beasts in order to practice the multicolored arts. Between the time that I signed on for the Kickstarter and the arrival of the actual figures, however, my in-town gaming group moved from DnD to the Dresden Files RPG (and I gradually moved to not eschewing as much socializing as I could). The Dresden campaign was/is great, with exactly the kind of character growth and development I cherish the system for. However, games tend to be short on the axe-swinging mayhem that DnD provides, and as sessions stacked upon themselves I found myself hungry for something in the fantastic violence line.
Enter (eventually) Gryphon Games, which opened a branch/pseudopodium/avatar in my town of residence, quickly followed by the launch of a Warhammer 40k escalation league. Since escalation leagues are about as close to a draft tournament as Warhammer’s comfortably going to get (unless you had a mad box-opening/assembling/painting weekend, or the like) I jumped at the chance to join.
Well, actually I was gently and supportively encouraged to join by the special lady. I was actually scared shitless at every element of the prospect of really playing. Still, I grabbed a few figures to add to the big box of daemons I’d picked up for painting practice and jumped into my first battle, against a horde of space-elves! It…was a slaughter. I’ve followed that game up with a handful more, of which about half were against the army explicitly designed to kill daemons. I’ve had a lot of losses, a few wins, but a universally excellent time playing with a community that’s patient, good-natured, and (at least in terms of the games I’ve played) generally disinterested in scouring the net for the most brutal list and grinding all comers against the artfully-decorated play surface.
In truth, I spend considerably more time painting and tinkering with my armies than actually playing, because Wyoming winters are no joke and I usually have a hard time convincing myself that I shouldn’t be spending my time at home with my wife. I’ve dipped my toes into Fantasy with the start of a Lizardman army, including
and an accompanying Stegadon I modified to honor our dear departed turtle, Stump. I’m also reeling from the birthday-related influx of Chaos Space Marine mech (thanks brother!) which will supplement the addition of actual guns to my army of daemonic forces, which apparently don’t believe in guns. The fact that those additions come on the heels of my picking up the sole piece of daemon mech means I suddenly have an entire new scale of figure to think about in terms of everything from painting to actual tactics.
It’s all very exciting, and since this space is mine I feel far more comfortable about posting pictures of my oft-clumsy but much-beloved works in progress than I would running into an actual forum and shouting “Look at the thing I have wrought!” I also recognize, however, that the very act of declaring my love for a hobby often presages me finding a new one, so it’s probably safest if I occasionally throw up a post about a video game, or tv show, or book (You hear that, Jim Butcher? You hear me?!). Boom, 2014.