Hobby Madness

35 thoughts on “Hobby Madness”

  1. You do realise, Jeff, that I won’t be able to sleep now until I find out what your new hobby is! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think I’m probably in agreement with you on this – a lot of suppliers are jumping on the bandwagon and sooner or later demand will peak and drop away. Since I’m an old codger, I’ve been more used to planning, researching and collecting my armies myself, rather than being fed what people think I want. Doing a lot of stuff in 20mm scale has reinforced this, since it is not an “en vogue” scale these days. Do I care? No! Do I enjoy my hobby? Yes, definitely! Do I enjoy reading other people’s hobby experiences? Yes, absolutely! Just go with what makes you happy! And on that note, hope the wedding went well and congratulations to you and the missus! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha, sorry John! I hadn’t even thought of the suspense I was building when I wrote this. I will say that I might be a bit misleading in calling it a new hobby entirely. You’ll probably say, “Oh, that makes perfect sense!” when I lift the curtain on what it is this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

      I don’t know how Warlord Games is because I’ve never bought anything from them but my impression is that historicals are not really prone to the kind of tactics that Games Workshop is favoring now. I’d say they’re all the better for it! Rarity, collector’s editions, and things like that can be fun but they can quickly become problematic and if you can avoid it all, its probably for the best.

      Thanks for the kind words on the wedding. It did go well and I will give it a quick mention in my next post as well I imagine ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent post. This is something I struggle with as well.

    My main hobbies are miniature wargaming and board games. I used to run and play in several fantasy sports leagues for a long time, but gave those up after 25 years to focus on tabletop gaming (especially designing my own miniature wargames, which is what I currently enjoy most). Even though I don’t suffer from any major case of FOMO, I’ve still ended up accumulating more games & minis than I can ever play or paint. It’s that accumulation of stuff that causes anxiety and stress (when am I ever going to play that? When can I get this game to the table? When will I ever paint these minis at my slow rate of painting output?).

    I’ve found that as I get older, I’ve stopped caring as much about what’s trendy or cool, and have tried to narrow my focus to what my close friends and I enjoy playing, and how I want to spend my limited free time. I decided that I’m going to pick a hobby to be my “primary” (miniature wargaming) and one as a “secondary” (board games). That led to me visiting BGG much less frequently and avoiding getting sucked in by too many Kickstarters, and now I limit purchases to just 2-4 board games per year. For wargaming, I’ve stuck to a few periods (mostly fantasy, with a little dark ages & medievals and pulp thrown in for good measure) and all done in 28mm scale (with one exception — 1/72 scale diecast tanks). Narrowing the focus helps me avoid accumulating too many toys in periods I’ll probably never play. You ultimately hit the nail on the head though — QUALITY over Quantity will help you to de-stress and regain your sanity.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I really appreciate your kind words and sharing your experience with this. FOMO hasn’t hit me hard with miniatures either but I think I would be more susceptible to it if I played Warhammer. I really work hard to keep my backlog manageable but I know most people don’t or can’t (and there’s no shame in that). I think your questions about will I really be able to play that or when can I actually get those miniatures done are well worth everyone asking themselves to make sure they don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars in plastic that they’ll never use.

      Its funny you mention your two hobbies as that is actually the direction I’m leaning towards. I’ve realized that board games would let me game more than just wargaming does but it also is something where I can “collect” some board games and when I hit my storage limit, I will get rid of ones I like the least or won’t play anymore. We’ll see if it actually works out that way or if I just traded one hobby for another one with different stressors ๐Ÿ™‚ Either way, I appreciate your perspective and its really nice to hear that others have struggled with similar things.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Firstly, congratulations to you and your new missus! On the whole I agree with everything you’re saying here. I’ve seen plenty of people get burnt out by miniatures painting over the years and most of the time it’s because they feel that they have to “keep up” and can’t. I know I personally buy way more than I can get around to but I excuse myself because this is my only major outgoing beyond the essentials, I’m not living beyond my means and life is to be enjoyed. That said I hate the phrase “pile of potential” and I’ve never looked at a miniature and thought “I’d love to keep that unpainted and unassembled under my bed”.ย 

    As for collecting cards I tend to take a similar attitude to Rogal Dorn in the Horus Heresy novels when pondering why Horus chose to rebel – I don’t understand it and I don’t want to, because if I did I’d probably join in and I can’t really afford that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In some ways I feel that these companies are victims of their own success. If Games Workshop, for example, was to go back to releasing miniatures at the same rate as was already burning out friends of mine a decade ago their fans and shareholders would have a fit. I’m also not sure I agree regarding your point about quality over quantity (although from what I understand I think this might be more applicable to cards?). Sticking with the GW example for familiarity’s sake I remember during the late 2000s when they concentrated their energies almost exclusively on 40k (mostly space marines) and Lord of the Rings whilst scrapping games like Necromunda and Blood Bowl. As someone who prefers these “specialist games” over the Warhammers I fear that a reduction in output would in practice lead to a reduction in choice. Overall then I prefer to see them continuing to produce an overabundance and look to my own willpower and agency to avoid overindulging – even if I’m often not as good at that as I’d like to be.ย 

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks for giving this a read, mate. I commend you for sticking to just one hobby too. That really is a smart thing to do because a lot of us stretch ourselves too thin. I have more hobbies than I should and am probably as upset about the fact that I can’t do them all with the same intensity as I would like as I am anything else. The one good thing about hobbies is that we all can do them differently and hopefully find something that works well for us as individuals. It sounds like you’ve got that to me!

      In regards to GW, I bet in the old days (for me, I’m thinking of the early 2000’s), people were always complaining about why isn’t their army or faction getting new content? GW has tried their best to address that and the rate they produce new stuff is astounding and impressive. Quality over quantity isn’t applicable with GW since they have amazing sculpts. I meant to emphasize that more with the card companies who have absolutely traded quality away for quantity sadly. I do think GW rushes some products to market though and they release way too many limited boxsets nowadays. Those are driving FOMO, well that, and the ridiculous collector’s items like dice that sell out too fast for anyone to get them. I dislike the big boxed sets because they are encouraging hoarding with their really high mini and terrain counts. Some of them would take a year to paint a decent standard and yet, several of those come out in a year. Nobody can keep up with that!

      With that said, the specialist stuff and the boxed games have been great. Out of everything GW makes, those are what actually tempt me gaming wise and I’m so glad that Necromunda and Blood Bowl are being supported. So I guess that makes me a bit of a hypocrite and GW probably can’t win! ๐Ÿ˜€ Regardless, I hope that GW will be a bit more considerate to their customers in the future. They had been doing a great job but they’ve been moving in the wrong direction lately and I hope they can rectify that to help ensure that everyone enjoys the hobby and wants to stick around.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Firstly congratulations on now being a married man! I do hope all went well. An interesting and thought provoking post. For the companies it’s simply all about making money, either they need more to survive in a changing world or more to satisfy expectant share holders. In any event they ain’t going to change any time soon is how I see it. The simple reality is it is impossible to keep up. Even if you have the money to it would be impossible in the case of figure painting to keep pace with painting and assembly. In short, at some point you have to decide to specialise and not spread yourself to thinly, steps I personally took, many years ago. It was a shame to do so because my interests were varied and enjoyable but something had to give.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words on the wedding and for giving this a read. I think your response to this makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I wonder if all of the companies I cited have just gotten faster and more efficient at what they do and that is why they’re making so much product too. I completely agree that if they can make more stuff, they’re going to because there is money to be made. All good companies share that philosophy including the one I work for. I was leaning towards narrowing my focus a bit more and it sounds like that has served you well so that makes me lean even more in that direction.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, mate! Do you think Kickstarter also feeds into FOMO? I would have to say that it does based on what I have seen with some people. Of course, each individual is different and handles these things differently so I don’t want to make Kickstarter or GW seem evil because ultimately many of us as individuals are the ones buying in.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Congrats on the nuptials, and wishing you both many years of happiness.

    On the hobby front, Iโ€™m of a similar mind to TIM. Find what really you are passionate about and specialize. If everything is a passion, then nothing is truly. You cannot be a keep up with the Joneses guy and be happy. Youโ€™ll always be chasing an illusory goal. Iโ€™m big on focus – and that doesnโ€™t preclude me from enjoying othersโ€™ stuff, but if I focus I get better overall hobby results (I hope anyways). GW has a business model that works for them. If you try to buy all they have, in fear of missing out, youโ€™ll either fail to buy all you want or youโ€™ll fail to paint them all. Plus, your new bride wonโ€™t likely go for that. As Dave wrote, a thought-provoking post, and I wish you well in the struggle!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Mark! I agree with you wholeheartedly about keeping up with the Jones. I know people who fall prey to that and it is sad to see. I think specialization and keeping realistic goals is the way forward. That and not trying to do too many different things. I think that is largely how I got here. Thanks for giving this a read and sharing your thoughts as well. I appreciate it!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hope you had a great wedding Jeff, and are settling into wedded life.
    I’ve found in several hobbies now, there are two types of people in it, the realist like yourself and all the fine people above, who look at their hobby analyse what they actually need or want, and wont be pressurised into spending anymore than they want to. The others tend to be the moaners, “why hasn’t this company brought out anything new for my army !” would be a very common phrase heard from them. It becomes their only focus and can’t see the bigger picture, that a company only has so much time and resources to keep releasing new models, and has to spread that out equally over their entire range.
    Hope you find the balance that is right for you mate, and can then enjoy what your doing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The wedding went better than expected so I can’t complain! I really appreciate your insight on the moaners and realists. I haven’t seen it broken down in that way but you could not be more right. The negativity in the card collecting community has always floored me. Of course, sometimes the moaners are right with their criticisms but they complain about EVERYTHING and nothing is ever really good enough in their eyes. I’ve always tried to shut people like that out and enjoy whatever I enjoy but they tend to dominate social spaces for their respective hobbies so it isn’t easy. I’m going to try and change up what I’m doing to try and find a better balance in my life. We’ll see where that gets me but some changes I’ve made have already helped me feel better so I’m looking forward to the future.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. First off, congratulations!

    As to what you say, I can agree to an extent. GW is probably the worst example in essentially forcing players to shell out more and more money, so it’s getting to be that it’s not so much your tactics or dice rolls as your bank balance that determines your success in games. A friend of mine in the UK, with whom I’d play 40k back in the Rogue Trader era, has finally put his foot down on spending on his kids’ Space Marine forces as the cost was getting ridiculous. I honestly can’t get over a Chaplain costing $35!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Matt! I know GW’s business is predicated on new editions and new releases to get you go buy new models but I think they could have policies that are kinder to their consumers for sure. Their current pricing model is a headscratcher to me too. Single models are WAY more expensive than squads which is nice for people playing 40k and who need lots of minis to play but its hard to wrap your head around a relatively basic space marine HQ model costing as much as an entire squad of space marines.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Congratulations on your wedding!

    Good article, I appreciate the effort you put to the share it with us. Iโ€™ve come to realise that I have to make the hobby work for me. There are always people who are willing and/or able to spend a fortune on their hobbies so if Iโ€™m not equally willing (and Iโ€™m generally not) then it would be pointless to compare myself to them. Part of the issue here is that itโ€™s easy to be connected globally to others in your chosen hobby, so rather than trying to โ€˜keep upโ€™ with local friends you can now see how much people all across the world have collected or spent, probably without any knowledge of what that costs in the rest of their lifestyle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, mate! I agree with your perspective on this. It is so easy to connect with people in a given hobby but I’ve been floored being in card collecting FB groups and seeing how many people run into financial issues and end up selling big parts of their collection because of “bills.” You shouldn’t be buying stuff that makes it so you can’t afford to pay bills obviously and that is not a good look for anyone. As I think about it now, that is pretty damning about the addictive nature of some hobbies and how we all can be manipulated into spending more than we have on things that are meant to be fun. This is something good for all of us to think about and I appreciate you sharing your perspective on this, mate. Keeping your wits about you and staying grounded is really important even with hobbies as it turns out!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Congratulations on joining the ranks of the married! Hope everything went relatively smoothly.

    FOMO or You Snooze You Lose. There has been a thread on Reddit recently bringing up the same items you mentioned about GW and calling for a boycott of them, highly unlikely in my opinion.

    I seem to have gone down a similar path as you have, comics, cards, miniatures, just add board games to mine. Comics I gave up when they got too expensive and seemed more intent on providing different collectable covers vs content. Cards were more with my son and he lost interest. Board games I got rid of most of mine when I last moved, giving them to someone who appreciated them. I still get my board game fix through my brother who is quite a collector/gamer. Miniatures I have gotten under “control” by trying to focus only on Middle Earth with having a “budget” that I try to adhere to and gaming vicariously through blogs such as yours.

    Again, congrats!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Bret! The wedding did go well for the most part and I am thankful for it.

      Was that the MESBG Reddit where people threatened a boycott? I think the Warhammer fans are the ones that have to stick up to GW on it though I don’t think they’re concerned about this overall. Unfortunately, they’re not going to change much just for MESBG fans unfortunately.

      I didn’t realize we had so many hobbies in common! I have bounced around with hobbies more than I care to admit but I think I have learned something about myself and what hobby might be the ideal one for me along the way. I think I’m going to try and make wargaming and board gaming my primary hobby along with my lifelong interests in video games, movies, and books which don’t cost me as much money. I need to simplify my life and spending and I think that will help me do that but then again, we’ll see! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Interesting post and some good points. Some of the reasons I went from playing a lot of 40K, going to the occasional small tournament, etc. to where I haven’t bought anything new in a couple of years now or played the game are the reasons you touched on–I felt drained by the way they did things.

    That, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I have patience for a more limited number of hobbies at one time. As my literary hobby has picked up, my miniature hobby has suffered. I’d rather do a couple of things to as high a standard as I reasonable can rather than a bunch of things kind of so-so, which is what I tended to do more when I was younger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I haven’t tried to keep up with the tourney scene for any game in a long but it is draining and time-consuming to be sure. I think I’m heading in the direction that you’ve already went. I can’t keep up with all of the things I want to do and have to settle with doing less and trying to enjoy those more. Hopefully that ends up helping me out. Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective on this, Ann!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Congratulations on the wedding, hope you both had a wonderful day.

    Great post Jeff, and I couldn’t agree with you more.
    In some ways though, you can see why things have gone the way they have and you can’t necessarily blame the people producing these things, it’s business at the end of the day and if people are willing to pay…
    It makes it difficult for those of us on a mere mortals income though. Many who’ve been in these hobbies for years are becoming disillusioned by it all and are looking elsewhere for their entertainment, as they just can’t compete.
    Looking at the gaming world it can be seen here, with games such as Magic, where you need a small fortune if you wish to be competitive at a reasonable level.
    I no longer have any ambition to enter tournament play in any game that involves putting together a squad/deck/whatever, as I know I can’t afford to keep competitive, both in time and money, and so I enjoy things for what they are and enjoy playing with what I have – same goes for all my hobbies (some of my fishing gear is way out of date, but I still have fun!), many of which we appear to share!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words as always! There is certainly a problem when companies start catering their products towards people with lots of spending power. I didn’t know that Magic was so expensive now. When I last played, it took a decent amount of spending money but nothing a teenager couldn’t work out but then again that was 20 years ago! We certainly do and as I’ve said before, you might be a bad influence or at least an expensive one because you’ve helped convince me to make a few purchases like Arkham Horror: The Card Game. I can’t help but feel there might be more in the future too! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lol, yeah, sorry about that!
        Trouble is with Magic is that you have to go hunting for what you need. You may only pay a pound or two for a single, much needed card, but then you add it to your deck and decide you need three more. Then you play and things don’t quite gel, so you throw them out and get something else, and so on… before you know it your deck has racked up a fair packet and you’re still getting beat.
        In the great scheme of things I guess Magic isn’t so expensive, but I can’t be done with hunting cards down these days and we just play for fun with whatever comes in the random packs I buy from my usual store, it keeps things interesting and nobody gets a deck that proves too powerful.
        That’s the problem with hobbies… they feed on your time and steal your wallet, but we keep coming back for more – suckers we are!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you’re not careful, there may be a dartboard with the Solo Meeple logo on it courtesy of my wife! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        A fair packet? That’s a new British saying to me! Just when I think I’ve heard them all too ๐Ÿ™‚ I know what you mean, mate. You never really finish deckbuilding and keeping up with the metagame, unfortunately. Not that any other hobby is better in that regard!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s funny, my wife has a similar one hanging in our garage!๐Ÿค”

        I’ve been thinking about all my hobbies and they all take a fat wad of cash (add that one to your list!), which is probably why I never get very far with any of them, lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha, that wouldn’t surprise me ๐Ÿ˜‰ All hobbies cost a fair few quid, I find! Its almost like they know their products are fun and people will pay more for something fun… Americans do say fat wad of cash as well so that one translates across the Atlantic Ocean just fine ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I totally agree, I think in the last year I probably sold more hobby related items than I bought. Not necessarily because I needed the money, but because I got so burned out by the piles of stuff that I was collecting, always searching for that hypothetical fun that I could one day extract from it, but never having enough time remaining to truly enjoy it (or in other cases, the fun didn’t outweigh the mental taxation and time investment of having to stay up-to-date with newest releases, rules, etc.)

    The bad practices from certain companies (from a consumer standpoint) have driven me away in some cases. I’ve recently bought quite heavily into Star Wars: Armada, but the large amount of products that has been released so far does make it harder for a newcomer to enter the scene. Especially when a lot of the releases are unavailable for large amounts of time (even before COVID-19). So meanwhile I already got out of the game and have almost sold my entire collection that I accumulated partly under the influence of FOMO.

    On the one hand a lot of expansions for a game are great, but it does make it so much harder for a newcomer to enter the game. If I didn’t start with MESBG 20 years ago I’m not sure if I’d even really be in this hobby… For me it is very often an all-or-nothing situation and it feels like quite a bit of the miniature range is out of production. The recent Made-to-Orders are great for allowing people to buy those models, but what happens if you miss it because you’re not constantly in the loop on the latest news? Or if you didn’t know about the hobby yet and just joined. I think MESBG has a very dedicated fan base which is great because it ensures new releases sell well and the game might get more support for longer. But I do wonder how many truly new players not just get in the game, but actually stick with it. The game is easy enough to pick up, but to play through campaigns in the source books requires so many miniatures, at least some of which are out of production. Very frustrating for completionists and then I’m not even talking about the cost and time commitments.

    The solution for me to all these hobbies crying out for attention (and money) is to focus on just the couple that give me the most joy. That makes it a lot more fun and manageable! But even then it is hard to find enough time for it without sacrificing other (probably more important) things in life…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Getting rid of some stuff makes a lot of sense and one of my greatest concerns with getting into board gaming is that I will rapidly have a bunch of games that I don’t have time to play. I’m going to try my best not to let that happen and also not fall prey to FOMO with Kickstarters and all of that. We’ll see if that actually proves possible.

      I completely agree about MESBG, I see a lot of people in the FB groups that are definitely collectors and want to own everything which is really tough. I don’t look at MESBG on eBay much anymore but after it hit a spike in popularity with the new edition, the selection of models online really dwindled and prices spiked. I’m sure there are “scalpers” or perhaps a better word for them is speculators who are trying to make some money off what they own which is a shame. It seems like everything is affected that and it is not very consumer friendly.

      I do really agree with that campaigns in MESBG are tough to actually complete. They take so many miniatures and terrain. You think when you start working on it that it will be a lot of fun to do it and rewarding and while it is fun and rewarding, it is so expensive and a lot of work. I learned that the hard way unfortunately and I suspect that is why most people who play MESBG collect an army or two and focus on tournament games instead of narrative campaigns. It really is for people with lots of patience and dedication like yourself!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Great post – and congratulations once again! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I do have to admit that I buy way more than I need in terms of miniatures, and I’m aware that the sad truth of it is that I’ll never get to paint or play with it all. The same really goes for my videogame collection.
    On cards, I’ve been lucky enough to not ever have enough of an interest in them to collect, and sadly – or perhaps it’s a positive? – I’ve burned out of comics twice. Once in the 90’s shortly before the bubble burst – the days when relaunches of Issue 0 with seven different cover variants (including lenticular and foil!) started to hit. That was the end of my superhero buying. A couple of years later, I got back in with a bunch of Vertigo books, Punisher, Dredd and Donald Duck-related titles, but after a few years I also got distracted again. I got vaguely interested again at one point, but the Spider-Man comic I looked at in the comic store was part of a storyline about how the Peter Parker I’d read and enjoyed for years before was actually a clone all along – so it was easy for me to walk away from that.
    Back to the FOMO miniatures thing – that’s one thing I’m really appreciating about the WWII stuff. While it’s a large amount of time with multiple theatres and many participants, it’s also closed and finite. When I finish building and painting my 8th Army and Afrika Korps, they’ll be a done, completed project. While they do appear elsewhere, there’s no Tiger IIs or Pershings suddenly being retconned into the desert war. There’s no Tiger III being launched and added to the forces. No “Primaris”-ing of your existing armies, no relaunch that Squats(!) your Tomb Kings army and drops Stormcast into the mix.
    It’s quite nice in that sense, actually.

    Like

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