Friday 26 August 2022

Hobby Season 2021/22 Review

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity The 2021/22 Hobby Season draws to a close, and how did I do? So lets start with my first task:
    Develop a more healthy hobby/life balance - go to bed at a decent hour[ish]   

    I tend to go to bed around midnight and get up at 7:30-8:00 but I've recently been getting later and later to bed though, so it's still something I have to work on. My average sleep time has increased though so I think I'm doing OK on this.

    Find time to play some games, not just tournament play, so I can have some fun among the daily grind...

    Last year there was very little opportunity to game. I hadn't played 40k since 2019! But that was finally rectified this season with a few games of 9th edition. Sadly I didn't warm to it - overly complex, obsessed with damage output that just removes swathes of miniatures at a time, just doesn't appeal. Even the focus on objective scoring added a layer of complexity that felt redundant as you just end up intent on annihilating the other army - it's just the easiest way to play. It didn't feel tactical, it didn't evoke any of the joy, or satisfaction from my forays from 5th to 7th edition [maybe even 8th] - it felt like such a let-down. So, I just persevered with the 'hobby as my hobby'  and resolved to wait patiently until 40k fixed itself. But the boys got our act together a while back, continuing our Middle Earth Role Playing campaign occasionally. And then Otty's fervent championing of Middle Earth Battle Strategy Game led to us gaming regularly - expanding our warbands and most of all having fun. I haven't laughed so much gaming, in years. The game itself is simple, but nuanced. You can lose but still come out OK. Its campaign is easy to follow and the miniatures can be incredibly cheap and easy to paint [depending on your faction]. I've even felt the thrill of tactics that I recall from 5th edition. Heck, I've even got an adrenalin buzz during some games - my heart thumping in my chest as battle lines close. It's been an absolute blast. 

    Oh, and I took part in Chorley Bowl, netting my first ever completed games of Blood Bowl - 2.5 of them! And I even came second!

    But what of the hobby? Well, the first thing I completed were my twin Armiger Helverins for Dreadtober 2021. Motivation was sorely tested at this time. I hadn't played 9th edition 40k yet and there didn't seem much point to any of it. But that's when I reconciled that the hobby was my hobby, gaming less so. This realisation made me feel a lot better and even accept that if I painted nothing else this season, that was OK too, even if that was core to what I felt I enjoyed most.

    I mostly finished one of my Munitorum Containers in December, haven't done the red pics so almost forgot about it. Will have to do the showcase next season but with this season's stamp of approval.

    And somehow I had completely forgotten to showcase the finished TT Combat ruin, again TO DONE! pics need to be TO DONE! It's a bit big though so it makes putting it in my light box tricksy. Pics forthcoming.

     I did manage to paint the first of my Death Guard Kill Team though.  It was approaching the levels of grimdark I was aspiring to and although I couldn't hide my established style of painting completely, it was a lot of fun and different enough from how I usually paint.

    I added five new Tyranid Warriors to my Hive Fleet, a new Codex would come out and possibly all of those Scything Talons would have been better off as double Boneswords but at least some upgrades would be better.

    And I repainted my original 4 Warriors, so they were all consistent with my current painting ability and evolution of my Hive Fleet colour scheme.

    Kitbashed Old Skool Tyranid Warriors to Tyranid Primes were also given a 2022 makeover. I swapped out the kitbashed Lash Whip and Bonesword for the Tyrant Guard versions, but the new Codex would even allow them to wield Heavy Venom Cannons, so that would have been nice to know in advance.

    A lonely old Spore Mine had been knocking around for years, so he got updated too. There are a few plastic ones that could do with a tickle but now was not the time, maybe when I do the Termagants.

    My Ravenwing Talonmaster had been long on the To Do shelf. Stalled with the black to highlight and when I finally came to tackle it it seemed I was hesitant for no good reason. Thereafter I tried to get some Black Knights and Attack Bikes up next but I still had all their metallics to do so it wasn't quite as easy to ride the crest of that black wave.

    As we delved deeper into #MESBG some of my warband got promoted from plain old Moria Goblins to Moria Goblin Blackshield. Otty kitbashed this one and I got him painted over two evenings. The very next week 2 more got promoted so Otty had to build those too.

    I was disillusioned about what to paint next and foolishly felt a massive piece of terrain using far too many colours and details was the answer to that malaise. I spent weeks and weeks on Sector Imperialis Administratum. But the results speak for themselves. I even considered this as a 'Lord of War' on my hobby bingo sheet [before I misplaced it]. It's that big and that detailed, that again I feel if this was the only thing I'd completed all season I'd have been happy!

    I couldn't be more pleased with the results, it's the best piece of Red Planet terrain I've done so far, the best balance of my colour scheme. It frustrates me that I have limited use for it but it will form part of my #ArmiesOnParade board for this year at least.


    More Moria Blackshields were converted by Otty, and again, two nights later they were painted. They're chunky fellas but their Defence of 6 justifies this - they tank a lot of hits so I am very much appreciating their role in my warband.

    Porkbelly Stuffers Halfling Blood Bowl Team were about 18 months in production. An absolute blast to paint and so characterful. I strongly believe every hobbyist should give them a go.

    Modern Synthesist's Tyranid Barricade a gift of the original inspiration for my own Tyranid terrain bioconstructs. It was only right that I gave it the Ferron splinter fleet treatment. A palette cleanser but also another item finished.

    While I struggled with my Ravenwing I found a lovely little item of wargear for my Moria Goblins. They're quite slow, only moving 5", but I could purchase a War Drum, which could add 3" to their movement to any models within 12" of the drummer, so long as they don't charge at the end. Otty gave me a drum and I managed to do this little drummer boy in less than 24 hours! There's huge satisfaction in that. I don't speed paint so this was such a pleasure to do so quick.

    I'll just give a final mention to my Ravenwing bikes. These have been a real challenge, not the fear of the black, just the overwhelming effort required to get them done. I thought I'd be able to finish them off before the end of the season but I did a little spreadsheet of what was left and it was evident that I was unlikely to finish what remained in the 2 weeks I had left. Possible, but unlikely. There were 11- 20 elements remaining on each of the 7 bikes and 3 bike/sidecars and I didn't think I could guarantee at least 1 element a day [290 individual tasks altogether]. For instance the three sets of black highlights I estimate as 3 nights each, that's 9 days for just 3 elements. I still have to make the 3 attack bike bases, which can only be done when the bikes are finished and glued together, so it's clear why I've found it challenging and why I've relaxed about it rather than get stressed. They'll be done early next season so maybe I'll get the same sense of satisfaction that I did with the Armigers - get all my achievement in first go... 🤞

    But wait, what's this? I've got another finished item that will be coming in a future post that I couldn't fit in before the end of the season. All the issues with the Ravenwing prompted me to have a crack at some of my Death Guard - they also need painting if I want them for AoP afterall. The fact I did these four in 5 day, again brings me joy to speed paint but to a standard I am happy with. So, look forward to seeing these mucky beggars [and their mates] soon.

    I really need to set a cutoff point for the season - anything completed in the final week rolls over into the new season. I only went and finished the second Munitorum Container the night after the Death Guard and 2 nights before Review day!

    So, how do I feel about the season? Productivity wise it was not a vintage year, although the last week has felt pretty productive and I've since recalled a couple of additional items I completed that are pretty big, I just didn't take pics of them. Thankfully, I was emotionally very satisfied with my output anyway, really pleased. It helps I was happy with just the Armigers, even if I can barely remember completing them now. The only disappointment was I wasn't able to make more use of the Great Big BLESSED VERDIGRIS Stamps of Approval! I love the effect, it would have been nice to see more of them. There is a subtle feeling I wish I had done more, but that's only because I know it is possible to do so and there's still so much to do. But, it just feels like a rewarding period, despite only 50[ish] models painted and 5 items ticked off on my To Do List.

    The fact I'm now able to reconcile any progress, regardless of how much, as satisfying is a real bonus for me. Whether it's sustainable or not is to be seen, but I'm grateful and fulfilled with my efforts this season and only hope to feel as satisfied for 2022/23. Oh, and did I mention I was one of the featured Tyranid armies on Warhammer Community page? That's something to be chuffed about 😎

    The Big Build is my 'self-help' initiative to build miniatures. Building isn't always my favourite thing but without a construction phase I can't have a painting phase. So I recognise the special effort this challenge is to me, so I can progress through to the painting stage.

    I built my Helverins for #DreadTober


    I built 5 Tyranid Warriors, you've seen them completed.
    My mate Pete got me a Primaris Chaplain on motorbike, I couldn't wait to get that guy built.

    #NewYearNewArmy and I thought my evolving Death Guard Kill Team could form a potential foe for my #ArmiesOnParade2022
    Which included PoxWalkers
    I made the base for the second floor of my TT Combat MDF terrain, should I wish to use it as a separate structure. 

    5 more Death Guard got built
    and 10 more Poxwalkers.
    I also got a Lord of Contagion built. 

    And the small battleforce was filled out with a Foetid Bloat Drone

    I also made a Haemotrope Plasma Reactor.

    Some Necrons, in anticipation of teaching my son to paint...

    Modern Synthesists Tyranid Barricade needed just a bit of my basing sand to tie it in with the rest of my terrain.
    I finally kitbashed the last of my Ravenwing bikes. Attack Bikes and Black Knights were part way through the painting but I felt having these hanging around at the build stage would mean they may never get done. Instead it makes the Ravenwing project more challenging but ultimately more rewarding.
    I kitbashed a little drummer boy for my Moria Goblins.
    And Liam had a frenzy of interest in Adeptus Titanicus, realise us having only 1 Cerastus Lancer each wasn't 'legal', bought 2 more, gave me one and ensured that I will commit in all seriousness to completing my titans... next season anyway 😉


    1. That’s a fine set of accomplishments for the season! I hear you on the lack of gaming and it’s connection to the hobby. I got one game with tiny titans and one with tiny planes this season. It’s often hard to justify the cost and time when we aren’t playing. Still, it’s nice to have something productive to do with the little bit of free time life affords. As a father of two young ladies, the hobby in the evenings helps keep me sane. Perhaps doing it for it’s own sake ain’t all bad. Hobby on!

      1. You should be really proud if you can fit the hobby in around parenting. With both mine being older it's easier for me, although when they do want to spend time with me I'm not going to turn down that chance. I spend most evenings with my eldest watching TV, but he'll be back to uni in October, so I have to grab the chance while I can.

        Gaming though, that's been rewarding with Middle Earth. Although I wasn't originally invested in it I've grown to really enjoy our sessions. Its so much fun and it's all wrapped up so well. The game system is easier, the figures are a doddle to paint and the warband management is easy too.

    2. That's a good set of accomplishments.
      I think I've gotten in two, maybe three games all year so far.
      Two of which were 9th edition and like yourself I didn't take to it which disheartened me on the hobby.
      The third game was 5th edition apocalypse which was great fun and reminded us how great the game can be when you treat it as just a game and not a statistical/spreadsheet exercise with all the additional off table "gotcha" rules going on at the moment.
      I got all excited when a local club started up near where I live, but after investigation they only want to play 9th edition with the latest FAQ at 2000 points Grand Tournament pack, great if you're into that sort of thing, but it kind of soured me a little. But like you said, it's nice to hobby for the sake of just hobby, it's great to settle down and forget the world for a few hours.
      I hope to have some accomplishments of my own by the end of this 22/23 season.

      1. Yeah, we were really into match play for 6th, 7th and 8th because there didn't seem much point playing any other way if we wished to go to tournaments. I can see why your club does it that way. If you want to get the best out of an event you need to practice.

        That said my mates say the current version of Apocalypse is really good, even better than 5th edition. They often felt 5th edition was too brutal but thought the newer version fairer for all involved. I haven't had chance to see what they mean but it might be something to suggest.

        Good luck with your hobby efforts, we can always hope that whatever 40k edition finally sits right with us we will have painted some pretty amazing figures that may well come into their own. Best to stock up on painted minis while we can!

    3. Good effort mate :-) I am finding Ravenwing bikes a real slog at the moment too, they just have so many components to get right. I have managed to play a couple of games of 9th Edition and I have to say, we had the most fun when we forgot/ignored half of the rules. There is still great times to be had in the hobby but it seems we have to work harder or smarter for them at the moment. Let's hope 10th brings a hard reboot for the better. See you next season...

      1. Each bike feels like 3 space marines and and an attack bike is like 5! So for me this would be like batch painting 36 space marines in one go! No worries, I'm getting there slowly 44/293 elements done.