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View Full Version : Where did you start wargaming?



Etienne de Beaugard
21-02-2012, 18:25
It has been suggested in the GW pricing thread that a key component of entering wargaming is a brick-and-mortar store where games may be played and product purchased. I am looking to shed some light on this notion. To that end, please answer the poll.

shelfunit.
21-02-2012, 18:31
I started with Heroquest playing with parents and friends - found it advertised on TV ;), then discovered an indie in nearby Norwich - this was back in '89 - I don't think Norwich got a GW until around 1994/5ish

Lord Damocles
21-02-2012, 18:44
GW store.


I suspect that this will vary greatly depending on whether people are/were in the UK or not.

Angelwing
21-02-2012, 18:48
Wargaming: at home with some brittains knights / airfix ww2 soldiers before warhammer fantasy was published. Gw games on the other hand, was through a friend who bought WD. I didn't actually get to buy my own stuff until I got to a proper GW store a few years later though (and introductory games of the then current versions of the core games).

Max Jet
21-02-2012, 18:54
Started with a self made dice and pen Wargame with thousands of my little 1/72 Soldiers. First touch with a real wargame was Risk and because I loved the tiny miniatures I moved over to Epic 40k, but that didn't go far, because it was insanely expensive. Years later I started through the same store with 40k, visited some GW stores, but found the atmosphere unbearable.

Location whise it was Toy store (Army men) - Toy store (Risk) - Fantasy shop (Epic 40k) - Fantasy shop (40k) - Gw (40k) - Fantasy shop (Reaper) / Internet (Mantic)

Sgt John Keel
21-02-2012, 19:00
My memory is not terribly clear, but my first contact with GW was Heroquest. We discovered a copy in the classroom for some reason and were allowed to stay inside on breaks to play.

The first contact with Fantasy and 40k was looking at the models in the local hobby store during Pokémon TCG events and thinking "the prices are crazy, I'll never pay that much for a mini". So, that worked out…

I'm fairly sure the reason I started to play was that a friend convinced a couple of us to start fantasy. We quickly decided to start 40k instead (my first miniatures were the plastic genestealers). Now, I'm not sure if we did get back to Fantasy before or after I switched to Blood Angels (I think after), but I know we got a 6th edition starter box with me getting the Empire troops and my friend taking the Orcs, right around the release of the 6th edition Dwarf army book.

(I remember not being sure if the magic item points counted toward the army points and whether armour save modifiers should be used against the Armour of Meteoric Iron and equivalents in other books.)

That was when we got into the game properly, with something resembling a real army. Pretty much all gaming was done at kitchen tables, only using the facilities provided by the FLGS when playing against friends from the other side of town (it was conveniently situated in the middle).

I'm pretty sure time passed more slowly when I was little.

Little Joe
21-02-2012, 19:13
A non GW store, because I think there were just a few (two or three) around at the time and far far away. I played Magic the Gathering a lot and just wanted to paint something. Then a friend showed his army and we got started. So a GW only store would not have gotten my attention anyway.

Darsc Zacal
21-02-2012, 19:25
A local hobby store, preGW era, organized listings of people interested in playing various games. We never played in the store though, it was always at peoples homes.

paddyalexander
21-02-2012, 19:29
Lets see, it started when I was 10, I got Heroquest for christmass (after seeing it on tv) and a friend got Space Crusade. A couple of months later another friend got a boxed set of Dungeons & Dragons that came with paper minis. We started buying GW models to use with the roleplaying (as well as my minis & terrain from Heroquest) from a toy shop that used to sell them. Even back then they were very expensive and the group focused more on the more affordable Star Trek & Star Wars CCGs.

We started attending a Sci-fi club and were introduced to Battletech, 2nd ed 40k & whatever version of WHFB had the brentonians & lizardmen on the cover there but mainly played at each others homes.

Ozorik
21-02-2012, 19:37
It was either Space Crusade (Christmas present) or seeing lots of interesting toys in my 'local' model shop. I am from the UK and my nearest GW until I was 18 was about 200 miles

EmperorNorton
21-02-2012, 19:45
In a friend's living room, with Heroquest on the table.

Omniassiah
21-02-2012, 19:53
Indie game store in the US.

SunTzu
21-02-2012, 20:01
Sounds like "Heroquest" should be a separate poll option... it's certainly where it all began for me.

librerian_samae
21-02-2012, 20:15
first started at home with heroquest then at breaks at school on the playground with 40k (my warp spiders were 'the bestest' :p )

Torga_DW
21-02-2012, 20:26
First started with heroquest, back when i was knee high to a snotling. Then moved to space crusade. Then about a year or two later, i found a white dwarf and linked them together and got interested in games workshop.

scarletsquig
21-02-2012, 20:40
A friend introduced me to 40k at the age of 9.

I'd been reading loads of fighting fantasy and lone wolf books prior to that (with adverts for miniatures in the back of the books), so I was easily hooked.

Fantasy gaming of some description has been a part of my life ever since the age of about 6. As a person, I love escapism and immersion into different worlds that are far more interesting than the relatively boring one that we inhabit.

yabbadabba
21-02-2012, 20:53
You are going to get a biased reading on here for a variety of reasons; so the threads conclusion is unlikely to be anywhere near a true reflection. Still it will be interesting to see.

Was a role player first, with MERPS through ICE distributed by GW. Through there is was GW Hamersmith, a model shop in Kingston. Gaming began at home with Heroquest and mates, full on wargames at home via Space Marine bought froma GW store.

Bloodknight
21-02-2012, 20:57
HeroQuest and Space Crusade.

My first real wargame, however, was Battletech, which a friend and I discovered via a little catalog attached to an 8-bit computer magazine. That day we ordered Lemmings for the C64, a BT starter box and a Shadowrun rulebook (the latter was an absolute failtastic buy for a 12-year-old, I tell you).

I got into GW games via friends and I only got into them because the minis reminded me of HQ and SC. Probably wouldn't have picked anything up in a store, I used to be (and still pretty much am) a firm believer in hexmap strategy over other tabletops. If only the minis weren't so shiny ;).



with MERPS

I used to play that as a teen, too. I'm pretty sure nobody today would even look at that ruleset and think it was playable. Pure unadulterated 80s rosterfest, wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole today *shudder*.

Ozorik
21-02-2012, 21:07
You are going to get a biased reading on here for a variety of reasons; so the threads conclusion is unlikely to be anywhere near a true reflection. Still it will be interesting to see.

Why? It isn't as though the people who post here as in anyway different to the general population. It will have the usual sampling problems that all forum polls have but that doesn't mean that it is especially biased, especially when the OP's question is so broad.

magath
21-02-2012, 21:23
11th birthday, me and my cousin played warhammer quest for 5 hours solid in one sitting.

Amazing, amazing time!!

Whitwort Stormbringer
21-02-2012, 21:24
If games like Heroquest and Battle Masters count (I tend to categorize them more in the RPG/Boardgame domain than wargames) then I got my start as a kid at home playing those sorts of boardgames.

When I got into wargaming it was Warhammer Fantasy first (after stumbling across GW minis in a store in Seattle while on vacation), and even then we played at home first but shortly thereafter graduated to a monthly gaming club for kids 9-16 at a local store. After we grew out of that it was mostly either gaming at home or occasional tournaments/cons for us, since we mostly still felt a bit young to be playing in the clubs that were run by adults.

Nowadays I play occasionally at a local indie store, although I pretty much only play GW games when visiting family since I haven't kept up to date on the rules.

Ozorik
21-02-2012, 21:30
My very first pure GW game was Space Marine.

Lord Cedric
21-02-2012, 21:34
I have not, to this date, play in any hobby store - let alone a GW one. Not because I dont' have interest in trying that, but because it's pretty inconvenient for me to get there (40 minutes out of my way). So my first games through to my current ones have been etiher at someone's home or my own.

- Lord Cedric

razielthegreat
21-02-2012, 23:50
i remember when i was about the ripe ol' age of 8 finding space crusade and heroquest at my uncles gaming closet. loved playing with the "lil' dudes"
wasn't until a few years later that i had my first game of 40k at school with some friends.

pointyteeth
22-02-2012, 00:07
Seems Heroquest was the ultimate gateway game. I got Heroquest for christmas one year, then discovered the warhammer rulebook in a discount bin at a rubber stamp shop. I got some friends involved and we played with mini's from a Battlemasters set I got for my birthday. I spent hours going through back issues of White Dwarf (issues were in the 130's I believe) picking out the models I wanted to order until I started to seriously wonder where the heck we bought models for this game and eventually found a FLGS two towns over. The rest, as they say, is history.

New Cult King
22-02-2012, 01:30
A schoolmate brought his older's brother's WD mag to school one day, and I fell in love with the old metal Deathwing and Chaos Termies. A couple of us bought a handful of minis from a LGS (that was actually a 2-hour round trip by train away), and set up an impromptu gaming room in a caravan one of my mates' parents' had in their backyard. It was awesome. I never even SAW a GW store until years later.

NecronBob
22-02-2012, 01:31
I started back in 1994 with 40k 2nd edition. A friend had picked up the box at a local non-GW hobby shop, and we played on his den floor.

Llew
22-02-2012, 04:17
Formal wargaming began after trying to have fun playing Battlesystem with my friends and failing miserably. We were game for it, but the system made fun a virtual impossibility. I still wanted to do some sort of wargaming but that one was awful. Battletech was the first game where I had a ton of fun, and then I gradually drifted into things like Necromunda which finally drew me into the GW universe. After a few editions of WFB, I was ready to never play those games again, but luckily found things like LotR/WotR, Uncharted Seas, Kings of War and Dust Tactics. Never played a game in a GW store, and only a few games in an indie store.

chromedog
22-02-2012, 06:26
Playing at friends' houses and then in non-store-affiliated clubs. The few times I have played in a store have been an aberration in the statistics, nothing more.

Graeme
22-02-2012, 10:19
Games club at highschool - genuinely surprised no-one else in the thread to date started in the same way! I picked up my crippling MtG habit at the same time.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
22-02-2012, 10:23
I started playing at home with a group of friends when I was a kid, but it took a brick & mortar gaming store and a gaming club to get me back into the hobby once I quit, and the gaming scene around that store/club to keep me in.

blongbling
22-02-2012, 10:36
This is going to be a skewed demographic. Most of the people here are of an age and a type and aren't the same model of people that go into a GW store in the first place. All this poll will show is that most of Warseer came into the hobby through their friends, whereas I can assure that GW introduces a LOT of people into the hobby via the stores, if you think that a store will sell 30-40 games a month per store...soon adds up across a chain and a year.

Max Jet
22-02-2012, 10:52
Was there ever someone who tried to find out wether people going for a demo game in a GW store actually have been interested in the game before either by friends or somewhere else? Even the number of people starting at a GW store isn't an exact resemblance of how many people get introduced by it in the first place. It is merely the nearest starting point and a pretty convenient one, that doesn't necessarily mean that they wouldn't start in any other way would it not be for the store. Just food for thought.

shelfunit.
22-02-2012, 10:56
This is going to be a skewed demographic. Most of the people here are of an age and a type and aren't the same model of people that go into a GW store in the first place. All this poll will show is that most of Warseer came into the hobby through their friends, whereas I can assure that GW introduces a LOT of people into the hobby via the stores, if you think that a store will sell 30-40 games a month per store...soon adds up across a chain and a year.

Again - this is in the UK only - where did everyone in the US, Europe, Australia, the rest of the world start? This is the problem GW seem to have - they look at the business model through the eyes of the UK and forget that this is the only place in the world where this form of recruitment has a) ever worked and b) with the spread of stores across the world, the only place it could work.

Sgt John Keel
22-02-2012, 11:17
This is going to be a skewed demographic. Most of the people here are of an age and a type and aren't the same model of people that go into a GW store in the first place. All this poll will show is that most of Warseer came into the hobby through their friends, whereas I can assure that GW introduces a LOT of people into the hobby via the stores, if you think that a store will sell 30-40 games a month per store...soon adds up across a chain and a year.

Assuming Warseer has the grumpy old git market cornered, where do you suppose all the youngsters GW catches end up? Most of today's early teens are reasonably Internet savvy after all. Are they wowed by the glitziness of Beasts of War or do they have no interest in the wider discussion at all?

Shandara
22-02-2012, 11:22
Star Quest (Space Crusade for Holland) as a Christmas gift. Then when cleaning some years later we came across it and we started with painting that.

Haven't been to an actual GW shop yet, since there isn't one really close by. FLGS it is!

shelfunit.
22-02-2012, 11:27
Assuming Warseer has the grumpy old git market cornered, where do you suppose all the youngsters GW catches end up? Most of today's early teens are reasonably Internet savvy after all. Are they wowed by the glitziness of Beasts of War or do they have no interest in the wider discussion at all?

I suppose he could mean that by the time most people join warseer they are no longer part of GW's churn & burn stratagy and are part of the very, very few percent of GW gamers that last past 6 months or so. However, how that skews the results is not clear, as those that are into wargaming by the time they reach this site are likely to be in it for the long term, and still had to be introduced somehow. As GW started their major recruitment drive of opening new shops everywhere from the mid/late 90's onward the people who vote on this poll should be those that were "recruited" during this expansion and stayed - these are the people this poll is aimed at - not the 6 monthers who are more fad/impulse buyers who should not be considered wargamers in the first place.

toonboy78
22-02-2012, 12:07
1991 my friend had heroquest. it weas great so i pestered my dad for it.

speaking to him he went in to GW middlesborough and bout Advanced heroquest. from that momant on all GW purchases were either through a visit to the store or mail order for bits. Gary and Ian atthe store around 1991-1996 were great. full of advice and always willing to get us involved even with games we didn't play. i remeber controlling a mega gargant when titan legions was released. great fun. also a 30sec per turn blood bowl comp that i won and i still have the dwarf ref model painted by Gary. happy days

Bloodknight
22-02-2012, 12:19
GW introduces a LOT of people into the hobby via the stores

Nowadays maybe. I think when I bought my first stuff in 1992 they didn't even have stores in Germany. I think when I started playing 40K in 1996 they had like 3 or 4, the closest from me was the German HQ in Düsseldorf, and that was a 250km drive one way.
I also don't remember playing areas at the FLGSs I visited at the time (GW got the first store in my birth state like 2 years ago, I think), so at least in southwest Germany it were the MB games that got people interested because you actually could buy them at the supermarket, i.e. they were visible. The closest FLGS to my home at the time was a 3 hour round trip by 80 km/h moped away, with no actual train connection. Basically you had to mailorder stuff that you somehow stumbled over.

School clubs didn't exist either. Firstly wargames have a bad image here, and secondly keeping kids in school all day is kind of a new development. When I went to school, 13:00 was basically closing time unless you were in 11th grade and up, and if you were in 11th and up you'd have classes from 8:00 till 15:00 or, in my case, 17:00 twice a week.

redben
22-02-2012, 12:46
I came to wargaming through using GW as my LGS for RPG's back in the mid-80's. This was during 2nd Ed WFB and pre-Rogue Trader and minis only took up one wall of the store. I'm not sure how relevant my experience would be for people starting the hobby now.

Etienne de Beaugard
22-02-2012, 13:01
Thank you for the replies. Please keep them coming.

iamfanboy
22-02-2012, 14:23
I got my start in wargaming from a kid next to me on the school bus reading a Battletech Technical Readout, and me going, "OMFG that is awesome looking!" It was a Behemoth/Stone Rhino image, the one on the TRO 3055 cover, that sold me, by the way.

A year or two before (and this was in the States, so it's not just a UK phenomenon), one of my buddies had picked up both Heroquest and Battlequest, but we'd dropped the games entirely after only a few games, using the minis for D&D instead.


Blongbling, yabbadabba, I want to challenge your knowledge of GW inner workings on one question:

If upper management sincerely believes that the store model of recruitment is the best and/or only one (as seems implied by both your somewhat arrogant attitudes), how do they explain the North American market?

It accounts for as much business as the UK, yet their store presence Stateside is so tiny as to be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of recruitment for GW games.

Do they just... pretend that the US is an anomaly? A 'starter market' where they could make oh so much more if they had THEIR model working? (Never mind the fact that profits quadrupled in their NA market in the year they closed down a ton of US stores?)

Commandojimbob
22-02-2012, 15:04
For me it started with a friend I sat next to in primary school - he started telling me about this sci-fi universe and I was aways badgering him for more info. Then a while later my dad took me to GW store Cambridge (back when it was on Quayside) - and I walked in and they were having a big game of EPIC - I thought it was amazing, was there looking at everything for a long time ! My dad bought me 2nd edition 40k and subsequently I found a couple of friends played also - and we went down to GW regularly.

21 years on from that I have been in and out of the hobby a number of times but firmly in now, had stints in Fantasy. Reason for being fickle was mainly because I never had any mates who liked it, but I have met a load of people through chance and through the hobby now which makes a big difference. For me it will always be GW - I dont play wargames, I play Warhammer - that annoys some but I have no other interest other than 40k, it just presses all my sci-fi buttons.

toonboy78
22-02-2012, 16:33
...but I have met a load of people through chance...

what? did you roll a 1???

Ozorik
22-02-2012, 16:36
Most of the people here are of an age and a type and aren't the same model of people that go into a GW store in the first place.

That's irrelevant given that we are discussing the start of someone's wargaming career, not their current situation. Most of the posters here, I imagine, were the age and the type of person to go into a GW when they started.

rodmillard
22-02-2012, 22:05
It's a shame this is an "either/or" poll, because two of those sort of fit.

Around 1989/1990, my then-LGS (which I frequented for D&D) started stocking Warhammer Fantasy. After a couple of demo games, some friends of mine persuaded me to pick up some models and we started playing at each others houses. (so LGS AND informal group...)

Then in 1993 GW opened a store less than 100 yards away. Within a month, the LGS found their trade terms had become a lot harsher and their stock was taking an age to arrive, while the GW store could consistently undercut them thanks to special offers (remember those?) and always had the full range in stock. Within a year the LGS had closed, and I was left with the trek to Bristol for my nearest stockist for RPGS *sulks*

And now you see how GW came to dominate the UK gaming scene, and why many of us old fogeys refuse to believe the claims that they really are supporting indys this time around...

lbecks
23-02-2012, 01:25
I really liked Mechwarrior the computer game series. And then I started buying Battletech novels and sourcebooks because they sold them at a local Borders books. So I became interested in Battletech the tabletop game but when i looked at the minis I thought they were ugly. Then I saw some pictures for 40k minis and thought they were really cool. So I started buying those. And the rest is history.

shelfunit.
23-02-2012, 07:14
It's a shame this is an "either/or" poll, because two of those sort of fit.

Around 1989/1990, my then-LGS (which I frequented for D&D) started stocking Warhammer Fantasy. After a couple of demo games, some friends of mine persuaded me to pick up some models and we started playing at each others houses. (so LGS AND informal group...)

Then in 1993 GW opened a store less than 100 yards away. Within a month, the LGS found their trade terms had become a lot harsher and their stock was taking an age to arrive, while the GW store could consistently undercut them thanks to special offers (remember those?) and always had the full range in stock. Within a year the LGS had closed, and I was left with the trek to Bristol for my nearest stockist for RPGS *sulks*


Ah, but this is about where you started playing, and in your case it was at an LGS and home - only 3 years later did you go to a GW shop to play.

redben
23-02-2012, 08:15
It's a shame this is an "either/or" poll, because two of those sort of fit.

Around 1989/1990, my then-LGS (which I frequented for D&D) started stocking Warhammer Fantasy. After a couple of demo games, some friends of mine persuaded me to pick up some models and we started playing at each others houses. (so LGS AND informal group...)

Then in 1993 GW opened a store less than 100 yards away. Within a month, the LGS found their trade terms had become a lot harsher and their stock was taking an age to arrive, while the GW store could consistently undercut them thanks to special offers (remember those?) and always had the full range in stock. Within a year the LGS had closed, and I was left with the trek to Bristol for my nearest stockist for RPGS *sulks*

And now you see how GW came to dominate the UK gaming scene, and why many of us old fogeys refuse to believe the claims that they really are supporting indys this time around...


I'm not sure how that shows how GW came to dominate the UK gaming scene. By 1993 they'd stripped their stock back to in-house minis-focused games. If you wanted something else then you had to go somewhere else. GW came to dominate the market for their own high street product sales and nothing else. If the gaming market in your local area couldn't support any other gaming than GW's then it's not GW's fault. My local GW opened in 1982 and we used it for all our rpg purchases. When they changed over to only selling their own product it allowed other LGS' fill the void. Pre-internet, if I wanted WFB or 40K stuff I went to GW. If I wanted rpg's, other wargames, ccg's, non-GW novels or non-GW boardgames then I went to the LGS around the corner which sold no GW product and still managed to stay in business.

punygreenskins
23-02-2012, 09:55
It all started for me back in 1983 when my friend got an early edition of Dungeons and Dragons. From there we discovered "Chainmail" (which was like Warhammer for D&D), and then onto the first edition of Warhammer.

I still remember casting hundreds of Prince August 25mm Orcs to play Blood Bath at Orcs Drift - I think we melted down some old lead piping that was being replaced on a house down the street. Here I am still playing nearly 30 years later!

paddyalexander
23-02-2012, 14:09
Off topic but I've seen the same thing that rodmillard described happen in Dublin back in the early 90's. A LGS built a community/customer base around GW products. GW opens a shop across the street from them and suddenly the LGS can't get in stock, new releases are delayed or they get half their order while the GW shop is always fully stocked. LGS went out of bussiness after about 10 months of GW opening. Thats how GW came to domminate the market, independents would create a market and GW would move in and take over the area.

redben
23-02-2012, 15:24
If the LGS was entirely dependent on GW product then I fail to see what GW would be doing wrong by opening their own store and selling their product direct. It's just good business sense. The market that GW dominate is a market comprised entirely of their own product, they don't sell anything else. Playing WFB and 40K is one small fraction of the wargaming market, let alone the gaming market. A good LGS thrives because it sells a variety of product.

simonr1978
23-02-2012, 15:40
In my case it was a copy of White Dwarf a mate showed me in the school library way back in the early 1990s, this lead to playing Heroquest round the same mate's flat which in turn lead on to joining a wargames club.

blongbling
23-02-2012, 15:55
I got my start in wargaming from a kid next to me on the school bus reading a Battletech Technical Readout, and me going, "OMFG that is awesome looking!" It was a Behemoth/Stone Rhino image, the one on the TRO 3055 cover, that sold me, by the way.

A year or two before (and this was in the States, so it's not just a UK phenomenon), one of my buddies had picked up both Heroquest and Battlequest, but we'd dropped the games entirely after only a few games, using the minis for D&D instead.


Blongbling, yabbadabba, I want to challenge your knowledge of GW inner workings on one question:

If upper management sincerely believes that the store model of recruitment is the best and/or only one (as seems implied by both your somewhat arrogant attitudes), how do they explain the North American market?

It accounts for as much business as the UK, yet their store presence Stateside is so tiny as to be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of recruitment for GW games.

Do they just... pretend that the US is an anomaly? A 'starter market' where they could make oh so much more if they had THEIR model working? (Never mind the fact that profits quadrupled in their NA market in the year they closed down a ton of US stores?)

GW truly believes that retail store intro games are the best way to introduce people. The only reason that GW loves to have its own stores is so that it feels more in control of what is happening, they can make sure that they are run and to a level they want.. Many indies also run intro games and introduce in the same way that GW does and many out perform GW retail stores, that is how the US market performs as well as the UK, that and the fact that they have a far larger population so despite having a lower market penetration they are generating as much money

blongbling
23-02-2012, 16:03
That's irrelevant given that we are discussing the start of someone's wargaming career, not their current situation. Most of the posters here, I imagine, were the age and the type of person to go into a GW when they started.

Irrelevant, I think not, maybe I didn't explain myself very well. Depending on "when" you got introduced will have an impact on the poll, were you introduced 25 years ago when there were only a few GW stores or last week where there are over 300; what country were you introduced in as this will also have an impact. Age will also have an impact, as a child you would be more likely to enter a GW store due to how they operate, as an adult you may be more likely to be introduced by a friend. Were you already into the gaming culture when you found GW or were you not. There is also the question of how long you have been in the hobby now as well as many of teh people that GW brings in through its stores will stay for a period and then leave, further slewing the results of the poll

So far from being irrelevant it does have an impact and will result in certain results being obtained. It is like asking what was the first game played, statistically it will be 40k or WFB but on Warseer it will be heavily leaned towards either the original board games or maybe the specialists games, because we are all of a type and age

Zink
23-02-2012, 17:06
My first intro to RPGs was when I was eight years old and a cousin from the city came to visit over the summer and brought AD&D and some minis. At that time there weren't any game stores near here and no internet. Learned about Battletech through comic book ads and eventually ordered it when I was about 12. Found out about Grenadier minis from AD&D and got ahold of their catalogue and did mail order as well. About '86 or '87 my best friend found a White Dwarf magazine in a comic shop and we started doing mail order from the UK for GW minis and rules. Over nearly 30 years of gaming the majority of my purchases were by mail. At first because I couldn't drive the 100 miles to the nearest game store and later because I can get it cheaper online than in store. I go to stores ocasionally to look around and see what things I'm interested in look like in person and then go home and order it.

Ozorik
23-02-2012, 17:48
Irrelevant, I think not, maybe I didn't explain myself very well. Depending on "when" you got introduced will have an impact on the poll, were you introduced 25 years ago when there were only a few GW stores or last week where there are over 300; what country were you introduced in as this will also have an impact. Age will also have an impact, as a child you would be more likely to enter a GW store due to how they operate, as an adult you may be more likely to be introduced by a friend. Were you already into the gaming culture when you found GW or were you not. There is also the question of how long you have been in the hobby now as well as many of teh people that GW brings in through its stores will stay for a period and then leave, further slewing the results of the poll.

Most of those factors will have exactly the same impact on people who discover wargaming literally today as they did on long service veterans when they first started and all of them are dependant upon the presence of a nearby GW. There were quite a few GW stores when I started, or at least there was when I became aware of their existence, yet the nearest GW store to my home village is still 200 miles (assuming the one in Aberdeen is still there); there are large parts of the world with little or no official GW presence at all.

The biggest significant difference today compared to when I started is the lack of a contemporary Heroquest/Space Crusade/Battlemasters. Space Marine and DoW would be the modern equivalent I suppose but even then that would mean that the first 'wargaming' encounter would still be in your own home.

I really don't understand GW's dogged determination to stick with its ailing and distinctly limited store model and I really can't understand why it doesn't relaunch a rebranded and modernised Heroquest.

yabbadabba
23-02-2012, 20:36
@Blongbling - The other thing to take into account is the nature of the population online forums. In academic circles online forums are not considered anything like a representative cross section of the society or community observed. Its generally accepted that online forums represents a move towards one extreme or another and therefore any views/data tends to have a certain bias.

Ozorik
23-02-2012, 20:41
Its generally accepted that online forums represents a move towards one extreme or another and therefore any views/data tends to have a certain bias.

As this is supposed to be about where you started gaming, assuming that everyone is telling the truth, there really shouldn't be much in the way of bias as no bias would have been formed at that point. Where X 'rabid fanboys' started would breakdown in a very similar way to where X 'haters' started, unless there is a correlation to haters/fan boys and starting wargaming at home of course.

Erazmus_M_Wattle
23-02-2012, 22:15
I was eleven years old. It was 1987. A friends cousin gave him a lone of Rogue Trader. I was wowed by the pictures. I was particularly taken by the Space Marines in red armour with their yellow boss.

Despite my introduction being a copy of forty K we started playing McDeath and the Liche Master boxed sets. The card board cut out counters were great.

We changed to 40k after a year when I got Rogue Trader and a box of RTB01 Space Marines that I had to share with my twin brother. All our mates quickly changed to 40K.

Our closest GW was Glasgow which for us was far away. We used to love the adventure of getting on the train and a day out in Glasgow. We would go to the independents first but the highlight was always the GW on Queen Street.

It's funny but it was only last year I finally got around to doing the Blood Angels I was so enraptured with at 11 years of age.

TheMav80
23-02-2012, 23:13
With two other friends in our apartment.

Spectrar Ghost
24-02-2012, 14:21
As this is supposed to be about where you started gaming, assuming that everyone is telling the truth, there really shouldn't be much in the way of bias as no bias would have been formed at that point. Where X 'rabid fanboys' started would breakdown in a very similar way to where X 'haters' started, unless there is a correlation to haters/fan boys and starting wargaming at home of course.

I think it's more likely that there is a much greater chance of players that started at home with friends remain in the hobby long enough to join forums, while those that started in GW shops tend not to play long enough to become forum goers.

Ozorik
24-02-2012, 14:42
I think it's more likely that there is a much greater chance of players that started at home with friends remain in the hobby long enough to join forums, while those that started in GW shops tend not to play long enough to become forum goers.

Personally I find this doubtful, why would there be any difference? Unless of course GW shops are simply recruiting people who are unsuited to wargaming.

Graeme
24-02-2012, 16:21
Personally I find this doubtful, why would there be any difference? Unless of course GW shops are simply recruiting people who are unsuited to wargaming.

If you make the effort to seek out and get involved in something, you're probably more likely to stick with it (and end up posting on warseer).

If you just absent-mindedly bimble into a GW and the smooth-talking staffer pushes an AoBR and paint set on you, you're probably more likely to ebay your badly painted marines (and end up not joining warseer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_bias

paddyalexander
24-02-2012, 17:04
The question that inspired this thread was "do gwPLCs' stores have a big impact on people entering the hobby?". Now if you want to quantify "entering the hobby" as playing for a number of years, lets say 3-5 years then by the above arguements the answer is No. What their stores are geared towards is getting short gain out of a custumer, a single large buy in and moving on to the next one.

If you want to quantify entering the hobby as being sold a starter set and a baneblade in a gwPLC The Hobby Center and quiting after 6 months and a few hundred euro/pounds/dollars later then Yes, gwPLC stores introduce loads of impressionbable children into the gwPLC Hobby TM. For what that's worth to the wargaming/tabletop hobby community.


The arguement that you won't find many people posting on forums who were introduced to the hobby in a gwPLC The Hobby Center because most don't last 6 months isn't a valid one simply because if they don't stay in the hobby past that introductory phase then they never really entered the hobby in the first place. All they've done is bought some expensive crap they're never going to use and proberbly be turned off of the hobby experience for good.

Spectrar Ghost
24-02-2012, 17:46
The arguement that you won't find many people posting on forums who were introduced to the hobby in a gwPLC The Hobby Center because most don't last 6 months isn't a valid one simply because if they don't stay in the hobby past that introductory phase then they never really entered the hobby in the first place. All they've done is bought some expensive crap they're never going to use and proberbly be turned off of the hobby experience for good.

While on a philosophical level I agree with you, to GW it doesn't make a darn bit of difference as long as they get Timmy's money. They are a miniatures company first, as they're so fond of pointing out. The rules are an advertising and sales pitch, from GW's point of view.

Ozorik
25-02-2012, 07:24
If you make the effort to seek out and get involved in something, you're probably more likely to stick with it (and end up posting on warseer).

If you just absent-mindedly bimble into a GW and the smooth-talking staffer pushes an AoBR and paint set on you, you're probably more likely to ebay your badly painted marines (and end up not joining warseer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_bias

Why does encountering something for the first time count as seeking it out? You can also encounter wargaming for the first time from a wide range of sources not least through friends and family.

Surely if you find out about GW through something like DoW the first thing that you will do is google games Workshop and from there be directed to a store (if there is one). By that logic people who first wargamed at a GW would be more likely to remain wargamers.

I am well aware of selection bias but its not especially applicable here.

Rogue
25-02-2012, 15:18
Started with Battlemasters, and Heroes Quest. My friend got a WD mag, and that kicked the whole thing off. We exclusively just played against each other for years. Only afterwards did I actually start playing at a indy store.

Nuada
25-02-2012, 21:40
When i was at school a friend of mine told me he went to a skip at GW. He had amazing tales of a bag of 50 dice, some free figures, and old game components they'd thrown away (i was easily impressed at that age) So naturally i went with him on my bike next time he went.

That progressed to Talisman in 1984 for xmas, then the expansions. Boardgames i also bought from GW included Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Chaos Marauders, Rogue Trooper, Block Mania, Judge Dredd rp game, Dungeonquest, and others..... i also tried out 2nd & 3rd ed WHFB as well.

I've never had a game in a store or at a club before, all my games were at home or a friends house.

Crazy Harborc
26-02-2012, 02:23
I've been playing with toy soldiers for oh.....60 years. They were metal and pre-painted Brittains Lmtd. AND 54mm. There were other brands then too. Along came unpainted and rubber at that!

I had a "collection" of several hundred metal ones painted, well, "pre-painted". I discovered 35mm, plastic Elastrolin Hauser in about 1962(?)...OH YEAH:D

I discovered wargaming before I discovered 25mm metal paint your own minies. Private homes, usually a 4 by 8 foot table in a basement...THAT is where I wargamed. No GW minies back then.

There have been indie stores with tables. in the St. Louis, Mo. area for decades. Um, my partners and I opened the first wargaming store with tables, 4 by 8 foot ones. Still, there was NO GW and it's minies, rules and other accessories.

A good long time hobby before GW and still going strong without GW. Rumor has it there are still GW games systems battles in a couple of the stores with tables. There are many, many non-GW systems games weekly, monthly, yearly. Most gaming is still done in private homes using 4 by 8 tables, mostly in basements.

cyphersfallen
26-02-2012, 11:54
i started in the hobby at home with space crusade and heroquest, i knew a bit about gw from the panflit inside the boxed games, then stumbled upon a white dwarf, in my local newsagent, and then it started from there really.
my dad bought me my first box of gw figure's which were space wolve terminator's, it was the first time i had been into a proper gameshop, and then i got my first gw game from a gw store which was epic (when the staff didntjump you as soon as you walked in), but i didnt start gaming in a store till id left school, so up untill then, it was just me and my brother at home.

PaulBaldowski
29-02-2012, 19:51
I remember my first game - a Warhammer Fantasy game using second edition rules with a dwarf enemy versus something orcish. I doubt I won... I never did. Still, I generally enjoyed myself.

Crovax20
01-03-2012, 12:04
Well I guess I started wargaming in honest at a GW store.... Although the thing that got me into wargaming wasn't actually a GW store, it was MMO's... Warhammer Online turned me into a wargamer ;P

Spider-pope
03-03-2012, 16:28
At a lunchtime gaming club at secondary school. Then a gaming club at a local library, before eventually going to Veterans nights at my local GW because it was really the only venue available after i moved.

Crazy Harborc
03-03-2012, 21:49
WAY back....H G Wells wrote a book about wargaming...a set of rules actually. The battlefield was a floor, books used as hills etc. etc. The book was full of ideas, full of drawings too. Can't think of the title??

Oh, we do still use our GW minies, some of them. Most of our minies are mounted on GW's slotta bases. Shorter 25mm minies are on thicker bases to appear taller on the table top. But then, my group of regular, longtime opponents have collections that started before GW rented it's first warehouse, much less started making minies.

Spectrar Ghost
03-03-2012, 21:53
"Little Wars", IIRC.

Found it - here (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Wars-H-G-Wells/dp/0972251154).

Crazy Harborc
03-03-2012, 21:59
Little Wars....thank you. I do have the copy buried somewhere.

Heck, my buddy and I liked to roll marbles across the attic floor at our armies. Great fun that it was...we did have breakage now and then.

THOSE 54mm toy soldiers are worth $$$ to collectors these days.;)

samael
12-03-2012, 14:19
I had my first game at a , now sadly bankrupt, brick and mortar store some 20 years ago.

Was also almost my last game since my opponent and his brother brought along their 2 "lovely" little girls that screamed/whined/cried the whole place apart for a solid 4 hours.
But I perseverd with the game nonetheless.....never got kids though :)

meltedwing
12-03-2012, 14:58
My first game was at a games workshop. They were playing through a 6v6 fantasy game. I didn't have an army at all at the time, but the store manager had me borrow some dwarves. My cannons malfunctioned on turn 1, and could not fire on turn 2 as a result. On turn 3 my cannons blew themselves up (both of them). I was pretty disappointed that my army pretty much destroyed it'self and was useless for the rest of the game. If it weren't for my best friend having invited me there, I probably would not have gotten into the hobby. As is, he convinced me to give it another try and after that I really liked it.

To this day, I fully believe that 6v6 games are an absolutely terrible way to introduce someone to the hobby.

Abaraxas
17-03-2012, 11:12
At home.

Ive never played in a GW store, the only reason I have ever gone into one of their stores is to buy something.

Hrw-Amen
18-03-2012, 16:21
It started with 1/72nd scale plastic soldiers usually WW2 era, (But not always.) at home. I would set them up and play by rolling marbles alternatley at one side then the other to determine the winner. Normally on my own, but not always.

Later at around 8 years old I began to play proper WW2 era wargames with one of the neighbours kids I went to school with.

I think the first Citadel/RalPartha minatures appeared in my town in the late seventies - early eighties (I don't reall exactly.) but before any formal W40K or WFB rules existed. We used to play making up our own rules that were a lot simpler than the official ones and quicker for games.

I gto into RT when it was relased and played a few games but found it time consuming and rather boring. I dropped playing with 2nd edition and since then have just been collecting and converting.

red_zebra_ve
21-03-2012, 22:15
Started in the early 70s, I was 12, with Airfix Soldiers and Dinky Toys vehicles. At home with a school friend. We made weapon penetration charts, and used marbles "to hit".

Then branched to SPI boardgames with "proper rules", imported by mail. Always at home, no shops or clubs then.

Then moved to France, and played with Flat Napoleonic (rules that where similar to actual Command and Colours system), and introduced my gaming group to ACW using Airfix/Atlantic soldiers and Airfix rules. Was a local club at Nice, we played at any of the members home on the dinning table. The only help the local shop gave was giving the phone number of some of the club members.

Returned to Venezuela, and found similar minded friends at a plastic modelling club. We played SPIs, AHs, Squad Leader, 1/285 mini tanks home-made rules. Played at home, then one of us made a hobby shop with some tables to play.
One of us discovered WHF around 4th edition, and Man O´ War. I was hooked by Man O War, then Fantasy, then 40K 3rd edition.
The hobby shop is no more, but we still play.

Messiahnide
27-03-2012, 22:42
I had the heroquest expansion boxes but not the main game, I was about 7 at the time and made my own rules up to use the minis and tiles. It wasnt until I was 9 that I found a GW store and had an intro game of 40k 2nd edition.

Even though I never actually played Heroquest until after a few years later I still consider it my intro into wargaming after playing with the minis with my own rules.

Ace Rimmer
30-03-2012, 20:50
I started playing at my house with my older brother and his friends when I was 8 and they were 12. One of them had only recently moved into the area from Nottingham and bought his Space Marine (later rebranded EPIC) boxed set and armies over and we had a go and loved it and so started our own armies back in around '92 ish I guess, because my brother had ultramaines, my dad started Eldar and I started a squat army *sigh*.

Crazy Harborc
31-03-2012, 01:28
The Squats....the good old days of old. I had a regular opponent who REALLY bought a bunch of those guys...THEN the new edition of rules for 40K came out...NO more Squats allowed.

IMHO one of the big advantages of historicals is no company saying "you can't use that (army, unit, etc) anymore.;)

Jack Spratt
31-03-2012, 12:11
I am surprised at the result of this poll.

Displaced
31-03-2012, 12:26
It was heroquest that got me in. Think I was 7. My cousin had it and space marine. That got me in to it and I saved up all my money for WFB 2nd edition (elves v goblins, with cardboard cut out griffon and chariot)

f2k
31-03-2012, 12:44
I am surprised at the result of this poll.

How so?

I’m not surprised at all, having long been of the opinion that the brick’n’mortar store concept only works in the UK because Games Workshop has a virtual monopoly on wargamming there. It fails miserably everywhere else.

In mainland Europe, it’s far more likely that you’ve been introduced to the hobby through friends and/or local clubs. In-store gaming is actually not that common here...

Actually, it’s a bit of a shame that the poll doesn’t differentiate between UK and non-UK gamers. I think that would have shown a fairly clear trend in regards to in-store gaming.

Anyway, I was introduced to the hobby nearly twenty years ago when I was in my mid-teens while I attended a boarding school (or rather, the Danish, somewhat, equivalent version...). Someone had brought their Hero Quest game with them. Someone else wanted to play Warhammer instead so we tried that. This eventually changed into several of us playing both 40K and Epic as we were more into sci-fi at that point – and besides, 40K didn’t seem nearly as copy-paste as the Warhammer world did back then. So within a single year I went from not even knowing about Games Workshop to playing all three core games.

It would be quite a few years from that point on to me even hearing about a Games Workshop Store in Denmark. We still got one in Copenhagen, right? Not that it really matters. I’m not interested in Games Workshop games anymore beyond a smattering of 40K. And I’m certainly not going to spend 3+ hours on a train to go to a “real” Games Workshop store where I can get the privilege of paying full price for an already grossly overpriced product when all my modelling needs is just a mouse-click away. And at far more reasonable prices too...

burad
01-04-2012, 05:07
Started playing miniatures in 1972 with "Rules for Wargaming" by Arthur Taylor, using a mix of Roco and Airfix tanks.
After that I evolved towards a variety of miniatures wargames in various scales: Napoleonique in 25mm, Seapower III in 1/2400, Panzerschiffe in 1/2400, Empire I, II, III, IV and then V in 15mm, Battletech, StarFleet Battles, Renaissance Wargaming in 15mm, Tactica in 6mm, Age of Iron and Age of the Dreadnought in 1/1000, Shipbase III, Crimson Skies (wizkids), and then finally in the last five years got into Warhammer Fantasy followed by 40k.
I had never heard of Games Workshop until less than ten years ago.

Coasty
06-04-2012, 15:10
At home with Airfix and Matchbox kits, playing either solo or against my Dad. I was introduced to GW by friends at school when I was in my mid-teens.

I can probably count on one hand the number of games I've played in a GW shop since then.

Bob5000
08-04-2012, 15:55
Me too at Home with Airfix soldiers and Tanks with our own rules before Games workshop was a twinkle in somebody's eye .

Aedes
09-04-2012, 10:26
I have to admit I started actual wargaming in a GW store (Munich). :shifty:
But I painted miniatures and built dioramas and displays long before I actually started gaming.

Bad monkey
09-04-2012, 10:29
It was heroquest that got me in. Think I was 7. My cousin had it and space marine. That got me in to it and I saved up all my money for WFB 2nd edition (elves v goblins, with cardboard cut out griffon and chariot)

This is my story too. Minus the cousin with space marine. I still love the old ad for hero quest


---
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?3gcdw0

sigur
09-04-2012, 11:06
I started out in scale modelling albeit before that I found great joy in setting up elaborate scenarios and sieges along with my father with Playmobile and Lego knights before that. I never "played" much, just set the stuff up. Then I got into scale modelling (ww2 mostly). I had this little landscape, slightly smaller than a 6' by 4' table on which I set up my 1/72 stuff. Less with any actual operations in mind, just to have the models set up. Simultaneously, I got into pen&paper roleplaying, Heroquest, Space Crusade, Battle Masters and similar fantasy boardgames.

One day I found this excellent modelling store at which they also sold tons of models to go with Space Crusade. I picked some up but it was only a few weeks until I got the glorious 40k second edition box.

edit: Oh yes, no games at any public venue. None of these around here and I don't think that it's much of a part of wargaming culture around here. The first Austrian GW store was opened around 2004, 2005, until then I shopped at two LGS stores (of which one recently folded. I still buy my stuff at the other one).