Friday, October 17, 2014

Finding your hobby again!

For some of you this article is going to seem silly.  For you the hobby is alive and well, and the idea that it will die is a foreign concept.  I used to be you, so I know.  I used to be in my local gaming store at least once a week, if not more.  And even though I hate to paint, I was capable of painting over a hundred models in 2 1/2 weeks for a tournament.  Now though, I'm struggling to find the energy to paint my 7 model Malifaux force.  2CE and I have been talking, and we don't think I'm the only one out there, so I'm going to start a series of articles about what I'm going to do to resurrect MY hobby.
So before we dive into what I'm going to try next, I want to take some time to talk about what my hobby was 3-4 years ago.  I was the guy who loved to just hang out in my FLGS.  I was a fixture.  It
was pointed out to me that I was a leader in the community, as people would pick up games I wanted to play so they could play me.  I didn't like to paint, but would turn it into a social activity that meant I could forget about what I view as the tediousness of painting.  I knew everyone's name in the store, and my friends and I formed a club that was a driving force for activity in the store.  Everything in my hobby was great, and while I certainly enjoyed certain aspects more then others, I was wholly committed.

Roughly 2 and 1/2 years ago things changed for me.  The gaming company that I was mostly devoted to, pushed buttons that I just couldn't abide.  It prompted this blog's existence.  And I found a wealth
of other games to play, that I really enjoy.  But my hobby still died.  I found myself not going to the gaming store anymore, because the community still supported the game I wanted nothing to do with.  So I poured that energy into this blog and supporting those games I did like.  But I lost that desire to push myself into the areas of the hobby that I didn't enjoy as much.  Especially painting and finishing my models.

Not finishing my models.  This is something I see many people are ok with, but my best friend and common opponent is 2nd Class Elitist.  And while I'm not as fanatical about it as he is, I prefer to play with a fully realized army on a fully realized table.  So I find I'm playing less, because the spectacle is missing.

So honestly, what's left at that point?  The part of the hobby that I really enjoy most, concept building.  What does that mean?  I love coming up with an idea for an army or force, and honing the concept within the rules.  Not in a powergamey way, but how to optimize a hammer and anvil style list within the army I want to play.  So my hobby for the past few months has been list doctor for my friends.  Not really fun sounding, huh?  Yeah I'm realizing it's not either.

Now back to what this article is about, hobby resurrection.  Step one is to finish the 3 models I have left in my Colette Malifaux starter.  There is a tourney on Sunday, that while I can't attend 2CE and TokenGamerChic are going to, and he want's to have my force as an option.  Next week, pictures of the finished force.  Until next time.



  1. I enjoy building "themed" forces too, especially if I understand the game mechanics reasonably well. It can be rewarding to help out someone who's trying to learn a new game (or even just a new army/faction) by suggesting certain changes to their forces.

    Personally, I've fallen in and out of the miniatures hobby over the years. Most recently, I got back into miniature painting due to Reaper's Bones Kickstarter (and the accompanying excitement) and my interest is still going strong.

    In the past, when I've been tired of a hobby (anything from painting to MMO games), the best solution I've found is to just take a break - go find something else to do, and come back to the hobby at a later time. Forcing yourself to continue with a hobby never seems to work in my experience, and the whole point of hobbies is to do something you enjoy!

    1. I hear you on that, the problem is when I do play, I enjoy it, it's just finding inspiration. But I'll think on your advice.

  2. This is an interesting post.

    I have to say that I've gone through similar periods and I'm similar in that painting has never been the prime motivator for me either. It's something I do so that I can play good looking games.

    Personally, to fight the apathy, I cleared the decks of my lead pile and no longer buy in bulk so that painting no longer is something that feels like a chore. I also never play unpainted games, to give me that bit of extra motivation.

    I've also that working on a personal project has really helped. I'm slowly building and collecting all the terrain and miniatures I need for one particular game system. Because I'm doing it for myself, I can take time out and not worry if things aren't finished for a while. I've been at it two years now, and only really recently started to play games, however, I've found it really satisfying and my friends are slowly beginning to take interest in the game too.

    I've done other stuff in the interim. But the project is what I keep coming back to in the dry spells.

    Don't know if this helps, but it's an approach that changed my enjoyment of the hobby and has kept things fresh.

    1. Acutally, I completely get this, and it was very helpful. As soon as I get this Crew done for malifaux, I'm going to move to more personal stuff. Keep an eye out there are a couple things I'm excited to try.

  3. Interesting read. :)

    My main gaming buddy and I both saw our own hobby experience transform a few years ago, with each having our own directions (leading to our "You paint it, I'll play it" approach to a number of games. I think the hobby has evolved a lot in the past 10-15 years, especially with several sustainable low model count skirmish games to challenge the notion of mass battle games.

    Compound that with the changes in GW's business strategies, with GW having long been a gateway into the hobby, as well as the ease of getting hobby materials from around the world, it is arguably the most eclectic and interesting time for miniature gamers and painters.

    The key thing guess is when we lose of mojo, getting into something that sufficiently sparks it, be it concepts for a game/line, or a concept of how to dabble into a particular range.

    1. I think you've hit it on the head. The changes to the landscape of the hobby itself, compounded with our own maturation within it, leads to periods of "what next? What am I doing here?" because we want the joys we used to have, but need to find new ways to accomplish them.

    2. I think you are both very right. I'm hoping this series of articles will show that journey, and help others get inspired to look for that enjoyment again.