Thursday, 6 November 2014

Over The Horizon

While I had been considering the move to Spain sometime before I actually did it, I had not really considered the full implications of such a move. A new language, social customs, diet and even eating and shop opening times are obvious differences and things to get used to, but it had not really occurred to me that all my possessions would not be going with me initially. Having only returned to the hobby a few years ago, fortunately the quantity of stuff is not so great as it might have been.

Nevertheless paints, figures, buildings and all the other paraphernalia of the hobby soon mount up. The biggest single entity is what I refer to as 'The Library', which even much reduced after a selective culling a year or two back, is still a formidable quantity of books. Naturally it is the books that I miss the most.

An English Wargamer Abroad

The practicalities of actually gaming in a different country also have to be considered. There are two, perhaps even three, wargaming clubs in Málaga, or near to it. This year sees the start of the second of two wargame shows in the city, so the scene is quite healthy from what I can make out. 

Hispania Wargames 2014 (Alhaurín de la Torre, Málaga). I could have gone to this show if I had got my act together better... oh well maybe next year?

The problem for me is that Málaga is over an hour away (90km or 56 miles) by bus and the buses do not run very late, added to which I work afternoons and evenings. Fortunately at least one club meets at the weekend, so that is somewhat convenient to say the least. 

'El Caballero' (The Knight) from the 1650 miniatures range...
yes I thought Don Quixote when I saw him too.
Quite a number of Spanish gamers speak some English at least; a facet of the generally Anglocentric nature of the hobby and its books, but a facet which is quickly disappearing as games and rule sets in Spanish become more evident. From what I can make out the Spanish gaming scene is one of growth and while 'foreign' systems predominate (Flames of War, Games Workshop etc.), Spanish systems such as 1650 Capa y Espada (1650 With Cape and Sword - a particular favourite of mine) are beginning to appear.

The Spanish are also very social and welcoming... Benito (aka Anibal Invictus of Gaming With Too Fat Lardies) has already offered to get his pals together for some SCW gaming when I eventually visit Madrid (a mere 600 km away), as well as offering an introduction to some more local gamers, which when I get settled I can hardly refuse to take him up on even if I wanted to. I doubt very much if it will be the only such offer, judging by my experiences so far here.


Fortune has smiled upon me and thanks to the support given by my new employers I was able to score a fair-sized apartment within minutes of the beach and town. Rent is fair and while pay is generally lower than in the UK in comparison, the cost of living is proportionate, with the added bonus that heating is only a consideration for two months of the year at worst and not every day even then. I share with a non-wargamer, but then you can't have everything I suppose!

Somebody once pointed out to me that every silver lining has its cloud and that is certainly true in this case. Having little work allowed me far more hobby time than previously and now the reverse is true. While the apartment I'm renting is roomy, storage space is somewhat limited and of course 'my territory' as opposed to 'shared' areas limits this further.

Something like this is what I fear.
As a result what space I have to store figures, terrain and the other hobby impedimenta is limited; at least if I'm not going to have to try to find sleeping space amongst it each night. Some of you will have dealt with this yourselves and be wondering "what's the big deal?", but for me it is a new thing and something I will have to get used to.

I have plenty of room for a desk and bookcase, so the writing and painting side of things will be fine. Gaming is something I will have to do elsewhere, but then that is not unusual to me either, as is the carrying of stuff to and from a club venue. What will be limited is how much stuff I can have... something I have never really had to consider before.  

As you can see from the blog roll, I have limited interests, but those I have cover a lot of ground in spite of that. The upshot is that, at present at least (I don't intend sharing a place forever), I cannot do it all... potentially I never could have anyway. What is needed therefore is a long hard look at what is most important to me and then to focus on those elements. The other blogs I have will remain, but will be altered in their focus once I have determined what I can realistically do.