September 2, 2011

Your local Gaming Club? Is Garage-Hammer winning?

One thing that I really enjoy about tournaments is the chance to meet new opponents and play against different armies. As the only events I attend, with 2-3 exceptions, are in Wellington the majority of people I come across are from the two principle Wellington Clubs. However, you also get a large contingent of people travelling from Auckland, the Bay and even the South Island. I have regularly thought that from a gaming point of view living in Wellington would be great primarily due to the large number of organised gamers in the region.

But that begs the question where are all the gamers in my city? GW prices aside a lot of people buy Warhammer products and play the game, question is - where do they go? Locally we use the phrase 'Garage-Hammer' when referring to this lost group of gamings, who either avoid or dont know about our club and hence play Warhammer in their Garages or the like. Advertising is an issue of course and building links with your FLGS is important here. Our local store is, unfortunately, run by a group of younger kids most of whom play card games like Magic or whatever? They recently started setting up tables for regular games on a Wednesday night but even here WHFB numbers are low. For a while they also scheduled their gaming nights at the same time as our club meetings.

This begs the question - that if the FLGS isnt supported by local gamers because of GW prices why would they support the local club. And if the FLGS offers nothing to gamers why wouldnt they buy elsewhere - and where do they send people who do buy GW from them? Pete Dunn over at Fields of Blood makes this point in his latest post and its a good one.

If you've followed my blog for a while you would have seen that a huge number of my WHFB battle reports outside of tournaments are against the same few opponents. This is due to the lack of members locally. At present my local club - The Manawatu Duellists - has in Warhammer terms only 5 regular players:
  • Myself with Dwarfs & High Elves
  • Adam - Dwarfs
  • Doug - Skaven, Ogres & Orcs n Goblins
  • Brendan - Orcs n Goblins & Brettonians
  • Caleb - Warriors of Chaos & Lizardmen
There are also a couple of other irregular attendees who have Lizardmen, Beastmen and Orcs n Goblins. Hence the pickings in terms of opponents is slim. Its been that way for a while although in 2009 we did undergo a bit of a boom period when a number of younger players came along.

But where are the rest?

Whats the situation like in your neck of the woods?

How hard is it for you to find games outside of tournaments? I know of a few regular tournament players for whom those events are the only chance they get to play WHFB.

And in todays GW doesn't seem to care anymore era just what role are FLGS supposed to play when gamers buy overseas due to high local prices?


Scott said...

Strictly 'GarageGamer' here... I used to be a member of the WellyWarlords a few years back, but the drive down from Kapiti was a bit of a drag... Once I built my new home with a Gamesroom, I couldnt motivate my self to make the journey any longer. So I mostly host games now with a few locals, and sometimes visit their homes too.
End of '10/beginning of '11, I almost relocated to Palmy, but that didnt come off. So Kapiti to stay now.
GW's/FLGS/Clubs arent much of an issue for me, and I source most of my stuff online from overseas...

Nice blog by the way

John M said...

Travel time always bites into the ability of many Manawatu players to make our club as well. Huge amount of Garage gamer here or people who collect and play only in Tournaments.

If you ever up in Palmy on a Thurs night drop into the club

Binz said...

Nice essay writing skills there John. I think your right, Ive been here in Hawkes bay a year, and ive only just heard about a new club playing Warmachine that im going to check out. Good luck with finding more people to play with!

Scott said...

Thanks for the invite John, I'll keep it in mind. Likewise if you are passing through Kapiti, feel free to looki me up.