Thoughts from an aging hobbyist

As an aging Miniature War-Gamer, Role Playing Gamer, Maker and general creative hobbyist I have always found myself on the edge of one pastime or another with multiple irons in several fires at one time. Over the decades of being “in the hobby” of basic geek-dom … I have felt different from family and others I grew up with. But on further review as I look back from 50+ years of age… I see that I am not that much different.

My medium or focus may have been different, but obsession with themes and ideas isn’t really that far removed from a stamp collecting gardener / diy crafter or an automotive mechanic / hobby race car enthusiast. Or a motorcycle riding / fishing enthusiast / machinist. They all have passions – WE ALL have passions. As I get older I try to remember to take the time to “SEE” and appreciate what I can from others – friends and family – and what they are passionate about. I find the more I look and appreciate … the more I see how much we are the same within our own lives and hobbies.

Over the last nearly two years of COVID induced life and hobby isolation I have been finding different truths about my own hobby – what I enjoy and what is really just occupying my time out of some compulsion or addiction. This hobby addiction isn’t always that great for a creative mind – especially one that is addled and non-linear as my own. As an … ADHD hobbyist? / Schizophrenic shiny mini disorder? / Multiple hobby personality disorder?- I generally travel from one hobby to another based on that particular moments interest (SQUIRREL!).

I have come to the conclusion that I really don’t like to paint armies anymore – 5, 10 or even 20 of basically the same figure for a unit in an army is just bullshit to my mind lol. I have painted quite a few armies for 40k in my time – but the last Ad Mech and Drukari armies I have worked on (still unfinished paint and assembly) are just at a stand still. When I got tired of looking at even the 5 mini squad I had to set them all aside. This lines up with my lack of real enthusiasm for war-games at the army level. I really enjoy skirmish games – with maybe 10 models to a side lol. Typically, these factions are all painted as individuals and I can flex some creative skills when building these groups.

I also like working on “Projects” big figures or dioramas – even titans for games like 40k are fun. I just don’t see myself painting another army for a big war-game like 40k. I have 50,000+ points of painted 40k Eldar… including titans. It isn’t like I need more armies. My current thinking has me selling off anything for 40k that isn’t assembled and painted. After that I will start selling off things that are painted. My intention is to keep my core collection of Eldar – and painted groups of Ad Mech and Drukari. The unassembled and unpainted will be sold off. I want to turn my focus entirely away from these types of things and back to the stuff I not only love to paint but also love to play… OR want to play.

I want to get back to getting 2 factions of all the games I want to play painted (Epic 40k, Infinity, Arena Rex)… so I can get more games played with family and friends – without having to worry about minis being assembled and painted. Mini games and of course the slot car stuff.

I have been reviewing my past “State of my Hobby” posts over the years – and I really think that I set off with good intentions – about changes or trends of my hobby life. I have seen when I have just a couple years ago I have banged out full Dark-Age factions in a couple weeks. Or even an entire Epic Guard army … so I know when I have passion for something I can get it done. Trouble is that most of the 40k stuff has been in a constant churn of change – rules or codexes changing everything every 4-5 years – my armies just get assembled and painted and the rules change and I end up tweaking lists and relearning core rules and codex creep and all the rest. I am just done with that circus.

I backed One Page Rules Patreon – they make simple alternative rules for games like 40k. I plan on trying those rules out with the armies I have painted. I will be getting off the GW pay to play carousel … with having to keep up with the codex and rules creep for a set of rules that don’t need to rebalance with the monthly release of a magazine. Along with gw stuff – I have jumped in on several indi skirmish games I want to create factions for (Reign in Hell, Zona Alpha, Star Grave, Forbidden Psalm & Four Parsecs from Home to name a few). I want to tinker with terrain and buy whatever figures I want to build and paint lol … without having to build armies with 30-40 or more figures to make an army or faction.

I want to lean into my nature – and be able to have smaller bite sized hobby projects in the future… and to have the time to paint as well as to PLAY.


2 responses to “Thoughts from an aging hobbyist”

  1. Excellent food for thought! There are too many excellent skirmish games out there to waste time painting armies for a game that feels like a chore.

    My local group recently attempted a 40k Crusade campaign, and about 2 games in switched back to Grimdark Future instead.

  2. […] Thoughts from an aging hobbyist @ Torg’s Blog – This is a really cool post. I like reading about what other people get out of the hobby. I like reading about what they enjoy and what puts them off. I can sympathise with the reluctance to paint big armies, as evidenced by the fact that I have not even touched the 30 Chaos Warriors that I primed a month ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your hobby! I really enjoyed this article. […]

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