What do you do when your favorite games are no longer played locally? In the previous article, I talked about the fact that any game company not named Games Workshop faces an uphill battle in attracting gamers due to the overwhelming dominance in game stores and in social media by Games Workshop. I also talked about the fact that many game companies have gotten rid of their advocate programs, or scaled them back limiting how and what they compensate their advocates. This in-turn has drastically reduced those willing to use their own time and money to herald and advertise these games; which in turn has killed these communities locally. This means that I would have to travel more than 1 hour to get a game in during the week; not an ideal situation for a father of four.
This leaves me with a serious quandary. I have invested in both Malifaux and Warmachine and Hordes. However, no one around me plays them. Okay, that is a lie. There is one guy who plays both who lives within 30 minutes of me; but there is no community. I can no longer be the driving force of these communities; I just do not have the time available. I own gaming mats, terrain, chess clocks, and a host of other items to play these games; all things that are just sitting around collecting dust.My choices are simple. Play the games I have invested in on the very, very rare weekend when I can travel to a tournament at one of the stores in Los Angeles; I figure I can make this happen once every 6 weeks or so. The rest of the time I can just build and paint. However, this would mean that I would have no local game nights. Often, I have a weeknight free, but my weekends are pretty busy with sports and activities for the kids. This is problematic and could mean that I would not get in a game for 8 weeks or more.
Option two is to move on and pick up the games that are being played locally; in other words, Games Workshop games like Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar. To be completely honest, this would not be my first rodeo with Games Workshop games. For almost 20 years I was an avid Warhammer 40K player and during that time I played a plethora of armies, always coming back to Daemons and/or Tyranids. However, I grew tired of edition changes and army creep, so I moved to Privateer Press and Wyrd who tend to keep things balanced and address creep or broken/unbalanced models/lists quickly.Let me be completely honest and open: If all things were equal for all games, I would be playing Warmachine and Hordes or Malifaux. My first choice would be Warmachine and Hordes. Things are not equal, so I have to make a decision based on the criteria and the circumstances as they currently exist.
I am pretty sure you have already guessed the answer if you follow this blog at all, or have even looked at the pictures on it in passing. I have decided to try my hand at Games Workshop games. In particular I am trying Age of Sigmar and Shadespire. Both of these games are set in the same universe/setting; as such, models in Shadespire do have a home in Age of Sigmar.There are several local players who play Age of Sigmar and there are quite a few local tournaments for Age of Sigmar as well. I have always been more of a fantasy guy, but I played Warhammer 40K, because I liked the rules and didn’t like blocks of troops. Now that Age of Sigmar is free form (along the lines of Warmachine or 40K), I am very happy to give it a try. I also have a long history with 40K and I like the idea of playing a new game that has a similar system, but is fantasy, and doesn’t carry the historical baggage (I used to be a really good tournament player). With Age of Sigmar, I am starting fresh and have no inherent mental and self-created pressure to perform well.
So far, I have really been enjoying painting the models for Shadespire. As they are small warbands of models 3-7 models, I can experiment with different styles and techniques. They also have a pretty decent cost per box for the additional models; especially when you consider the fact they come with cards as well as models. So far, I have liked all the factions, but they are pretty much all bread and butter Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar factions. We will see when they start branching out a bit into more unique or exotic sub-factions.What did this mean for my stuff for Warmachine & Hordes and Malifaux? Well, as of the time I am writing this article, my Warmachine stuff has all been sold off. I have sold off all my gaming mats (except 1 4×4 mat), all my 2d terrain, all my 2d terrain, and all the associated bric-a-brac like chess clocks. I had already sold of my fully painted armies, but I have now sold off my army in boxes. As for Malifaux, I am in the process of selling off the models and cards, and the associated bric-a-brac. I am going to keep the mat and the terrain as I can use it for Age of Sigmar and other games as it is 3d terrain. When this process is complete, I will be down to just my Shadespire and Age of Sigmar models, a few gaming mats, and some 3d terrain.
I can always buy back into Warmachine & Hordes. I can paint up an army and get the bric-a-brac needed to play the game. However, as the local store are having clearance sales on their entire Privateer Press inventory, I do not see the situation improving for Warmachine and Hordes any time soon; unless Privateer Press does something to right the sinking ship. Till that day, I will be playing me some Age of Sigmar and Shadespire!
Until the next post, Magilla signing off…