Motivation and Events

Motivation is often a big issue in our hobby (Brother Handro: Speak for yourself!) and, with limited time available to play with toy soldiers, if motivation and that available time don’t line up then we can easily make no progress!

We have both, however, had several rapid bursts of progress related to attending events. December 2018 saw The Hobby Butterflies attend the Road to Terra Podcasts Scouring of Melos event last year in Manchester, and much progress was made with painting our respective Legions (Brother Handro: I mean, we lost every game, nearly….).

Image Source: Tomada de Securens (

Image Source: Tomada de Securens (

Many posts and videos exist around the internet looking at motivation (Tabletop Minions being particularly vocal on this subject), but we seem to progress most effectively with a mixture of encouragement, challenge and the sense of dread associated with an impending deadline!

For The Hobby Butterflies it is events that spur us to progress. Sunkillers, Jetbikes, Doom Rider and Predators have all been added to the forces of the IIIrd legion for events. Brother Handro especially pushes the borders of sanity by insisting on a new 3000pt list for each event! His 4120pts for Melos in december was truly EPIC, and adding another 1000pts for our Throne of Skulls outing is similarly bold!

Der H

For me, having a deadline is very helpful. Much of my professional life is deadline focussed with continuous deadlines followed by another over the horizon. Exams are passed to allow the next exam, courses attended to pass the next ARCP, everything a means to the end…even if that ‘end’ is just the next step.

It is good in so far as it makes me progress and leads to completion, Kakophoni, Mechanicum and armoured elements of the IIIrd being a testament to that. It perhaps explains why Blood and Plunder, Arcworlde and Bolt action sit largely unpainted - we don’t do events for these.

Bad points are aplenty. I never paint in a relaxed, calm atmosphere. It is hard to relax and enjoy hobby for hobby’s sake when there is a deadline.

How to move forwards… Option A) is deadlines for all! (Brother Handro: You get a deadline! You get a deadline! Everyone gets a deadline!) monthly pledges worked for a while, and the ETL always brings about progress! Option B) is specifically no deadlines. Only take things to an event that are finished. When writing a list only pull from completed models, and build/paint what feels ‘next’….perhaps time will tell….or perhaps I‘ll be found dead under 3.4 tonnes of Forgeworld’s finest resin…

Brother Handro

Soooo….whilst it’s true that you get a great sense of accomplishment for nailing a huge amount of completed models in the run-up to an event, I’m not totally convinced it’s the best way to achieve your hobby goals. In practical terms, you certainly get stuff done, but personally I don’t feel that much better whilst doing the actual hobbying. Slow and steady wins the race and all that…Finding a way to keep yourself motivated is the key - for me, that’s increasingly feeling like being proactive and starting a project ASAP so that it doesn’t just fall into a box when the next shiny flits along. Finishing units/models is the secret - each one finished is not only the spur to starting the next, but also another finished unit/model on the shelf lining up with the previous ones; before you know it, you’ll have a fledgling army on the go! (Der H: assuming you manage to paint units from the same army and not get distracted…)

As long as you’re enjoying whatever you’re hobbying on, there’s no real ‘bad’ way to be and feel motivated, find what works for you and run with it. For us, I think that building small Allied detachments which can then grow into armies of their own (Der H: way ahead of you!) is a nice and practical way of easing yourself into a new army but also not getting overwhelmed by having a whole army sitting on sprue…Ooh shiny!


Motivation is an issue for wargamers (Der H: all the ones we know anyway) and everyone has their own ways of managing it….find your own path…I don’t know, just stop asking, I’ve 3000pts of Mechanicum to paint by next month….

Brother Handro & Der H

Thought for the day: “Only in death does duty end”