Imagine a year ago. Two fellas, playing 40k in a game room. Little interest in the plastic conflict at hand but the beer fridge beckons. “Yeah, I’ll roll those 5+ saves. And they’re all dead. Anyone else want another beer? Wake me up when it’s my turn.” Trying to come up with the most epic of stories to excuse the flawed ruleset. Ultimately wishing it was over so they could get out King of Tokyo and have a little fun before the alcohol and GW induced stupor kicks in.
Believe it or not but that was Mr Straw and I (surprise!). That was why we began to work on the BattleMallet homebrew rules for 40k and started up this website to immortalise our ideas on the internet. The website and related YouTube channel have evolved since then. Largely because of our love for a game called Guild Ball (again, surprise!) but it’s the beginning of our journey I want to talk about. We were most definitely suffering from the Gaming Grind. That time when you realise that you should be having fun but just aren’t. Perhaps your army of choice provides no interest any more or your game has devolved into a simple rock-paper-scissors affair. I heard the story of someone the other day who knew he was going to win mid-way through turn two but had to play through to six. Yawn! It might simply be from having played the same damn game against the same damn people for too damn long.
So what can you do to deal with this? Well, one way is just to mix it up a little. I’ve been a roleplayer, on-and-off, for longer than I care to remember. Thing is, we never played the game for more than about six weeks, on average. It’s like the old stage saying, always leave ’em wanting more. Give yourself a chance to miss your old characters, that ruleset, your army. Then you’ll be champing at the bit in no time. OK, you’ve invested all your hard earned time and money into one golden system and one mighty army, you can’t change that now! Fine, try to play the game a little differently. If you’re always playing with 1500 points then go for 500, try to do more with less. Maybe try a new way of playing the game altogether. A new objective system, unbalanced lists, a mini-campaign where if characters die, they can’t be used again. There’s bound to be ideas online for your game of choice. If we’re talking wargames, the classic is to get a new unit or two but think about the alternative. We’ve all got that set of minis that never see the light of day. Maybe they’re underpowered or don’t fit the new meta. Well, dig ’em out and give ’em a go. I’d been playing Guild Ball and relying far too much on Gutter to help my Butchers team. So I put her away and got out Boiler again. Suddenly I was less predictable and I saw synergies that I never saw before. Lastly, try swapping with someone. You won’t play an army or run an RPG the same as someone else. Could be you’ll find a little something that they never saw. (I’m talking to you and your Engineers, Spoony)
Let us know in the what you do to avoid the Gaming Grind. Booze? Hookers? Hunting humans for sport? As always the best answer wins a prize. I’ll let the voices in your head tell you what it is.
Until next time gentle readers.
P.S: Happy Battlehammer-versary everyone!