Monday, March 18, 2013

My Warhammer Psychosis is Cured! (And how you can avoid going crazy, too!)

Oh I feel much better.
Not Warhammer Fantasy
But I think the message is clear

I've sold 90% of my Warhammer figures and books and made a nice chunk of change. Most importantly, I've freed up time for other, far more enjoyable figure-painting endeavours, like finishing up my Hundred Years' War armies or painting figures for D&D.

Warhammer caused me too much stress and anxiety. You can start reading all about my my  Psychosis of Warhammer here.

A guy I spoke to last weekend said that Games Workshop continually makes him angry. I told him I sold my figures so I wouldn't have to put up with it anymore. He said he'd invested in several armies. It was too late for him. I wished the man well.

So, how do you avoid the psychosis?

The simple solution is not to invest in Warhammer to begin with. But this advice can apply to other wargames, too:

1. Make certain you enjoy the game first, not just the pretty miniatures.
My problem with Warhammer is that you can never know all of the rules unless you collect every single army book. The rules are already clunky, but then you have to contend with surprises your opponent will put out from his army book.

"My Mark of Nurgle gives you a -1 to your ballistic skill and weapons skill." Is there anyway to counter or dispel that? "No."

Great, my base 25% chance of doing damage to you just dropped to 11%, not factoring in any armor saves.

2. Understand that assembling and painting miniatures is the real hobby behind the game. 
A couple weekends ago I introduced a teenager to my HYW game. Afterwards he got all excited, wanted to collect an army right away. He picked up a big box full of 120 Roman Legionaries for a decent price (I smiled inwardly--hey, at least it wasn't Warhammer).

"Hold on," I said. "Assembling and painting miniatures takes a lot of time."

We slid open the box and he saw all of those unassembled plastic figures on sprues.

"Whoah," he said. And after a moment of letting it sink in, he asked me: "Will you help me put them together?"

"No," I said. "You just need to start much smaller." I pointed out a regiment of 20 legionnaires. "Make sure you enjoy painting before investing in a whole army."

The problem with Warhammer is that Games Workshop markets the game to get people to buy more than they can reasonably paint.

3. Cut your losses sooner rather than later.
I knew in the back of my mind Warhammer wasn't the game for me. Yet it wasn't until I wrote "The Psychosis of Warhammer" series that I really understood how much anger I had toward the game and Games Workshop.

"Oh, come'on, really?" Some of you might being think. "It's just a game."

It's also an investment of both time and money, and nobody in their right mind wants to see either go to waste. I spent a lot of time and money on Warhammer, and it hurt to admit that I wasn't getting a good return on investment in terms of fun and enjoyment. The rules are blah, the miniatures are nice but have become a pain in the butt to assemble, and lately GW has been churning out crappy product (Finecast, etc).

If you're not having fun, pull out. Cut your losses. Even if all of your friends are playing Warhammer may they'll come along with you. Who knows? Maybe they're secretly miserable, too...


  1. Good post. I know exactly waht you mean.

    I've been looking for a good modern minis game. I focused in on Force on Force and Bolt Action. Rather than do what I normally do and buy a bunch of supplements, minsi etc, ahead of time, I got thecore rulebooks to read. (Well, I also got teh ambush alley supplement for FoF--I'm a sucker for Vietnam supplements!).

    I'm glad I did. while I found Bolt Action "pretty," the mechanics and design philosophy behind FoF suits my style of play better. And, the way boxed sets are being handled for BA looks like it might well lend itself to a WH-style psychosis.

  2. I just dumped my entire IG army. Most of it was unpainted and I actually made money off of it because of the crazy price hikes that have happened since I bought all the stuff. I started the hobby because I liked the miniatures, but never really had fun playing. I don't know why there are so many GW disciples running around this industry. Don't get me started on fine cast when I first saw them I was thinking maybe I could pick up one of these to paint for my D&D collection until I flipped it over and saw the price. Your right if people dont like it, then people need to stop buying into it. There are so many alternatives out there that are better priced and better sculpted.

  3. Yeah, I got out of wargaming some years ago for exactly those reasons. Painting became a grinding chore, owning masses of unpainted minis I'd never get to became a source of stress, and I finally realized that I didn't really like playing. I at least made a nice profit selling my painted minis but overall it really wasn't worth it it terms of time or money.

  4. Agree with teh masses of armies. That's why I went with FoF. "Skirmish" level squad actions require far fewer minis and allows me to diversify. Another reason I like Battletech--usually not much large than a lance (4 'mechs) and a few support vehicles.


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