Two Hobby Victories and a Thought

So the last month or so of my life has been a total blur.  As well as baby-wrangling I’ve been battling against house-unpacking and marking people’s assignments (which takes WAY longer than I anticipated) to try to get just a little bit of game stuff done.  Now the house is pretty much habitable and I’ve managed to steal some tiny hobby victories:

Victory One: My regular opponent Cap’n Stoogey and I are going in a 1200 point doubles 40k tourney in a couple of weeks, 600 points each.  For the first time his Ultramarines and my Guard will be fighting side by side.  600 points is not much and we aren’t aiming for the top tables so we just decided to choose a few must-have units that we really wanted to field.  I’ve mustered a rag-tag band of misfits – two squads of penal legionnaires, my ogryns, and my demolisher Anathema led by a Primaris Psyker.  In fact this little army has really captured my imagination, and got me thinking about a full-sized force of penals, abhumans and psykers, supported by assault battle tanks.  I think an army like that would be fun to play and really capture the weird undertone of the Imperial Guard fluff that lurks underneath the “normal army dudes” surface.

Victory Two: After unsuccessfully scouring every art, hardware and car store in town (and the internet) for matt finish spray paint for my Night Goblins I noticed a street art and graffiti shop hiding up some pokey little stairs in the city centre.  They had 200 colours imported from Germany for ten bucks each, and the guy even threw in a smaller nozzle for free for detail work.  It was just an amazing lucky break.  Anyone who’s been to Canberra knows that shops like that don’t exactly grow on trees here so I hope they stay open.  The owners were super-cool and there was all this loud hip-hop and mad pieces on the walls yo, and I felt like a total dork buying graffiti paint for my Night Goblins.  I just kind of pretended I was an aerosol artist (despite having no real idea how an aerosol artist looks or acts).  It was awesome.

Oh yeah, I was listening to the D6 Generation’s 100th episode the other day and all three of the hosts (who are crazy hard-core gamers compared with me) were saying that they were past the point where they could ever see themselves buying an army for an army scale miniatures system ever again.  Not just GW, but any army sized system (I think they specifically mentioned PP, Battlefront and something else as well as GW).

I know how they feel (uh… despite what I just wrote above!)  It made me think about this post where I suggested that all these miniature games companies have really jumped the shark if you’re an adult gamer with grown-up responsibilities.  And by responsibilities I’m not just talking kids either, I’m talking real jobs and other games to play.  All of these things make the demands of games like 40k and HoMachine seem ri-godamn-diculous.

I’m genuinely curious about how the demographic will change in the future.  Are we stepping boldly into a world where Little Lord Fauntleroys with weatlhy absent parents play vast games of Warhammer against each other, while the rest of us whip out our phones or throw down a quick skirmish game?  Who knows?

Till next time.  Hopefully I’ll have pictures from the tournament 😀

5 responses to “Two Hobby Victories and a Thought

  • Frontline Gamer

    Glad to have you back James and I’m glad the move went well(ish). As for your hobby wins… GET IN THERE!!! We have a couple of graffiti shops in my home town and I’ve popped in once or twice. The range of colours are amazing as are the finishes. Never brought anything though, but always planned too.

    As to the whole big army thing… I’ve said for a while now it’s not just cost that stops people but time too. I’ve even heard spoiled kids in GWs say that they haven’t got the time to paint armies anymore. Why? Schools are demanding more work, they’ve got online games to play and friends to hang out with.

    I think the ramping up of scale of games like HoMachine, FoW, 40k, WFB and indeed the games from Mantic might be a mistake. The whole paint range idea from GW is about making speed painting to a good standard easier… great! But have they asked anyone whether that’s what they want? Because I’m not so sure it is.

  • Von

    I said before and I’ll say again, I wouldn’t be able or willing to start a new army for anything. I’m only ticking over in WFB ’cause I’m adding bits to what I already own, and I don’t like the way WM/H is going either (losing its sense of ‘playable at 15 points or 50’ and driving for BIGNESS in all things).

    I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t have grown a pair and stuck to 10mm for battles and 28mm for skirmishes. I know what works.

  • James S

    @Frontline Gamer, thanks, good to be back.

    Interesting point re: the paints. You know, I’m not sure speed painting is what people actually want. I’m trying to paint my Night Goblins as quickly as possible right down to the materials used, but really that’s just an experiment. I love painting models to as high a standard as I can get. That’s what the joy of painting is for me. I just find it hard to believe that there are people out there who are all “wicked! I love lining up seventy blood angels and all my required colours and painting them by numbers! Thanks GW!”

    GW have really painted themselves into a corner (heh heh). The games are so massive that no-one has time to paint the models needed, so to keep people playing they have to change the painting culture to one that accepts repetitive step-by-step formula-following as the norm. That is the dead opposite of the way I approach painting and what I want from it as a creative activity, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

    Of course there’s a solution to all this: Play smaller games. They’re better anyway 😉

  • James S

    @Von I know what you mean. I only played Epic a few times when I was a little tacker (back when it was imaginatively named “Space Marine”) but I still remember the battles and the sense of being a real general that only waves of infantry stands and Monopoly-car-sized tanks can give you.

    28mm used to feel visceral and up-close, and now it feels out of control at the standard point sizes.

    Remember when they tried to get people to buy 54mm models for Inquisitor? I still reckon the main reason it never caught on is that the model size was starting to stray into action-figure territory, and people felt a little uneasy about it 😀

  • sinsynn

    I had a thought, once.


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