Thursday, 10 February 2011

Hello, my name's Mick and I'm a wargamer.

Sounds like the start of a self health group. Maybe admitting to yourself you have a problem is the first step. The problem with me is half the time I don't tell people about the guilty little secret that happens in our box room late at night while the lights are out, I sit and paint.
Do you actually tell your friends you are a gamer? Those friends who aren't gamers that is? I as regular readers will know am an avid football fan and because of that I have two very distinct group of friends, I have my football friends who all wander up and down the country looking like extras from the Football Factory most weekends and I have my gamer friends who don't look like the latter group. My football friends still don't know about my gamer friends. They don't know why most Thursday nights I am unavailable.

I guess my question is why is it like that?

And the answer is because the appeal of 40k is incredibly hard to explain. Have you ever tried explaining it to your Mum? Where do you start? Do you start at the beginning of the fluff? There was this man called the Emperor and he had these sons called the Primarchs and suddenly she's going off on a tangent about the shop Primark (for our America readers Primark is a British clothing chain which sells cheap, made in sweat shop clothes to the masses) and how there is absolutely nothing on the shelves its all piled on the floor.

Do you start with the miniatures and try and explain why your mate has exactly the same miniature as you which could well lead back to the swamp that is the fluff or may go on the other tangent of 'How much do you pay for these things? And you say they aren't even painted? And you have to buy the paints for yourself? How long does it take you to paint them? Well you have a little bit more time for the ironing then don't you?'.

Or you could try and explain the game through the rules which in the end comes down to throwing some dice, using a tape measure, doing some mental maths and someone somewhere moving some models.

Its a minefield to explain it to people and personally I believe that if I were to try and explain it to my mates they would just confused.

So here am Internet saying loudly and proudly. I am a wargamer (but don't tell too many people.


  1. Mmmm most non gamer people I know think that the models I paint look pretty cool but of course they don't get the fluff or how the game plays. I generally only get positive feedback though. The classic question everyone asks is : "And what happens if you win? Does the opponent get all your models?" lol

  2. [vocal unison]Hi Mick[/vocal unison]

    I usually tell people it's like playing a game of chess on steroids. Same with Antipope, if people see the painted models they think it's cool and are always amazed someone can paint something so small. I love when people ask how small of a brush do I use, thinking it must have a single horse hair on it or something.

  3. All of my friends know that I play, considering I have a display of my favorite models on my desk in our living room. Then again, I really don't have many non-gamer friends, so even if they don't play Warhammer, they understand the appeal.

  4. I explain how much cheaper than it is going out Friday and Saturday and getting drunk, or a football season ticket and how it keeps me quiet and away from doing "stupider stuff"

    Actually explain Live Action Role-playing is more of a hassle for me!!

  5. I used to not tell any of my non-gamer friends, but I tell people about it nowadays. It's always difficult telling people what it is. Think I'm going to use the 'Chess on Steroids' line now though.


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