Unfortunately, I've lost touch with the game

I suppose it was bound to happen.
I mean I haven't played the game in over a year now.

That's my army there in my cabinet... still in the shrink wrapped boxes. The only reason one of them is opened is because I wanted to know what was on one of the vehicle sprues.

It's been a gradual change though. It started with selling my army last year. I had every intention of redoing it with new models and I had huge plans for the new force. I spent lots of time trying to perfect my color scheme and getting all the smaller details figured out. I ordered specific bits and even picked up special resin bases.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and next thing you know, a year has gone by. Now don't get me wrong, I've done lots of modeling and painting... just no gaming. I look at a model now and wonder how I will build/paint it so it looks cool. I make no effort to think of it's in game legality or how effective it is or isn't on the tabletop. The thought doesn't even cross my mind anymore.

I used to build and paint and try to keep it "legal" in terms of game play. You know, only giving models the things they might be equipped with in the game in case I wanted to use them. Now, I do what I want and what I think looks cool.
That's the only criteria I use these days.

It's not bad either. Finally letting go of the gaming aspect has opened up the ability to get into the background and all the cool stuff that seems to be lost in the translation from fluff to rules. Drop the rules and the fluff is so much more.

Who knows though, maybe next year I'll get my army together and try playing again.
I can tell you my focus will be making my army look cool, it may not be legal by any stretch of the imagination, but it will look the part if nothing else.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I don't think that it is per se a bad thing. I usually don't have time to play anymore 'cause of all the work I have to do and my other hobbies, but I still enjoy modelling and painting as much as I enjoy going throuhg the different blogs and warseer to see what other people are doing. I think this is the best part of the game. Gaming has become an issue of who has the best army list and there you loose a lot of the essence of the hobby. I would like to have my Blood Angels guided by a captain, but that would not be competitive. So, I do the same as you, I paint the models I like without caring if they are competitive or not.

  2. Honestly I think the attitude you have there is a good one. I would rather have a cool looking army that an dull as nails, cookie cutter looking army because of game legality or competitiveness.

    So long as it's easy to tell what it is, or quick clarification is given beforehand if needed, everything should be fine. If you opponent has a hissy fit over it, maybe chess is a more attractive option for them.

  3. I agree with Sam. Thats a good attitude to have. The hobby is ours while the game is GW's. We are meant to enjoy it and make it our own. The more we do this and stop focusing and what others percieve our hobby to be then we are on the right road!

  4. Making your minis look cool is part of the fun of our hobby and for some it's all what matters. the important thing is to have fun doing it, there's no point in forcing yourself to do things you don't appreciate doing in your free times/ hobbies. The games will not go away and who knows if in a couple years you prefer gaming to painting :)
    I also take this opportunity to say that GW is just a portion of the cool offers on the market and if you feel inclined to explore new stuff please do you will not regret it, there are lots of cool minis to collect.

  5. Wellcome to the group. i've not played since...i don't remember but at least 6 years. I have the last codex, and try to have my army legal, but i enjoy painting, not playing and i'm happy with this.
    So, i tell you.....Don't worry about not playing, and wellcome to the group

  6. I actually just started playing again, nothing huge but it was enough to spur me on to paint more. It is something you just need to work back into, I think.
    Taking a hiatus from gaming isn't terrible. Painting and fluff is more of this hobby than anything. When you want to come back to it, the game will still be here!

  7. If you're mostly a painter and a modeller, everyone wins!

  8. Welcome to the freedom of creating whatever you feel like :)

  9. Nice post Ron. I really agree with your thoughts. It is all about making up the models, and the story then the actual game. That is how my group plays. It really opens up your options when you can get away from "game crippling legality" and do whatever you cant think of.

  10. I enjoy the painting and hobby aspect, but you know I've never ONCE played and actual game.

  11. I didn't realize so many folks simply "hobby" and didn't worry about the game aspect. I thought I'd be the in the minority for sure with this outlook.

    I knew there were a small handful of folks out there who "just collected the models to paint." I wonder what percentage of the hobby is like this. They don't really play, they just like the models and the hobby aspect most of all.

    Good to know I'm not the only one though.

  12. I fully intend to play with my army "one day", but 1st and foremost I want to model a cool-looking army, and cinematic terrain. It's my understanding that THAT is the root of this hobby anyway.

    Do what you enjoy with your private time.

  13. I think there are those who prefer to just hobby, those who prefer to just game, and those who do both. No one way is right. The beauty of 40K is that it combines multiple things we love doing. Some of us just love doing certain things more.

    I play Apocalypse and only Apocalypse. I have an amazing army that I have painted by three different painters, one a Golden Deamon winner. I just don't have the time to paint to a level I am happy with. I can do it, but it takes way too much time. So I pay for people to paint for me. I generally play once a month and with friends or with the club at the Bunker. It is always a blast and that is why I play. Having fun.

    But I love putting together models, doing some converting and such. Ultimately, if I don't play for a while because of my schedule, I don't care as long as I am still "in" the hobby and sharing it with people.

    Something you do better than anyone Ron.

  14. I keep both painting and modeling goals where I will seem to focus on one over the other for short periods of time.

    One way to incorporate more game play is to get a group of 4 or so guys who like the hobby aspect a bit more and meet weekly to either paint/hobby and/or play.

    Helps keep it fresh for either interest and if they are of like interests the games will be relaxed and "exactly" codex legal can be optional.


  15. I hardly ever play, but I still hang on to the "tabletop legal" composition. Good on you- the models are the meat of the hobby after all...

  16. Ron don't worry too much about not playing, the beauty of our hobby, in that it has a lot of different facets that you can enjoy as individually or as a whole as you want, I used to only paint and model until I was contacted to play locally a few years ago, even now it is a real fact of life that at my age is usually a matter of celebration to have time to play casually and all the joy it produces. about percentages of players vs hobbyist vs painters vs readers it is amazing how big or small that numbers are but remember that they all are meaningless once you take into account that the number that really matters is the 100% satisfaction you get of it.

    to drive the point home: just enjoy what you can and thank your for all you share with the world from it.

  17. I can completely relate to your post. I just discovered the 40k world a few months ago and was drawn into the hobbying but not to the gaming side. I just enjoy reading your blog posts and improving my painting and sculpting skills more than I enjoy trying to learn and understand every nuance of rules.

  18. I love the modeling and only play the game because I have some very good friends to play with (I don't think I'd ever play against a perfect stranger). And I don't think I'd play the game at all if it weren't for the fact that I really enjoy the fluff.

    Even after getting slaughtered in a game, I'm still enthusiastic to start painting up a new squad. I've been collecting a variety of Tyranid pieces in preparation for making a Space Marine Sternguard Squad composed of Tyrannic War Veterans.

  19. On the flip side of not playing any tabletop, I will roast your ass in a game of Dawn Of War :D

  20. i'd love to take my guys out for a fight, but since starting up again I never have. I like painting, i like the 40k world, and i'd probably like playing too - but i don't have the time or a force big enough, and I don't feel I'm missing out.

    (also i tend to build up sets with "cool-looking" options that many of the "serious tactics" sites look down on.)

  21. I haven't played more than 4 or 5 games over the last 3 years. I spend almost all of my hobby time painting and building too. i have never intend to do commissions but i may have to start selling stuff just to make room for anything else. Last year i built and entire modular city fight table that i still haven't used in a single game. I should really talk to my flgs about maybe providing terrain for tourneys or something just so my stuff gets used...

  22. I've pretty much reached the same point in my hobby life, with virtually no regular free time and hardly anybody in the direct vicinity that still plays the game it becomes challenging to get those games in.

    Secondly I find I both enjoy the building and painting of the hobby more and the hobby in general since I've shifted away from trying to build a large force. I have enough stress in my work life, don't want to mix it with my hobby antics. For example I did a rather (in my opinion) nifty Chaos Spawn conversion a few months back, but never got around to finishing it due to the utter pointlessness and unlikelihood of it ever seeing use. These days I'll simply put it together, paint it up and give it a nice place in my display case. Not having to 'worry' about how a miniature will fit in has made things so much more relaxed for me.

    Just being able to roll with a cool idea, colourscheme of fluffy concept made a huge difference for me. I had pretty much reached the point that I was going to step out of the hobby, but it seems I've gone back to my roots with just painting and mucking about with toy soldiers, rather than lugging them half over the country every two weeks to get a rushed game in.

    I do find that, especially after moving over from being just a forums guys to also checking the blogsphere on a daily basis that there are a lot of people out there truly focused on just the 'artsy' side of the hobby. It was rather suprizing for me that there were so many non-players out there. Makes me slightly less sad about my own, hidden little hobby corner ;-)

  23. I am just getting back into the game after having a loooooong period of moving into a new county and settling down into a new job. So now everything is (more or less) in place I can finally crack on with a new army. It helps I have the incentive of the student nationals to keep me motivated, oh and I really want to use it to practice all the new painting techniques I have been reading about on blogs such as this.

    With 6th edition just round the corner, there has never been a better time to start afresh!

  24. I think that's the beauty of this hobby. It has many facets and you can choose what suits you best. I think it's natural to be drawn towards different aspects of the hobby. I myself have been drawn more towards painting lately and I hardly ever game but still I enjoy 40k as a hobby. Lately some friends of mine have started a BFG campaign so I did revisit Specialist Games. Previously I would be woried about covering all aspects of the hobby but now I just let it flow and I do what pleases me.

  25. Hey man I got into this hobby not because I can play (I live in a town that's pretty small with NO other Table Top players for at least a hundred miles) but because I wanted to learn to make figures look cool.

    You do some really good stuff with a paint brush and you're kind enough to share. Do what inspires you, not what's expected of you

  26. This is so cool to see how everyone takes the hobby and makes it what they want and not worry about what it should be or what others think it needs to be.

    Alec Peters: I love playing Apoc for the freedom that comes with it. It just feels so much more relaxed than the regular games of 40k.

    BDS: Good idea. We have that near with our local group. When I can get out, all I talk about is the modeling and painting aspects. I still don't game much.

    woroxon: Thanks. Since I'm getting more comfortable with not playing and focusing on the parts I love about the hobby, hopefully that will translate over to the site too.

    Hephesto: That's what I do too. I paint up something cool and then set it in my display case. That becomes the goal, to get it the way I want it to look without having to worry about the playability or doing anything else with it.

    disel24: That can be hard for some folks to do. I started out playing and playing to be competitive (or at least making lists that were "good") and have slowly migrated from there. It can be hard to let go of that... but once you do, it's very liberating.

  27. I find that when I try and take into account what "I need" for my army to play, I stop getting modelling things done. Running a semi-competitive 4-month escalation league, participating in it, then spending Christmas season selling the stuff like a daemon also hasn't helped my interest I'm afraid.

    Lately the challenge of creating something out of second-hand purchases has been engaging me the most, actually. And you don't worry so much about playability when you got 2000pts worth for $40CDN + a pack of bases.

    I often feel like the full retail costs of the game requires engaging in both the hobby and gaming aspects to "get its money's worth".

  28. HarmoniuosBorealis: It's interesting you mention the idea of getting your money's worth in all of this. I never really looked at it like that.

    I do like the idea of putting together a second hand army though. That sounds like lots of fun.

  29. I had to chime in here... I feel the EXACT same way about this hobby. I have been struggling getting an army built and painted over the past two years but have not struggled with just enjoying the hobby side of it. I also just want to paint miniatures and make them look cool, scenic displays, etc. In fact, once my Templar army is done, I plan on just painting for fun/competition. I too enjoy making crazy setups that wouldn't be legal on the table but sure do look cool. I have probably spent close to a grand in hobby supplies and own just about everything vallejo, liquitex, and various other hobby brands have to offer. I literally have a mini hobby shop in my house lol. That being said, if it makes you happy, it's all that matters.

  30. NeoBiggs: I too am building up a small hobby store with all the supplies I buy. I think lots of people struggle with this because it's a game and not playing seems to be wrong maybe?

    I mean really, what other games out there do you buy and then not play?

  31. At first the game started out as just a game for me. My painting skills were horrible at first. I used to (and still do) stay up late every night just gazing at the beautiful pieces on coolminiornot and was just blown away by how good everything looked. It was then I realized that I am very much into the hobby aspect of 40k and miniatures in general. I used to build military models as a kid and was very good at drawing. I look forward to painting competitions more than gaming competitions at bigger 40k events so I think it says it all right there.

    Drop by and check out my progress...

    Being my first army and rushing it I am getting a lot of positive feedback but I am not happy with them at all lol. I look forward to being able to sit down and take my time on individual pieces/displays so that I can really make something worth mention.

    I will say your site has inspired me to want to create a blog dedicated to hobby/painting side of miniatures as well.

    I agree on the point of buying games and not playing them. Look at Space Hulk lol. That game probably was bought more for the miniatures rather than the game itself. Anyway, I tend to think if it makes us happy, then who cares. Just think of how many people out there aren't happy.

  32. NeoBiggs: See, now I would buy Space Hulk for the game alone. The minis are cool, but I love playing that game with its mechanics. Of course I'd want to paint the minis, but the game is where it's at for me there.

  33. I don't have a massive amount of time to play to be fair but always like to think about how an army would play whilst painting it even if I will prob never use it as such. Though I have stopped worrying about WYSIWYG I model my assault marines from my blood angels with infernus pistols because I like them more that way they feel more cohesive as a unit but if I play them in a game I just say "these guys have melta guns" or this dark eldar warrior with a sword is just a standard warrior being fancy.

    I would hate to be in the inverse position of always playing never painting because I really dislike having unpainted units on the tabletop it sucks a bit of the soul out of a game and brings me back to the reality of playing with toy soldier not commanding a battle line.

  34. Darkenedsquire: I think no matter how you play your army, in the end folks are just looking for a little consistency and respect. If you don't have everything on a model, but you're upfront and very clear with who has what and make no effort to hide or trick someone, you shouldn't have any issues.

    I too like playing with painted models myself, especially if it's on a nicely done board.


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