So this post continues and checks in with my previous post on Project Focus or An Approach to the Hobby, found here: Project Focus 25.08.13 wherein I ruminated on my attempts to approach the hobby in a mature, responsible way. Anyway, in the same order, here's my experience and thoughts two years later:
- Payback. Putting money back into life expenses from gaming projects, i.e. paying back my expense account from gaming items. I did get caught up and even paid some surplus in 2013 and 2014 with probably over $2,000 from gaming sales going into my life expenses. However, I think I've gotten behind again in 2015. Still, definite progress in how much is spent on gaming overall, with significant reduction in annual dollar amount.
- New Rule. No spending money on gaming stuff unless I already have the money on hand via selling off gaming items. This went OK for 2014, but in 2015 it was hard to organize and keep track of. The big culprit here is books via Amazon.
- Amazon books are so cheap it's hard to resist. I did make some progress with using the library anytime they have the book or a likely substitute - and also made progress with giving away a lot of books to the library, an ongoing project. I haven't found selling books to be worth it, except occasionally Ospreys.
- My rule is that if I can get the book easily in print or through the library, then it has to go! So I gave away a lot of literature unless the book itself had significant sentimental value [dedication, etc].
- I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that our library system has access to many useful gaming books - but I wouldn't know if I hadn't started to make a point in trying. Also, popular novels that are "gaming inspiration" are easily available, which saves me a lot of money, and I don't feel bad if they stink and I don't like them!
- New Account. Another issue was getting a dedicated bank account. This worked for a while but then I had to start using that spare savings account at the credit union for house rental expenses and managing deposits. Now I'm thinking the easiest would be to just use my Paypal account, but I also don't trust Paypal. May have to open up a different account via the military credit union, we'll see.
- Painful Decisions. The principles here continue to hold up well:
- Is the figure easily replaced or OOP?
- If OOP are there other figures just as appealing?
- Have I forgotten or moved on from the project?
- Are there playable rules for the period / project that others will play, or does it play solo well?
- Do I have both sides of the project or am I depending on someone else to show up with their stuff and stay interested in the project?
- eBay, Bartertown. Still getting better at using these, and getting pals to use other groups and TMP when possible. Bartertown is easier but eBay usually brings better prices and cleaner deals. I'm looking into some sort of cloud site for pics and updating sales, suggestions are welcome!
- Fun Decisions! It's always fun to have another gaming project lined up. Lately, I've tried to minimize projects to ones that have richer potential for spiritual discussions or getting to know people, and also fast-play games which makes life easier for me to play solo and/or intro a newbie to the game. One project is to finally playtest and get using my 2HW games, especially "Rally around the King" and "Chain Reaction 2015" for moderns. I liked CR so much that I also bought "Nuts!, final version" which solves some of the problems I had with CR.
- ECW focus. This will contiue, but I need to get a bit more focused! I have decided to temporarily base things on single bases so I can do ECW skirmish while I paint up enough for larger battles. Most of the troop types are interesting enough and different enough that they'll make a skirmish game that is very interesting and challenging. I also have the NT skirmish rules from "Intro to Wargaming" that I really want to give a go.
- Blogging. This continues to be a motivator. Thanks to everyone for you visits and support. I've enjoyed the time spent and it sometimes it helpful to clarify my own thoughts regarding game design. As always, thanks to Tidders for sharing his inspirational work and attitude at his blog [linked to the right].
Recently, was facilitating a discipleship bible study and we read Luke 9:27-10:12. Verse 9.62 struck me..."Jesus replied, " and I wondered what gaming projects did I still have that were distracting to my service rather than purposeful and fun? Which were getting in the way of following Jesus and which actually help by getting me involved with the community and outside of the church building? So I've begun a renewed commitment to getting rid of some projects that are clearly not getting anywhere, and hopefully will sell well.
Projects that are on Bartertown can be found in these locations, and feature premium sculpts by the likes of Tom Meier, Wargames Foundry, and Essex:
Bartertown Historical post
Bartertown Sci-Fi post
So get them while the deals are hot!
I hope that this post is encouraging to all who struggle with being responsible for their gaming hobby. For me, following Jesus is a big help in this as in everything. If you aren't into Jesus, then I hope that you are able to find your own way to be a good steward of your resources and act like a mature adult, setting a good example for others. But I can't resist saying this...it's easier with Jesus at your side.