Now and then, it happens, the dreaded “hobby burnout.” An ennui that sets in and things can get Grim for your hobby. Hobby burnout can center around different areas of the hobby. Playing and painting are the big ones but it can include building. In my garage, there are 160 buildings that I currently lack all desire to build. It’s one of the perils of being a tournament organizer. Here are a few ideas about how to beat hobby burnout.
Play for fun. Competitive play can be fun but sometimes the preparation and repetition can be tedious. The fun can get sucked out of the game. Other times it’s a matter of seeing the same list over and over. The perk is if you know what you are going to have to face you can tailor your list to beat it. The negative is seeing it again again. I can’t fault my opponents. It could be a limitation of the models they have or what works. For example, The Legion of the Doom from Necrons as Antonio Cedeño describes. So my solution is to play for fun. Bring that janky list.
Try your hand at 5 Orbital Bombardments turn 1. The Orbital Comms Array from an Impulsor, 1 Orbital Bombardment stratagem, Cyclonic Torpedo from an Inquisitor, Fleetmaster an Imperial Fist warlord trait and a Damocles Command Rhino. Bonus points for bringing your silly list to a tournament. Lead from the front and make your own meta. Unlike the Impulsor, the Damocles Command Rhino isn’t limited to one per round. Next time I get hit with hobby burnout I will try my hands at 6 orbital bombardments turn 1. Social Distancing is the unexpected cure to hobby burn out.
Sometimes that paintbrush gets heavy. It could be painting in general or a symptom of getting those minis battle-ready or at least the 3 color minimum for a tournament that can lead to hobby burn out. Maybe it’s a whole new army and painting the same scheme throughout your army. Switching between projects is a nifty option but painting deadlines can limit that as an option.
Paint with friends, take that chance to show off a model, learn a new technique. Pass off the model to someone who can paint eyes pointing in the same direction. Painting with friends can take some of the tedium out of it. This can be done virtually as well through various software. Alternatively, rather than join your friends, join the hobby in other ways. Such as listening to the 40k audio books, watching battle reports and looking at other people’s paint jobs. Eulis’ Blue Necrons why not?
Playing with gray unpainted models is bad enough, but proxying can be outright banned at some tournaments. Or maybe GW stopped making your model and you need quite a bit of converting. Some armies play better as hordes or some folks choose to play a horde. Think of all the Kroot armies, so many Kroot. Either way, the time has to be dedicated to building your army. Hiring someone to build isn’t always an option. You could build them all at once and when it came to painting you have this vast horde of unpainted models just staring at you. This daunting project could spur the very hobby burnout you are trying to avoid.
For big projects, I focus on building the same unit even the same model until I am done. Intercessor model A 6 times for 3 boxes and put those models in a box so I can’t see them anymore. I move on and I leave the sprues out so I can see that progress. Before I start the next infantry unit, I build a vehicle or 6. If it is a dual kit such as the Sydonian Dragoons and Ironstrider Ballistarius, the Taser Chicken and Laser Chicken friends, I may just keep building them all at once so I don’t feel like I have to build them again as they are so similar.
When all else fails…
As a last resort, take a break. It’s important to keep playing, learn the meta shifts, experience the dastardly plans your opponents can throw at you. However, if it just stops being fun, and the other solutions don’t work for you, yeah take a break. Maybe you don’t need to go to another tournament for your 19th weekend in a row. Or if you do go, it’s okay to call a game. Coach someone against your army. Call it early and meet up with your friends that happened to travel to the same event as you. This hobby is more than the dice, it’s the community around you. Remember the fun If you can. Step off to the side if you can’t. Catch up with a different genre and/or game system like Kill Teams or AoS. Hopefully, this helps if hobby burnout gets to you.
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