I routinely find my interests in 40K changing, as do many I’m sure. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s just a natural progression in the hobby. When I began playing 40K it was all about the hobby. Everything was new and shiny. I began with Orks who are always a fun army to work on. Every single game, win or loss, was a story and I was having a blast learning the game. A few years later I began going to a game store and participating in tournaments. As expected I was getting my ass handed to me on a platter. I began shifting to a more competitive mindset. I wasn’t playing netlists but I was learning more and more about strategy, tactics and building more efficient lists.
Since then things have changed some but not drastically. For a time I tried being super-competitive. I was absorbing every article I could on winning: the best units, how to deploy Army X vs Army Y, you name it I was reading it. I pretty quickly realized that mindset was not for me. My progress was minimal despite my best efforts and that began making me angry. When a game, something you do for fun, is making you angry and your fun hinges on a win then something is seriously wrong. So, I stepped back a bit. I was still trying to be competitive but I was not hanging my enjoyment of the game on the results.
That is where I’ve been at lately, semi-competitive. On our normal 40K nights at the shop I have been typically bringing in lists to prepare for whatever that month’s tournament is and using those nights to play-test and hone my lists. Maybe that sounds more than semi-competitive to some, and maybe it is, but to me it’s not the same level I had put myself at before when I wasn’t enjoying the game. The play-testing nights have been for fun. I have of course been trying to tweak list for a tournament but enjoying the process and not letting it get to me.
My shift in priorities is stepping back from that semi-competitiveness. There’s a few reasons for this. First and foremost is for my enjoyment of the game I love. Even trying to be semi-competitive with 40K is taking a toll. This game should not feel like work, it’s a hobby and when something alters that perception of mine then changes are needed. Second, there are a lot of models that I really enjoy the look of, models I want to convert and paint but that competitive mind has held me back because they are not competitive choices. Screw that. I’m going to buy the stuff I want because I want to and not because it’s a point efficient choice in a list. Third, with all the new stuff GW has thrown at us I want to see where the game is when the dust settles. Our shop is working through this process now, deciding what we want to allow, disallow and the impact it will have. I’m not going to piss and moan here but there are some things I do not want to see happen and should they then my participation in tournaments will drastically reduce. That feeling would likely be different if I were still in that competitive mindset but I’m not. This doesn’t mean I will no longer participate in the shop’s monthly tournaments, I enjoy spending a Saturday playing 40K, but I will start picking and choosing which I attend instead of outright attending any and all I can. Maybe the ones I miss I will just spend that time working on my armies instead.
All of this has been on my mind for a while and now that the Standish Standoff is over, our big annual 40K tournament, and the holiday season is almost past, I have had the time to just think about what I want out of this hobby and what gives me the biggest enjoyment. Right now that is building my Chaos army up, adding in those units I want to for no other reason than I enjoy them and getting it all painted finally and putting that army on the table and having fun regardless of outcome.