Friday, April 20, 2018

Warhammer and Project Management

Hey Everyone!  This weekend we see the first wave of another great Age of Sigmar army release and many, myself included, are very excited to get out hands on the new Idoneth Deepkin.  We are in a great time for our hobby, especially Age of Sigmar, as Games Workshop rapid release schedule has seen numerous armies coming out one right after the other.  While this keeps a healthy buzz and excitement within the community I have also seen a fair number of people who get very excited during a release only to quickly lose interest and focus as the next army begins to appear.  While this isn't anything new it does create a bit of a rollercoaster ride and today I wanted to look at how to manage your army project in some basic detail.  With a solid plan, it is easy to finish your current army project while being excited and planning out your next!

This easiest way to see a project succeed is to have a plan to follow.  Are you buying the entire army at once or will you buy a kit at a time?  Are you using subassemblies or building everything in one go?  Does the army have a theme to it or are you simply creating a competitive 2000pt list that you are painting in the same scheme?  There are numerous questions to ask yourself when setting up your plan and the sooner you create your plan the more likely you are to complete it.  When a new line of models grabs you it is easy to jump on board and commit, but laying out exactly how you will complete the force will keep you excited for the army even as you get excited about the next release.

To help you manage your army projects I can recommend a few simple tools that really help me, not only with armies but all hobby projects.  The first tool is a hobby journal.  I have used one for almost two years and it has been glued to my side whether I am at work, my hobby desk, or a game.  Ideas, plans, paint recipes, and plenty of other information is written down for future reference.  It wasn't until the recent release of the Battle Journal that I stopped putting my game notes in this journal so in a way I now have two dedicated hobby journals and I am considering adding a third to separate off my paint schemes and recipes into their own book.

The second tool might sound familiar if you listen to The Independent Characters Podcast as, host of the show, Carl is a big fan of this tool.  The mighty KanBan board.  KanBan boards can be changed to fit the user's needs, but the most basic version you will find has the following sections."To Do", "Doing", and "Done".  Breaking down the steps to completing your project allows you to clearly see where you are, what you have done, and what is left to do while giving you the flexibility to change and adapt as needed.  I used this tool for my hobby, my home life, and my job and I cannot suggest you try to use one for your next project.  They can be made using a dry erase board, pen and paper, or you can check out the App I use to track projects from a high level and a detailed level.

To take a look at my own projects I am currently wrapping up my Daughters of Khaine while looking ahead to my future Idoneth Deepkin army I am planning.  When I began my Daughters of Khaine the new Battletome wasn't announced and my plan was to paint 120 Witch Aelves, a few Cauldrons, and some Hag Queens.  The army was being built for playing Competitive so I was sticking to just the models needed and I began to buy what I needed over a few months.  I am very much an assembly line style painter so after everything was purchased it was assembled, primed, and painted.  I planned to finish my Witch Aelves first, then my Cauldrons, etc... and finish the bases last.

The plan I laid out was eventually thrown a curve when the new Battletome and models would be coming out before my deadline of Adepticon 2018.  In a previous article series, I spoke about how a deadline is a great tool to use in order to reach your goals and finish projects and once set I very rarely change mine.  To meet the deadline my plan had to be flexible so I reworked what I wanted to do once the Battletome was out.  I met the goal and had my army ready for Adepticon, but I choose to add on to the project so I had one of each of the new units, which are recently built and awaiting primer.

With a fair number of models left in the project, I am now looking at the Idoneth Deepkin and a few small one-off models as my next project.  I allowed myself to begin planning how I will tackle the Idoneth Deepkin and while I am very excited I will be finishing my Daughters of Khaine first and having the plan laid out to do so is very helpful in avoiding buying Idoneth this weekend and jumping directly in that day.  Don't get me wrong I will be picking up some of the new fun models, but I am sticking to the plan of finishing my Daughters before working opening any Idoneth models.  It would be very easy to begin my Idoneth this weekend with the intent to finish my Daughters of Khaine later on, but I know that would be unlikely for me to do and if I do not stick to my plan I will never complete the army.

In this face paced release world we live in having a plan for your project and sticking to it can really help you get enthused about an army and stay enthused with it through completion even while you are getting excited for the next release or army you plan on tackling.  It seems like common sense, but in this golden age of Warhammer, it is easy to lose sight of our projects.  To sum it up, set a deadline, have a plan and stick to that plan while remaining flexible.  Until next week, Happy Hobbying!

Chuck Moore