Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Is Variety the Spice of Life, or do Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth?

Used without Permission

In this article I look at having lots of variation in your gaming is good, or whether it is just too much.

One thing I think most gamers have in common, except for the fact we all are gamers, is the sheer number of projects or at least ideas we have on the go.  These projects can range from something small like a single miniature all the way up to an entire army.  For example, I personally have over six major projects planned out.  However, I am going to look at whether having lots of projects on the go is a good plan or if you can have too many.

Having multiple projects is usually a great thing, it give you range and variety.  These two things are in my opinion are quite important to those who do a lot of painting.  This links in with my post from the other day, about being motivated with your painting.  The variety of projects you have tends to keep things fresh and interesting, allowing you to switch and change things up when you feel like it.  Many people find that building and painting a single army can be tiring and boring, so slipping in the odd small project here and there is a way to make things interesting.

However, is having these multiple projects always a good idea?  If you can remain focused they can be a nice respite during a long term project just for something different to do during the long haul.  However, there is always the temptation to get side tracked, leaving things at the wayside, especially if you come across a really interesting project.  There needs to be a balance with the projects you do, consider doing small parts of various projects to keep them all going.  I find I have 'projectmania'.  By this I mean I come up with various projects and ideas on a near weekly basis, many of which I will never touch.  Here is a brief list of the major projects I want/have planned off of the top of my head:

  • Finish Dwarfs to 2000pts
  • Add more squads/fix damaged squads for my 40k Orks
  • Start my Fantasy Orc and Goblin Army
  • Start my 40k Space Wolf Army
  • Finish off my Mordheim Possessed Warband
  • Start another Mordheim Warband or two (Dwarfs, Orcs and maybe a human one)
  • Start my Orc Blood Bowl Team
  • Start my Dwarf Blood Bowl Team
  • Start a third Blood Bowl Team
  • Expand the Dwarfs
  • Paint the Fellowship of the Ring
  • Start a LOTR Force
So, as you can see I have many, many projects on the go.  I do often find it hard to stick to one, especially if I get an idea for another army or get inspired by another one.  I have to force myself to stick to a single project otherwise things would never get done and I'd be all over the place with small pieces of armies built or painted.  I find I prefer to try and build then paint a playable force, or at least a force that can be added too quickly to make a simple force. 

Another thing I find myself wanting to do is the multi-system idea.  I currently have plans for only GW's big two; Fantasy and 40K.  Although I want to spread into their smaller, less supported systems like Mordheim and Blood Bowl because they seem like a lot of fun.  But more and more I find myself looking out at other systems; Warmachine, Hordes, Malifaux for example have all caught my eye more that once.  But the problem, or point, at the moment is that I don't have the time, space or opponents to validate most of these 'expansions' into other non-GW games.  Perhaps with time, who knows....

What I am trying to say is, I have too many projects.  Each time I focus on one, I feel that I am letting down the others, pushing them aside for other reasons.  It doesn't feel good.  However, I also think this is currently due to me putting effort into getting my Dwarfs painted for August (so they can appear at an annual forum meet that I organise).  So perhaps having the multiple projects is only a problem when you focus for too long on one of them?  I plan, once the Dwarfs are done, to slowly build up armies and forces piecemeal.  The main fact will be that I should then have two playable forces - Orks and Dwarfs for my main systems.  But over time, when I don't have a deadline to work towards I should be able to progress slowly and build new forces/armies and add to my existing ones in my own time and thus feel better about juggling the projects I have in my hand.

Is this a case of too many cooks, or is the variety of spice, just right?  Right now, I don't honestly know but I will sure as hell, let you know when I figure things out. 


  1. For your expanded Dwarfs, have you considered.


  2. Hey,

    I have seen them, yeah. Some really great minis, I do have some slayers to paint at some point.

  3. if you like dwarves and are not tied to GW there are some ace figures out there ATM redbox miniatures are ace and Retnik dwarves are to die for. If you think you have a load of projects wait till you try to do historic wargames then you will go nuts
    Peace James


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