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New Blood.

New Blood.

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Project Blog by jmsstockwell Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 21

About the Project

Fresh blood! Must bring in the newbies, mates who have never gamed, old gamers, little proto gamers, wives who don’t know the way of the game yet and most of all we need new cannon fodder! Bring in the Newbies! But how? This is my journey of recruitment, it’s hopes, foibles and failures! Let’s see how I do.

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Young ones

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Just get them to paint and claim ownership of whatever they want. Then play Ludo or whatever they can already play. The narrative comes naturally. You can progress from there.Just get them to paint and claim ownership of whatever they want. Then play Ludo or whatever they can already play. The narrative comes naturally. You can progress from there.
How to get anyone interested in castles and dungeons.How to get anyone interested in castles and dungeons.

Do you want Blood Gerry!?

Tutoring 2
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Content for contents sake? Her be chickens and cats then! I have not been idle in this past couple years since I started this but have only had a couple things worth talking about. I was planning on waiting until it resembled something of a conclusive statement rather than this burble your about to get. Being a man who is sensitive to mob and individual pressure, including quietly rising to the bait of a man I’ve never met who is goading me, I submit my findings thus far: New players want easy. That’s it. They want to rock up with everything ready to go, next to nothing to learn, easy to track gameplay, few tokens and few mechanics. They want to have fast streamlined fun. Nuance and grit can be added a piece at a time with repeated games that are linked in a campaign sort of way. Players do not want pressure to join a cult, they do not want to be required to spend money. Most people just want to casually join in. Roleplay is lost on most people unless anchored to a physical ‘scene’ or game set up that is in front of them. Free movement freaks people out. They like counting squares. A paired back Dungeon saga fits the bill to all of the above, except on 2 points. It takes too long to set up once a door has been broken. The wizard has too much going on for a new player so should be someone experienced, which makes some new keen admirers of the occult of arts disappointed when they try the wizard and get perplexed. Now these points are very generic and some people take to it like ducks to water. People do tend to fall into two broad camps once gameplay is an established reality. Some want narrative character to a mission, almost to the point of random chaos at times. Some want a tactical chess play sort of scenario that they can credible-hulk their way through. A spectrum does exist between these two types but there are bulges in each camp rather than a bell curve. So far this can only be addressed with me ducking and diving as the dungeon master to alter gameplay to suit the majority of your players that have attended that evening. Even introducing people to like minded players rather than mixing the two. Anecdotes of failure: I tried to introduce my wife and sister to Warhammer. I used 6th edition skirmish rules to start a very small game. Same sort of size as Frostgrave. It did not get far before people were clearly not having fun. Comments of ‘this is slow’. ‘Why are we rolling again!?’ Then insults fly, questions of parentage are raised. Reminders that we all got 6 months last time and should calm the fuck down. Yes unfortunately Warhammer is not a good game for introducing newbies. I have failed on all attempts to introduce raw recruits. The only 2 times I have succeeded is where my newbies had developed from the D Saga, to Frostgrave, and are now intrigued by something a bit more crunchy and larger in aspect like lord of the rings battle games. They then are less intimidated by a small Warhammer game, say the old boxed game set in size is ok. Even in these circumstances people are merely more likely to tackle it rather than the smooth winning streaks that other games present. It seems there really is just better games out there for new candidates and a wider audience. Age has very little to do with it, the above applies to all ages it seems with clarity of rules being more important to older players than children who prefer narrative generally. Elsa and Anna from Disney frozen make great miniatures in a dungeon and my daughters are completely ‘IN’ the game so long as the threat is not high. A sin I must now admit. Boys tend to aggregate towards threat and Uber violence and girls to narrative intrigue with lower threat levels. WHO KNEW OR WOULD HAVE DARED GUESS THIS OUTCOME!!!? 🙄 There is always an outlier mind. IP definitely helps massively. A familiar and loved IP helps engagement enormously. You don’t even need change dungeon saga at all, just swap the wizard for Elsa and the elves archer for Anna and call them those names. Onwards we go. Far mass games I am currently experimenting with leading people through lord of the rings skirmish

after the prep of D Saga and Frostgrave, with the outlook to giving War of the Ring a go as it’s a mass battle version of LOTR SBG. And should be only a minor step on in mechanics, rules and  length of play.

Watch this space, out of 25 people introduced 20 of them are still interested in playing D Saga. 10 are good with Frostgrave and LOTR, with the prospect of more joining them once the D Saga lot reach the same level. Only one has stepped onto mass battles, Sigh.

Onwards not backwards. Upwards not downwards. And always Twirling, TWIRLING! To FREEDOM!!!

Cats. 🙄Cats. 🙄
A fecking squirrel who doesn’t understand how this is supposed to go. I was visiting my sister in london, the animals in london are Fucked up. They think they are in a Disney movie! We eat them where I come from in rural-shire!A fecking squirrel who doesn’t understand how this is supposed to go. I was visiting my sister in london, the animals in london are Fucked up. They think they are in a Disney movie! We eat them where I come from in rural-shire!
Couldn’t be arsed to find the chicken photos, they must be busy getting their periods on to human plates (AS GOD INTENDED!), so here is half of my birthday cheesecake. Awesome day.Couldn’t be arsed to find the chicken photos, they must be busy getting their periods on to human plates (AS GOD INTENDED!), so here is half of my birthday cheesecake. Awesome day.

Ancient wisdom.

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“400 hits and 300 kills that’s a victory to me after turn two.”

This should be said in the most snivelling, annoyingly nasal way possible. This is the experience I had for many years visiting my local GW gaming clubs.

The vast majority of its members or players are very right brain competitive players. Competetition or tournament play, as I’ve heard it called. Min maxing, in it to win it, chess glory.

Dull. Dull dull dull. This is not to denigrate those chaps who are all over this kinda play, but your all insane to me whatever way I frame you.

You seem to want wargames chess, but the companies won’t let you do this fully as it could mean sales are finite. How many versions of chess could you sell? So instead ,it appears to me, an awesome mechanism has appeared to take people by the nose and walk them through the the land of sprues with their wallets open. As we all know, if you don’t own this flyer then you won’t be able to win. Next months releases is anti aircraft weapons teams. Now you can’t win without them. Familiar?

At core there is nothing wrong with the motivation behind winning. Becoming a chess master is no easy thing and it is a rigorous mental exercise.  I’m just not wired that way I think, but this is my feed so I’m allowed to be biased!

So what is it that attracted me to it at all? Why am I convinced my kids and mates will like it?

It was two salesman at GW. One in the 1990’s who captured a young lads imagination with an awesome Skelton warrior in the shop window. The 8 year old me had his neck nearly twisted off by his eyes snapping round to get a proper look “it’s Jason and the Argonauts Mum!”.

We went in and was introduced to a free mini. Hooked. They then introduced this young lad to a space warrior who was a warrior monk who took on a medieval knight rile and donned mechanised exo armour to fight space Orks and aliens in a holy crusade.

I nearly passed out.

The enthusiasm, visual spectacle and the narrative dragged me in.

Roll on 20 years and I’ve managed to convince a pal who, until now, had no interest in even going in the shop. He likes video games and the occasional board game but that’s the extent of it. I told him “you’ll have fun! There is no pressure to know anything about it, the chap will guide us through.”

I said this knowing his previous objections and concerns. Put concisely, the game is intimidating! Now your probably thinking, which game we talking about?! Well to the uninitiated all the dozens or hundreds of game workshop games over the years is known simply as ‘Warhammer’. Doesn’t matter if it’s future, fantasy, space ship, armada, Titans, mass battle, skirmish, cards or a weird variant of kerplunk. To them, it’s warhammer. And warhammer means: complex, loadsa stuff, loadsa rules, loadsa people who know better than you. And loads of fanatical individuals bearing down on you.

So I am rather pleased he is placing his trust in me! I had done my homework first, prepped the shop assistant before we came in, on a known quite day! Having previously met the GW store manager in question I already knew he was a nice fella who put sales second and fun first (It’s alright! He doesn’t work there anymore, so there’s no risk of upper management burning him in tyres, as an example to the other sales people of getting the priorities wrong).

We played 6th edition fantasy, my pal against me with the manager as GM. The figures are all painted, the scenery is excellent. The mood jovial and relaxed. All the rules are in the GM’s head and there’s nothing to think about except the fun of the game. It was a take and hold mission, my pal lost. But he lost while laughing. He then committed to spending £50 on the game off his own back. No prompting from the manager or me.

It should be bourn in mind the nature of the said wallet in question, it was dusty and came covered in locks and chains and, when prised open with the pocket crowbar, moths came out with the sighs of the long dead. So it was an omen to have him buy the game.

We got back to mine and opened his goodies. At first he was intrigued, then quite. 3 hours later we had assembled the miniatures and started to attempt a game, checking the rule book. A lot. With no scenery and a grey wasteland before us. He did not return to that game. He gave it to me in fact, saying “It’s not for me.”

But it was for him! Clearly. A man such as he is not impulsive. It was the effort involved afterwards that was the problem. For normal people it was just too much commitment to bring to a game. The fun for most ‘Normies’ is in the mood, the spectacle and the company.

I swore there and then that I would be trying again, but I would do the legwork. So first up as test, the Wife. We will have to see how that goes!……

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