March 29, 2011

Interesting discussion - painter or gamer?

Inspired by this post I decided to look at some of the statistics from my own Warmachine collection. Forward Kommander is a nifty site for collating the data and a good way to motivate yourself. Seeing the progress bars slide forward as you complete your projects is nice. It is disheartening though to see them slip back down as you add to the lead pile. As you will see my statistics are not amazing. I would love to blame this on a recent rash of purchases but as you will know from yesterdays blog posts I have a lot of unpainted, half started and almost finished miniatures stretching back to about five years or more of laziness! My Circle is almost complete. At least I believe I have a maximum unit of everything from Primal painted plus one or two extra beasts. I also have quite a few miniatures from Evolution done. In Warhammer I have maybe seven armies fully painted but there are regiments I would love to add to these and I need to make them all eighth edition compatable. Thankfully there are no stat tracking applications available for warhammer!

So the question a painter or a gamer? Well I don't know. I like to paint. Even when I am not playing I continue to paint. I have noticed though that playing is what drives my motivation. I paint much more (though to a lower degree of quality) when I am getting regular games in. Without some deadlines in place I tend to take more time and procrastinate over what to do. So if I had to give up one in the morning it would be a tough choice. Both hobbies, if indeed they are separable, bring different things.For instance I enjoy the social side of gaming be that with my new club in Hamburg or my old buddies in Dublin. There is nothing like relaxing over a pint and enjoying some banter across the table, listening in to the conversations on both sides of you and generally having a laugh. Painting for me is something I do while locked away in my own room for hours. Unless you count various podcasts as company I spend hours alone painting. It is not a social activity. It brings me a lot of enjoyment too as the challenge and the sense of achievement is great. It feels good to get perfect some highlighting or a new technique.

One point I would like to mention is the fact that I enjoy making terrain. Now I think this signifies something deep down in a gamer/painter pysche. I love good terrain and I am quite willing to pay out to get good materials to make it. I easily spend as much time painting a new terrain piece as I would a model. This is because I love the visual appeal of gaming in general. It doesn't matter the genre in anyway. I love everything from Ancients to Sci-Fi and anything that comes between. So for me this indicates that the visual appeal of the games is more important than a lot of other factors. Painted armies are very much a part of this. So I feel I am painting the armies to enhance my gaming experience.

So to round the discussion off, for me painting and gaming are inseparable. I don't enjoy one without the other. If I had to chose between them I would have to pick painting. Its is not an easy choice though.


  1. Great post. I wouldn't mind a stat tracking application for warhammer, it seems quite the motivator.

  2. Believe me you don't! If I had one I would feel terrible... I have hundreds of unpainted minatures if not thousands. I would both love and hate to see it catalogued.

  3. Nice post Phil. I hadn't considered the terrain building side of the hobby in my original post. If I thought about the number of terrain pieces I have, the time I spent on them and how much tabletop time they've seen I'd probably cry. I have loads of scenery that's seen too little game time!



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