Nostalgia hit me pretty hard this week when I opened a package to find 6 miniatures, Dwarf troll slayers, which I had owned when I was playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle as a young boy.
The models were found by a friend of mine who was part of the gaming group at the time. When I stopped playing Warhammer he took the old models from me to use. Recently he found some of them tucked away in a box somewhere and sent them on to me. It was great to open them up and have so many memories come back of using them, the different units I had, the victories and defeats (damn High Elves).
Along with the memories of playing and painting these miniatures, which were great, a few things came back to me to teach me about gaming and how it was for me as a kid – some ideas that I can apply to my own approach with my kids.
Painting is fine … but a not essential
These days I kind of obsess about having every model I use painted. I enjoy the evenings spent chatting to friends online as we paint our minis. I like the calm that a few hours of painting can bring, I enjoy seeing a model come together as you move through the process. But I wasn’t always like that.
When I was younger I don’t think I ever fielded fully painted army. Certainly in the later years (my late teens) I was fielding fully painted Blood Bowl Teams and Necromunda gangs, but I’m pretty certain despite countless hours put into painting I never got that Dwarf army, or Skeleton army, or Eldar army (you get the idea) finished.
But that’s ok. It did not diminish my enjoyment of the hobby or the games. I still had a great time, and when I did pick up a paint brush and paint some mini’s I enjoyed that too.
I think its important to remember that it’s ok to enjoy the hobby in different ways. Whether that is painting or playing, or doing something different. It’s also important not to try and impose our ideas of how the hobby should be done onto new players (such as kids), instead we should just open the doors and let them find their own way. We can offer guidance as they go.