I was wondering if anyone had stories about introducing friends/family to wargaming.
I’ve wanted to get my wife and friends to just PLAY a game with me and it’s been difficult. They see it as a whole big intimidating thing to “get into.” I’ve tried to tell them they can use my collection and don’t have to hobby at all. OPR also seems like a great easy enough game to teach others that it takes a lot of burden off of learning.
So, if you have any stories or advice I’d love to hear it!
What little time I have I try to spend gaming. -Adeaddylan
Well, first of all, women/girls are usually less attracted than males by games with a strong conflict theme. You could have better chance trying to convince wife to play a boardgame. This is not an absolute statement, and girls that actually enjoy wargames (and assemble and paint their own models) do exist. Again, not an absoulute statement, and by no means I intend to sound sexist, but it seems to me they tend to like more games that present at least some strong female characters (Warmachine, Malifaux) and this is not the case of 40K, I would say
Furthermore, people could feel intimidated by the chance of being "crushed" by you, a more experienced (thus more skilled) player. Regarding the latter you could offer to act as referee/dungeonmaster to host a game between two equally new players, for start. Otherwise, you can propose a multiplayer game: prepare 5-6 balanced forces (I would provide a couple more than expected players, to allow each one to choose something the may like), have every one pick one and play the game as if it were a more traditional boardgame. Bypassing the 1vs1 aspect could make people feel the game more like a slightly complex Risk! or Monopoly than the unspeakable monster that's the three-dimensional miniature wargaming hobby. There's a thread on the subject here: onepagerules.proboards.com/thread/1203/multiplayer-etc-rules-firefight There are also games specifically designed for multiplayer games, or even designed right for cooperative play (versus foes handled by the game rules).
One last thing: maybe it's the hobbyst in me speaking now (I enjoy the assemble/paint part as much as actually playing a game) but a nice table, with proper models, could be more attractive and offer a smoother experience than playing with differently colored meeples. No offence intended to those who do not enjoy the hobby aspect and/or play with tokens, but I'm positive that proper models (i.e. correctly equipped), besides a nicer look, would provide a better overall experience. If you're new to the rules and the hobby, being able to tell at a glance who the captain is, or who's the one carrying more firepower, would allow players to focus more on the game itself.
I introduced a friend to miniature gaming. She isn’t interested in painting, but we play casually with my miniatures . We tried Age of Sigmar, Kings of War, Deadzone, Guild Ball and A Song of Blades and Heroes. OPR is the more suitable game for both us, in terms of fun and casual play. In my case, the next things help us to have more fun playing the game:
- Playing with painted miniatures, some mat or board and some scenery, even they’re simple or 2D printed
- Reducing things to memorize (in this aspect, I think OPR and Magic The Gathering do an awesome job) - 1 sheet for rules to follow the game - Unit cards with their explained rules, whenever it’s possible; you don’t have to search rules in a book or sheet (http://onepagerules.proboards.com/thread/1194/stat-card-data-sheet-layout) - Tokens to keep track of game effects
- Keeping it simple; approaching wargames to board games. I think people may be overwhelmed by the usual size (board, number and size of miniatures and scenery) of a traditional wargame. To reduce the board size, I’ve finally decided to use centimetres instead of inches (board of 48 x 48 cm instead of 48 x 48 inches). This way, the game can be played on a smaller space and the two players can be sat; no need to walk around the table.
- Making the game friendlier. Not everyone likes a dark or war setting. We think in a world more related to fantastic adventures, like the books of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Name of the Wind. In the first of them, there are battles, but few deaths; they go fencing, the looser surrenders and returns back home.
- Playing for fun and forging a little narrative: - Using the odd results on dice. Usually, when the hero on horse fails all his attacks, it’s time to shine for his horse. It’s fun to see how a horse is more proficient than the hero of the army - Taking strange and epic choices over the strategic ones. In the last game, one of the best melee miniatures in the board (dwarf king) was hidden inside a forestinstead of approaching the enemy. Nevertheless, the opponent army sent some units to the forest to try to defeat it (high elves heavy cavalry); none of them came back. It seemed that the dwarf king preferred taking a break inside the forest instead of the battle, but he got mad when his break was interrupted
In summary, the advice is to see the game as an amusement with a bit of strategic thinking and unpredictable results, mixed with the experience of reading a book or watching a film; not as a complex competitive game or sport.
There are a couple of things I usually do to introduce people to the games:
- Depending on the type of player I might go either large battle or skirmish, if they are really narrative driven I'll offer campaign play - Play a smaller game with almost equal forces in terms of capabilities, try to avoid rock-paper-scissor setups - Avoid any units that have more complex rules, unless I know it's something they'd really love (like psychics/wizards) - Really explain every move I make in detail and explain what options players have at all times, help them with stats and rolls
I also find that adding an overall narrative as to why the battle is happening really helps, as well as narrating what is actually happening. If you don't narrate the game many players will approach things like a board game and miss on a big part of wargaming.