The Gaming Grind (and how to avoid it)

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!


3 thoughts on “The Gaming Grind (and how to avoid it)

  1. I have to agree with everything you have said here. I have been a geeker since around the age of 14 so nearly 20 years. With a break of a few years. In that time I have played several different game systems and RPG ‘s. But in recent years I have started to get a bit bored of the whole all my stuff goes and then whatever is left of yours goes. This comes largely from the monopoly of GW games in my gaming group, although this does also apply to warmachine. I also got tired of agonising over my list building, do I take unit X over Y even though X isn’t as powerful but I like it more… Arrrgghh the headache. Plus the feeling that you have to have the new shine toy to compete on a level playing field. Not to mention the time demand just to build and paint stuff….
    …Enter stage right a little game of medieval football… What’s that? No points to worry about? No ridiculous upscale in power with each new release (so far). The idea that any model I choose can compete and that it is about the synergies I can build with these players is amazing. Plus only needing 8 to compete at a tournament is ace. Now I can’t claim to be experienced at this game at all. I only have one team and have only played a handful of 3v3 games at the minute. But I can see that this is a big breath of fresh air into my stagnating geeking lifestyle.

    …and breath, I only meant to drop a quick comment to say I agreed with your sentiments and then went of track there. Hopefully see you guys at athena games for spring open day.

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      1. Pure Brewers bud. Got my first 6 v 6 game next Thursday at Aftermath in Norwich. Very much looking forward to it. Probably going to order the Alchemists on Friday. Then possibly a few more games next Sunday at Old Buckingham bone crushers. Just need to finish painting a couple of models before spring open. Just never enough hours to geek.

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