Wow, it’s been a long time since we posted a blog article, and for no good damn reason I assure you aside from laziness. Hoping to address that and make amends by producing more content on a semi-regular schedule, but no promises since that has happened before.
So saying “Happy New Year” to everyone is our first order of business. We at HH wish you all much health, happiness, wealth, success and hysteria in the New Year. 2015 was a good year for me personally, with the health of my family being great and no small amount of financial success as well. Holiday debt is a thing for sure, but Ladyblade has assured me a new budget is coming for 2016 in order to get us on track and making strides in paying off our household debt and saving for a bright future for our beloved little Dragonspawn. Home improvements, savings, a vacation in the UK to coincide with Star Wars Celebration 2016 and more family travel are all good reasons to plan for a future and take steps to stick to said plan in order to reap the rewards. However I doubt you are here to read about my plans to save money in 2016, I assume you are here for the Hysteria of my Hobbies and interests, which I am only too happy to provide.
The last blog article was about the 2015 Ontario Team Championship and I find it ironic that my plan to attend the 2016 OTC (and as a Team Captain no less!) will be the first article of the New Year. Clearly my team will have a good time but we’re also going to hand out wins like no one’s business. To that end I am actually working on several steps to get myself ready to play more competitively and not be the lame duck at every table I play at. Which is to say I am making a plan and trying to stick to it in order to prep for some coming events that I plan to attempt to play seriously at. Sort of like that budget talk we were having above. See, segue? I can do it too. 😉
So on to the plan: I will play competitively at no less than three (3) “major” events in 2016 with fully painted army lists.
Sounds aggressive maybe, but as I am want to do I have already cheated and made the first part pretty attainable. I am going to the 2016 OTC to play and do my best, I am planning on attending the Southern Ontario Open to play in the Masters event and do my best, which just leaves one more event to plan to attend for 2016 to reach that quantity of events with the intent to play competitively. So I already have two events bought and registered for, and I am seriously looking at Grudge Match Weekend 2016 in St Louis for the third. You may know it as WarmachineWeekend, but to me it will forever be known as Grudge Match Weekend since I have to hunt down a famous Mister Tim Simpson and play him a game we have been bantering about for around 3 or 4 years now. I keep ducking him and his scary Khador lists, but I feel I need to get there and play the big lug someday soon, and 2016 may be our year for a friendly grudge match of DOOM with booze.
But I digress. The second component of my plan is the one that requires far more effort and discipline than I am accustomed to using; I have to paint stuff to a minimum of tabletop/hardcore standard and use those painted models in my lists at these events. This is a very personal and difficult challenge for me, as I find I lack the motivation to start painting most days, but do enjoy it once I get going. For instance I had two weeks off over the Christmas holidays where I was not working and aside from family and friend obligations, I could have really churned out some painted models and made good headway on my goal. Instead I found myself playing Arkham Knight, World of Warcraft, Lego Dimensions or watching tv with the Spawn and Ladyblade. Hell there’s about a full 8 hours of painting I could have done if I had used the time I spent watching the new Star Wars movie three times instead. So my choices and discipline are still as lacking as they once were which, in all honesty, will be my biggest challenge to overcome.
So I have a goal and I know what my biggest challenge is to achieving that goal, how do I go about creating and putting into effect a plan to overcome my challenges and work towards succeeding at my goal? Well let’s spend a minute coming up with ways in which I can overcome my challenges. If discipline and making the time to paint is a big personal challenge, then the easy and obvious answer is to be more disciplined and paint more. But that is too easy to say and hard to do without some more manageable steps involved. Because if I could simply be more disciplined and paint more you would think I would have already done this on my own. And I clearly have not.
No what I need are some small steps and easily digested goals along the way that spur me on to do more and get me further towards achiving my larger objective. In order to get more models painted and to create Discipline without trying to make it happen from nothing, what I need to do is set up a routine, develop some habits that will encourage me to be more disciplined without making me try to be disciplined. I have a lot of willpower, but I do often tell myself to go and eff off when I suspect I am trying to trick me. It’s complicated and a bit bizarre I don’t disagree, but I am so used to being independent that I will often fight with myself. So to encourage me to be better at this whole hobby stuff, what I can do is set weekly a goal of 1 to 2 models, or a minimum sized unit. In order to achieve that goal, I will need to set aside maybe 2 hours of painting a night to make progress. Which seems like a lot when there is life, love and parenting to contend with but is surprisingly simple when you sit down to a small session and end up doing 4-6 hours worth of work. Sometimes doing more on any given night will net me more progress and achieve the same goals, so let’s add this one on to our weekly goals. And let’s only say 1 hour of work each day, since the sessions will likely be longer and if I skip a day then I only have to make up 1 hour and not 2. Because setting ourselves up for failure is another way in which we can be defeated and discourage the attempt at all. So I’m not going to do that.
By setting these smaller goals on a weekly basis, I am shaping the pieces of the whole that will be more easily managed and realistic to achieve, and therefore I increase my chance of succeeding at my stated objective. I’m also way more likely to achieve some of these and work towards becoming more disciplined if I take these steps and make sure I check my progress once or twice in a week to see how I am measuring up to my weekly goal. By doing these things I can more easily work towards the larger goal and measure my progress along the way. Especially if I know ahead of time what I am trying to reach before the first milestone of the Ontario Team Championship in March.
Which leads nicely into our next topic, for another article, which will be my lists. And pictures. And faction choice. Because all of these things equal content, which I so desperately need if I am going to make a go of this. However before I leave off we should summarize what we have discussed and how I am going to get it all done, which works out as follows:
PRIMARY GOAL: I will play competitively at no less than three (3) “major” events in 2016 with fully painted army lists.
WEEKLY GOAL: Paint 1-2 medium- or large-based models or a minimum unit (6 models) in seven days, Sunday to Saturday.
DAILY GOAL: Spend one (1) hour each day painting models. Does not include preparation time or cleanup, just the actual brush-to-model time. Airbrushing counts but greater volume required.
STATUS CHECK UP: Honestly evaluate weekly progress on Wednesday and Saturday night. Adjust accordingly. Honestly evaluate Primary Goal progress with an ongoing checklist of work to be done and work accomplished.
You’ll note in my Status Check Up that I want to make sure I keep tabs on what I have done as much as what I haven’t done, so that the column of unpainted to painted shifts as I make progress and can visualize and enjoy what I have already accomplished. This will help me to feel good and to maintain a positive outlook and forward momentum. I really feel strongly that this is an important part of these goals so that you are not always looking at the remaining pile, but also at what you have done so that you can feel that pride and relief at accomplishing what you are setting out to do. Counting steps is a thing people, and it’s important for my OCD that I do it!!
With goals in place, it is time for me to get to it and start working on what I hope will be a fun and rewarding journey for 2016. Working on the Hobby side of things, playing more games, learning to be a better opponent and competitor are all things that have me looking forward to 2016 as a Warmachine & Hordes player. Not only that, but big things are afoot from the team at Hobby Hysteria, and we hope to have some major news in the future.
And if that doesn’t leave you wanting more, then I truly am all out of tricks for now. More soon, I promise.
May all your blades be sharp,
– Jamie “Northblade” Bell