Sunday, July 24, 2016

Coming Out of the (Gaming) Closet

It's an issue that pervades this hobby of ours. Do you tell your family and friends that you buy, build, paint and play with what are basically toy soldiers? Why do we let it bother us?

When my wife was still my girlfriend, I was pretty open about all of my many geeky/nerdy leanings. At the time we met I was massively involved in an MMORPG called EVE Online. When I added 40K to the mix I don't think she really batted an eyelid. I eventually gave up on EVE as my then girlfriend was getting pretty fed up of hearing "sorry I'm late but I needed to dock/safespot before I could log off". Apparently 40K hasn't put her off marrying me though.

My family thinks I'm daft for playing toy soldiers at the age of 32. I remember my Mum not being thrilled with the hobby when I was in my early teens. She read some of the background and didn't think it was particularly age appropriate. Frankly she was probably right. She's either forgotten what the background is like or, more likely, think's it's more Kirsty's problem now we're married! Either way none of my family are really bothered that I play. My Dad winds me up sometimes about it but he's always been pretty impressed when I've shown him figures I've painted (obviously when such a rare thing actually happens). I still think that they're thinking at some point that I'll "grow out of it". I think the current most likely scenario in their heads is that when and if we have a second child, that'll be end of the hobby. I think Kirsty knows me well enough to know that isn't likely.

One of my friends from school is my most frequent opponent. Matt and I got back into 40K following a game "just to see what it's like now" before selling our stuff on eBay. I'd spent most of school trying to avoid telling people I played 40K since I thought it wouldn't help my already limited chances of getting a girlfriend. Mind you, I think me giving up in my teens had more to do with my friends all deciding it wasn't "cool" to play anymore than anything else. Still, it took me something like 10 years to get back into 40K again after my teenage opponents deserted me. The guys I'm still friends with from school are all fully aware that Matt and I play with toy soldiers but, apart from the odd dig, they really couldn't care less. We've even managed to get a couple of them interesting in X-wing at least. They see 40K as too much of a time and money sink (pretty spot on assessment really!).

So those closest to me generally couldn't care less about my hobby. It's strange then that until recently I didn't tell anyone I worked with. When I'm talking about coming out of the gaming closet this is what I mean. Until just after Double Trouble I hadn't liked anything on Facebook or joined any FB groups that had any relation to 40K. I didn't want any of my colleagues or wider circle of friends to know. When people at work asked about my plans for the weekend, I'd say something like "I'm going to see some friends in Nottingham/Stockport". Not a lie really but I really don't know why I felt I had to keep a massive part of my life a secret from them.

It's funny really. I'm pretty sure if they did a ranking of people at work who were the most geeky/nerdy I'd be pretty comfortably at the top. A physics degree, affinity for computers and general excitement about geeky stuff was enough to paint a picture for them. Why then did I not want them to know I played tabletop wargames? Perhaps it has a lot to do with what I perceive as the typical wargamer. Lacking social skills, unwashed, greasy, long hair and probably a beard. What load of crap! The vast majority of wargamers I've met over the years are totally "normal". I know some truly brilliant people thanks to this hobby. Most of whom come to my tournaments! I'm not going to pretend I haven't met some more errr interesting people over the years too but these represent the minority.

Well, recently I took the plunge and started to tell people more about my hobby. I don't think they were surprised for a second. What surprised me though was how many of them actually used to play or might even consider doing so now. I'm not daft enough to expect any of them to actually get into the hobby but they've been interested in some of the easier access games I've talked about e.g. Zombicide, X-wing, that sort of thing.

It's quite a good feeling really. Having everything out in the open. I'm not ashamed of my hobby. I never really have been. If there are any people out there who are still firmly in the closet I'd encourage you to break out and tell a few people. You never know, your next opponent might be sat next to you at work!

I'd love to hear everyone else's experiences of telling people about the hobby. Perhaps the rest of you haven't been so coy about it?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fluffageddon Tickets Now Available!

Those who attended Blog Wars X and Double Trouble will know that I'm only running one event this year. There's a chance I'll go back to two next year but to fill the void, Matt is going to be running his first event, Fluffageddon which should hopefully have a similar atmosphere to my events. Here's Matt to tell you a little more and how you can buy tickets:

Hi everyone, Matt here. This is a small post just to let you all know that tickets and rules pack for Fluffageddon are live.
 
Fluffageddon is a Warhammer 40k tournament that I will be running on Saturday the 12th of November at The Outpost wargaming centre in Sheffield.
 
In summary Fuffageddon is 3 different games of 40k at 1,500pts in a competitive setting with certain restrictions to army lists and some slight modifications to rules.
 
The link to the tickets and rules pack is here:
 
Tickets are £17.50 each and include lunch.
 
Please direct any questions to matt_greeners@hotmail.com
 
Hope to see some of you there in November.

Please give Matt the same support you've given me over the years. I'll be getting my ticket soon and look forward to playing at a similar event to Blog Wars without actually running it! As with Hero For A Day, I'll be posting some army lists and painting progress when I get around to it. I'm thinking my Space Wolves need a bit of love for this one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hero For A Day - Charity Wargaming Event

Putting Double Trouble feedback to one side for a moment, I wanted to talk about the next tournament I'll be attending (barring the Outpost coming up with anything in between). Last week I picked up my ticket for Hero For A Day for the bargain price of £10. That's £10 for 8 games of 40K over a 24-hour charity gaming marathon!

It's hosted by Nick Thrower of The Burning Eye (who I know through Blog Wars). The idea is to play some relaxed games of 40K over a 24 hour period (midnight Friday to midnight Saturday) and raise as much money as possible for the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group. It's a fantastic cause and one that I know is close to Nick's heart. I'm looking forward to the event for two reasons, firstly the thought of gaming for a good cause but secondly because it'll be nice not to be a TO at a friendly event for a change!!

I've already covered some of this but here's Nick's blurb about the event:

Hero for a Day is a 24-hour tabletop wargaming marathon set in the Warhammer 40k universe. It will see 20 players coming together, battling in teams across 8 missions for control of the planet Hormung Prime. The missions will incorporate single-player matches, doubles games, handicap matches and kill team skirmishes representing the varied conflicts that rage across the planet's surface. The outcome of each mission will affect the objectives of the next game, with the final match of the day sealing the fate of the planet.

The main aim of the day is to raise money for CCLG - The Childrens Cancer and Leukaemia Group. Tickets have been kept to a minimum price to ensure that as much sponsorship as possible can be raised for the charity by the players. There will be a raffle on the day with tickets available prior to that via PayPal for those who are unable to attend in person (postage payable dependent on the prize for those who win).

Speaking of the raffle, looking at the prizes on offer so far it'll be one to rival those at Double Trouble and Blog Wars. I'm throwing in another set of Deathwatch: Overkill but there's also a Forge World Knight Cerastus in the pot amongst plenty of other stuff!

The page announcing tickets for the event can be found here but even if you can't attend I'd encourage you to support Nick and the charity on his Virgin Money Giving page. Full details of the event can be found on Nick's blog but also on the dedicated forum for the event (sign-in required).

I'll be posting about my army lists (I actually need 9 of them because of the handicap games). For the time being I'm going to be taking Tau as I'm on the attacking team but I've said I'm prepared to switch sides to even things up if need be. I'm in the process of painting up my Stormsurge for the event too so I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I'm already looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll see some of you there and actually get to talk to you for a change!

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