Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where is Square One?

Greetings Gentlereaders,

I'm sorry we haven't been publishing much recently.  Most of my gaming effort has been going into Corvus' latest DnD campaign, where my effort at a closed sheet led to a rather ostentatious paladin, and into a Magic deck based around throwing minions at my opponents (note to self: acquire minions faster).  Any way these have helped me come back to a question fundamental to any endeavor: why put effort into this?

I've found some answers to this question, but am still lacking others.  For the paladin, I was inspired by a story from the /tg/ boards about a paladin who had defined all paladins as warriors looking for a reason to forsake their code and bring evil down with them.  The deck, likewise was inspired not by an expectation of wining, but by the image of a legion assembling for war.  I'm really excited for playing both of these, but I've been having difficulty with being excited to play Warhammer and I think my question is my answer.

Being a primarily xenos player who started playing with fifth edition, I've not have a codex updated except for the Dark Angels codex and that only recently.  Meanwhile, I watched five imperial armies receive updates that made them fearfully powerful and I became bitter.  I eventually picked up a drop pod Vulcan army  to be more competitive at tournaments; but I never loved it quite like I loved Tau because it was an imperial army.  I enjoyed it because it offered me a radically different play style from either my evasive Tau or my Eldar that required judicious engagements.  I also, kinda...made them about as heretical as I could think a loyalist chapter's cult could be.  They were radically different from the rest of the imperium in a way that I had never heard of, and I could put my claim on that.  That wasn't my Ultramarines army, or my Farsight army, it was MY army.

Do you have a moment to talk
about the Greater Good?
Over the last half decade I've been playing I've changed how I look at the game, as I said last week.  I think I've been too focused on wanting to win, as I am a competitive person and do enjoy winning.  I confess I can't remember the last time I won a game, or even came close, and that has really put a damper on my spirits for playing.  Since sixth edition came out I've been playing my Tau pretty exclusively, as they are my shootiest army in a shooting edition and they are the army I just can't give up.  As I've tried to make Tau work better for me, I've regressed more and more toward a pure Tau army forsaking the advantages that allies can bring me.

Normally I would make my decisions about list construction more rationally, but I've let my bitterness against imperial armies get the better of me and have come to view xenos armies allying with the imperium as lackeys.  I understand the weaknesses of Tau well and I understand how allying with marines has given me possibly the best army I've played all edition, but it gnaws at the pride I take in playing Tau.  The irony is that if any army would accept allies it would be Tau, but I could not accept the idea of asking for help from another army.  But I guess that's just pride fucking with me.

As a slow painter and an anime fan, having a unified paint scheme for my army of gundams is important to me, to the point I'm on my third army wide repainting.  Part of the ire that allying has drawn from me is that no matter the paint scheme different armies in Warhammer, except if they are the same race (e.g. human, eldar) will have radically different aesthetics that cannot harmonize without radical modeling that I don't want to attempt.

So what I guess I'm trying to say is that I haven't been writing or playing as much as I used to because I have had to ask myself why I am doing it.  I've been questioning my own motivations and have been finding fault in them.  I'm going to be examining those faults and trying to bring myself back into the game over the next few weeks as I fill out applications for graduate schools.  I may not be able to game as much as I want over the next few years, or paint, or roleplay, but I think I need to take this time so that when my schedule opens up and allows me the time to, I can do it whole heartedly.  Have any of you had similar troubles, recently or in editions past?

I'm Underground Heretic and I get to live with that every day!

P.S.  Corvus and I are going to the Gatecrash pre-release today and will  be trying to get a battle report up later this week.  If you'd like to hear about the pre-release or would like to make a suggestion as to what armies we should play for the battle report, let us know.


  1. Ill be interested to see what you come up with... My addition to the mix, right now, would be to say that my view of the hobby has shifted from "time consuming and expensive" to "recreational" or even sort of "therapeutic".

    I just became a PhD student, and i immediately appreciated the calming effect of painting for several hours only to find that, while my back was broken from the unhealthy painting stance, my mind was clear and the stress was gone.

    1. I may be in a similar boat soon, so I'll definitely let you know. I've got no problem with posture as I used to bend into a pretzel for fun. My job is getting back into swing, so I may be able to take some models into work now that I have a car again. I may post about her, but her name is Faye.