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"if you had to do it all over again, what would you do?" Topic

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928 hits since 6 Aug 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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repaint07 Aug 2018 6:31 p.m. PST

Say you start with zero miniatures, same budget, same acquired knowledge and experience and 15 years less, big reset, what would you do differently?

for me:
a) stay with Vallejo paints instead of trying the newest shiniest brand
b) focus on rulesets that have a lower figure count
c) stay away from rules that have an edition change planned every 3 years or with constant codex changes.
d) inquire what other people around me play instead of launching into what only me will play
e) plan and buy storage for minis early on

there's probably more but that's a good start.

what would you do?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2018 6:54 p.m. PST

A? Nonsense. Vallejo is too expensive and dries out too soon.

C? Who cares about codex changes? I'm totally ignoring all the new and flashy Flanes of War books. I'm V3, thank you very much.

D? That's not how our groups operate. Darrell and Roger will be doing Marines vs Japanese this Saturday. Last weekend Lou and Mark did Napoleonics. Before that Jim did Colonials. Soon I'll be doing AWI. None of us needed approval or cooperation from the others.

repaint07 Aug 2018 7:03 p.m. PST

WS, err, yes. and what it is that YOU would do if you had to do it all over again?

Cacique Caribe07 Aug 2018 7:15 p.m. PST

Simple. I would have focused on 2 or 3 projects at a time, instead of 20 or more.

Once you start planning and spending money for all 20, without making any really significant headway on any of them, things get all muddled.


Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2018 7:30 p.m. PST


Desert Fox07 Aug 2018 7:40 p.m. PST

-not sold off previous projects :-[

repaint07 Aug 2018 8:08 p.m. PST

-not sold off previous projects :-[

Yes, I regretted big time selling off some of my nicely painted miniatures.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2018 8:10 p.m. PST

I don't think I would do anything different.
Maybe not get into Warhammer Fantasy or 40K, because nobody else had any interest in either one. That's where I learned my first bitter lesson about "next codex" nonsense. My Forest Goblins were very well painted. And useless in the next edition. Fool me once…
But I did enjoy Blood Bowl and Space Hulk.
Maybe my total dislike of the 40K fluff turned me off to it more than the edition "upgrades".

I got into a lot of other projects that I really enjoyed painting, so no regrets. I always found good homes for them.
I found out that I couldn't paint ships to save my life before I spent too much money, so…

KSmyth07 Aug 2018 8:38 p.m. PST

I've enjoyed everything I've done, but a couple projects that just really never resonated were:
Ancients. I never played a rule set consistently after WRG 6th edition.
15mm WWII just never made me happy except my Tarawa Crossfire game I played twice.

I have dozens of projects, most complete or nearly so and limited time to play them. Some have sat unplayed for years. But I'd never part with them. So the willpower to say no would be great (said no miniature wargamer ever)

Never had a bottle of Vallejo paint dry out ever. Some are at least a decade old.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Complete a few projects before I dive into the next one

Cacique Caribe07 Aug 2018 9:44 p.m. PST

Winston: "That's where I learned my first bitter lesson about "next codex" nonsense. My Forest Goblins were very well painted. And useless in the next edition. Fool me once…"

I hear that a lot from GW gamers.

In the old days, if the players didn't like a particular point in the rules, they'd agree on an amendment and then go on playing. Unless you were at a gaming convention, rules were never treated as if they were written in stone.



Martin Rapier07 Aug 2018 10:27 p.m. PST

Never sell anything and do the lot in 15mm.

cosmicbank07 Aug 2018 11:00 p.m. PST

Take up Tennis

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 12:45 a.m. PST

I wouldn't change a thing. I've enjoyed every minute along the way.

BrockLanders08 Aug 2018 1:25 a.m. PST

I would have bought a good airbrush setup much sooner than I did. It's been incredibly useful for so many things even though I'm still in the learning stages.

Also would have ditched 20mm WW2 gaming sooner and gone to 10mm for large battles and 28mm for skirmish sooner than we actually did.

warwell08 Aug 2018 1:37 a.m. PST

I would not have done this:

I would have just done 2mm portable wargame style

Lucius08 Aug 2018 2:10 a.m. PST

Bought fewer boardgames.
Sold off more stuff sooner.

I'm planning on moving in 5 years. The thought of it already horrifies me.

UshCha08 Aug 2018 2:16 a.m. PST

I would have liked to write my own rules earlier however the inparation of the way forward was Stargrun II and DBM. Would I have done better or as well as I consider I have now without then showing the possibilites, perhaps not.

I would buy a 3D printer and start doing my own sculpts to my requirements sooner.

I would have given up SI FY 28 MM earlier and gone to 1/72 and 1/144 modern earlier.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 3:04 a.m. PST

Two scales--probably 6mm and 28mm. Anything else done to meet a specific need.
Rules of the "back of an envelope" type only, except at the specific request of a regular opponent.

Fewer projects begun. More projects completed.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 3:08 a.m. PST

Same thing all over again. It's been awesome.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART08 Aug 2018 3:38 a.m. PST

All historical stuff in 6mm.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 3:50 a.m. PST

I would've collected more 54 mm Britain's figures instead of 50,000 war game figures. I might've gotten all of their post war sets, and many earlier ones. The changing of the guard!

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 4:51 a.m. PST

Starting at 0 figures? Have a 54mm Spanish Civil War range designed and cast in plastic including figures and vehicles.

rustymusket08 Aug 2018 5:56 a.m. PST

I would learn how to tapdance. And then turn "Singin' In The Rain" into a skirmish game.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 6:23 a.m. PST

I would have started with 15mm instead of 1/72 plastics and 25mm minfigs, both of which are an addiction I've have been unable to shake.

Wildman08 Aug 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

I would not have done Micro Armor. I can't see it and can't
paint it. I would have done WWII in 1/72-20mm instead of
starting in 28mm. Doing it in 20mm now. Would have tried to limit the number of projects I started.

wrgmr108 Aug 2018 7:17 a.m. PST

Not done 15mm and 28mm in Napoleonics. Not done 15mm and .20mm in WW2. Not built so much terrain I have no space to store in.

ToysnSoldiers Inactive Member08 Aug 2018 7:25 a.m. PST

I would have focused in just one period: the wars of Louis XIV.

Andrew Walters08 Aug 2018 7:59 a.m. PST

Focus. Buy 1/3 as many games/figures, and finish them.

Have orderly storage part of the plan from inception.

Don't build the giant mountain out of paper mache because mice will eat it.

Bash On08 Aug 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

Spend half as much and play twice as much. And, no more than 2-3 active projects at a time.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 9:19 a.m. PST

I would have dumped that one girl instead of moving in with her, and accepted that one job offer -- oh, you're talking about miniatures and wargaming.

I would have sucked it up and bought the Grenadier Traveller Imperial Marines, Adventurers, and Aliens sets when they came out. Otherwise, I'm happy with my wargaming and miniatures experiences.

Well, if I had taken that one job, I would probably have been able to retire a couple of years ago, and I'd be doing more painting and gaming now.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 9:45 a.m. PST

I think I would have tried to stay more focused on a smaller number of projects.

Huscarle08 Aug 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

Stuck with my 1st job, I would now be happily retired on a gold-plated pension rather than have to work until I drop. Ah the follies of youth!

On the gaming front stuck with 2 or 3 projects at least until they were all finished, D&D, Late Romans & Vikings to start, but then WoTR, Byzantines, Norman Conquest, Scottish Wars, ECW, Frostgrave, Pulp, WWII and the rest would have dragged me down…

More recently, I wish that I had remained ignorant of KS, I dread to think how much I've paid…

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 10:31 a.m. PST

I would follow the excellent advice I was given long
ago to stick with ONE ERA, ONE SCALE until I tired
of it and then move on to another.

John Leahy08 Aug 2018 10:43 a.m. PST

I'd buy more Heritage figures and stop the piece of crap who whole stole almost all of my collection in the 80's.

No way would I stick to one scale or a few periods. Too interested in too many other things.

Yellow Admiral08 Aug 2018 11:49 a.m. PST

I'd start a running list of all my projects right at the beginning. The Big Plan™ document has been a very a good way to avoid wasted time and effort, but I didn't compile it until around 2010-2011, and at the time I was shocked at how big it was.

I would also be much stricter about concentrating on fewer scales. I've already begun the process of reducing my collection down to only a few scales – one if by land (15mm), two if by sea (1/2400 and 1/1200) – but of course there are exceptions. It would be much easier to avoid "exceptions" if I actually had to start over.

I would never set out to build an army from scratch again. My current practice of starting new land gaming projects with a purchase of a fully completed set of matched armies has turned out to be the best way to get into new periods. Rebasing and augmenting are small efforts with a superb reward:effort ratio, whereas going from bare lead to playable forces is a long and slow process that is frequently derailed by real life.

There are plenty of projects I would never restart, but I think it's impossible to avoid owning some stalled projects. I grow more ruthless every year about culling, but while it's easy to let go of projects I've lost interest in completing, some projects are collections that I loved creating and playing with, and they're only stalled because I ran out of players or couldn't find rules I liked. I hang on to some because there's still a chance of playing with them again some day, and some because I also get joy from collecting and crafting certain miniatures.

- Ix

mildbill08 Aug 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

WWII in 10mm instead of 15mm. Of course there wasn't 10mm when I started. Not send copies of my rules to an English company with their promise to pay me later.

Silurian08 Aug 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

Not a lot I would do differently. I love all the stuff I've got.

If I could go all the way back to my wargaming beginnings I'd just try and buy a lot more of the early stuff so my fantasy armies had an even higher proportion of oldhammer.

I would also increase my WWII 20mm armies a bit in relation to everything else, especially if I could only go back 15 years as specified in the OP.

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 2:07 p.m. PST

1/72 for all gaming

Yellow Admiral08 Aug 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

1/72 for all gaming
Sometimes I feel this way, but in truth that would never work for land-gaming periods I want to play collaboratively, and I'm not going to try to play night actions in The Slot in 1/72 scale.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral08 Aug 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

Vallejo is too expensive and dries out too soon.
I'm not the biggest fan of Vallejo paints, and I agree they're a bit expensive, but I've never had one dry up. I'm still using the original bottles I bought well over a decade ago.

I had reservations about the dropper bottles, and they still irritate me sometimes, but I bet Vallejo chose to use them because they make measuring by drops really easy and they seal superbly well. I like both those features quite a bit.

- Ix

gisbygeo08 Aug 2018 2:51 p.m. PST

I would have offered the Perrys their first job as sculptors and steered them in directions I am interested in. We would all live together in a big treehouse, and dress like the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.

Yellow Admiral08 Aug 2018 3:03 p.m. PST

To address the OP:

a) stay with Vallejo paints instead of trying the newest shiniest brand
I've never shopped for the "newest, shiniest" paint (unless I ran out of a gloss color…?), but I don't see how it helps to have only one brand of paints. Care to elaborate?

My paint collection is and always will be a chaotic mix of brands and types of paint, and it's growing more eclectic all the time. I have several drawers of "military" modeling acrylics, a few large tubes of art acrylics, lots of cheap craft acrylics for large-area projects, all of the non-pearl colors of FW acrylic inks for tinting and washing, several colors of Gesso (some homemade by tinting the white), and even a selection of oils I haven't quite gotten around to trying out.

Recently I even bought a small collection of Testors enamels in primary colors, so apparently 3 decades is how long it took to change my mind that they are "too smelly and troublesome". grin They turn out to be perfect for certain applications, because they have great coverage, good flow, go on thin, have a nicely long working time in a superthin brush, stick really well, dry really tough, and the gloss enamels dry really glossy. The gloss white, gloss red and gloss yellow were exactly what I needed for some aircraft propellor spinners.

One of the things I love about this hobby is expanding my artistic skills and knowledge. Decades of experimenting with ways to make miniature armies, navies, air forces and scenery has given me a much deeper and more nuanced appreciation of art in general.

- Ix

D A THB08 Aug 2018 4:14 p.m. PST

Learnt to play an instrument instead.

Silurian08 Aug 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

gisbygeo: brilliant!

Timmo uk09 Aug 2018 9:15 a.m. PST

gisbygeo: agree with Silurian – brilliant. Now persuade them to shoot the video for You Tube.

Different: I wouldn't have got into pirates or Sudan in 28mm. Going back 15 years isn't that far so I also wouldn't have done a couple of dozen Perry ECW either. Like many here I feel I have too many collections that spread effort too thinly. Still may sell these collections.

Going back even further I'd have done ECW in 28mm rather than old school 25mm. My Napoleonics are fine as they are as my two 'big battle' periods. I'd have not dallied around with various Napoleonic rule sets but chosen the right one straight away – if only.

I'd have not bought so much artillery and I'd have got the limbers done instead of yet more guns. I'd have based my skirmishers on round bases – I'm going to rebase them this winter.

Oh and I'd have kept my Rickenbacker.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

Would have been into Napoleonics earlier.

Switched from Johnny Reb sooner than I did.

Would have put more thought into my FFL project.

Would have farmed out more of my painting sooner than I did.

Not buy so many 15mm ACW figures.

I am so glad I did not get into GW or any other "Space Monkey" stuff. I have been strictly historical from the start. Which was one the few good decisions I ever made.

saltflats192909 Aug 2018 10:06 a.m. PST

I would spend more time painting and gaming than reading TMP.

Dashetal09 Aug 2018 2:22 p.m. PST

I would only do 28mm and would do fewer periods. I would stay with the late 19th century and early to mid 20th. Most of the terrain and buildings would do the same for all my periods.

platypus01au10 Aug 2018 1:55 a.m. PST

I know what I'd say to my 18 year old self.

$1,000 USD on Makybe Diva and Black Caviar.

Every race.


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