The Tabletop Parking Lot Situation

I have talked about evaluating projects in the past, just recently as part of the ongoing decluttering of the physical brick & mortar chaosbunker.

Where I have valuated the projects by doing a kind of SWOT analysis, I think that space and purpose are two strong factors, that weigh in a bit more. As for space, that is probably in our hobby a much more limiting factor than financial assets (beside available time maybe), as you can get the same miniatures very likely second hand or get a deal on them on a show or so, but going for a different scale changes the overall experience (and doesn't give you the same miniatures). So I came up with a parking lot theory to sort my projects.

Is this one of the car allegories? You betcha!

Hobby Desk 2012 Hobby Room Cabin
Lightcraft Desk Lamp
(throwback from my 2010 set-up, really let that bright wallpaper soak into you ... an my current setup)

I assume that most hobbyist will have at least some kind of hobby desk, a few shelves or a cupboard where they can store their collection of miniatures and terrain. Even if you have an office at home, or share it with your significant other, that still may be a secretary or workbench dedicated for the tabletop purpose. And from a hobby point of view, that is something like a double garage. You can "park" two cars in there, if you go a bit overboard and crowd one of the garages, you can still park one or both cars in the driveway in front of the garage. So if you only have that amount of space, you'll probably go for something reliable and versatile, that fits all your needs. Like a wargaming system that is widely distributed and has a broad player base, in other words the 4-door-saloon is probably one of the Warhammers. And that second slot in your garage will most likely either be the station wagon, so another rule set with a broad player base, or depending on your budget maybe a sport car, like a niché system or themed army.

And that is probably the reasonable status-quo, that most people have. A few projects, they actually follow through with.

But what happens if you're one of the lucky ones, to have your own den / man cave / hobby room? Turning that double garage - depending on how much of that room is dedicated to wargaming is more like a shed, where like 8 to 12 of your projects stand, or private car park. Combine that with the financial possibilities of a grown up with a steady income and you become the wargaming equivalent of a car enthuisiast with a lot of space and pocket money. Because let's face it, unless you're going for a very special themed army, something really large or expensive, a wargaming project usually runs around 100 to 200 EUR.

Car Collection Car Collection Chaosbunker Archives
(oldtimer / sports car collection, a lot of sedans and my archive / library)

And if you're looking at those car enthuisiasts, you have the different type of guys. You have the Seinfeld Porsche Fanatic (I'd say that translates into the 40k Player with multiple 40k armies and a few Forge World, not necessarily how the superb engineering translates into the quality of the rule sets, more from a price point), you have the Jay Leno broad car collection (that guy has everything from the 6mm ancients over 28mm boer-wars, to sci-fi space fleet games) and well, the junkyard guy (people who carry their miniatures in a shopping bag ...). With that in mind, I looked at my car park / project lot and realised I have a lot of four-door saloons ... too much. As you they more or less cure the same itch. And with the benefit of my space, I should diversify. Nothing wrong with a sedan, but if you have 8 slots, it is rather boring to have 6 of them filled with the same type of car, even if its a Mercedes, an Audi, a Jaguar and so on. And with that vision, I set up a list, like two sedans, a station wagon, a hot hatchback, a city-car, a convertible, a van, a sports car, an oldtimer and so on. So if I stumble across a new project idea, I ask myself, do I already have a project that fulfills that role, so it either is declined or replaces the current project. Just like when you really fancy that new Tesla model 3, but you should probably let go of your 3-series BMW.

For that reason, I sold of my late saxons for Saga (or Rampant, what ever), as I already have something that covers 28mm above skirmish combat with my Spanish Crusaders. And to be honest, I am taking a strong look at my pseudo-Game of Thrones project, as that either becomes a Border Reivers skirmish of the lower houses or is entirely replaced with war of the roses in 10mm, as I am very sure that I won't paint up a mass combat in 28mm in my lifetime anymore.

Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster - Stahl auf der Heide 2016 Bolt Action - King Tiger with Zimmerit Game of Thrones - Perry Miniatures

28mm world war II for example is something where I went a bit over board with Bolt Action, as I overestimated the army sizes. I have a lot more infantry than I need, and I even - it almost hurts to say - may have to much tanks (silly idea, I know, but I don't really need multiple Tiger II or Panther for a 28mm system). I am honest, Bolt Action and 2nd Edition 40k is very close to eachother, from size and feel of the game play, but I'd say Bolt Action fulfills the role of the four-door saloon here and the 2nd Ed 40k very surely is that oldtimer slot, so not really competing. I just have to make sure that I don't fall for the trap of low priced youngtimers (Ooh, I found a very reasonable priced Space Wolves Army ... no Dennis, you already own a 1988 W124 300E, you don't need the same one just because it is greyish-blue). And while I'm getting rid of the sedans and station wagons, and restoration or articles of virtue, that will never be finished, speaking of skirmishers and platoon sized games in 28mm, when for example Cruel Seas and Black Seas were released, that was something I didn't have in my collection so far - a naval wargame. So that is just set - no question asked, as there were no competitors for that purpose in my collection. I have a candidate for 10-15mm mass combat as well as for dog fights, the only role that is actually not covered yet, is a sci-fi space fleet game. I have taken a look at Battlefleet Gothic, but as the second hand prices are beyond reasonable I'll either wait for access to a proper resin printer or new game - I am in no hurry, I still have other cars to drive 😉

Tabletop Simulator - Battlefleet Gothic Salute 2016 - Full Thrust / Mechworld

If you're familiar with Marie Kondo and her question, if it sparks joy, it is similar yes. But as a wargamer, a lot of these projects do spark joy, so that is not a good measuring stick.

Posted by Dennis B.

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