I’m a 40k Politician

mayor-quimby

Pimpcron explains the hard decisions of running a gaming club.

Hi my friends, after this disgusting U.S. election cycle I can’t even see red or blue without getting nauseous. Pimpcron is here to NOT discuss all of that today. You can stop your cursor from hovering over the “close window” button.

Making Dangerous Decisions

A lot goes into running a gaming club, but I’ve enjoyed doing it for about 6 years now. We’ve had trials and tribulations, heart ache and laughter. Okay, that’s being pretty dramatic. We had one, ONE gunfight and nobody will let your club live it down. Rest in peace Carl. I pour a little Nuln Oil out on the pavement for my homies who didn’t make it.

nuln-oil-spilled

Nuln Oil: Breakfast of Champions and drink of choice for ghosts

The point is, running a gaming club doesn’t seem very important but for me it is vital. In my regional area it is literally the difference between being able to play at all or never playing again. Due to low population and having more chickens than people in the surrounding 100 miles, the gaming community is quite small. Picture where I live as point A on a map and run north 35 minutes to point B and that is where we game. The only other option is another store 30 minutes West (point C). Without some sort of organized gaming club, I would literally have my friends James and Dave who live nearby to play against, and inevitably everyone else would die off from lack of playing.

Relocating Was Scary

So a couple years ago, the owner of the store we used to play at got tangled up in the shady business of selling off-brand Beanie Babies (kidding; it was cocaine). The store closed and we were forced to choose point B or point C. The problem is, about ¼ of our players were from the C area, and ¾ was from the B area. There were other reasons involved, but we ended up moving the group to point B.

math-is-hard

Pay attention. There will be a quiz.

This might sound really silly, but it was a bit of a scary time for our group. Because of the fragile nature of having only like fifteen frickin’ wargamers in our area, if we made the wrong choice, we lose players. Due to choosing B, we were able to minimize loses and even gain a couple more people. But it hurt, because wargaming was the glue the held a lot of our friendships together due to our very different backgrounds and lifestyles.

So it was basically saying goodbye to some friends because point B was a good 45 minutes from where they lived. But as a leader, you have to choose the best of the two options, even if there will be casualties. You just try to minimize the damage to your group and keep it together. Not a fun position to be in sometimes, but I do it for the money. Ha! I don’t get money, but I do bask in all of the recognition. Ha! None of them like me.

Do You Have To Be The Game Nazi?

Obviously some of you come from areas where gamers are a-dime-a-dozen, and are oddly sold in bundles. I don’t know how that’s legal, but local laws differ on human trafficking. Anyway like I said, my area is devoid of gamers for the most part. So over the years I’ve made a policy of “keeping 40k in 40k-club”. There is a reason behind this, and it is another one of my hard decisions I’ve had to make in steering the club.

GermanInsig

Maybe I should change our gaming club logo to something other than this.

Many times in the past years, a few of us get smitten with another game. I fell hard for Fanticide (before the company went defunct), I love Firestorm Armada, and I have come to really love AoS. Others wanted to play Warma-Hordes, Malifaux, or X-Wing. That’s all well and good, but to preserve the group of 40k players, we have discouraged playing other games on our 40k game night. And before you think “Pimpcron is a controlling jerk” I will add the caveat that this policy has quelled my nerd-boners more than any other player in our group. I am way more likely to try another game than the others. Not everyone agrees with this policy in our group, but it has served us well and allowed the club to stay strong in a barren desert of wargaming.

I have to think of our group in survival terms, with so few players to choose from. If we start allowing other games to be played on our 40k night, then casual players who stop in for 40k aren’t guaranteed a 40k game when they get there. And another policy I’ve made that goes hand-in-hand with this one is: if you show up to 40k night; you get a game. Even if I have to abstain from playing so that you can.

sad-predator

“I stopped in on 40k night, and they were playing AoS, Malifaux, and Infinity. I didn’t get a game in.”

You allow that to happen a few times and you run the risk of losing that’s player’s interest. This hobby is completely optional in your life, and people will constantly fall in and out of it enough already, due to life changes. So you don’t want to discourage people to play when they actually want to play.

Due to these policies, we’ve been able to ride out the flux of players, hard times for our players, and two store re-locations. It may sound funny to say there are politics involved in running a gaming club. But where there are people, there are needs and opinions. And where those things are, you need someone or a few people to steer the club and try to make everyone happy whenever possible.

And I don’t mean drama necessarily, because our group is so chill we’ll fall asleep talking to you. But as a side note, the group that I joined 40k in was ran by a real drama queen of a man and they ended up disbanding under his leadership. Then the rest of us normal people who were left formed this new group and moved on.

What are the politics in your gaming group?

Pimpcron signature 3


Shorehammer Button for BoLS

  • sjap98

    Sound reasoning form the metallic hustler!

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Hah hah great article, i’ll try to remember the tips if I ever have to run a gaming group (I’d do it only if meant “the difference between being able to play 40k at all or never playing again” though mind you !!)

  • Aezeal

    Nice article… the bane of my AoS existance is WWII games taking all players in the AoS off-year in an area already lacking wargamers.

    • Ah,that does suck. I’ve said before that if my club left 40k, I’d have to too. I wouldn’t like it,but I want to play SOMETHING. I hope you can slowly infect some of them over time.

      • ZeeLobby

        There’s a ton of other games coming out this year though. Should be a lot more options. That’s if they ever left 40K.

      • Aezeal

        Well if AoS totally died and 40K was big I might switch.. but WWII miniatures just have 0 appeal to me (even though I consider myself a gamer and don’t really like the painting). But 40K isn’t big either I think.. I might try some prepainted starwars game or the fantasy variant that is coming this year … Trying to get people back to AoS for now though, small shop tourney coming up and I think a few old timers might play there.

        • We’ve been able to bring some really hardcore “I hate sigmar” people into the aos fold lately. Thekey tothat that I see is to demofun games with them and stress thatthis ISN’t the same game and they can’texpet it to be the same game. Also, if they don’t like the random iniative eachturn, play normally. And if they want to use movement trays, let ’em.

    • ZeeLobby

      Not gonna lie, I’ve felt the WWII pull many a time.

  • Simon Chatterley

    I came for the words, I laughed at the sad face Predator.

  • jeff white

    my nearest fellow gamer may be 2 hours by bus or train then bus either way. needless to say, i play with myself a lot. Pimpcron keeps me in the loop from halfway around the world. thank you Mr. Pimprcon for giving me a place to belong.

    • Hey that’s good to hear Jeff. I know your situation from previous conversations. Any chance you could wrangle a co-worker or something into playing?

      • jeff white

        Yeah. Friends. I used to have friends I think…

    • euansmith

      I enjoy playing with myself too.

      • Walter Vining

        TWSS

  • Sporkel

    I can relate to this a LOT!

    …in a sad and hurtful way….

    Boy, i wish all you folks were alone with that kind of problem and that I wouldn’t know a thing of being the “only gamer in town”.

    I feel like Little Britain’s Duffid, with the only difference, that there really are no “others” in town!

    • Sorry to hear that Sporkel. Ever try vassal? If not, google it.Or try to wrangle a friend into it. Otherwise, that is a sad scenario. :/

  • NNextremNN

    Okey I guess somebody has to ask so I do it.

    A gun fight? Doesn’t that even involve more than one people with a gun? Why and how? And who or what was Carl???

    I’m never sure if you are serious with those thins or joking also really cocaine? It would have sounded much more serious if you would have written “drugs”.

    • Okay, lol. The gunfight was a joke, and the beanie babies were a joke. The Cocaine was not. Our last storeowner got into cocaine after getting addicted to painkillers and ran the store into the ground. Served jail time for tax evasion. Nice guy.

      • Carl Tuttle

        Actually I survived due to the flask in my coat pocket. I’ve been working my way back to the area through a series of underground pit fight style 40k games.

        I know who pulled the trigger. And I’m coming for you.

        • Carl! I can’t believe it’s really you! … Then whose body ddi we throw in the funeral pyre?

        • ZeeLobby

          The Tuttle! We’re honored!

      • NNextremNN

        thx for sharing and well there are worse crimes wish him all the best for the future.

  • FrazzledBadger

    Same here really, I’m slap bang in between Manchester and Birmingham, have one friend close by to game with, but no-one else and the nearest club is a good 45mins away, which after a long day I can’t be arsed with. We need some sort of Tinder for gaming fanatics…….

    • [writes down Tinder for gamers on ideas list] I love that idea!

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Hmm as a software engineer, I should have thought of that. Doh! Well ocne upon a time we had a website that was kinda like that called Access Denied! You listed game types you were interested in and contact info. I met a good number of people that way. Did it when I moved to an area I wasn’t familiar with.

    • euansmith

      I’m sure someone was trying to get that something like that off the ground recently; Rollr or something. A quick Google reveals it is called RUMBL.

    • Commissar Molotov

      *sees Necrons in profile pic*

      *swipes left*

    • cudgel

      You could just use Tinder/Grinder, then when they show up;
      “Hey you look really great, I just….I just have this weird fetish…..can you take command of that Blood Angels army over there. Whats a Blood Angel ? Don’t worry baby, I’ll teach you.”

      • FrazzledBadger

        Buhahahahaa *heavy breathing*

  • Muninwing

    the problem with people is that you have to deal with them…

    i’m lucky in that there are three gaming stores within an hour’s drive of here… possibly more. since i moved, there’s one five minutes down the street.

    but i get so little opportunity to play these days due to the rest of life (moving, education, work, family) that i have not been able to take advantage of this. heck, i’m still setting up my hobby space.

    clubs are not easy. kudos to you for trying your best to keep it rational.

    • Thanks! It can be a delicate balance. One serious mess up and I don’t get to game anymore.

  • Desmond Burke

    Oh boy do I remember my start into Wargaming. I couldn’t find anyone to play with, it seemed the one LGS I knew about was always empty. There was a GW in the local mall too, and I just started going there…and they closed. I did keep the contact info of on of the employees there, and after months of harassing him daily we managed to put together a gaming night. This ended up turning into a club, where I was amazed at how many gamers (and stores) were actually in my neighborhood (within an hour drive).

    I’m lucky to live in a pretty strong community. The one thing to look out for is ‘game jumping’, I’m devoted to Age of Sigmar though and always looking for more players. If any of you are in the Western Mass/Northern CT area and want to meet, let me know!

  • Svenone

    It’s not easy to be the head of a gaming group, especially since a lot of the time the gaming group is so small you have to take whoever you can get which means inevitable conflicts.

  • Davis Centis

    We’ve got a massively spread out gaming group here in the north, and more than a few quirky personalities. Our gaming community suffers a lot from the heated opinions of some, but we try our best. One of the most important parts of it feeling like a real community is our local gaming forum; http://www.darkshard.ca

  • euansmith

    I hope your group survives the transition to 8th Edition.

    • Eh, we’ll be fine. I’m not that worried. We’re all casuals, it’s the hardcore people who rage quit stuff.

      • cudgel

        Lol I don’t think you can call yourself a casual Pimp, running your own event invalidates that, I think.

        • Ok, I’ll give you that. I’m not casualin my love for the game,but quite casual in my style of play and lack ofseriousness.

  • orionburn

    I feel the pain. There’s a recently opened up store (of sorts) in a nearby town that is much closer to home, but it’s mainly MTG people and no 40k. The shop I typically play at is about 45 minutes away so that sucks and makes it near impossible anymore to get a game in during the week, and having a 4 a.m. wake-up call doesn’t help.

    We’re lucky that we have a pretty good base of people. Couple of them I avoid playing with. Some love their death stars which kills the fun playing with them, but at least I have options of who to play with and more flexibility. Given the wide range of personalities I wouldn’t want to manage them. I can see a few “alphas” in our group that would try and take charge if we actually had somebody in charge…and that would be annoying. Having spent roughly 12+ years supervising people and knowing how much that sucked I can’t imagine trying to keep 40k players happy…lol

  • Good article. I’ve done the gamer politics thing for a very long time. We started up in 1998.

    Since then, (wow 19 years) I’ve learned quite a lot.

    Gamer politics, indeed any nerd-hobby politics, can suck your soul dry. A good tight club can benefit the area and hobby greatly. It can also destroy one’s desire to even play a game depending on how at each others’ throats the area is.

    It is our nature to want people to play like us. When we have multiple clubs pushing different styles of play (and I’ll admit, because I like narrative gaming the style of events I run are counter what you’d consider “standard” and as such draws the ire of a lot of people) you can get some pretty nasty results.

  • Graham Roden

    We do the same thing at our club. Many people play other games but 40k is always there.

  • Stealthbadger

    ” I will add the caveat that this policy has quelled my nerd-boners more than any other player in our group”

    Are you saying the other gamers in your group quell your nerd boner? Albeit to some lesser extent than your new policy.

    I love 40k mr. Cron but there are limits.

    • LOL. No, I meant that the policy stopsme from introducing new games more than anybody else being stopped from introducing new agmes. but good eye. 😀

  • Diagoras

    I just want you to know that, due to your choice of pictures, I couldn’t stop myself from reading the first few paragraphs in Mayor Quimby’s voice.

    It was hilarious.

  • Shawn

    Thanks Pimpcron. I kind of know how you feel. That’s how I dropped out of Warmachine and wound up with W40k. Everyone was playing warmahordes none stop, until one day, the one they all follow decided to play heroclix and then it died. It’s made a resurgence since then, but I moved on. I still have all my old models and ocassional get a pick up game, but for me 40k is the love. The modeling and painting possibilities are infinitely better and there’s nothing more epic than having a min tactical squad of Iron Hands, blowing off a rain of lead (60shots) and losing only 1 guy, or being blasted my Azreal’s “Lion’s Roar” and have six of the seven Iron Hands make their FNP rolls.

    • Yeah, it is suprisngly dependant on leadership sometimes. One lead person drops outand it’s over.

      • Shawn

        Yep, very very sad.

  • Matthew Collins

    I’ve said it many times but if not for your dedicated leadership, I doubt I would still be playing. Thanks for all the hard work and decisions you make for the greater good. 🙂

    • Aw, shucks Matt! Thank you for being there as a resource for all of Shorehammer development!