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Kaptin Gavrin
25-04-2006, 00:42
Why do I still participate in the hobby?

That's a question some of you might find yourselves asking at various times. It's a question I asked myself, out of curiosity, recently. I am happy to say that the answer was right there for me to see this weekend.

I showed up at Sanctuary shortly after 11am (when they open) Saturday. Seeing terrain scattered about, I collected it all and put it back into its carefully organized boxes, stashed in shelves by each table so it's easily in reach and yet won't get broken. While doing so, I spotted the terrain that had been donated by David, and the terrain that I had worked on assembling and painting along with him and Nanner. That terrain had seen a good deal of play lately, and people appreciated having the extra terrain.

It wasn't long before that work was undone. Cliff showed up to play a hearty game of Warhammer against Nanner, Vamps versus Orcs. Shortly afterward John C. and Dennis showed up to play a Warhammer challenge board match for the top spot on the next table over. More gamers showed up, and took to watching these events. The flanking tables were taken by Steve and Airborne's Starmada games, with each trying to outwit the other in ship design (thanks for letting me borrow that book, Steve!), and a Confrontation demo being run by a man whose work can hardly be described in words, Vidal. If that man painted GW figures, he would have a Slayer Sword by now.

We all had a good time watching the games, commenting on them, and adding help where it could be given. As the day went on, Cliff fought my dad in a shoot-out 40K match between the Tau and the Iron Warriors, which was decidedly one-sided (okay, so the IWs really are the undisputed champs of firepower...). The top of the Warhammer board changed hands as Dennis fell to the bottom, and John C. had to fight off John N. in a close battle of Wood Elves and Beastmen in a battlefield resembling a tree farm. Cliff took his loss brilliantly, not once blaming luck for his loss.

As soon as Steve and Airborne vacated their table, it was quickly taken by a three-way game of Joe C.'s Marines, Joey's Orks, and Ed's Necrons. Joey cried out in his pirate voice as his Freebooterz were picked on by both 3+ armor foes, who then turned on each other. Airborne joined me for a game, and I obliged by pulling out my Snakebites Orks. They decided to reward me for using them by having one unit of 24 models run off the table, my zzap-gun equipped Battlewagon came up short of one of his Predators (by an inch!), another unit stayed pinned in place, and the last moved an inch forward. That was my first turn, before he got to do anything. Then he opened fire with a massive firepower Marine list. Next turn, the pinned unit attacked itself, and the slow unit... moved slow. My Battlewagon was quite dead, as was my Painboss's trukk and seven of the Cyborks inside it. Things went downhill from there.

There are a lot of things that stick out about that game. It was probably the first time Airborne didn't talk about how he won a game tactically. And during the game, I dropped one of my dice on the floor. I wasn't feeling too well (physically), so I left it there. I'd forgotten about the die until after the game, when David noticed it, asked if it was mine, and then insisted on picking it up for me because he knew I'd been having problems with a ruptured disc in my back.

The day went on to finish with David and Joe L. agreeing to a Warhammer match, Empire versus Skaven. During pre-game planning, Joe shared his list with my dad, and the two had an evil little glint in their eyes, being the avid Skaven players that they are. The game drew over John N. and a gamer who had earlier been playing Flames of War and was now interested in getting into Warhammer. While Joe introduced David to just a few of the dirty tricks a Skaven player can pull and cursed his luck for not letting him blow up one of his own Ratling Guns, we talked this guy (I forgot to get his name!) into checking out Warhammer closer. He had a healthy start in terms of cash, as he sold his FOW American army to Airborne, who then turned and bought the store's last copy of "Stars and Stripes", giving us one more person to play FOW with. The Warhammer discussion headed out the door as the hour grew late and it came time to head home. We went through just about every army. After a while, we split up and went our separate ways, some of us making plans to show up the next day, others to meet the next week.

Sunday wasn't very kind to me. The amount of movement I do on a day in which there are so many people to talk to, games to play, and just lots of stuff to do is enough to get a person's head spinning following me. I'm sort of a high-energy player who gets an adrenaline rush from playing (this is actually true, I've experienced the effects of coming down from it numerous times). Carrying multiple bags of figures and rules, and figure cases, didn't help me. The net result was that I woke up Sunday hurting all over, and unable to rest any more. I got little sleep, because any position I laid in hurt. I knew it was because of what I'd done the day before. But I had no regrets.

That one day featured, for me, a glimpse into why I still play these games, why I'm still a proud member of this hobby. I saw a good degree of comeraderie, jesting, humility, playful boasting, gamers helping others to learn... all kinds of wonderful things. I was left with a heck of a feeling after that, a feeling that I was blessed to be in this hobby.

I'm in it for the long haul. How about you?

Anvilbrow
25-04-2006, 05:27
In short, I agree. I have made some great friends in the hobby. Many are now far away in other states and other countries, but we manage to keep in touch on a fairly regular basis. We have been to one another's weddings, exchanged photos of our kids, vacationed to old haunts and spent the day playing for old time's sake, but mostly we still talk about our games we've played, old school editions and rules, and what we're currently building or painting. I suppose you can get this in any hobby, I'm the same way with some of the guys I played college soccer with, but since gaming is something I can literally do until I die, there seems to be more permanence to it somehow.

I'm tearing up just thinking about it.;)

Archaon
26-04-2006, 00:00
I'm still in the wargaming hobby as opposed to the GW hobby mainly because i found so many decent people there..

When i began in the mid 90s (yes.. it has been so long ago which means i'm old :( :D ) with GW games i was the usual fanboy.
Only GW paints, GW models etc.. everything was official GW products or it wouldn't count.

I started to hang out at my local gamestore and got a game or two once in a while until i started to attend local tournaments where i got to know many other gamers and with some of them i started to play privately.
This is now more than 10 years ago and some of them have become close friends and we hang out together besides tabletop and i got to see how our lives changed during that time.
Graduation, marriage and kids were gradually introduced and i'm very happy to have met these people.

Also i just like the community aspect of the game.. if i'd play online games i'd mostly never see my regular opponents or fellow gamers because all we'd do is talk via the computer and if they live in different countries or even continents maybe never meet at all.

With the guys (and later on their girls/wives) i do barbeques, go to the movies etc. and without the hobby i would never have met them.

Another aspect is that this hobby broadens my horizon. I've always been interested in history but since i branched out into historical gaming i got to read up on other stuff and generally improve my knowledge.

And i don't want to mention how impressed everybody is when they see some of the bigger stuff in my display cabinet whereas a fellow gamer would notice there is only one highlight step and where i did some sloppy painting :D