Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The "Broken Record" Syndrome

For those of you who aren't familiar with my "Syndrome" series, I like to approach certain aspects of our hobby with a certain tongue-in-cheek style of writing where I liken them to a medical issue. 

If you'd like to catch up, so far we've covered the "Oooooh, Shiny!" Syndrome where you just have to buy the all the new things, the "Bandwagon" Syndrome when someone jumps on the proverbial bandwagon of the new hotness or whatever is broken this month,  and the "Collectors" Syndrome that plagues some of us into concentrating all our efforts on one focused collection.  We've even reached into the "Comfort Zone" Syndrome where some of us refuse to try new things/games/factions/etc., and finally we addressed the "Hobby-Hammer" Syndrome where you plan and over-plan a project until it gets to the point that you never actually complete said project.

If you've not read any or all of the above Syndromes I've analyzed so far, click their titles above for a link to each article.  Otherwise, let's dive into the newest of the hobby-related maladies that I've discovered recently…

The "Broken Record" Syndrome.

Before we move on, I would like you all to know that the irony of this particular Syndrome article title is not lost on me in relation to itself.  This is the sixth in this series, after all.  I'd like to think it's not truly a  broken record, as each article is a different subject but still, it's a little

So what constitutes the contraction of this particular hobby malady?  Is there only a singular symptom of it, or can it have multiple mutations within our beloved pastime?  For me, I believe whole-heartily that this dreaded Syndrome can affect many different aspects of our hobby.  Let's take a look at a few.

Buying a Broken Record
Easily one of the simplest versions of this Syndrome, Buying a Broken Record is when you literally cannot stop buying figures from a particular line or company.  Even when you will take years, if ever, to get to doing anything with them.  Your buying habits are so ingrained that when Company X comes out with a new figure, tool or book, you are sold.  Even if you don't want to buy it, you buy it!

Building a Broken Record
This particular symptom of the Syndrome can actually take on multiple forms.  The first is simply the iteration where you build one faction, and never vary from it.  I mean, just how much can one man or woman love Space Marines/Cygnar/Pan Oceania/insert faction here?!  But try as your friends might, you just never add any variety to your collection.  The second version of this symptom is more related to the hobby side of things rather than the collecting side.  This is where you own hordes and hordes of shiny metal or lifeless plastic armies, never to see the wet bristles of a brush.  You love to build, but you hate to paint, or you don't have time.  But by golly, you find the time to build more! 

Painting a Broken Record
This is stubbornness at it's best in the hobby world, and can rear it's ugly head in many forms.  Refuse to try any other brush than the brand you use?  Refuse to paint without a wet palette?  Refuse to thin your paints?  Refuse to use any other brand of paint and/or primer?  I could go on, really, but you get my point.

Playing a Broken Record.
Love to spam that unit, and you'll continue to do so while you teach your future grandchildren to do the same?  We've all either been there, or practice that ourselves so you know what I mean.  Originally this was going to part of "Building a Broken Record", but it really does deserve it's own category.  Spamming units, always playing a shooty/assaulty/mechanized list, and avoiding other units and unit types religiously are all symptoms of this, and they all happen on a daily basis.

So what is the cure?  How do we answer this and fight against the "Broken Record" Syndrome?  Simple folks…keep an open mind.  Be open to suggestions, try new things, swap armies with your friends to see how they play.  Not only will that help you branch out, but it will also help you learn the other forces and make you a better player.  If someone suggests a line of paint that you don't normally use, buy a bottle of it and just give it a shot, it may surprise you!

Who's had this particular malady?  How did you break your "Broken Record" Syndrome?

- Tim


  1. I'm really proud to say this isn't me, anymore. I used to buy any and all Space Marine releases just because. Multiples, even. I have several unopened boxes on the shelves and lots of unpainted gray. I broke the cycle with the new assault and devastators, even though it was really hard to prevent. They're so great, but I simply don't need them right now.

    I feel very accomplished. Probably a bigger deal than when I quit smoking.

    1. I just ordered a load of tau. I have no honor among greenskins.

    2. Jeff, good on you man! I can honestly say I've conquered this for the most part myself...though I do occasionally end up with a new figure just because it came out still.

      Greg...I...well man, I can't wait to see what you do with em :)