Greetings soft bags of wet flesh! It is I, Pimpcron once again gracing your retinas with another deep thought about our hobby. Why does this pastime hate us? Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be a wargamer and what we ultimately get out of it in return.
So you see a Warhammer 40,000 game being played and it totally draws you in. So how do you get into it?
Buy The Models:
Not only did I pay ridiculous prices for small bits of unassembled plastic, but they are unpainted too! Are these guys like the laziest company ever? "Yeah, just throw those little plastic guys in the box. No, the customer can assemble them himself. What?! No. I'm not wasting time painting these things. Let them do it. We'll call it a 'Hobby'." Then lights went off in an Executive's head. ~Not only will we cut costs on pre-assembling and pre-painting these things, but we can SELL them the tools and supplies to do it themselves! I know someone who’s getting a raise!~
After sacrificing a good portion of your time, you will literally start flinging poop and vomiting blood if your models get scratched. So your user-friendly options here are: Throw down some serious cheddar for a nice army transport that your army will inevitably outgrow; or throw some bubble wrap in a Rubbermaid container and hope for the best. Both will work, but one of them just makes you look homeless. (Which you may be by the time you’ve had to quit life just to read all those rule books)
Buy the Books:
Well, now that I bought this really expensive rulebook, I’m ready to play! Hmmm. I don’t see any of my army’s rules in it. Is there something I’m missing? Another book! Dammit, are they in the miniature business or the book business?!
Read all of the Books:
“Well, I guess I’ll quit college and my job, break up with my girlfriend, and lose all of my friends. I’ve got some reading to do!” The sheer number of hours with your nose in these books is a second job in itself just to learn how to play. You aren’t even to the playing part yet.
Find an Opponent:
Unlike a video game, our hobby requires us to play with other people. So count yourself lucky if you have a wargaming group and a Friendly Local Gaming Store nearby. A lot of gamers don’t. So they have to either sucker their friends into this black hole of money and time that they have found their selves in, or travel great distances to play. Or play against their self.
Well after an extended campaign on the barren Kitchen Table Planet in the Boring System, you decide you should probably get some terrain. So your choices are either buy nice looking terrain at high costs, or make your own with what little time you have left after all that reading.
Play the Game! (For Half a Day):
Well now, you’ve been financially raped by the price of an unfinished product, had to assemble and paint it yourself, bought or made a transport to protect them, bought and read all of the books at the expense of everything else in your life, and you’ve even managed to sucker some friends into the game. Let’s play! Now all the hard work is finished, let’s have some fun! All we have left to do is: transport our army and/or terrain, find a suitable area and set up the terrain, unpack all of our stuff, play the game for like four or five hours, pack it all back up, pack up our terrain, and transport it all back home. I wish everything else in my life could be this easy!
What Are Our Alternatives?:
Spit up $60 for a console video game (a little more than a Tactical Squad) and play all by yourself or with people until you have had your fill. Everything is rendered for you and there is no need to travel, paint, assemble, etc.
So What Do We Get Out of It?:
After reading all of this it probably sounds I like I hate the game. That’s not the case at all. This has been the one game (out of all of the board games, video games, and RPGs I’ve played) to keep my interest for years on end. All of those bad things listed above are true and I don’t deny it. But I feel that what I have gotten out of this game and this hobby are of far more value than what I have put in it.
This game has given me a way to be creative. It has given me a whole group of friends I never would have known. And most of all, this game has given me a whole host of experiences from roads trips and laughs, to strategies and defeats that my life would be lacking.
I have found that the things you put the most effort into, are the things you get the most out of in life; whether that’s a marriage, a career, children, or a game of little plastic men.