I could not decide what to blog on this week for the life of me. I've been so preoccupied with taking care of the house while the wife was gone, and the almost-religious aspect of football over Sundays and Mondays (and sometimes Thursdays) have added to all the distractions from the hobby I have. The Chaos Space Marine Codex is going to be released this weekend and I already have it on preorder at the game store. I've finished the 1,000 point army projects that I started two months ago. Soooooo....
Then I realized exactly what I can talk about- my Grand Plan of Doom!
You see, I've been trained by the Emperor's finest to promote and develop hobbyists everywhere I go. I used to have stores to do that with and I enjoyed unrivalled success at it. But then I retired my power armor and haven't looked back (well, much anyway).
I've spent some time in the LGS, a good store run pretty well and with a vibrant gaming community. I've dealt with an unengaged owner and intrusive onlookers, while myself not enjoying the crowd as much as I expected (and that's for alot more reasons than them). I've had a few friends in the garage, er, workshop and done some hobbying. But I didn't enjoy that as much as I expected. I've strong-armed both my brothers into playing the game with me a few times (and they're enjoyable, just not committed. It's more something to do to them). But I've been very unfulfilled as far as my hobby goes.
Well, I started collecting comic books again. I found a great comic store and developed a relationship with the owner and some of the regulars. I've kept up too many subscriptions and have had a reason to give them money every week for over 50 now. And then I noticed something one day- they stock a small selection of 40k stuff! I knew they had 4 game tables and a scattering of terrain, but I assumed it was for the Heroclix players (I found out later that they use square-maps, but that'll be a different blog). I had, in a year of going there, not seen a single 40k player in the shop, or a single 40k purchase outside of my own rare ones (paints, old ones, victory!). And so it began...
I talked to the owner the weekend before Dark Vengeance preorders went live, and I offered to bring in stuff and run demos and try to introduce some gaming love to his store. He became very excited. Apparently, there had been a small 40k crew that frequented the place in the past, but they eventually dispersed and allowed the 'clix players and Pathfinder crew to overtake the gaming areas. This could not stand, and my mission was obvious. The next weekend, I brought in 750 points each of Chaos and Dark Angels and played a couple demo turns with about half-a-dozen patrons and BOOM! Instant preorders, instant sales, and smiles all around.
Every Saturday since, I've arrived to the store with a ridiculous amount of supplies and been a hobby guru for a group of guys. They're all soldiers (or just out of the Army) and young, and sadly eventually getting stationed elsewhere. But they've all dove feet-first into the hobby by purchasing almost everything they need for 1K armies- from hobby supplies to rules to models. Better yet, they've now mostly spent a month painting their armies like crazy and discussing fluff and background. It makes me very very happy!
I now have a group of guys that I can enjoy playing. But what's different about these guys versus the ones at the LGS across town? you ask. Well, these guys have the same mindset about the hobby that I have- background over rules! The LGS crowd has moved on to other games and often whine about the changes to 6th edition or their army's current failings. They're a veteran crowd that enjoys the hobby in a different way to me. Meanwhile, my comic shop guys love the stories and feel of the universe, and they're new to the game so they aren't focussed on rules and other nonsense! It's nice to bring the Imperial Truth to the ignorant rather than Imperial Vengeance to the unwilling. It brings the old warm-fuzzies back from the days when I was a Space Marine.
What's the Grand Plan? Well, it was to start a game club that I enjoyed participating in. That was the most important part. The comic shop has shown me immensely outstanding customer service and I've witnessed nothing else in all the time I've spent there (and I have spent alot of time there recently), so the plan also included making them some monies. Some of you may wonder if I'm suddenly employed there. The answer is no. I am there with the express purpose of forming a game group I like. I also make them tons of cash, but that is a 'beneficial side effect' that I welcome, not a driving force. The Grand Plan boils down to utilizing my extensive skill-base and resolving this hobby funk I'm in by forming a game group.
Alex has an IG army that's based around Basalisks, Veterans riding in Vendettas, and a mean-looking Commissar. They're named the 47th Silver Gloves, and yes, their gloves are silver.
Curtis has a big collection of Black Reach sets suddenly and has been diligently working on Ultramarines, but his love lies with the Orks. He's even excited about painting striated flesh.
Kieth is nicknamed 'Sarge' for reasons beyond explanation right now, and he's the master of a massive force of Blood Angels. Better yet, he's learned how to paint them better than the well-painted models he inheritted.
Robert is quiet and working on Tau- making them look like Gundams!
Conan is crazy about his huge Space Marine collection. Sitting next to a Black Legion player, he unwittingly started painting his loyalists black and gold. I can't wait to see that taunt-fight.
Nick has the Black Legion, which started as the Pink Legion and then I showed him a couple tricks. Lo and behold, he switches to an easy and beautiful scheme. His models are too good for being so early in.
Chris has taken Nick's Dark Angels (of course, he did pay half for the box set) and started working on them diligently. Adding Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade to his Ravenwing motors was eye-openning an drove him to go crazy with the paintbrush.
Trey is a young man with video game experience playing Dark Angels and a ton of natural painting talent.
Kyle is one of the regular 'clix players who used to play Eldar back in the day and is drooling now.
Adam and John are a couple of experienced 40k players, one a Tyranid player and the other using Iron Warriors, who are excited to play in a group that isn't uber-competitive.
And there's a few more besides that have shown interest. My weekly efforts have paid-off quite well in the past month. What have I been doing? Well, the demo games were the first couple of weeks, the demo paint lessons were a week, and the last couple have been me just being part of the crowd and working on some models myself. This Saturday will see me drag the demo armies back into the shop and run a game, this time using stat-cards and the rulebook and actually teaching everyone the meticulous rules (we used to call this a 'Beginner's Mega-battle'). I'm hoping that this will see some dice-rolling and dood-pushin' out of this group within the next couple of weeks. But their commitment to painting their armies isn't upsetting me one bit...
And there's my Grand Plan. It's really nothing more than the chance to fill my otherwise boring time and actually do something. Oh, and it's motivating me to hobby every week, or at least it's supposed to. Now to get that codex...