How to Play 40K: Embrace the Hobby

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series How to Play Warhammer 40K

This will be the final article in the series on how to play 40K, but I feel it’s the most important.

I said in the first article that Warhammer 40K is a hobby. It’s a wargame of course, but it’s first and foremost a hobby. People who get into 40K purely for the gaming will soon find themselves seeking something else. This isn’t to say that the game is bad and lacking, hardly that, but it would be like going to a buffet and only getting one thing.

My Love of 40K

Instead of generalizing and telling you what you should do and how you should enjoy 40K, let me explain my enjoyment of the game. How I embrace it. The thing I love about 40K is every single component of the hobby fuels the other parts of the hobby. I have models and units that I simply love the look of, or am especially proud of a paint job I did, that I will game with purely for those reasons. They might be terrible on the table, but I enjoy the models. So, I will play with them and enjoy it regardless of how they perform.

On the other end, I’ve had games where something happens that will inspire my hobby motivation. An unpainted unit could perform really well in a game and then I feel compelled to get them painted up. Something interesting can happen in a game, some unexpected miracle. Then suddenly I’ve got a model with a story, a name, and a personality. Most of the fluff I write for my armies revolves around actual in-game events. What better place to get inspiration? Speaking of, I read a fair amount of Black Library stuff. I have come away from some of those books with an intense desire to build certain units, lists, etc.

Live 40KThe Hobby Circle of Life

My gaming will inspire my hobby, my hobby will inspire me to build certain lists, gaming fuels fluff and fiction for my armies, reading about 40K inspires all of it and it goes on and on. Every single element of the hobby impacts every other element. There are parts of the hobby I enjoy more than others but that’s the beauty of engaging in all areas, something can motivate you even in those areas you don’t enjoy as much.

I see 40K as a machine and all facets of the hobby are gears. You remove one gear and the machine fails to function. That’s what I was getting at above where I said if you only get into it for the gaming then you’ll soon find yourself moving on. Not participating in certain areas of the hobby, not embracing everything, would be like removing a gear from the machine. It might function for a while but it will not be optimal and will eventual fail.

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Conclusion

I could probably prattle on and on about embracing the hobby but I’ll leave it at that. You may find better games out there than Warhammer 40K but I’d argue you will not find a better hobby.

Series Navigation

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  • Yep, it is all about the hobby for me too. Gaming fuels my hobby, hobby fuels my gaming. No other game system/model selection inspires me to create different and varied armies for my games than 40k, or even just for the pleasure of converting to a theme. No matter how frustrating the game can become sometimes, the hobby side always brings me back, I just love it :)

    • Exactly. Even bad games can help as well. That’s been the slump I’ve been in lately but it’s helped push me to finish up stuff that’s been lingering for a while (Bloodlettters, rebasing Hounds), and motivate me to get a new unit build (Possessed). Of course, actually winning games can be motivating too but I forget what that’s like…

  • The whole series of these are wonderful. Really well done and this last one hits home. :)

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