Friday, November 26, 2021

Hobby - Opportunities Are Endless

 Every now and then I like to take a moment, step back and see where my hobby is.

I first started wargaming at the age of 14, taking a break once I turned 20 and coming back almost 22 years ago.

In the time I've been back in the hobby I have played DBM (historical Ancients & Medieval), Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Kings of War and then Warhammer 40k again. During all those periods, I played (and organised tournaments for them).

Earlier this year, having played/organised tournament 40k for the past 3-4 years, I dramatically fell out of love with it. The reason behind this was my perception that the mission structure in 9th Ed was incredibly bland - effectively you played the same mission over and over again (YMMV). This coupled with an accelerated power creep and enormous rules bloat made the game incredibly unenjoyable for me. So I stepped away.

Now I have no doubts that with time things will rebalance, added superfluous complexity will be stripped out and the game will become attractive to me again.    

What this space has given me is the opportunity to look at other gaming options. I have dusted off - and built - Ancient/Medieval armies and units, focused on more narrative 40k and even rediscovered Kings of War for Fantasy RnF action.

And that's the thing. There are so many different ways to enjoy your gaming and games to play.

We are really living in a golden age as far as hobby goes.
  • It's more mainstream. More people are playing than ever before. It is less of a geek "secret shame" and more an outlet for creativity and competition. This has been helped by the rise of video games.
  • There are so many more games/figure ranges. More manufacturers, more purchasing options etc. The rise first of Kickstarter and then of 3D printing has opened a myriad of creativity in the hobby.
  • Different ways to play. Twenty years ago everything available fell largely into one of two camps - role playing or army combat. If there is anything that has characterised the past 10 years it is the rise of skirmish games that have a lesser model count than the traditional army conflict.
  • Content creators. A dozen years ago there were probably 3-4 wargaming podcast, now there are hundreds and alongside them have grown the "Youtubers". Now if you want to watch a tutorial on how to do something or a battle report for entertainment then you truly are spoilt for choice.
The biggest constraint now for me is time, rather than options.

Already this year, I have stopped myself on multiple occasions from buying a 3D resin printer - "You neither need nor will you paint all those figures you paint!". I've also had to stop myself buying Necromunda and Kill Team forces - after watching how much fun the guys playing it at my local club are having. Again, a time issue.

We do really live in a golden time for hobby and sometimes if you are not enjoying your current iteration then it really is just a case of looking around and doing something different. You'll never lack for opportunities.

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