Friday, 12 September 2014

Out of the Loop

It's strange how much our hobby can take over your life. Three years ago I moved countries without a single model or any hobby paraphernalia, and now I find our small apartment covered in miniatures, paint pots littering every surface and cupboards bursting at the seams. In my enthusiasm to embrace new models and rules I have started three armies, brought a fourth back with me from a trip home, and subscribed to every news feed and blog I could find for scraps of information on when my beloved Blood Angels would be getting their update. So where has this led me? To a place I was previously at over ten years ago when I then left the hobby, though this time I don't have the excuse of studying as an reason to jump ship.

The last time I finished painting a full army was 2009...

So after a few weeks away from reading any blogs, visiting any news websites and generally not lifting a finger on any of my projects, I have been able to re-assess my priorities and analyse my lack of enthusiasm. Was it the glorious long summer evenings distracting me? A change of shift at work reducing my hobby hours? A couple of games of X-Wing filling my gaming needs? No, the cause of my wanderings has been the exponential growth of the product catalog at Games Workshop. No longer is it the case of buying a rulebook, an army book and a box of troops every month or so until you have an army, we now have an overwhelming amount of products released on a weekly basis, all of which need yet another set of hard cover and digital only additions to be "complete". Two months ago I bought the new Ork codex, but half of the information and interesting details are only available in the "supplement" which is the same price again. I left the blogosphere around the time Grey Knights "lite" was released, and have returned to find the "limited" Space Hulk box set has made a comeback. I personally know two folks who bought extra copies in 2009 and left them in the shrink wrap for future profit...

...which was the same year this originally was released.

So where are we headed? I personally won't be buying any more Necrons to add to my now dust-gathering "good deal at the time" Megaforce. I have let the Astra Militarium release pass me by, and was mildly enthused by Space Wolves, but by the time I had gotten around to visiting the store something else was the new "hotness" so I ashamedly fed my spending habit with a couple of paints and some green stuff instead. I have de-bookmarked many news sites, un-'liked' all of my commercial facebook pages, and spent a bit of time playing online games as well as reading a few Horus Heresy novels. The Outcast Dead is now my favourite novel by Graham McNeill, with his depictions of "Unity" era Space Marines bringing me back to when I first discover the Warhammer 40,000 universe twenty years ago. Which is where this slab of introspective text began.

You can almost see the cobwebs...

So what haven't I removed? Blog subscriptions. There are so many amazing projects going on outside of anything to do with Games Workshop that it amazes me how much I was wrapped up in their product cycle. They make amazing models for sure, and have always billed themselves as a miniatures company first and foremost, so I am a little ashamed of how much their rules dictated which models I would buy and how I would paint them. I would sit for days painting models to game with simply because they were cheaper in points or had a certain special rule, rather than actually wanting to paint them. No wonder I was losing interest! As one of the veteran staff members at our local GW said, paint the models you want to paint as you'll still feel good bringing them out of their case in years to come long after they've been passed over by newer rulebooks and competitive players alike. So with a big thank you to Mr McNeill for his novel, and to all who have made it this far down the page, it's back to the 31st millenium for a frantic game of catch up with my diorama in time for a mid-October deadline!


  1. Hi. I think you have a serious case of hobby overload. I was in a similar position last year, when I was sick of GW and all the bile that was being spouted over the net about them. I took a break and started playing other mini games, and gradually over time my enthusiasm for the game re-invigorated itself. Gw has great minis and great rules but if it is all you do and play then like anything you will get sick of it after a while. There is alot of negativity on the net that can poison your view without even realising it. Paint something that excites you and play some different games for awhile and you will find your love of 40k return. It is a great game

  2. Thanks NafNaf I do agree a break from the game and the net has been productive, however I feel more of a long term shift in my attitude which I was struggling to come to terms with. I think the user generated content (blogs, forums etc.) has far outshone the official product line for so many years now that it's really grating to be spending so much money on these models for stripped down rules spread across multiple platforms and releases. I get the same excitement from seeing a polished blog post now that I used to from reading White Dwarf or visiting the store and not knowing what was being released yet, while at the same time being able to spend a couple of years building an army without worrying about what might invalidate it. I am 100% committed to a future in the 41st millennium but I am looking for alternative sources of inspiration beyond the ever narrowing scope of the official releases and pageview hungry news sites. Plenty of cool models still to be painted on my desk!