Why does wargaming cause me so much stress? It is just a hobby, a barely grown-up version of playing with toy soldiers, created for the sole purpose of having fun. And yet, these days, I seemed to spend almost as much time worrying about wargaming as I do enjoying it.

So, I am resolved that with the coming of the New Year, I\'m going to put the fun back into my hobby by identifying the sources of my stress and eliminating them.

Number 1: The Unpainted Lead Pile. Every wargamer knows what I\'m talking about. The huge box, drawer, closet, or off-site storage facility filled with unpainted miniatures. I suppose it is the impossibility of ever painting all these miniatures, while continuously adding more, that makes me worry about the pile. I would estimate that right now, I have about 300-500 unpainted miniatures sitting in my house, and that is not counting the hundreds I left back in the States when I moved to the UK. The easiest thing to do would be to throw them all away, but I just can\'t bring myself to do that in most cases.
It is time for drastic measures - I have decided that I will get rid of 20% of my unpainted miniatures, accepting that I will never paint them. It\'ll be hard, but I\'m allowing myself to keep 4 out of 5, so I think I can manage it. Then, I\'m going to take The Pledge. The Pledge is an idea that has been floating around the community for sometime, I believe originating on The Miniatures Page. The Pledge basically says that I will paint a specific number of miniatures for everyone one I buy. I will be making a 3 to 1 pledge. I will paint 3 miniatures for everyone 1 I buy in the coming year. I will hold myself to this, to the extent that if I haven\'t painted enough miniatures to buy more, I will not attend a given convention. Although this could spectacularly backfire and cause me even more stress, I think it will make me happier about my hobby in the long run.

Number 2: Basing. Am I the only one who gets stressed out trying to figure out how to base my miniatures? There are just so many different options these days and every game system seems to suggest a different one. Well, no more of it. I have decided that all my miniatures 1/72 and above will be individually based. 1/72s on pennies. 28mm Ancients and Medieval on 20mm square bases. Everybody else on Games Workshop style round bases. That\'s it. Done. I\'m not going to think about it anymore. If I need specific base sizes for other systems I\'ll make temporary bases out of cardboard or I just won\'t play. I refuse to spend anymore time stressing out on the subject.

Number 3: Subscribe to Battlegames. It is just a fun read and makes it easy to be enthusiastic about the hobby. I also want one of those cool folders that holds your whole collection.

Number 4: Play More Games. Amidst all of the painting, research, buying, and rules reading, it is amazing how easy it is to forget to make time to actually play war games. Which is rather silly since it is the whole point. Luckily for me, I\'ve got a mate here at work who is always up for a game (if only he could settle on one genre at a time). I really don\'t think it is important to play loads, just a game or two a month would probably be enough for me, just to remember why I love it so much.

So, that is it. Four little steps that I hope will eliminate stress and make the next year a more enjoyable one for me gaming-wise. That said, if anyone has any other suggestions, I\'m listening.