The State of My Hobby - Nov 2015
Oh the hobby life of a busy war-gamer. Lately I've had my attention split between 40k and Infinity, though Infinity is nudging ahead. Splitting time between a handful of games, as well as an active social life and hobbies outside of miniatures is quite tricky. Today I've done a good mental exercise that I recommend everyone do, which is a personal inventory of the opinion I have of the games I'm playing, as well as the armies I've been working on for them.
First off, the big kid on the block. I've been a 40k player for nearly 2 decades, and during that time my interest has waxed and waned, as it does for most people... and lately it's been waning. Interestingly, it has nothing really to do with the game itself, I really enjoy playing 40k with my friends, and taking on the most OP crap people can field. What's been killing it for me lately is competition, and more specifically the competitive environment.
I was a huge fan of ITC when it first came out, the mantra of putting on your big boy pants really resonated with me, I don't like comped or restricted games of 40k, and especially disdain house rules to nerf things. I like the game as pure as possible, learning to overcome opponents in the face of insurmountable odds, losing 100 times to earn an amazing victory in the end... and that's how ITC got started. Lately though, it's become incredibly reactive to people complaining on the internet, putting it to vote to outright change the rules of the game to appease the vocal minority of the whiney internet denizens. What ultimately kills it for me is the idea that this system is in place to protect us from the OP lists, yet the armies that dominate in totally unrestricted environments (War Convocation with Drop Pods, Space Marine Super Friends, and Battle Companies) are actually totally legal in the ITC environment! What the crap! Sorry about the bit of a rant, it's something I typically avoid, but I'm just pretty unhappy playing 40k lately outside of my own garage, haha.
So with a heavy heart, I have boxed up a significant portion of my Chaos Marine army, prepped my Imperial Knights for sale, and it was actually pretty cathartic. With over 25,000 points of Chaos Marines, I cut back to only about 14,000 points of Khorne Daemonkin, which has actually helped me stay interested in the game, the amount of models feels like painting the collection is a much more attainable goal, and it has a more unified theme, other than "everything Chaos has available."
This doesn't mean I'm giving up 40k at all, and I'm still working hard on my Hobby Pledge so that my Khorne Daemonkin will be painted and ready to go by the Las Vegas Open, though I probably wont be going (I got invited to go to China for Chinese New Years, so sorry, that sounds amazing, nothing to do at all with 40k, haha).
Great googly moogly, I totally underestimated how much I would enjoy this game. We've recently started playing the ITS missions by Corvus Belli and it has totally changed the game. My collection of Combined Army has been steadily expanding and by the end of the year I'll probably have every model available for the list. Afterwards, I'll be working on a Blade Runner inspired game board and get to painting the Combined, while slowly building up some Yu Jing ISS in the background.
For 2016, I will probably play exclusively in Infinity tournaments. When it comes to competitive gaming, Infinity really takes the cake, the tournament scenarios are written, tested, and iterated upon by Corvus Belli, meaning the people who write the rules to the game are actually writing the rules for the scenarios, what a crazy concept! In addition to the fantastic game balance and well written scenarios, the effort involved in transporting an Infinity army is just astonishingly minimal, especially when you're used to moving around a gigantic 40k army that requires multiple Battlefoam bags, plus a pain in the butt display board.
By the time most of you read this article, the Betrayal at Calth box set will be available to preorder. While boxing up my Chaos Marines, I've realized that I have a ton of 30k resin that I cannot use in my Daemonkin, and that I haven't yet Chaos-ified. Taking inventory of them I realized that it wouldn't take much more than the Betrayal at Calth box to get a solid start into 30k. This is incredibly tempting to me for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the excitement of busting out a Primarch. Don't be surprised if you see me collecting a 30k Salamanders Legion army in the near future!
Dredd and Wrath of Kings have taken a bit of a back seat to Infinity lately, and getting my Wrath of Kings army pledge done in time by the Las Vegas Open does seem less and less likely to happen. I'm only hoping that Obi falls behind on his pledge so that I don't have to wear anything embarrassing in the future, haha. I am looking forward to playing more Wrath of Kings especially, as I do miss a fantasy setting, though Age of Sigmar is actually looking more and more appealing as Games Workshop continues to do an excellent job with the setting. Looking even further forward, I know that the Heavy Gear Blitz Kickstarter is coming on the horizon, which has me both excited, and scared of being swamped by even more models to paint without any more time to paint them. We will see if I can keep my head above water, or if I'll drown in a pool of resin and pewter.
There you have it! 40k is winding down a bit, though definitely not going away, Infinity is dominating my attention, while 30k is coming up the horizon. Damn this hobby ADD, there is just too much cool shit out there to ignore it all!