A bit of hobby navel gazing today as I sit in the garden with a table full of rule books. There’s no arguing that this is a pretty good period for wargaming, with more manufacturers and rulesets to choose from than probably any period in the past. In many ways it’s actually a little too good for the older hobby pack-rat like me who is literally scurrying from one system to the next spoilt for choice. I’m still exhibiting the behaviours of a legacy 40K collector, where the norm was often to collect multiple armies and almost certainly every Codex.
The thing is, the rules changed a while back without me noticing and by that I’m not referring to the rules of 40K. Prices ballooned and I came to realise that collecting more than one or two armies for a game the size of something like 40K just isn’t the expected norm anymore. More likely the current model is to put all your hobby eggs into just one basket investing in a single army, really pimping it out as your own. I suspect this is why all of those limited edition Codexes have been so popular of late. To be honest I just didn’t get why anyone would pay more just for a different format of cover. But that’s because I was still just seeing it as one Codex in many that would need to be purchased. In reality of course most new collectors are probably looking at collecting just one army at a time and splashing out on a more characterful book for that army suddenly doesn’t seem so odd. Expensive yes, but understandable to me.
What is the point of all this preamble? It got me thinking about my approach to collecting and gaming in the wider context, i.e. Not just 40K. Although I almost certainly paint faster and more efficiently than I have done at any other stage in the past, I also collect for more games than I did a decade ago; a LOT more games. The inconvenient truth is accepting that I just cannot collect everything for every game I currently play. Funding aside there just wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to paint them all. Or space to store them for that matter. This may seem somewhat obvious, however for a collector like me that has been in the hobby well over thirty years it’s a shift in mindset that takes some adjusting to.
In practical terms this means quite a large number of projects (and by projects I mean armies) are going to have to be canned. Permanently. That equates to the greater portion of my 40K collection as well as all of my Battlefleet Gothic and Fantasy Battle. Epic will also be getting culled, which may come as a surprise to some knowing how much I have invested in the game, but to be fair I have more than enough that I should really let the excess go. There are others but not significant enough to mention here. I won’t be selling these off in one big lot, but I will look to offload in increments over the coming months and years in order to bring in a steady stream of new funds which I can reinvest back into the games and forces I am playing.
And what might those be you ask?
At the top of the list has to be Flames of War. In many ways Battlefront’s 15mm World War Two game has replaced 40K as my big table game this past twelve months. I find it more engaging, interesting and I have found the scale to be a real sweet spot for me painting wise. The same applies to Hawk Wargames Dropzone Commander which has also captured my imagination on the Sci-Fi front. Dave Lewis’ announcement at Salute that he is developing a ‘fleet’ scaled companion game set in the DZC universe in conjunction with Andy Chambers just underlines the reason I need only one fleet type game. Hence why Gothic is getting offloaded and yes, that does potentially mean I may sell off my Babylon 5 as well.
Even though I don’t regularly play 40K anymore I’m still very fond of Games Workshop’s ‘grimdark’ universe, so I’ve selected two forces to carry on painting purely for the pleasure of it and to use in seventh edition. Everything else however I shall be retiring.
This of course also means a large number of outdated rule books and Codexes will no longer be required freeing up literally acres of shelf space (ok, maybe I exaggerated a wee bit). Either way, I’m finally accepting that times are changing and needs must I’ll have to change with them and let go of those games and armies that I am realistically never going to finish in the foreseeable future.
Now that I have that off my chest what is actually going on painting wise?
Two themes are dominating the workbench currently; World War Two and Middle Earth. On the Flames front I have been finishing off an SS Scout/Tank Hunter platoon and a pair of Sdkfz 7/1 anti-aircraft guns. Bar some final pigment weathering they are actually done and I’m just waiting on some Army Painter matt varnish to finish. Unfortunately it’s part of an order with Wayland that’s been outstanding for weeks due to supply issues. That’ll teach me to order anything straight after Salute! I’m also just starting on some scratch build anti-tank pillboxes as well to go with the HMG nests.
Middle Earth wise, more Mordor Orcs. Nothing much to add about those as they are just a side project I chip away at whilst waiting for other things to dry/set/cure. You can never have too many Orcs, apparently.
Stacking up after those will be the Panzers and assault guns, before I dip (probably) back into Mantic’s Deadzone and some Enforcers.
In other words, too many choices!
You will no doubt have spotted I referred in passing to 40K seventh edition and that’s because I did pick a copy up over the weekend. Despite my reservations about some of their design and marketing decisions the past few years, when they get a product right they really get it right and in my opinion the new 40K rulebook is a pleasing step in the right direction and a welcome return of the Games Workshop I used to know and love. The other ‘thing’ I’m experimenting with is video to see how practical creating vlogs is using the equipment I have to hand. At this stage it’s still something of a work in progress, but I’m hoping to have the first one on YouTube in the not to distant future once I have got to grips with the editing. It’s all a new area for me so don’t expect too much at this stage.
That’s enough for today, going to fire up the BBQ to make the most of the first day of summer.
Until next time, have a great week.