Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Commentary - What Type of 40K Hobbyist Are You?

During our annual Big Game this past weekend, I heard a friend and long-time player say “I don’t know what I am going to do next.  I have three painted armies, have converted many of them, and don’t want to start another army.”  What do you say to that?  It certainly got me to thinking...

Each of us is in a different place in our “40k Journey.”  My friend seems to have hit a dead end.  Where are YOU?  Note: When I talk about an “army,” I am speaking of a reasonably large collection of models that has been properly painted and based.  A collection of half painted models that was the nucleus of a “dream” would not be considered such.

Noob – I don’t know many people who are in this place.  Most of the people I game with have been in the hobby for several years, if not decades…I have been playing since 2001.  In fact, I often wonder how many entry-level players there are any more.  I just don’t see that many new folks.  Where are they?  What age group are they?  This is not a cheap hobby by any means.

1st Love Army – A few people I know still play with the army they started with.  They have slowly grown it until they have all the bells and whistles.  When a new dex comes out, they simply sideline the obsolete units and add the new stuff…if it’s not broken (can you say Pyrovore?).  I know someone who has been playing Guard at least since I started 13 years ago.  He has never owned another army, and does not appear to have any desire to do so.  I have to admire his loyalty.

Revolving Door – I think I fit into this category. The main characteristic of this type of player is that they shed one army and replace it with another.  I started playing Wolves…did so until 5th edition.  I then started a Nid army.  Played them for a while, then sold my mothballed Marine models so that I could afford to kit out a pretty respectable Grey Knights list.  I have always been a fan of the Grey Knights backstory; Justicar Alaric being one of my favorite Black Library characters.  I shelved my Nids and stuck with the Knights for a couple of years.  When 6th edition hit the stores, I shelved my Grey Knights and dusted off my Nids.  Have been playing them ever since.  With the new codex, I have added several models.  All told, if I kit out my MCs and gribblies with things like Toxin Sacs, Regen and Adrenal Glands, I am getting to the 10,000 point range; that includes two Barbed Heriodules.  What now?  I am seriously considering selling all of my Grey Knights and starting an Eldar list.  It will be a specialized list carrying only Illaric Nightspear, Pathfinders, Warp Spiders and War Walkers.  I will use it as an Ally force in 2 on 2 games or some narrative games perhaps.  Trying something different.  Unlike previously, however, I will keep playing my Nids concurrent with the new Eldar.  How many armies have you gone through in your 40K “career?”

Just Keep Holding On – These are the die-hards.  My friend that I mentioned at the beginning of the post is one of these.  Builds a huge army and plays it for a while.  Unlike the Revolving Door player, the Holding On player DOES NOT sell one army to finance another.  I think a large portion of the folks I play with fall into either this or the “1st Love” category.  The Holding On player converts, adds, tinkers.  Then they start another army.  Don’t get rid of a single model from the 1st army.  They spend years building, converting and playing the 2nd army.  Then many, but not all, start a 3rd.  Here is where my friend is.  What do you do at this point?  Start a 4th army?!  Seriously?!  I don’t know how to answer the question he asked…”what do I do now?”

I think that our hobby is unique by the fact that you CAN make a significant change in the focus of your modeling and play style and still stay current and proficient.  So many options…so little time (and money!).

Create, grow, feed, adapt


  1. I fall mostly into the 1st love category. I have my IG and have been playing with them for a decade now. I collected a small DE force at one point but ended up selling them. At this point I still have my IG, though I do have a few squads of Space wolves and some chaos. I don't ever plan on getting rid of my IG and will always play them, though occasionally I will sell a model or two from time to time.


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