View Full Version : Can You Help? - having wargamer life issues

14-02-2011, 23:21
Hey guys,

I seem to be suffering from a bit of wargamer's depression lately. Could I ask for some help here?

*ahem* Are you sitting comfortably? I really hope so :D
I've broken this into sections to make it easier to read. See, I'm very considerate like that ;)

I guess the real problem is that I never feel that any of my armies are ever good enough.

Either I take a lot of time to paint and convert my models to a high standard and get frustrated that I can't build and paint them quickly enough.

Or, I compromise on the quality, but half way through find myself unhappy at all the missed conversion opportunities.

I used to have an awesome Tau army (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_A8bZUPrO8dk/S26WmGISLRI/AAAAAAAABxw/4STW0-6oW2E/s1600-h/tauhuntercadre.jpg) before I sold it to a total douche in Spain. Still, he paid my handsomely for them.

Sure, they sucked in the game, but I played them with passion for 3 years, stubbornly refusing to give up and did surprisingly well with them in tournaments.

But what finally broke me was the time it took to paint them. It would take me a solid week of evenings to build and paint a single battlesuit.

Meanwhile my best friend had bashed out yet another Space Marine tactical squad and their transport in half a weekend.

It's Over 9000!!
Today my best friend's Dark Angels army is over 9,000 points.
It's all painted to an okay standard. Just don't get up close to it.

My friend is pretty much set for Warhammer 40K for life. He has almost every unit and every weapon configuration you'd ever need for the Dark Angels or the Space Marine Codex.

Meanwhile, I've got 2,000 points of Space Wolves (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_A8bZUPrO8dk/TOkm-pi1y1I/AAAAAAAAC-w/t7zJNImR9jU/s1600/conclusion.jpg) all painted to an okay standard. I really dumbed down my paint scheme to simply get 'em done and painted them in 2nd edition mardi-gras Space Wolf colours. Truth be told, I hate the colourscheme, but they're painted, they've got all their squad markings and they're okay for playing with.

After seeing lots of awesome Space Wolves armies online and reading the Horus Heresy books featuring the Space Wolves, I decided to start my army from scratch, but with a pre heresy colour scheme and conversions.

So far I've got a Rune Priest and 16 Grey Hunters (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_A8bZUPrO8dk/TR2xAwqLXzI/AAAAAAAADHU/T7vuvnEaX9o/s1600/heresy%2Bspace%2Bwolves%2B1.jpg) done. I started these back in November. So it's taken me almost 4 months to do 17 models.

They're cool, don't get me wrong.
I also compromised on the paint scheme I wanted to do for something a little quicker which I'm 80% happy with.
Problem is you need 2 boxed sets to make 1 pack. Plus they take at least an hour to build each.

Spending Spree
Long before the dread V Day (today), things went badly with my girlfriend. Gutted, I retreated to my comfort zone of little plastic dudes with little plastic guns and did a bit of therapy shopping. I spent 130 on a Wolf Guard Terminator army.

I've nearly finished assembling them and I don't like them. I want them all to have fur cloaks and funky poses. Something I just can't achieve in a short space of time or with the limited number of workable arms.

I'm in my late 20s. I lost my job just before Christmas and now I'm on a temporary contract which could become permanent in 3 more months.

I have a feeling it will, but I'm having to travel up North most Sundays, then stay over until Wednesday evening. This contributes to my slow production rate with the pre heresy Space Wolves and anything else for that matter.

What I Want
I'd like an army with EVERYTHING in it, just like my best friend. Then I can survive every edition.

Only problem is that I'm fussy about the standards of my miniatures and it costs quite a bit of money, which will obviously be influenced by my job situation in a few months time.

So I guess my biggest issue is time. Money not so much. But not to the point I could pay someone else to build and paint an army for me.

I'm also rapidly approaching 30. Now's the time to meet a decent girl, settle down and all that jazz.

That means I don't want to keep spending lots of money on plastic miniatures in a couple of years. I'd say I have 1 more year of wanton spending at most.
That also means that I won't have the time to keep selling off and buying armies whenever the editions change or a new Codex comes out.

Round Up
So what I'm looking for is 1 huge army that will:
Survive every edition and Codex change
Need very little updating in the years to come
Be quick to paint (I like military schemes)
Provide me with detailed conversion and painting opportunities (characters, banners, etc)

So yeah, time is my biggest issue, followed by standards and long life of the army as a whole.

In the meantime, I'll keep the mardi-gras Space Wolves, because I need them for tournaments and I've got all the essentials in one case.

The pre heresy Grey Hunters, I don't know what to do with.
I'm really fond of my pre heresy Rune Priest in terminator armour, but I have no practical use for him.

Having read all this, please give me your thoughts.
They'll be gratefully received.

Torpedo Vegas
14-02-2011, 23:30
I'd say the army to most likely survive Codex creep would be some variant of marines. A custom chapter, painted in neutral colors, and you can switch between codexes if the need calls for it. Marines have access to basically good "everything" so you can get have whatever you want with them. Tanks? Preds , land raiders, razorbacks. Flyers? Land Speeders and Stormravens (thats where the neutral color scheme "can be any chapter or successor" thing comes in). Want to field lots of dudes? Scouts. Artillery? Thunderfire cannons and whirlwinds. A new edition favors foot based large units? Black Templar crusaders or Space Wolf blood claw spam. Granted, doing this won't get you may friends if you swap codexes willy nilly but it works.

15-02-2011, 00:13
Sorry to hear you've had problems with work. It's all around at the moment, I'm sad to say.

Here's my suggestions:
Remember, what others do
painting wise is irrelevant, enjoy your hobby time on your terms.
Ask yourself if marines are the thing!
If your friend plays marines could you agree to swap with him now and again, this might extend the value of both your collections.
You could Play Guard if you like them!? Get yourself plenty of troops and tanks. The codices have fairly long lifespans and it's hard to see a unit or moteimportantly a model that would become obsolete. It might also fit your wanting to convert and paint military schemes.

15-02-2011, 00:27
Everybody that truly loves the hobby goes through this at some point. Especially right before turning 30. The truth is harsh though, some times the real world is more important than gaming. The hobby will be here after the real world sorts itself out. Do what you can when you can and quit trying to keep up with your friends. Don't sell off your stuff either. Making that kind of decision while stressed out is always bad.
I hear your frustration, hope my advice helps.

15-02-2011, 00:33
Sorry to hear you are having problems as well. My advice would be to really find that balance point between conversions, painting, time and money. I'd keep working on the various aspects of your Space Wolves (As long as they still appeal to you) and start supplementing you Tournament army with your other interesting units, painted and kit bashed as you like. That way you can still play competitively with a painted army, while fulfilling your need for more in depth modelling.

The advice on switching armies with your friend from time to time is very good as well, it can add a bit of variety and spice to things. Depending on your friend, you might even be able to a painting exchange thing, where you buy and paint a unit for his army, and he does the same for you. Might liven things up and give you some new ideas and enthusiasm.

Hope this helps.

15-02-2011, 05:42
Im 24 married and have 4 kids. Like you i have time and money issues with my hobbie. I found it cheaper and easier to get my stuff professionally built and painted. I know most dont agree with this but it was the only way i could stay in the hobby.

It costs about the same for me to have them painted as it would for me to do them myself, at a much lower standard. When you factor in the cost of glue, tools, paints, greenstuff etc it does get very expensive. Add on top of that the time it takes and the other things it takes away from like time with my kids or cleaning up after them.

In the end id much rather have a nicely painted and totally complete 1500pt army that im entirely happy with, than a half finished 5000 pt army with some dodgy conversions and a paint job im not happy with.

This applies to my situation, i dont know if this will help you with your dilema but it helped me get back into the hobby.

15-02-2011, 06:06
Just play Chaos, and impale your friends Dark Angels on your rhino spikey bits

15-02-2011, 06:35
Eldar could be up your alley. They've had a lot of the same troops for quite a few editions now. They can also be a very characterful army.

I suggest you focus on whatever brings you the most joy about the hobby. If it's painting take your time painting an army to your liking. Everyone has something different they love about this hobby.

15-02-2011, 06:43
Everybody that truly loves the hobby goes through this at some point. Especially right before turning 30. The truth is harsh though, some times the real world is more important than gaming. The hobby will be here after the real world sorts itself out. Do what you can when you can and quit trying to keep up with your friends. Don't sell off your stuff either. Making that kind of decision while stressed out is always bad.
I hear your frustration, hope my advice helps.

You're right, trying to keep up with my friend is madness.
He's been building that 1 army for 5 years.
Unfortunately that doesn't stop me from wanting an army with everything.

On the subject of real life coming first:
I sustained a nasty back Injury last September. Since then I'm supposed to go for a half hour walk every day and stand up a lot. Sitting and slouching doesn't help. Running and a more active lifestyle was also recommended.

I spend most of my day sat at a computer for work.
I then spend quite a few evenings blogging and doing freelance work online.
Then I spend some more evenings sitting, building and painting models.

I stopped the model side for a bit and my back got a lot better. Although I really should get out more. Since I've been making little dudes the pain seems to be coming back!

(didn't want to include this in the OP. Might have been too much info!)

15-02-2011, 09:00
My advice is actually for you to priortise on your career and relationships first. I suggest you put everything on track first before moving back to your hobby.

15-02-2011, 09:57
An army that will survive EVERY edition change ...

Go vanilla codex space marines. You'll only lose a handful of models total to the back of the cupboard. Tactical marines will always be tactical marines. The organisation for them has been locked in since 2nd ed.

It's niche armies (Iron warriors CSM, mono-cult csm with cult troops and cult elites, side-branch armies off the main ones - lost and the stupid, etc) that get boned by the changes.

My RT predator tank is still a predator tank.
My Landraider is still a land raider.
My speeders are still speeders.
My dreads are still dreads (payloads might change, but mods are easy).

My eldar has changed a lot since RT.
I had Zoat mercenaries.
I had harlequins with land raider tanks.
I had "captured" imperial grav tanks.
This army has none of that anymore.

My SM army's look has been the same for the last 9 years. They use the 'ultramarines' codex (have for the last 15 years).

15-02-2011, 11:48
Well I'm sorry to hear your having problems. I just want to suggest taking a break from 40K completely. Maybe take a break until next edition. Taking a break from a game can make it even more fun next time around. I'm sure if you do you will find when you start again you will know just which army you want to do and easily catch up with wargaming friends then.
All the best

ps. do you do the space wolves blog, I think I saw your stuff there?

The Orange
15-02-2011, 12:29
I'm also rapidly approaching 30. Now's the time to meet a decent girl, settle down and all that jazz.
Hey I don't need to be reminded of that :shifty:.

Now seriously, regarding your problems I think your just asking too much from yourself. You want a complete collection that's extensively converted and painted to a high standard and that's just not possible. Since it dosen't sound like your too keen on the Space puppies I'd have to say you're probably safe with any of GW's other classic armies. SM, Orks, Eldar etc. have extensive model lines that GW hasn't really modified too greatly over the years IMO.

My advice is this pick an army and do the basic scheme with the most of them "which you could go back later and improve on to a higher level if you want". Save the all out conversion work and extensive painting for only the centerpieces of the army.

Or you could collect an army and only work on it to a decent gaming standard, while putting your main efforts into continuing your HH era space wolves. Either way though you'll need to lower your standards to keep your sanity ;).

15-02-2011, 13:08
I wouldn't worry about this at all. My Dark Angels are at roughly 12,000pt, and I didn't just go out and buy it all at once. I've built it up over 13 years. Had the basic 1500-2000pts to begin with as a teenager, and the army then evolved. When the metagame changed, or people in my area started using something new, or there was a cool model I wanted to add, I'd simply add a unit or two every so often and its grown that way.

I've got so many DA and it still doesn't cover all bases - with the new FAQ I'm looking to test out some Landspeeder Typhons for the first time. Should I end up happy with testing some proxies, that's some new vehicles to buy!

Also, having that much stuff to build and paint is daunting - a unit or two at a time is much more manageable. There's also definately a trade off sometimes between quality of paintjob/modelling and amount of models you can bash out. Just remember spending that time to have a great looking army is worth it - even if it seems a long way away! That includes doing a few tester models to get the colour scheme just how you like it.

I work away a load as well. It does eat into your hobby time. I find it helps to work out when you can get some gaming in a few weeks in advance, then you've got something to look forward to and it gives you a bit of a goal to get some models painted.

15-02-2011, 14:31
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the help.

See, I'd never considered simply taking a break! lol

I do love Space Wolves btw, but converting and painting them to a high standard is still tough.

Thanks again for all your help.
I feel strangely distressed and refocussed.

Now I'd better get back to work!

15-02-2011, 14:50
I think you're going to need to find a nice balance in your life, to be honest. How I personally would do this is to just relax a bit about painting. Buy all the models you want, assemble them, maybe convert a few, and then leave them for a few weeks or months. You have the army now, feel free to use it. Painting comes in whenever you find the time between girl-searching and job.

I'm not much of a painter myself, and yet I have 5 armies on the go, most of which largely unpainted. The reason for this is I get bored of them by the time I come to painting them. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is I have these armies, 4 of which collected up to a reasonable point level, and I pick one each week to take to the LGS to game with. Yes, they're grey/silver or basecoated, but I paint them as and when I can find the time. I take pride in knowing I have the armies ready to use.

Of course, this doesn't work for everyone. There are plenty of people out there who refuse to field an unfinished army, but this is your hobby, so you should feel free to do it however you like, and not let yourself be pressured by your mates and their armies.

serious resistance
15-02-2011, 15:17
I can certainly empathise with your issues, having recently decided that I was never going to be able to complete either a 40k or a WHFB army that I would be satisfied with. I now just paint single miniatures to the highest standard I'm capable of whenever I feel the inclination.

Have you considered changing game systems altogether? GW seems to be hell bent on increasing the numbers of miniatures needed to play the core games, and I can only see that situation getting worse (and ever more expensive). There are many options out there which require a much lower model count.

I guess the only difficulty could be if you are a keen tournament player then there is a potential problem with a lack of opponents for alternative systems.

15-02-2011, 15:30
I suggest taking a break from wargaming for a year or so. Try a completely different hobby and see if you like it. Meet different people. Focus on your career and see if you can get a permanent job without the difficult travel arrangements. Then if you still feel you want to do wargaming come back to it.


bert n ernie
15-02-2011, 16:53
So far I've got a Rune Priest and 16 Grey Hunters (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_A8bZUPrO8dk/TR2xAwqLXzI/AAAAAAAADHU/T7vuvnEaX9o/s1600/heresy%2Bspace%2Bwolves%2B1.jpg) done. I started these back in November. So it's taken me almost 4 months to do 17 models.

This isn't that slow. I started an army back in November and so far all I have done is base coated(like sprayed them white) them and built four bases.
If you take time to get the result you want then take that time.
You have an army you can use in the meantime. Swapping out was a great suggestion. Do not try to create a huge army, or one that covers all options at such a high standard. There is no point, and even if you did manage to finish it eventually a new unit (storm raven or whatever) might come out which would make you have to work again. Make an army that you are happy with this edition, but try to keep things that are standard choices for a large percentage of the force(model wise). Tac squads for marines etc.

This will help, and if you ever feel you really must get a new unit, at least it is just one. If you need a new weapon option in a squad all you really need is that one trooper.

On other things- it seems like the warhammer of your younger years is behind you. I think we're close in age, and I can see why it's happening. I love painting and modeling, but I have to be realistic. I am interested in other game systems and I know that I may have to get some of those forces commission painted. I just do not have the time because of my speed. There are some armies that I feel I must paint. Others, not so much.
Is there much point in having more than one showpiece army?

If you need to care for your health make a rule where every time you are going to sit down and convert get up and go for a walk while you plan the conversion. A lot of painting/converting is planning.
Prioritise health and other things. Gaming can be put in a box and taken out a week later with no ill effects. Other things can't.

Lastly, you don't need a large point force. Games with them are often tiring(in my opinion), unless played with multiple players per side anyway. Swapping out will happen less often than you think if you proxy for a short few months. It sounds like it would be bad for you to possess too large an army simply because of carrying it anyway. A good friend of mine has armies like your friend does. I hardly ever see him bring everything out unless it's to display. Your friends display may have quantity, but your will have quality.

Good luck.

15-02-2011, 21:12
In all honesty here?

Take the painting and playing at your own pace. Unless your friends are truly set against using unpainted models of any sort, unwilling to budge or relent you should still be able to get games in. If they are like that? Seek new friends, really.

Sort your life out - work and relationships first. This is a game. A hobby. Treat it like one. Don't let it dominate you. Dominate it. No, put the whip down.

And as far as picking an army that will survive edition tweaks?

Well, I'd recommend one of the older armies - one that's been round since 2nd edition. Tau, Dark Eldar, Necrons - well, as we've seen with DE they can and will change wildly in how they perform and what they do.

If you decide to do a 'variant' list then don't go all out for one extreme or another. Sure, an all close combat weapon armed Marine army seems like a great idea but when you're getting this from a single character, trait, rule etc. it's not something worth building a whole army on. Generally every army sells the units as they will remain years down the line - Tactical Marines come with bolters, Eldar with Shuriken Catapults, Orks with choppas and sluggas. If you're having to order components or do mass converting to field it then chances are one, two editions down the line that variant will be gone. Or you might get lucky.

You want survivability over editions? Stick to the generic options and stick to a 'core' army.

Lastly - pick an army you want. Pick an army you like the look of, the background for and the playstyle of. If you saw Space Wolves and went OMG WTF SPACE VIKINGS YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!! then chances are that's a good army for you. If you enjoy the army you'll find it survives edition tweaks that much better. If you only picked the army based on mechanics and statistics you'll soon get bored.

15-02-2011, 22:50
Chaos. . . :)

Not only are we super cool bad boys, theres alot of conversion oppotunity and some shweeeet fluff, TONNES of Varient lists too in FW stuff and if you wanna only be a bit naughty you could still use marine codex's. . :)

Also the Painting thing. . Dont worry about time man, Take it at your pace, you can't rush art and perection. Keep learning and growing and practising.

the time issue can be a bummer, i mean fitting stuff in. i know where your comming from. im getting ready for Uni next year. i wanna study music and go into sessions. . thats going to seriously grind down my time something chronic. . . but the way im looking at it, it will make the time i do spend with my hobby even more special, it will be my cacoon away from things. .
serously its your hobby man, do it how ou feel most comfortable and chilled. i'd rather have a super nicely painted army than one done in a month but only a meh job :) just gotta ask your self what you want outta the hobby i guess.
i dont know if thats any help but thats my 10 pence worth :)

15-02-2011, 23:30
My advice is actually for you to priortise on your career and relationships first. I suggest you put everything on track first before moving back to your hobby.

Seconded. And add to this, your health.

These things are way more important. How can you enjoy your hobby with these concerns in the back of your mind? If you sort them out first then you are actually getting the most out of your spare time doing the thing you find cool, instead of having nagging doubts that you're not spending your time wisely.

If you do hit the gym or go for a jog a couple of times a week, you kill 2 birds with one stone- sort your back out and get a bit fitter for the girls. Then you'll feel like you've earned the right to sit down a few hours a week to make some badass conversions.

Edit: Until then, why not bring some stuff with you to work on when you have to go away to work?

15-02-2011, 23:40
I'm going to just back right off and not build a thing until next year. Even then it will be carefully considered.

Grey Knights are about to ruin the meta game anyway.

I have my playable Space Wolves army. I think I need 1 twin linked lascannon for a Razorback and that's it. I don't need anything else.

16-02-2011, 02:15
Concentrate on your life outside of wargaming. It will be healthier for you in the long run. And Warhammer isn't going anywhere soon.

16-02-2011, 02:29
It aint the army that's the problem, man. It's life. Your frustration with life bleeds through into every word you wrote, and you're projecting that frustration into your major creative outlet, 40k.

Now, this is me speaking from a place very similar to you. I broke up with my fiancee last year, have had lots of trouble getting/keeping a job (people with degrees and qualifications think this crap is easy), and I'm generally frustrated by life. The way I dealt with it was to start doing things I wanted to do and forget what consequences were. If you just set aside some money and take a cheap vacation somewhere, go out clubbing a bit, etc, you can start having more fun and you'll feel less frustrated. That in turn will let you deal with your 40k army in a less frustrating way. And hit the gym, too. You'll be surprised how much it helps to just drop 20 pounds or so.

Lastly, forget about meeting the right girl. She aint out there. No such thing as the right girl, only ones you settle for and they mostly suck too. Or they don't suck, and that's the problem. Either way, do what you've always liked in 40k, and change the life you're not happy with.

16-02-2011, 07:28
It was just a summaritive description about meeting someone who's decent.
I'm well aware that all women are MENTAL. ;)

bert n ernie
16-02-2011, 08:34
Lastly, forget about meeting the right girl. She aint out there. No such thing as the right girl, only ones you settle for and they mostly suck too.

That's sad to hear. Not quite true. There's the girl who is worth the effort you put into a relationship and there are those who aren't.
If either the girl or you are not willing to work on issues to develop your relationship into the best it can be, then you've not found her, or you haven't tried hard enough when you did.
Nobody's perfect, but with effort and time a relationship can be as near as damnit.

16-02-2011, 10:53
don't worry life is a bit of a bugger, things will sort themselves out, i'm in my first year of uni and i can see things up ahead that may put the brakes on things :shifty:

if you take a peak at my introduction post i do quite a bit, thats taken around 7-8 years to get going and i like variety- sticking with one army would do my head in :evilgrin:

anyway i am getting fed up with some things especially 40k, and i think i am going to do one last 40k project (watch this space) before its kicked into the long grass for a while :skull: and begin to concentrate on warhammer for a while. Plus i am coming round to the idea that having 'everything' is pointless but becoming specialised in certain ways might be a good idea.

other than that find the right balance that works for you, i am lucky that i still live at home ( i commute to uni) and some of this wargaming lark has finally rubbed off onto one of my family who is getting back into moddeling after a long spell. On the girlfriend side of things, i'm a bit mute i hate it when people ram the 'you should have a girlfriend' card down my throat, i have had a few bad experiences and i am concered doing this hobby could put any possible girlfriend off :rolleyes: but that is just me

16-02-2011, 11:07
have had lots of trouble getting/keeping a job (people with degrees and qualifications think this crap is easy)

Not so mate. I went 4 damn years trying to find a job (with a degree and qualifications and all!) simply because I kept being told I was overqualified.

But not to derail - some sage advice on this thread.