Saturday, May 7, 2011
Is Fair the New Good?
One of the major changes to the WFB environment since the advent of 8th edition is the inclusion of units with a huge number of models. This may be driven by the horde rules and how they have influenced the meta-game. The thing I ponder regarding this change is whether or not it has impacted the quality of the armies being fielded. Another way to put it, “Is average the new good?”
I don’t claim to be anything but an average painter, but I do put my heart into my work. When someone gives me a complement, I take it seriously and am very thankful for it. On the same token, when someone criticizes my work, I tend to listen with filters. The thing is either way, I normally get a fair judgment once I account for all of the feedback. I think the same is true when reviewing the feedback given to others regarding their work.
When it comes to feedback that others receive, this is where I am noticing a trend in opinions. It seems to me that folks are being more generous with the complements than they were a couple of years ago. Pieces that are table-top in quality, and labeled as such by the artist, are garnering a lot of positive feedback. While I have nothing against positive feedback, as painting a single model can be a labor of love, I do wonder if this pattern is the result of a larger underlying current.
If we look at the last couple years, the market has enjoyed an explosion of new painting products that have allowed the typical painter to achieve table-top standards in a shorter time and with less effort. Wonderful products like GW washes and Army Painter’s line of dips and spray paints can make the choir of painting that much more bearable. The results from these products can be nice, but rarely would I consider them outstanding or breathtaking. Based on this thought, I am lead to wonder if it is something else that is causing this uptick in positivity.
Maybe the "average is good" trend is the result of the community realizing on some level that the size of the game has gotten to the point that we need to embrace shortcuts if we are to meet the typical painting demands of the hobby while satisfying our own collective ADD. Spending a lot of time on a single model doesn’t seem so bad when you only need 16 of them to play a game. Spending the same amount when you know that you need 100+ more of them can be a chilling reality that freezes the life from a hobbyist’s motivation.
In conclusion, we should embrace the trends in positive feedback that are happening. They help to inspire all of us as we strive to meet our personal goals within the hobby. While we may not all be equals with a brush, we all are companions on the journeys that we take with them. So continue to celebrate this journey and share your feedback with whoever inspires you to continue on the path. For no matter whether it is the destination in the form of a finished model, or the journey itself in the way of various painting techniques, we all like to know what we are doing right at the end of the day.