Monday, 5 February 2018

Getting back on the hobby horse

Just the other week I was painting hundreds of miniatures to use in epic battles on my tabletop. Why? Because I'm a really big Games Workshop fan of course!

But, somehow, I wasn't and... no, I'm actually not, not really, not any more, not for quite a while.

The reality is that time's passed. A lot of it has! Without me even noticing my hobbying has become an activity in my dim and distant past. It's been years since I painted a model properly and even longer since I played a Games Workshop game. I've enjoyed board gaming over the last couple of years, some of those had minis, but they're nothing compared to the scale, scope, dedication and tactical depth involved in army collecting, painting and gaming.

I'm out of touch! A lot has changed at Games Workshop during my hobby drought:

  • 40k has gone through two major updates and seen many new and increasingly tall Space Marines join the fray.
  • The fantasy world of Warhammer has been torn asunder, becoming Age of Sigmar. In the process, GW have ensured that I feel like a confused grandparent in their store at Christmas, because I have to do a vast amount of research now just to work out what the hell a dwarf is called.
  • Ancient favourites like Necromunda and Blood Bowl are back, sparking those nostalgia circuits to life while containing fancy new models that actually look really good.
  • White Dwarf has become a genuinely interesting publication, packed with a ton of useful content and made by people - real human people, many of whom are actual, passionate fans who get recognised as such, rather than being seen as possible dangers to the great GW mission to gradually kill itself through misery and over-application of Tom Kirby and Alan Merret (least accurate surname ever?).
  • David Soper has now won 237 Slayer Swords and is using them to equip his disciples, ready to act as enforcers for his insane manifesto - 500 hours or more - dictating the minimum time that must be spent by a hobbyist on each single miniature they paint.

In short, it's an exciting time and Games Workshop seem to be rather good again. They've remembered how to be a company I feel ok giving bank notes to. This is handy, because I'm back in!

The buzz has returned! I'm eager to cover as many desks as possible with stacks of exquisitely detailed plastic and top up my fading GW knowledge!

So, 2018 is going to be a year of army building. Here's the plan!

  1. I'll kick the creative beast that lurks inside of me out of its slumber. This foul creature will be put to work constructing and splashing paint onto a great many awesome kits. 
  2. In doing this I'll need to engage my brain to get caught up with what the heck Age of Sigmar is about, and what's new in the 40k universe. I've been doing a ton of reading lately, diverting some of that into full-on GW background nerdery will help me understand the motivations and aims of my new forces (I suspect it will be to fight lots).
  3. And fighting, yes! I'll need to know how to do that so learning new rules will be a thing. Once that's done I'll get into some serious gaming (serious as in I'll understand the concepts behind it, the execution of those concepts will, almost certainly, be far from serious (think embarrassingly silly and you're on the right lines, think Chuckle Brothers in the 41st Millennium and you're probably even closer))
  4. As I'm going to be making these armies and holding onto them, I'll maybe try to win some Armies on Parade type stuff toward the end of the year. This should make me feel warm and fuzzy (or superior and all-powerful) about the way I've spent my free time.

So, that's the plan. I've already gotten started by building a veritable crap-ton of models through January. Many of these were sitting dormant in boxes, some are new things I couldn't resist. I'll start to post updates tracking my army building. First up will be an AoS Nurgle army, which is ready to accept the soothing sweep of my airbrush very soon.

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