Friday, 18 March 2016

The obligation to invite everyone

I should've known it'd take space ships to lure me out of hobby hibernation. And why have I been painting space ships? Firstly, because the Battlefleet Gothic models are great. Secondly, because I'm about to embark upon a campaign which will be a 50-50 mix of wargame and roleplay. Like Hornblower in space, what with BFG always harking back to the Age of Sail.

The Imperial patrol group.
The players, Jon and Maisey, will each command one of the two capital ships.

Naturally it's damn hard to photograph models on a black background, and a lot of the object source lighting simply doesn't show up in these photos, but oh well. I won't be talking about the paint job in this post. 

Instead, I'll be talking about a social phenomenon that is by no means unique to wargaming: that when you hang out with a friend, there's no obligation to invite anyone else, but as soon as you invite two or three people, there's a sense that you haven't invited everyone else. Am I alone on this one? I can feel guilty for not including everyone, and worry that they might feel left out (because hanging out with me is life-affirming, obviously).

In a wargaming context, this self-imposed obligation to include everyone usually rears its head when you have a thing that would work really well for three players, but know more than three players and feel obligated to invite all of them, thus creating a logistical nightmare and compromising the very thing you set out to enjoy. You endeavour to account for everyone's armies and gaming preferences, and then realise you have three Space Marine players, one other Imperial player, and only one non-Imperial player. Gutted.

All the lights/engines got a bit of an object source lighting drybrush, so on the board
you mainly see the ships' ornate prows, then the glow of their running lights.

This is a problem encountered even more frequently by being the guy who has boards and scenery and generally ends up being the orchestrator of things, what with it being a bit awkward for people to invite themselves over to my house to use my stuff.

Honestly I'm not sure what the solution is; some people won't care that they aren't invited to everything, and some people will be hurt, and you can either spend the rest of your life feeling responsible for other people's fun, or you can just get the hell on with it. Personally, I think I'll gun for the middle ground: do some things that involve everyone, and some things that are smaller and easier to organise. If they want to spend time with you, they'll let you know.

In short: you can organise some of the people some of the time, but you can't organise all the people all the time.

As you can see, all the ships have their names painted on, a) because yes,
and b) because it'd be unfair of me to expect the players to remember them all.

In the event that you're actually curious about how I painted those ships despite how badly they photographed, or wish to share your pain re: the above conundrum, thrust yourself into the comments section like a boss.