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Wargaming: Pick Your Poison – Local or Global?

4 Minute Read
Aug 5 2014
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More than ever we hobbyists exist as a global community, thanks to social media and sites like this one, but lately my squig addled brain has turned to what happens when we forget our local community.

Badrukk here, continuing the ramblings of an aging hobbyist, veteran grumbler and squig addict.
Insert usual (VERY neglected) Blog Plug HERE.

My articles have been thin on the ground these days, but I’ve finally found work and full-time employment and the demands of my own hobby have eaten into my writing time. I’ve also found that a great deal of my hobby has come from tapping into the online hobby community to get my daily fix.
I’ve also been frequenting my local GW with some regularity, it’s a new shop and the manager is trying to build a local gaming community.
The comparison between the two has really gotten me thinking, so I decided to waffle on about them in my usual rambling style.

Global / Internet
The global community has a lot to offer, and I mean a LOT. Whether it’s someone to talk to about hobby when you’re the only one in town, or the HOURS you can sink into surfing Cool Mini or Not.
Without the net community a lot of us wouldn’t find a load of the smaller scale developer games out there, or have anyone to share our hobby projects with.
There’s a dark side though, the internet is the echoing sounding box for anonymous frustration and rage. It can feel, if one spends too much time online for hobby one can find that the extraordinarily vocal nerd-rage and negativity can infect you.

Local

Whether it’s based around your local GW or FLGS, or it’s 6 folks in who meet a garage every second Wednesday night, the gaming group is the traditional unit of wargamers.
There are obvious pros and cons to being associated with a store, which I won’t go into in great detail, but the major factor of both is being sold stuff.
As for the garage gaming group the only issue is that it can collapse overnight if one member moves away or changes routine.

So what do they give us?
Well three big things really.

1. Meta

Ah the illusive meta, the ephemeral game beyond the game. It gets talked about a LOT online, less so in local communities, but it defines how we play. My local GW has started with small points games to build up, and has attracted an older, casual, crowd. Between that and the manager’s obsession with fluff based scenarios and persistent campaign environments the local meta seems to be all about characterful small forces.
To contrast this my last gaming group were all about HUGE points Dystopian Wars, with regular arms races running into the £100s of pounds spent at our FLGS as we egged each other on to further madness.  
Whatever YOUR meta might be, it can totally change the way your perceive your chosen game or how it “should” be played. And it has been my experience that the more time we spend discussing it online the more it becomes about competitive gaming and points efficiency, regardless of the game we discuss.

2. Inspiration
Here’s the REAL biggie, we get a great deal of our inspiration from other hobbyists.
Some of it is truly spectacular too. And we can get it from anywhere, online or otherwise.
The secret is to take the good and leave the bad, it’s easy to be inspired to whinge and moan because you don’t like the Warmachine fluff, or GW’s pricing, or Spartan’s one-pose 28mm minis. But all of these things are minor compared to the enjoyment you can get from these fantastic games and minis.
I draw my hobby inspiration from a lot of places and I though i’d share some fun inspirational stuff from a few places around the web to illustrate my point;

Games Workshop Manchester have a guide to making this bad-boy I really want to follow.
Thunderhawks are go!
Or here’s my Local Manager’s take on Chaos Knight-Titans
Bioplasmic what now?
Here’s something beautiful from a great community all about tau
Appleseed eat your heart out.
Or how about an old classic?
Markerlights and Lightening, very very frightening, Pi!
(Kudos to ManU26 for a sweet scheme btw)

3. People.
People, as a rule, need other people.
I’ve used the local gaming community to build my social circle every time I’ve moved in the last 2 decades, and here is no exception. The global community meanwhile provides us with people from all walks of life to talk to. My views on the state women’s rights have been fundamentally broadened by BOLS for example, I even found myself bemoaning something for being made for the male gaze last week!
So use your communities, both local and global, but don’t forget that YOU are part of them. Go to  your local store, club, whatever. Post on this and other forums. Don’t be shouted down, be the voice of your branch of your hobby. And don’t forget, take inspiration from other people.


Today I’m working on some samurai LOTR dwarves, based entirely off a something my lcal GW manager’s up to. Where did you most draw inspiration from?  That’s it from me for now folks, off to add sashimomos to Grimhammers. – Badrukk

Edit : Links to the Blank Datasheet used by GW Blacktown’s manager are on my blog (link above).

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