Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Being a pushy Dad...

If you've been reading thus far you may well understand that my addiction has, in part, been renewed by my Son's interest in 40k. Despite my suggestions to go for Space Marines he went with Tyranids, so I let him have his head with it. Somewhere along the line I thought/insisted I was supposed to be painting them. With a horde army the very thought my son would be painting all these miniatures by himself never crossed my mind and certainly not at those prices!

Perhaps you see the fundamental flaw with this scenario. I am actually removing one of the key aspects that make 40k fun, the very aspects that captivated me as a child. That's not to say I haven't encouraged him to paint figures. We've spent a good few sessions sat painting. I would ask for his help with putting on basecoats, he'd put on 80% of the colour and then I'd come along and neaten all the edges and catch any missed bits on the remaining 20%. When you're doing 12 Termagants at a time this can be dull and I understood this so I'd have a selection of High Elves from my old WFB days for him to paint as he saw fit.

I enjoyed this, his efforts really helped speed things along and I know it became tedious after a bit but the spare figures for him to do as he wished, to learn the skills was the perfect solution or not. Because there is still a chasm between his interest in the hobby and mine. My wife has asked how I would have felt if my Dad had painted all my figures as a child. I honestly believe I'd have been happy. I know I'd have loved for him to pass on the skills to paint if he had them but I know that this fails every time with my son. If anyone knows what it is like to try and teach their child to swim, or ride a bike it's much the same. Tears and tantrums, no amount of listening or trust and frustraion all around.

Suffice to say much of the year I've struggled to find out truly what it is that inspires my son about 40k, I still think it is partially down to being competitive with his cousin. I've asked him if me painting the figures is a problem, in which case I'd stop and he could do them, but he said he was fine with it but would like to paint some for himself [which is what I thought we were doing but clearly my judgement has been 'clouded' on this from day 1]. I've tried to get him to generate his own army lists which was like drawing teeth and when asked if he wants to go to GW 'dunno' is the usual response and to game at home has frequently been a flat 'no'!

So I'm now at a stage where I was thinking of asking him what next for his 'nids, let him lead the decision making We've a healthy hive-fleet, anything new is just frosting - a new Brood Lord, some Hive or Tyrant guards maybe those Warriors to do some Shrikes or at the least a few my 'gants just in case the Tervigon gets broody... or whatever random creature floated his boat. Maybe he'd even help me with some terrain...

Now my wife was talking about Christmas and I kind of suggested she ask him if he wanted anything from GW. I nip downstairs to do the dishes and by the time I come back up he's gone to bed and she's had a chat. It seems he would like some GW stuff only he wants to 'discover it all for himself', bottom line he wants to get a few Eldar and paint them up for himself and I'm to keep out of it!

Of course I'm immediately thinking he couldn't have chosen a more difficult force to paint but that's his choice. Where that leaves the 'nids I've no idea but it's clearly an important lesson for all gaming dads.