Of all the personal attributes I claim to have, fortitude is the one I am most thankful for. Why? Because fortitude is probably the single most important attribute you can have when approaching this hobby of ours.
Fortitude in Warhammer comes in three distinct flavours:
This is the most obvious one. A lot of people who take part in the hobby lack the fortitude to fully paint an army. Gods know I have started WAY more armies than I have finished. In my time in the hobby though, I have learned a few tricks on making sure my fortitude stands the test and sees me through to the end.
First, break up the task. I NEVER batch paint. Why? Because the tedium of the task kills me. After the 3rd straight hour of applying the same colour or technique to a marginally different model, I check out and go do something else. Then when trying to sit back down and start again at a later time, I remember those feelings and never bother.
For the last couple of years I have only painted individual models from start to finish. This has led to a higher level of detail on all my models (easier to spend 20 minutes each model doing super fine details and finishing touches than it is to spend 4 hours straight doing the same to a squad) and I have painted more models this past year then any other year I’ve been in the hobby. I think my count is in the 120ish range for models painted in 2010. An average of 1 every 3 days.
If you’re not wired for batch painting like Lange, give it a try. It just might help you finish your army.
Secondly, make yourself a carrot. Something to motivate you to finish the army. In most cases this ends up being an event you want to attend. Regardless of the source of motivation, keep looking to it when you start getting tired of your current painting endeavours. I personally like to think about my next army and get excited about those models. I know I won’t purchase the army until I’m done (took me 8 years to get THAT fortitude) but sometimes being excited for that other army will motivate me to paint with a renewed fury.
Sportsmanship does NOT only apply to tournaments. If you’re playing at your FLGS or a friend’s basement, don’t be a dick. Be magnanimous in victory and congratulatory in defeat. That last one has been the hardest for me to learn and I am still guilty of inadvertent pouting when my ass really gets handed to me.
This is where fortitude really has to come in to play. A friend of mine (who has won 2 Best Sport awards) once said that he has fun no matter what’s happening. How? By imagining that whatever is happening is part of a really awesome movie. This way, whether his Berzerkers are winning or losing, there is nothing to ever be upset about because the setting of the game is that fucking cool. Since hearing that, it’s what I try to do. So when I get fucked by a poorly written scenario and rolling a “6” for a Jaws of the World Wolf test (thanks a lot Paul) rather than being a miserable fuck like I was in that game (sorry about that Paul), I now try to imagine the ground opening up and devouring a Hive Tyrant. Epic, n’est ce pas?
This is the big one. In over a decade in the hobby, I have probably played about 1K games of Warhammer spanning 6 editions (3 each for Fantasy and 40K). 40K definitely makes up about 90% of those games but the point applies to both. Whether you are winning or losing, never stop putting on the pressure.
I have lost games that were essentially a done deal (ask Lange about his Death Guard vs my Dark Eldar) because I look at the table, consider it won and stop trying. I lacked the fortitude to finish the job. On the other end of the spectrum, I have won games where I am being absolutely brutalized by my opponent but they pulled the above mistake and I doggedly kept pushing for the win. This is the most satisfying win as the look of shock on your opponent’s face is priceless (Game 2 Ard Boyz semi-finals, I had 11 models out of my 130 model Tyranid army left alive. I had killed a Dreadnought, 5 scouts and 10 marines. I won on objectives 3-2).
Have the fortitude to stick to your game plan and you will win WAY more than you lose (5-0-1 at Ard Boyz 2010. Looking to go 9-0 in 2011). Sure the dice can screw you but remember, it’s only a game.
Blood for the Blood God!
Just a reminder that the Blood for the Blood God! promotion is underway. The model has been ordered and to date we have raised:
2 pints of Blood and $50 for the Red Cross.
Keep it coming!