Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Searching for...A Common Goal?


I have been in a weird mood of late towards my gaming, not sure why just feel like I want to do something more. In fact today, I entertained the idea of taking my game table down and replace it with a Model Railroad layout (something I always wanted to do). But after talking with Robert and thinking about it all day I knew that was a bad idea. But it did make me wonder why I entertained the idea and I may have figured it out.

You see about 16 years ago I was a big time Model Railroader and was part of the Orange County Modular Railroaders, in fact I was President of the club for two years. My goal while I was the President was to improve the quality of our scenery and I was able to inspire most of the club members to join in (which it seems is still a main focus of the group today). There was something about all of us coming together for a common goal.

Prior to leaving Southern California, I started playing Warhammer Fantasy with some friends from work. We would get together and play all day starting at 8:00am and going until 8:00pm. My good friend (Ed Kastler) would host these WFB days and besides playing and having it at his place, he would also BBQ lunch and dinner for us (as well as make Breakfast). There was four of us and we were all working on building our armies together. In fact, one stipulation was that you had to have at least one unit completed each month. Since we all worked together, we all did lunch together and talk was of course about WFB and what we were working on. In fact at lunch we would make trips out to Brookhurst Hobbies to purchase new models (one advantage to having an hour for lunch and only being 15 minutes away from Brookhurst). Good times were had by all and we actually had almost all the armies covered by the time I came out to Phoenix. Once again it was the camaraderie of all of us working on a common goal.

We now move forward a few years and as some know, Gathering in the Desert started and once again I was trying to inspire folks around me to build 600 point armies for Lord of the Rings. I would say it was a success and many folks from around the country participated in the events over a 5 year period. My goal was to run the best looking and best run event that I could do and from what friends have said, I was a huge success. But once again it was all about bringing a community together for a common cause or event. (See a pattern here?)

So to take this back to the top, it is the camaraderie of doing a large project that I am missing or to put it another way, the common goal. So that is what I am looking for, something big to be a part of. I have tried with a few friends to get them involved in some big plans, but it never panned out. Either we all wanted different things, or just had no interest.  I often wonder if I am the only one that feels that way because most of my friends seem to have gamer ADD and bounce off to other projects. I too have a bit of gamer ADD, but not as bad as some I know (you know who you are!).

I look at groups of gamers like the guys over at The Guns of April  and wonder how do they get everyone all on the same page. I know most of these guys (Both Dave's, Jamie, Merle) and they too have some gamer ADD in them, but they have found common ground and have for a second year been able to put on a good game (well the second game will be this weekend at Adepticon). Does it take something like a major event to get people excited and too participate? It happened for Gathering in the Desert, so maybe that is it, I don't know.

One thing I do know is that I am still looking for that next big thing or common goal. I may have found it with ACW Black Powder game that I played in a few months back with friends. It seems that we are going to get together again in May to play another game. While talking to Robert tonight, I decided that I will build a Brigade of Confederates to hopefully play in the game, so in a way, I may have found that common goal. I know that another buddy of mine (Dave C) is going to join in as well as he has been working on some ACW stuff lately.

So to come full circle, that is what has gotten me in a weird mood, it is the lack of a common goal, I believe I may have found it and I hope it inspires other folks. If not, oh well, it will be just Robert and I plugging away at it.



Clint said...

I struggle with finding a common goal for my club. It really is like herding cats. Everyone wants to do their own thing. Which is really great as it give a huge diversity. It would be nice if we all pulled together sometimes though.

Austronaught said...

This post definately struck something of a cord with me. I used to game alot more before I moved to America but once I made the move I got stuck in a bit of a rut. Part of it was simply the fact that I didn't know anyone of course but it seem like it was more than that. My local 'club' if you can call it that is nearly entirely focused on Warhammer 40K and Warmachine, two games in which I dont have alot of interest. The 'local' historical gaming community is pretty spread out across the state and/or already have extensive collections in the periods/scales in which they are interested.

I would really love to get involved with a big project to bring armies to the table in some kind of running campagin. Perhaps 28mm Napoleonics where we start playing small skirmishes and work our way up to larger battles.

Scott said...

Its funny but my gaming also kinda had its roots mini railway set ups... As a kid my dad got me a Hornby set and made me a scenic board for it all, but I got more fun with it playing with my Airfix toy plastic soldiers over it...

I know what you mean about wargamers and 'ADD' and herding cats... we're all afflicted by the 'ooh shiny' problem from time to time...

But I do concur, its great when you have a bunch of mates that get and stay motivated to work on a project for a duration to see it completed and keep on enjoying it...

Making terrain takes a lot of time and effort, and its nice to see it rewarded by active gaming with it... which in turn generates more motivation to make more...

At the moment for my 'merry few', that's mostly FoW, but we are looking to branch out into EotD soon thanks to the Requiem Kickstarter interest...

Tom O said...

Yes, many of us suffer from Gamer ADD. I know I certainly do. That's because there are so many rules, gaming periods that interest me, and so many nice models out there.

That said, if you want to dedicate yourself to a big project there's nothing wrong with either doing it yourself and providing everything for others to play or getting buy in from others for larger, multi-player efforts. And there's nothing saying that such an effort has to be necessarily tied to a single war/period. You are expressing interest in Black Powder which several of us locals are also interested in...why not focus on that set of rules, but move through different conflicts? For some ACW forces, then get folks to work on AWI, then Napoleonics, etc. The nice thing about doing that is the players can build their collections without having to learn new rules (cutting down some on the ADD) and let the unit differences and scenarios really matter.

Just a thought.
Tom O