Saturday, 12 September 2015

Hobby Pie

So before I get into this topic I thought it would be good to have a bit of a disclaimer. This blog is mostly about 'hey check out this cool thing'. So usually I am focused on showing off the latest miniatures that I painted, or giving a battle report of the last game I played. But I have been thinking about writing out my thoughts on my personal hobby pie (will explain what that is below), which is totally different thing and is a bit philosophical I guess. So if you are here to check out the cool things probably best to give this one a skip, as there is a bunch of text coming this way.

I think this is worth discussing thou as everyone is interested in different aspects of this hobby, but it's small so we kind of need everyone to work together, and sometimes the most fun games are when different types come together. But also it can be harder for people with very different views to get along.

So the idea here is to talk about how different people enjoy the different aspects of their own personal hobby. The main idea here comes from an article written by Jervis Johnson in a white dwarf article, where broke the wargaming into 5 aspects and presented pie charts that showed how he and another individual enjoyed their hobby. This has been talked about on allot of blogs to be sure so ou have probably head of this before.

My first introduction to the idea of the hobby pie, although was never called that, came when I sued to play Warhammer back when I was in university in St John's. There was a great fellow named Scott that used to have allot of different people over to his place to play some games on day a week. He mentioned to me how he found it interesting that some people came over to play games and that was all they ever did. Other people seemed to come over mainly to hang out, and rarely if ever played games. Then there was a third group who used to hang around and do a bit of painting mainly. Now you are probably starting to see where this is going.

In his article Mr. Johnson breaks the wargaming hobby down into 5 aspects:

Gaming: Actually playing games, and trying to win.
Paint & Modelling: Which obviously is painting, modelling and converting models
Collecting: Which is the fun of collecting large or varied armies. No requirement that you be the painter.
Background: He meant reading and enjoying the fictional stories attached to warhammer models, but I consider that reading history books and such fits into this category as well.
Camaraderie: Hanging out with your buddies.

So the idea is that our hobby can be broken down into the 5 aspects, and everyone enjoys certain of them more then others, there are all types of hobbyists. I know or have known people that are mainly into it because they enjoy painting models, and it's an excuse for them to do that. Others see it as just a game, and as famously stated would be happy to play with grey cubes. Still for others it provides a reason to read lots of history books.

If two people sit down to play a game and one of them has a beautifully painted army as he is a painted, and the other has a black primed army, because he is a gamer. It can lead to frustration and a bad experience so it is good to see where the other guy is coming from and see their point of view.

It is also worth noting that enthusiasm is infectious. So if you start spending time with people that are more into one aspect then you, then it will tend to change your preferences in my opinion. Say if I game with a bunch of people that are really excited about history then I would naturally start enjoying that more and more.

So now that you have an idea of what I am talking about I guess it is time to post up my personal hobby pie.

I have tried to be as honest with myself as I can but that is not always easy. But here is a brief run down on how I have created this.

Gaming: I enjoy playing game, and attend tournaments fairly regularly, probably on average 4-6 per year. So based on this I gave an above average (20) value to gaming.

Painting: I spend a fair amount of time painting models, and enjoying trying out different techniques and try to paint each model the best that I can. Have gone to painting classes, and have enter painting contests in the past, and have done well in some where there wasn't to much competition. So I have rated this just as high.

Camaraderie: I do enjoy hanging out with my buddies and talking shop, but also I think it would be fair to say I may not be there as much if there was no game, and can at times become frustrated if the game is delayed to much. So I went for average here.

Background: Well they can't all be above so I rated background a bit lower. I do enjoy reading history books, or back ground information. But I am not a slave to them and the details or historical outcomes are not that important to me, so I gave below average here,

Collecting: You may be a bit surprised here since I have amassed so much stuff over the years, but on the other hand I have disposed of full armies once they were of no more use. Basically when I lost interest in this game. So I gave collecting below average as well. But this is the one I am the elast sure of.

So as you can see my main interests in this hobby are painting and gaming. This should be obvious to all reads of my blog here since all the posts are of something I just painted or a cool game I just played. But because of my preferences I can some times have trouble getting along with people that are much more interested in history and historical accuracy. It can seem a bit burdensome to at times, we are just trying to play a fun game with cool models so why do you keep bringing up real life right? But it is important to remember that this is just how they enjoy their personal hobby, so there is not really any cause to become frustrated or upset. I think also that everyone has their own periods or games that they are much more interested in, and so are more sensitive to perceived inaccuracies in that period. Napoleonic gamers are perhaps the most famous for that.

That then is my take on the whole hobby pie thing, it might be interesting if people comment with their own hobby pie values, or if they think mine are totally off! Also be sure to let me know if you enjoyed this different more wordy article or hated it. I will still just do whatever I want, but it is good to be informed none the less.



  1. Very cool post Mike...very interesting idea. Very bold move on actually rating each slice of your pie. I think for myself, collection and gaming are at the bottom...painting is definitely at the top, followed by comaraderie and background, though I'd place comaraderie a bit above research...most of the time, lol.

  2. Thanks for the post. Interesting perspective. I would put myself at gaming, painting, camaraderie, then background. Collecting is just what it takes to make an army. I put gaming number one, but I much more enjoy playing with a friend then going to tournaments.

  3. Interesting that we don't have any collectors despite the huge armies that we all have!

  4. That is a very interesting post. I will have to think about where I think I divide up my hobby interests. I do think of myself as more of an accumulator rather than a collector (though I am not sure I could say what the the difference is!)