My local club in action. Not a recent photo hence all the Halloween décor.
So then, I thought I had better finish this two parter before the new year. Something that has been on my mind a lot recently is what I’m getting out of the hobby, as I went into earlier, and what your club can do for you. Or maybe what you can do for your club. I know there will be a lot of different opinions on this but I’ll just keep it to my views.
First up the ‘bricks and mortar’ I like a gaming area from my club. Having it somewhere that serves beer is always nice, but not essential. This is probably obvious but having that area allows for gamers to get together a game. Speaking of which we need something to game over. Now this may not be so obvious. I want from a club tables and varied scenery of reasonable quality to game over. As a club Chairman this has been a topic of discussion a fair bit round my way. Personally scenery of a varied quantity and a decent quality is a top priority and something I feel a club should provide. If it’s a large club with good revenue then rule books, supplements and even loan armies are not out of the question. But all that after the things that gamers need after they have spent all their money and time on their beloved army.
Now I like tournaments and events, a great excuse to get together and play a few games over a weekend against fresh opponents. But since the hobby has taken off and gaming has moved from the front room to the function room hobby clubs are the mainstay of weekly gaming. Which is great. You get a kind of mini event each week, gaming with people you may not know well enough to invite round to meet the missus but enough to have a beer over toy soldiers.
Now this brings up other factors to weekly gaming. You’ve got a group of buddies and now doubt it has a core of regular attendees. It’s also a deep enough player pool that you may not need to play same guy every other week. But unless you live in a big city I bet that player pool isn’t exhaustive. So now we come to it. If your group are avid tournament goers then you may want to spend your time trying out your latest killer list, which is great. I’ve been known to test out a few lists pre event myself. But for me variety is the spice of life. So I like to see campaigns, scenarios and out of the box games at clubs. You see the same bunch of guys and while you could round robin each other without things getting stale why play pick up games each week. As you see each other each week you have the time to plan out story games or league matches, all adding to the hobby.
So there you go. Planted a thought I hope. What do you want from your club?
A little one in between my ‘You and your club’ bit as I’m not gaming tonight and ran out of time for a bit of hobby.
I sold some of my Battlefleet Gothic minis today. A bit of a shame but then their chance of use is ever dwindling. This is not helped with the complete removal of support by GW of their specialist systems, but then the ‘other’ games were always a little difficult to find opponents for. Especially in my current area. Which is a shame because for the most part they were really great games. My Epic Orks were sold a while back because Epic gamers are even rarer. I understand Epic still has a following with Epic UK and BFG must still have players as the items I put up for sale were all bought. It is just a little difficult to find them. Even interest in Blood Bowl is dwindling around here, but that has a digital fix.
All this meant it was with a little apprehension that I took up Infinity. I feared finding people to play may be a little difficult as GW main systems have such a grip in this area. But I thought if anything I could use it as painting project as the figures are really awesome. Which worked out well as they are some of my best work. Luckily a couple of people took up the game and Infinity has seen the tabletop here.
So I guess it’s a bit of a shame that something old is gone, hopefully not to be forgotten. But then it has made way for something new. Do you manage to the things you want. Being as you need a real life person for a tabletop game it’s a bit more tricky to play the games you want than video games.
As usual the hobby is always on my mind. Recently it has been how I can get the most from the hobby from a personal point of view, and as club Chairman there has been a lot of talk on what the hobby club should bring to the party.
I have always had a vivid imagination, frequently getting lost in my daydreams. I think this, along with a rather gloomy outlook, goes some way to explaining why I like 40K so much. The rich world in which it is set along with a bleak future where there is no clear ‘good guy’ really appeals to me. It also puts me a a disadvantage when actually playing a game, as I seem to find conflict in the way I think things should cinematically happen compared to the way the game mechanics play out. None the less I have enjoyed many years of game play including many an event, and while I have never indulged in the power lists that would give me a chance of glory I am not disappointed with the armies I have used.
Unfortunately the shine had worn off in recent months. Don’t get me wrong, I still like 40K, and reading the Horus Heresy books is almost like reading real history. And while I think there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the game mechanics of the latest edition I do think there is a lot wrong with the balance of the codex books. Remember before when I said I didn’t use power lists? Well there was never a time that I got my minis out to play a game where I thought I couldn’t win before we had even started, until recently. And that has made me look to the more broken choices so I can compete, which sits unevenly with me.
This led me to look for other games to play for the first time, and I found Infinity. I have to admit it took a while of going round the other systems before settling on one to look more deeply into, and to be honest Infinity seemed like the best of a bad bunch. The thing that finally sealed the deal was the D20 system with face to face roll which was really interesting. And as I have had more dealing with the game the fluff has also grown on me even if it’s not a rich as that of 40K, yet.
Infinity has reignited my passion for the painting side of the hobby. Having never worked with truescale minis they were a joy to put to the brush. Also the more I play the game the more I want to play it. It has so many nuances to explore and to date its tag line of ‘everything is usable’ has rung true. More to the point for me there has been nothing the seems unstoppable. Powerful yes, unbeatable no. As the game is relatively cheap to start and doesn’t need a lot spending full stop to get up to speed I wondered how they make their money. I was soon obvious as I had been sucked in and while the core rules are free to download I have already purchased the books and am about to start my second faction.
And this is where we come to an end for now as I’m about to encroach on what the hobby club could do for you.
So I’ll leave it with that thought. What do you want out of the hobby, and what can your local club or group contribute.
I started mini wargaming what seem like an age ago which a friend of a friend brought an Ork to school. We went around to his house and found Rogue Trader and were hooked. Soon after 2nd Ed 40K was released and many Saturday battles between the three of us ensued.
The usual story follows where I discover beer and women, the former maybe a little too much, and the gaming was shelved. When time came to face up to the fact I was never going to be a rock star and I should stop drinking like one I found the need to fill my spare time with something, re-enter mini wargaming.
I went straight back to 40K as space and sc-fi has always been exciting to me which meant Space Wolves as those were the only surviving models I had. The love of 40K continued, I had played WFB as a kid, and I’ve tried it a few times since (which is another story), but 40K was the way for me. I’ll post up some photos of my shockingly bad Wolves sometime soon. Unfortunately my painting skills do not improve all that much.
After games at the local GW with a good group I realised that the hobby had grow from when I was a kid, a lot. There was a whole scene and it wasn’t such a taboo, although there will always be fun poked. I found there were events to go to where you could spend a entire weekend gaming, amazing.
After a while moving around gaming in different places I settled not far from my home town to marry my lovely wife. I started visiting a local gaming group with some of the guys from the GW store I has#d visited in the past. They had got over their fear of tournaments and were firmly on the WFB circuit. In the last few years the gaming group has grown from a WFB tournament players practice group into a place of leagues and campaigns of all natures and I have got myself onto the committee, currently as chairman.
While I have played 40K all this time and stil own two armies the shine has worn off, both stories for another post. I also enjoy the specialist games from GW which were always hard to find players for, and even more so now they have been pulled. But Blood Bowl still lives on in digital form, sometime we even manage a tabletop league at the club. My new hobby desire is Infinity, which has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the hobby.
That’s a brief hobby history, no doubt to be expended on if this blog continues very far.
I thought I would start a hobby blog, possibly interspersed with some unrelated ramblings. Ever searching for new ways to deepen my hobby experience this seemed a logical step. A quick first post, possibly followed by a small biopic.