Hobby Fear

“How can I be afraid of something I love so much?  This makes no sense Dan, you’re talking nonsense!”

So what is it?

Allow me to explain, this is something you may have and not even know it.  I’ve been back into the hobby for nearly four years and it was only a few weeks ago I realised that I suffer from it.  After some time, I knew I had to share this revelation with you all.

By hobby fear I don’t mean a fear of the hobby itself, like the folk who talk about entering a GW shop as some sort of embarrassment or a dare.  I’m pretty sure they think the displays and models look as fun and interesting as we do, but they’re too scared to do anything about it.  But I digress, I mean more so the fear of the progress of the hobby.  This realisation came to me as I was checking out Shadowspear and the new phenomenal models that come with it.


It looks great, as the starter boxes almost always do.  Great models and great value for money and I’ll be taking a closer look at this one soon so stay tuned.  But this is where the fear comes in.  The rate of new releases from GW is phenomenal, and all this new stuff is great but I, like many others, am struggling to keep up.  Both in time and in money.  I want it, but I’m getting to the stage that I can’t justify even attempting to keep up.  The fifty shelves of grey ad from GW showed the abundance of unpainted minis is a common issue among hobbyists.  I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a very slow painter and harbour my own shelves of shame.

Another issue that this progress brings is the rule changes.  I’ve held on to my Dark vengeance Chaos because I like the models, my Dark Imperium Chaos are still in the box unassembled and now Shadowspear has brought us some awesome Chaos models.  I, like many others am now considering a wee chaos force, I have plenty from the starter sets.  But I won’t buy the books.  Since my first models there has been a new edition and they’ve already brought out a 2nd edition of the Chaos codex which is simply an amalgamation of rules.  If I buy that, will I even use it before the next update comes out?  It’ll take me a while to paint what I already own.

Fear leads to…paralysis?

This is where hobby fear becomes hobby paralysis.  There is no point in doing anything because by the time it’s done the universe will have moved on and left you behind, at least for the casual hobbyist.  It’s partially sensibility.  You shouldn’t continue buying things when you have so much to work on, but then you fall behind and feel less involved.  The spiral into fear and eventual paralysis kicks in.

The Cause

Where does this feeling come from?  It’s not just the rate of releases that is causing hobby fear.  Regular readers will be aware that I started in Warhammer Fantasy many years ago and I got back into the hobby just before GW wiped out my beloved universe.  I always defended the high cost of the hobby with the longevity of the models.  I was using Dark Elves I bought at 12 years old when I was 28.  But as more and more began to change with AOS, my collection was less and less relevant, even with newer models.  I was losing almost all my games against the new Stormcast and Sylvaneth, which may be down to me as a player to be fair.  However, I also watched an experienced player get tabled by Sylvaneth and he didn’t even do a single wound.  He was using his Skaven from Island of Blood. 

I don’t want to crush opponents and I don’t want to be crushed, neither is any fun, and that is all I started to see for the older model players.  The universe (at the time) was weak, and the gameplay was poor unless you had the new stuff.  It all felt pointless and wasn’t as fun.  It put me out the fantasy side completely (hobby death moreso than paralyisis), and I started paying more attention to 40K.

You couldn’t write it..

I seem to be the king of bad timing.  I played an intro game in a GW store and enjoyed it, the rules were overly complex and don’t even get me started on the number of books.  I did have fun though and took the plunge with the DV box.  The universe had the depth the old fantasy world had which was a big draw for me.  Then they dropped 8th edition, which is excellent, but I had just spent a reasonable amount of cash on books that were now useless.  We also have Primaris marines, which look better and seem to perform better than regular marines.  Like my Dark Elves, you can use them but it’s not great.  The time and effort to build and paint the older stuff is suddenly not as valid.

It gets to the stage that I hesitate to buy anything.  Are the rules going to change and render it useless?  Is it going to get an update soon with improved models?  Will they update the codex before I get much use out of the current one?  Will the edition change?!

How to beat it

Get painting.  The fear can drain your motivation completely as I’ve found from time to time.  So, I’ve decided to focus on what I have before I buy any more.  It gives you a push and you will feel great getting through the backlog.  I’ve even been painting some of my Dark Elves again, as perhaps with the new rules in AOS I can have some fun.  Regardless, I like how they look and love having them painted on my shelf.

The rule of cool

Also, base your hobby on what you think is cool.  Most of us aren’t high level competitive players so whatever is best now isn’t really a concern, it always swings around as new rules and models get released.  If you like it, you’ll enjoy painting and using it regardless of its position in the current meta.

Patience young padawan..

Take some time before a purchase.  If it’s going to sit there for a year before you get to it then what’s the point in buying it now.  Unless it is a limited run it can be best to wait.  Something you like even more may come out in the meantime.

Sell Sell Sell

Sell your older stuff on.  Ebay is great for selling old books to recoup some of the cost.  They aren’t cheap, so this makes buying the new stuff feel like less of a risk, removing some of that fear.  Don’t be afraid to shift models too, even very old ones can sell.  You may not get much in comparison to the time you put in but it clears space, and gives you a little money towards your new collection.  

But what do you all think? Is this limited to just me or do any of you share this feeling at times? Let me know and share tips for getting through it.



Fan of the Warhammer and 40K hobby. Back into it for the last three years after a long break.

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