Home Forums General General Do You Have 'Projects'?

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    Guy Farrish

    Wargame Projects.
    I noticed this phrase ages ago and it seemed to be a US thing. Now I see it everywhere and it still slightly bemuses me.
    Do I have projects?
    I suppose in some cases I may, but I tend not to think of them like that.
    Wargaming has mostly been a hobby for me, a way of relaxing. I never thought of the pursuit of fun as a project.
    When I started wargaming it was difficult enough finding another person interested in the hobby without having rigid plans about what I wanted to do. When I did find someone he already had 25mm Napoleonics so it seemed natural to build an army to fight his Austrians. We sort of organised a few likeminded school friends to join in and buy some other units but I couldn’t describe the ‘organisation’ as a project.
    When we left school and drifted off into our careers I looked for other opponents. There were more of them about now, but the fun was often missing as many of the people I did find seemed to bring a ‘project management’ approach to the table. They picked a rule set, built an army to maximise success within the rule parameters and played in competitions with it.
    This got armies built and games played but the ‘project’ was then rapidly discarded.
    The project was about delivering a painted army to the table to beat the rules and incidentally other players.
    I don’t think most people now mean that competitive super army generation when they say they have wargaming ‘projects’, but I am still not sure I have ‘projects’.
    I play wargames for the history and the continuing enjoyment of a period. I am still interested in the 1809 French/Austrian Campaigns, as I was in 1973 when I played Aspern-Essling with Dave Hay. I have played board games of it, home made campaigns and numerous refights of the main battles (I’ve done a lot of other wargamey stuff as well) but I don’t think I will ever tick the last box on a project flow chart of Napoleonic gaming or indeed any other wargame interest. I hope not. Wargaming for me is an open ended enjoyment.
    A lot of that enjoyment comes from wargaming as an excuse to be with likeminded people, a sort of extended dinner party theme: good friends, good intelligent conversation (it’s an ideal, I’m not saying it happens!), a good time based around a shared interest. That doesn’t lend itself to project management.
    Of course I may simply be unfocussed and doomed to repeating myself!
    Maybe I need to go on a project management course.
    Do you have ‘projects’?


    I have projects, but the term usually means something different from what you describe.  From my perspective, a gaming “project” is usually scratch-building  a vehicle, aircraft, miniature master for casting and making the castings, or terrain piece.  I don’t think of collectively selecting/writing rules, painting an army, and creating a table of terrain as a project; though, sometimes I will refer to painting a faction/unit for a game as a “project”, mostly due to lack of a better coming to mind at the moment.  “Project” usually refers to a stand alone component for gaming in a given period/genre.  The project is about completing a goal, but without deadlines.  For me, a (gaming) period is made up of many projects, and the periods that I play are never ending.  There is always a new project to add.

    Angel Barracks

    Yeah I think I am like the serb.
    But when making for commercial use and for playing cross over, the project/work line gets blurry.
    So I wanted to make my Anshan build using mostly buildings from my site to take to shows so I can play as a gamer, but at the same time it is showing off my products.
    I have some definite things I want to get made for ABN and released and sold, I also want to use these to move the story of my campaigns forward.
    I have a big timeline planned out and I guess making the required models for this is a project.
    There are goals and markers that need to be met.

    Mostly this:

    The project is about completing a goal, but without deadlines.


    I have gaming projects that I’m working on Verdun, Team Yankee and Guadalcanal. My Imagin-nation The Sultanate of Ifat is on the back burner.

    Guy Farrish

    Yeah – but are they ‘Projects’ or are they things you like doing to play with?

    A project to me means mental effort, deadlines, working to plans.

    I used to do that in work – this is a hobby right?

    Kick back let it slide, play a game with counters if the figures aren’t there. The games the thing right?

    Or am I wrong?

    Just Jack

    Do I have projects???

    More than you could fathom! 😉



    Short answer: Yes.

    Longer Answer: Well what other term would I use to refer to the various different sets of armies, eras and systems that I work on?

    Guy Farrish

    Well, how about painting/building ‘my Union army’?  playing ‘my Seleucid Campaign’? writing, refining, playtesting ‘my Thirty Years War Rules’?


    Well, how about painting/building ‘my Union army’? playing ‘my Seleucid Campaign’? writing, refining, playtesting ‘my Thirty Years War Rules’?

    Because I work on terrain, miniatures and games as a whole, and it’s just a better, more accurate use of the language to refer to the endeavour as a project.

    Guy Farrish

    Well as long as you are happy with it that’s fine.

    It isn’t a better, and certainly not a more accurate, use of language from my point of view. But my interest was not in setting up an argument to find a definitive term which we must all use.

    I was simply interested if people really thought of their relaxation time hobby as something best described in terms ripped untimely from a management consultant document. If they do, it is yet another good example of this being a diverse hobby that accommodates many different mansions. And long may that continue.

    But don’t get me started on the use of the term ‘Factions’ in historical wargames


    Oh yeah, I got factions….

    Phil Dutré

    I was simply interested if people really thought of their relaxation time hobby as something best described in terms ripped untimely from a management consultant document.

    I think you are looking too deeply into this.

    Saying “I am working on my medieval project” is easier than saying “I am working on painting my 500 French and Flemish 28mm figures so I can stage the battle of Courtrai 1302 by the end of 2016”.


    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    Guy Farrish

    But not as easy or as short as saying:

    ‘I’m painting my mediaevals.’

    Not Connard Sage

    But not as easy or as short as saying: ‘I’m painting my mediaevals.’




    I don’t have any ‘projects’. I do have a lot of shite that I haven’t got around painting.

    Is that the same thing as a ‘project’?

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.


    OED says:

    an enterprise carefully planned to achieve a particular aim


    a proposed or planned undertaking


    I guess that is the key.  A “project” is a planned endeavor, with respect to gaming,  preparing a subset of elements for a gaming period or genre.  Not usually used to refer to painting figs; that is simply painting a unit.  Usually it has to do with something that is made.  Researching, designing, constructing, and painting a thing or things, other than purchased figs, usually gets referred to as a project. I think of the APCs that I’m working on for my post-apoc territorial guard as a project.  Painting the guard figs  isn’t a project, creating the army isn’t a project.  Each of the elements that are made for the army, the HQ, the APCs, the Recce vehicles, etc, is a project.


    I have projects, and I like the term ‘projects’.

    In my mind, it doesn’t denote work, per se, it denotes organization. So, rather than just painting a few random figures from a range of periods, I’ll concentrate on a single period or army and work till I have a table-ready force. Usually, my projects include relevant terrain features to go along with the troops. Dividing things into projects also helps me because it gets me in a good frame of mind to work on a specific period, rather than jumping from one to another, which I find a bit difficult.

    Ultimately, it’s really just a word. I’m not very formal about it. I just find it a fun and useful way of mentally organizing what I’m painting/creating.

    Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline


    I have projects: defined activities with scope, boundaries, a budget and a set of deliverables. E.g. a 15mm early war German rifle company with enough extra bits to cover various support permutations.

    The main variation is how much time I spend on it each week.I like to bring order from chaos, I am never so happy as when a finished project is neatly lined up in its storage box. Other people approach the hobby differently, but each to their own. It is a hobby not a job.


    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke


    Yes, I have projects. From my perspective, developing a new participation game for a show, or establishing a new period is a “project”, so for instance my current projects include preparing for a Battle of the River Plate parti game in 1/600 at the Naval Wargames Show, and building and painting all the stuff I need for my initial 15mm WW2 Russian front winter skirmish. Or it could be a project to renovae and reinvigorate a period that hasn’t seen much action recently (so my 1/600 WW2 coastal and 1/1200 ACW would come into this).

    I find that I need to establish projects in order to give my wargamin some direction. Otherwise I’m all too likely to end up “butterflying” between subjects (which can still happen – Alan M’s recent foray into “Bloody Big Battles” is getting me in the mood to try them with my 6mm WW1 collection)

    Guy Farrish

    Those last few answers sort of deliver what I expected from my original question.

    It is a hobby and we all bring different expectations of what we want from it.

    I suppose I have sufficient of the desire to ‘finish’ a ‘project’ and see it all neatly ordered, labelled and stored to know that I really want to avoid that in a hobby. I don’t want to feel the pressure to be perfect and on time and ordered in my relaxation. I want to be able to pootle, be distracted, come back to something ‘unfinished’ after 15 years or so and take it in another direction. And you know, I don’t think I would be bothered to enjoy it all over again if I had finished it, played it intensively for months and then put it away neatly stored and catalogued. I think at that point I would have sold it and moved on. I like the slightly chaotic feel of not even knowing if it is finished. I hate that feeling in other areas – real life – so I’m presuming that this urge to have a laissez faire approach to wargames satisfies some need to be less stressed about an area of my existence.

    Deep huh?

    I suppose there was also an element of wondering whether the use of this and other ‘professional’ terms was in some cases an attempt to bring a gravitas to what is at bottom, playing with toy soldiers (or bits of cardboard, or wooden counters, or maps and chinagraph pencils-showing my age there). No judgement involved by the way, just wondering in an idle moment really.

    Thanks for your replies.

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