Plastic Crack of Choice

Another guest post from Chris (@Darth_Crumble) who was inspired by a post from a fellow warmonger on their blog. This time Chris muses on his GW hobby or lack thereof and the path it will take…

This post was inspired by this post by Erin, aka @sixeleven, on the difficulty of fully breaking away from Games Workshop:

SixEleven’s Warhammer 40,000 – I Just Can’t Stop Myself

My experience of trying to make a clean break is similar to Erin’s in that I am also haunted my the lure of the GW despite my better judgement. Like him, I feel the lure of the familiar rules, setting and toys. I started really looking at other game systems just under a year ago and I must admit that precious little has appealed to me the way GW – and 40k in particular – have.

I was briefly fascinated by Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars by Spartan Games, but after while I lost interest. I think although Spartan Games have a lot going for them they don’t score well enough on the three branches of background, rules and models to hold my interest. Of the two, I think Dysto has the bigger residual appeal and so far I am opting to keep my Britanian fleet with its HMS Warrior-inspired colour scheme.

Likewise, Warmachine and Hordes don’t quite grab me. Partly because there is no one model range that I like enough to collect an army, as and unfortunately I find a lot of the Warjacks and Warbeasts that are the focus of the games to be the least interesting models to me personally.

The only other game that has really grabbed me recently is Warzone Resurrection by Prodos. This is the first game that has grabbed me the way 40k used to. At least partly this is probably due to their similarities, both being 28mm sci-fi battle games set in a dark future. Though WZR is a very different game, not least because it is a D20 based skirmisdh game. Sadly WZR isn’t released until June though.

A lot of my nostalgia for the grim darkness of the 41st millennium is probably due to my continuing to read Black Library novels. I continue to read the Horus Heresy series, as well as Gaunt’s Ghosts, Ciaphas Cain, Space Marine Battles and one day I might get round to reading the Salamander trilogy. To be honest though, I was already steeped in 40k lore and it would no more cease to be part of my mental landscape than Star Wars, Batman, Transformers, Babylon 5 or any of the other fictional universes which I have enjoyed and have influenced me over the years.

It has been nearly six years since I last played 40k. Since then I have made some abortive attempts to collect and paint up news armies though I have never got as far as rolling any dice in anger. This has had a lot to do with the various distractions and other demands on my time the last six, extremely eventful, years.

The other issue has always been resentment of the cost. The thing about GW being not just the price of individual models, but the number you have to buy. I try not to be too irrational about this. I don’t want to be one of those people who object to a business as acting as such. But the question hanging over any transaction involving GW is whether I will get enough enjoyment to justify the cost. Of course a lot of the answer to that question is actually my responsibility to determine, and relates to how I go about my hobby and make the most of it.

I must acknowledge that GW’s behaviour has been pretty questionable, but there are lots of companies whose behaviour I find questionable but which I haven’t found myself feeling the need to boycott them, so that could just be a convenient excuse. Perhaps it’s just that GW’s brand of evil is a particularly cartoonish one, acting more like a parody of an evil organisation than the real thing.

So I have to ask myself whether I am not going back to GW because I genuinely don’t want to or if I am just being stubborn. Any hypothetical return to GW would involve me identifying an army that I genuinely wanted to collect and paint and play with. It would also need to to commit to collecting sensibly. Not buying so much stuff as to overwhelm myself but not dragging my feet either. It would also require me to not procrastinate and manage my time a bit better. Being a husband and father does make genuine demands on my time, but it can also serve as a convenient excuse to not do things sometimes.

I am of course tempted by the Space Marines, perhaps doing the Salamander or Crimson Fist army I’ve always thought of doing – possibly as #forgeworldonly project. I like the Imperial Guard, but that is genuinely an expensive force to collect and I’m not sure the ‘cheap’ all-veteran armies are actually all that viable. I like some of the shiny new Tau stuff, but I’m disappointed the Crisis Suit has not been updated and I have found Fire Warriors very painter-unfriendly in the past. Any army I do pick would need to have a codex up to date for sixth edition, I’m OCD like that.

Thanks to Erin for inspiring me to get this all of my chest. Maybe some of you other #warmongers have had similar thoughts?

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One thought on “Plastic Crack of Choice

  1. I have had similar problems in the past and because each war game has had to become its own entity within the miniature war gaming space, it’s hard to find a sense of familiarity or consistency within the industry. There is only one 40k, fantasy, warmachine or even dystopian wars(although every spartan game plays the same). I love the war hammer fiction and its hard not to. The setting is dynamic, rich and full of conflict and intrigue. It has had the time to develop where others have fallen flat. What your describing is the power of novels and books, allowing us to explore the deep corners of that fictional universe. Regrettably black library has been the only company making huge strives. Later this year the warmachine novels and novellas should be hitting store shelves. I hold high hopes for them, but at the end of the day we shall see if they are worth our time.

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