One thing I always struggle with when the siren call of Games Workshop’s miniatures draw me back into their hobby filled cave is setting goals for myself. Goals that would get me into the hobby fully and keep me engaged long term.
Let me know if any of the following process is even vaguely familiar to you:
- A big and shiny new Games Workshop product is announced, usually a new edition or revamp of a game you dabbled in as a kid.
- The new streamlined gameplay appeals and the miniatures, my god the miniatures look far to good to be real. Also the price is high but not crazy high, you can actually afford it if you budget yourself for a month or two.
- The shiny new product comes out, you run to the store and buy it with exited glee. No awkward, “I’m just killing some time” conversations with the Warhammer Store staff this week. You’re on a mission and the goal is BUY THE THING! (And maybe some paints, and an accessory, okay two to three accessories, and I guess you need a new S Layer brush and those add-on packs could be useful, and, and, and…)
- You get home then dig out your hobby tools and paints box. Some of the paints are a bit dry but they will be fine.
- You build all of the things in the shiny new product, constantly marvelling at the craft of how everything fits together and the crazy amount of detail. YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO USE GLUE ANYMORE!!
- You prime the models and leave them to dry dreaming of the tabletop possibilities they are about to unleash on your pitiful mortal life.
- You start painting some of the miniatures. You’re rusty at first but it slowly comes back to you, Warhammer TV is your favourite YouTube channel again and you are already planning on naming your offspring after Duncan.
- As you paint some of the miniatures you read the rules during breaks and get really exited to play.
- You drag your significant other to the table and play a test game with your half painted and unpainted miniatures. It’s fun but a few rules problems popped up that you need to dig into and your S/O enjoyed the game but clearly doesn’t want to play it again. It is just not their thing, fair enough.
- You pack everything away and don’t look at it until step one rears its head again a year or two later.
It is a depressing and somewhat expensive cycle to be trapped in. For all the advancements Games Workshop has made in their miniature making and game design their products are always a big commitment. Any bumps encountered early in the journey of enjoying them can very easily cause me to pack them away for a later date. When I have more time or when I meet up with my friend who also used to play Warhammer way back when. There is always a long list of excuses not to keep at it when it comes to collecting, painting and playing Games Workshop games.
I could try and engage in activities at my local Warhammer or Games Workshop stores but the faux-friendly/pushy sales tactics always make me feel a bit dirty after a while and I don’t know if I could put up with it for a whole evening. Local gaming groups also have an intimidation factor to them to. I’ve not had good experiences with hobby and competitive gamers in the past. I always seem to encounter the bitter toxic types who seem to inexplicably spend a lot of time and money on something they apparently despise. A temperament I have no time for these days. If I am choosing to spend hours of my life moving plastic people and monsters around a board I want to do it with people whose company I enjoy.
So yeah, the above ten step program has been my hobby life for the past five-ish years. I’ve had some fun times and have got some cool miniatures out of it. (Some of which are even painted!) However there is always something more I feel like I could be doing. A little voice whispers to me* in the dark recesses of my mind, “You know you love this crap, embrace it, go full hobby, bite the bullet and go to your local store for a intro session, sign up for a tournament, do something, anything. Use the things you’ve bought, built and painted for a change. Plaaaaay. Sommmmme. Waaarrrhammmmmerrrrrr….”
So as step one reared its head again thanks to the Soul Wars box and the second edition of Age of Sigmar being released I decided to do something proactive about my hobby burnout cycle. This time things will be different! This time I will truly explore what the Mortal Realms have to offer me!! This time I will play some games of Warhammer!!! This time I will have a plan!!!! This time I will blog about it!!!!!
Here is the basic version of my current path to glory:
- Build the contents of the Soul Wars box
- Read the 2.0 rules and play some learning games with my wife and friends
- Find a gaming group that is not full of asshats, dig deep and attend an event
- Play some actual Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
- Try to indoctrinate my friends into the way of Sigmar so I can play more games with them
- Paint the minis I have
- Be sensible-ish about new purchases
- Keep playing AoS and build a good army or two
Finally the overriding task running alongside all of the above is to blog about my experience to help keep me engaged long term. At least if I burn out I can look back at the blog and try to figure out how, when and why. I might even branch out into the crowded space of Warhammer YouTubing if I can source a decent camera.
That’s the plan. It will be an uphill struggle at first but this time things feel different. Age of Sigmar is a more solidified game these days and the three ways to play system should offer me some fexlability to find my niche within a niche hobby. So wish me luck, fortune and glory as I bumble around in this great hobby once again!
*The voice in my head could be Nagash which could mean I am in a lot of trouble but I’m pretty sure his influence does not extend to our plane of reality. Right? RIGHT?!