Today I want to reach 2 years back into the dusty BoLS archives for a topic that never really gets old. The subject is perhaps the rarest and most difficult challenge any gamer can ever face. Grand Tournament? No. Eavy Metal quality painting? No.
I am referring to the first introductory game and welcoming of a new player into our cherished wargaming hobby. The delicate handholding that can lead a new person into our miniature games if performed correctly, or drive them away forever and generate a lot of negative word of mouth if screwed up.
It’s a tough job. All to often at the local club you see the bright eyed newbie, who has yet to even pick up a copy of his rulebook, much less an army book. He thinks the game is cool looking, and willing to give up an evening of his time to hang around with strangers, hoping to pick it up or maybe get in a training game. It is ultimately in all of our interests to bring these new recruits successfully into the fold.
How rarely have I seen old hands take a newbie under their wing, and with enthusiasm and good natured humor, lead them through a nice, small and basic first game. It is tough work, but utterly rewarding. More times that I care to recollect, I have witnessed the opposite, with some egomaniac jerk, just laying into the new guy with a vicious army and little to no sportsmanship. Its wrong on just so many levels and right there, the newbie’s interest is crushed and away he goes, never to return.
Next time you see the wide-eyed youngster wander into your FLGS, don’t turn your back. Grab the guy, put together two small fully painted armies and try to get in a quick turn of two to get the basics of the rules down, as well as immerse him into the game’s universe.
Needless to say, the new guy will win 😉
~What is your experience and philosophy on training up new guys. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject and I’m sure we all have great anecdotes on this one.