I was hoping to be able to do an unboxing for the Warcaster: Neo-Mechanika goodies from the Kickstarter, but while I’m seeing any number of pics from giddy souls elsewhere on the continent, sadly there’s no tracking number yet for a box of Iron Star Alliance heading toward the Gdaycave. The anticipation of the arrival of the new shinies has had me thinking, though. While we’re all socially distancing and gaming together isn’t an option for those adhering to social distancing, it won’t be this way forever, and there’ll come a time when I’m in a position to host an opponent or two in the Gdaycave…
… but to host an opponent, one needs… an opponent.
The question is, then, how to encourage your fellow gamers to take up the game you want to play, or how to encourage your non-gamer friends to share your interest. Some people just aren’t into tabletop gaming, and that’s cool, but I know I’m looking forward to sharing tabletops again when we can, and if I can help some new people discover a new hobby, then I’m all for it.
When the Press Ganger program was running I made a point of dumping my PG Points into starter boxes and models that I could use to either run demos for new players, or to actively gift to enthusiastic newbies to help them start their collections. This sadly isn’t an option any more, and a new product like Warcaster doesn’t yet have the depth of lore or range of models that Warmachine & Hordes have, or any number of other games. Joys of being the new kid on the block.
While we have a very dynamic ruleset, we don’t yet have easy, ready access to all models, but we do have a setting we can share, and some super cool art pieces. It’ll be awhile before there are enough models out there to show prospective newbies, but if you can get your hands on two starters, paint ’em up, and you’ll have demo kits. From there you can showcase the game to your friends, how it plays, and mayhap point them at an FLGS or preferred online retailer so they can get some models if their interest is sufficiently piqued.
This train of thought may have been inspired by a recent article on Warhammer Community, but the same principles apply to any game system. The key to finding new opponents, regardless of your preferred flavor of toy soldiers, is you.
You’re in the position to be an ambassador not just for your chosen game, but for the way you like to play your chosen game. You can not only welcome new players into the lore and setting and ruleset of your favourite game, you can also show them the different ways the game can be enjoyed. Want opponents for tense, edge-of-your-seat, mentally challenging nailbiters? Want opponents for relaxed, beer-and-pretzels nights of seeing who can roll the most dice? Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I encourage you to play the game the way you love to play, and in doing so share what you love about your games. Be mindful that a different aspect may appeal to your newbies, but with a bit of luck you’ll find a kindred spirit, and make a new friend… who will also turn out to be your fondest enemy. Yeah, Spud, I’m looking at you 😉