My Hobby — A Pre-Year End Review


I’ve had a fairly busy year in my hobby.  And it had gotten to the point that I am really feeling way too spread out.  Yesterday I was reading this blog post… The Dice Abide /Juggling Multiple Games.  I had made mention of similar issues over the last couple years… about just needing to focus on projects and limiting the amount of things I get into.  I have found that just keeping up with the current options is becoming more like work – than that of a relaxing hobby.

In the blog post I linked to – Adam (of the dice abide blog) points out that we live in a golden age of hobby gaming – with great games seemingly appearing every day.  I too have been the “willing victim” of Kickstarter.  And I like many others I am sure have more than a couple bundles of stuff unopened … unpainted or assembled for over a year in my piles of hobby stuff.  Add to this – the re-surgence of GW goodness (Harlequins biggest for me so far)… Blood bowl box release is very close now as well.

Reading The Dice Abide blog post was like a slap to the face.  What the heck am I doing?  I set about with a plan late last year around this time to trim down my hobby stuff.  This was intended to allow me more time to have fun with my hobby lol.  But looking back at the year – I have only made things worse.

I have played a handful of games this year – a few Infinity and a few more Dark-Age games.  Other than that – Bloodbowl this fall in the Ordo League.  I WANT to play more – but I find that I am pretty busy … but also on top of that … I have spread myself so thin on the sheer abundance of choices … that I have a sort of paralysis of choices.  By the example I see on The Dice Abide, that obviously I need to stop juggling so many things and concentrate my time into fewer choices – somehow.

The biggest part of my hobby is the “crafting” – painting , building stuff – and collecting.  I like to paint and build terrain for “someday” table set ups more than anything really.  Unfortunately, the collecting part of the equation has built up a mountain of “choices”.  I find the hobby projects becoming at odds with my time and free time.  The number one goal on the painting / building side of my hobby is to stop the collecting of more.  I need to place a hold on all things that lead to my collection growing.

How? How do I plan to do this?  Well first thing will be to inventory all the “open” projects – and decide which ones I still want to do.  The ones I have not started – and are in a condition to be let go – I need to sell off (probably at a loss).  I feel like I will probably still have more than enough to work on… so the remaining I will need to categorize and somehow prioritize.  Then I need to bag  or box them up with clear labels as to what they are.  At least until I am ready to pull them down and work on them. This seems pretty simple – the devil will be in the details of getting that done in a timely manner.

This is the process I plan to use for the actual games as well.  I have lots of boxed tabletop games – as well as mini-hobby stuff.  I need to figure out how I feel about every one – categorize and prioritize them.  But with these I need to be pretty stern with myself about what I want to play and what I will actually have time for.

On top of all this – the more complex games take brain space to stay on of the rules and things.  I need to balance that with the simple games… or just for fun games.  In mini games that means – Infinity is complex… Dark-Age is pretty simple in comparison as far as rules go.  So having and playing infinity means I have to have time to learn the game – and tactically the game is pretty complex – so I need to PLAY the game often enough to have fun with it.  Same goes for some of the other games I have.  But with Dark-Age, once you learn the basic mechanics – the actual specific rules for each model are right on the cards for your army.  Dark-Age will be a keeper for me for sure.  But I need to put a halt to any further purchases for Dark-Age.  I have 5 factions – I need them all painted before I deep this hole deeper.  Only thing I am open for would be keeping up with book releases.

Infinity, I am thinking I will try to keep around as well – it does provide a nice tactical game when you want something like that.  It is very granular and cinematic… and I can have fun with terrain … and the terrain can be shared with Dark-Age or 40k.  I will cautiously stick with Infinity for now.  But I need to probably cut back on all further spending for it.  At least until I have the 3 factions I have painted… and I am playing it on a fairly regular basis.

The only other games I have been regularly purchasing things for is Warhammer 40k, Epic, BFG and BloodBowl.  I love my Eldar in 40k… but I have not played 40k … in nearly 2 years.  I definitely need to break off all purchases for 40k.  I need to pare down my “needs” for this game.  I am ok with “collecting” Eldar – but I think the rest of my purchases need go away.  I want to build a new Harlequin army … But I need to weigh that against the Imperial Knights, Mechanicus, Genestealer Cults and whatever else I have picked up.  These are all pretty things – but I need to really get a grip on what I would play if I played 40k again.  Right now I have minimal ambition to play 40k.  So I am sure I need to just cut it all back down to the Eldar Collection.  Kill Team stuff would be nice (which is why I have some of the others) – but I have Infinity and Dark-Age – which are great skirmish games.  I need to stay away from Kill-Team unless I play it with Eldar.

Specialist games (BFG, Epic, Bloodbowl).  I have made a minimum of purchases in these areas really.  I need to stop anything additional in Epic until I sort out what I have – and paint them.  BFG, I had been collecting some non-elder fleets so I had at least something to show someone how the game is played.  I have both Craftworld and Corsair BFG fleets for Eldar, and a decent Imperial fleet.  I would like to get at least one more fleet… but for now I will halt this as well.

Bloodbowl… new box set coming in a few weeks.  I have 2 of the older sets.  I have the humans and orks which came with those as well.  I have my Goblins and I have recently played BloodBowl.  But, I find that I just don’t seem to have to time to really play this game enough to not be constantly re-learning how to play.  My tactics and strategies within the games I play really put me at a disadvantage.  I will keep what I have… but I will not be making any more purchases with the new stuff coming out.  It looks great – nice and shiny, the new Blood Bowl stuff.  But just looking at the recent blood bowl league I have been in.  Overall, I don’t have fun playing the game.  Especially when compared to the times I have played Infinity or Dark-Age.

The other few things are the board games and a couple Kickstarter games.  The board games, I will keep what I have – they are self contained games so no big deal with that.  This is Not a Test – just got this – looks like fun, I will try to hold on to it for now.  But it needs to be the last game I pick up until I deal with everything else lol.

Looking to next year, I want to focus on getting more game time.  I want to get more time with Infinity to finish out this year… so I can make a better decision about it’s future within my hobby going into next year.  I really want to pick up Arena Rex – the figures are beautiful – but right now I would need to ditch a game to do it.

OK – well I have gotten that off my chest.  More of a rant post but it needed to be said… at least out loud lol.



3 responses to “My Hobby — A Pre-Year End Review”

  1. Haha, I’m glad this was as cathartic for you as it was for me!

    If you go back even just a few years, it was easy to limit yourself based on aesthetics. You picked the factions and games which had the models that spoke to you. Lately though, we’ve been through a renaissance of miniature design, thanks to 3d printing helping these companies make more detailed and complex miniatures than were ever possible using older technology. I had a conversation with a buddy of mine who put it best, “buying miniatures is the easiest part of the hobby, of course we have too many.”

    That simple statement actually says a lot. We spend so much time planning different army lists, then we buy the miniatures to run that list, but often times, the models sit in their box, waiting for us to execute. We get our serotonin hit when we buy the minis and they show up on our door step, but the next steps are incredibly time consuming. I remember as a kid being excited to have $12.50 to go buy a box of plastic mono-pose plague marines. As we’ve grown up however, many of us can afford to buy much more than we could, it’s our childhood dream come true. Want to buy a chapter of Space Marines? Odds are, you actually have the means (or at least the credit) to do that, right now, no problem. We now have the opportunity to get all the plastic toys we’ve dreamed of, but few of us actually have the time to devote to what happens after clicking “check out.” Some people I know always say I’ll regret selling models, but it hasn’t stopped me in the past, they’re (mostly) not irreplaceable relics, and if at some point down the line I can justify the expenditure of time, I can get them again, and probably do a better job painting them than last time.

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