Is warhammer the ultimate hobby?
Short answer? Its pretty damn close!
We use hobbies as a fun, oftentimes meaningful distraction away from the mundane aspects that come with our working life. As we all know, hobbies can be incredibly varied from the simple act of reading good literature to the complexities of model ship building. Some of these activities are incredibly focused in what they offer while others can appeal to a more broad range of interests. But how does our favorite hobby, Warhammer, stack up with the plethora of time consuming ways to spend our free time? Let’s break it down!
As one of those people who has experimented with a lot of different ways to make the best use of my free time, I’ve dabbled in a lot of different activities and skill sets to try keeping myself from just sitting on the couch watching tv or gaming all day (not that a good video game can’t be a great way to spend some free time). Based on my own experiences a decent hobby should offer you an outlet in at least ONE of the following ways: Social, creative, and/or competitive. Let’s quickly elaborate on these items.
SOCIAL: A lot of hobbies are popular because they allow us to enjoy it with other people. Typically other people are able to be present and participate in the activity with you, although the internet has made it really easy for us to simply engage with others through forums, videos, live streams, etc. However, there is something to be said for face to face interaction. Just about every activity has a social component to it.
CREATIVE: Does the hobby in question allow you bring new material to it in a way that is unique to you? While not every leisure time activity is going to have this, I find that the ones that do offer the most in terms of satisfaction because it often requires practice and in return rewards you with tangible and easy to see gains. How many of you have had a friend who spends their free time painting or wood working and been impressed with their talent? Ask to see some of their earlier work and you’ll see what I mean. A hobby with a creative outlet will often give you some drive you didn’t know you had.
COMPETITIVE: Healthy competition often helps give some purpose to what we spend our time on, and measuring yourself against your peers can not only give you a sense of direction on how to improve but also an enormous sense of satisfaction when you do well. Most people know that I’m somewhat of an avid runner. Aside from the health benefits, the real reason I enjoy it so much is because I love to compete and there are always races going on somewhere. When you sign up for a competition in your chosen hobby, it oftentimes brings with it a ton of motivation.
Games Workshop systems like 40k not only offer all three of these outlets (which I feel is rare) but truly excel in delivering them. I’ve spent quite a few afternoons assembling and painting my tactical marines with a buddy working on his latest Leman Russ battle tank while we talk about our favorite Horus Heresy books or how our recent matchups against the local tau player went. On a weekly basis I meet with a friend from work who I’ll also be going with to Grand Forks, ND to bring 2,000 points of Dark Angels for my first grand tournament. My new favorite aspect of 40k is finding unused bits from other kits and finding unique new ways to include them with other models. At the time of this writing I’m incorporating unused bits from a Ravenwing Darkshroud with a Predator tank to make a murder shrine on treads, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Finishing a model that’s unique to my collection gives me a sense of accomplishment that I simply don’t get from past times like playing a video game.
Tabletop games are always going to have the stigma of being something that caters exclusively to nerds. But people are not only really missing out on one of the most engaging and cathartic hobbies I’ve ever participated in, but possibly one of the most engaging and diverse communities I’ve ever been part of. Just go on twitter or the 40k subreddit and you’ll see a host of different and interesting people who are all united at the tabletop. This doesn’t mean that Games Workshop is the cure all for boredom. It can be, after all, a VERY expensive hobby. Like everything else, its important we keep the things we enjoy the most with just a little moderation in mind. Make sure you’re getting some sunshine in between models and certainly don’t eschew the essentials to a happy life so you can buy just one more piece of that sweet plastic crack.
How did you get suckered into this plastic past time? What keeps you coming back for more? Let us know!