Thursday, March 18, 2010

Progress report - getting back into the swing of things.

It has been about two weeks since I started my new job and lost my modelin' free time in the process.

I now work as the Grocery Manager of a small cooperative store here in Kalamazoo, spending lots of money to bring in new products while keeping the store fully stocked. It is unlike anything I have really done before, but also quite familiar in a lot of ways as well.

Long story short, this new job is currently kicking my ass and keeping me from doing much of anything when I get home each day. But I must soldier on! With Adepticon just around the corner I am in the process of "finishing" the Ogre models I will be using for my Team Tournament list by adding a few details and touch-ups on my older paintjob.

I have also been on the look out for a new group of WHFB players in my new (old) hometown, so far with very little success. I've learned a few things though:
  • There are a lot of gaming nerds in this town. 
  • There is no central forum/email list/website for them to congregate at. 
  • As such, any groups that do form are very insular and nobody knows about them.
  • There are only three public places where WHFB is played - a chain hobby store (two small tables in the back of the store on Thursday nights only), a WMU gaming club (which meets on Friday nights for two hours and mostly consists of RPG and boardgame players), and Titan Games (which has a lot more 40k and LoTR players than WHFB). 
  • Titan Games hired a new store manager (a position I applied for but couldn't get an interview) who seems quite keen on getting more WHFB going on.
  • Saturday is the "open gaming" day at Titan Games, but currently the few tables they have are mostly occupied with 40k players (I think they have open gaming on Sunday too but I don't know if anyone actually plays there yet).
So with all of that research done I realized I need to make a few decisions:

1. Start playing 40k - plenty of players here although they seem to be pretty low on the "quality" scale from what I have observed.
2. Find more people to play WHFB with - there are a few players here but they don't play that often.
3. Trick Get my friends to start playing WHFB - possibly by playing a few sessions of the Mordheim "gateway drug".
4. Create/encourage a local gaming group and/or community - a lot of work and it will likely be overrun by Larpers and CCG players.

I have to be honest, it isn't the most exciting set of options ... with any luck I will find a way to get my regular WHFB fix in a way that does not involve me spending a lot of time and energy. I plan on heading to the open gaming (at Titan Games) this Saturday, hopefully to find a game or two with my Ogres. I spent the afternoon last week watching two players stumble through a 1,000 point game so I know it will be a learning experience no matter what.

Speaking of experience, it has been awhile since I posted a beer review on the blog! Here is one I really enjoyed and probably won't be able to afford again any time soon ...

Stone Brewing Company - Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2009

Beer Type: American Barleywine

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle with a (now classic to me) Stone devil inked on the glass. Poured a reddish-brown amber color with a thick off-white head that left plenty of lace.

Smell: Citrus, hops, some darker sweet smells (brown sugar?). Something else I can't quite put my finger on...

First Drink: Hops, sweet malt, quickly followed by currant/chocolate flavors. A lot going on here but the levels of flavor seem a bit murky.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and a bit sticky-sweet. Left my mouth feeling a bit dry.

Last Drink: Beer opened up a lot once it warmed up a bit. More biscuit/malt flavors and a nice hops bitterness at the end. A bit of that "dirty" flavor I associate with a good Stout, not sure what that is.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer for sure. Over 11% and will hit you like a train full of beer bricks if you aren't careful.

Notes: This is a tasty brew, it is too bad it is limited edition/seasonal! I was lucky to get a bottle - mostly because my girl bought me one from the Beer Troll. Thanks!

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5. Not too far off from the Stone Ruination but a lot stronger. Good times.

Links: Beer Advocate and Stone Brewing Company.

That's all for now! Hopefully I will have some pics of my WIP casty Vampires for my VC army in the next post, possibly some finished "new" Ogres as well! In the meantime ... did you notice the Black Library has a new website now? Pretty cool.


John@Plastic Legions said...

It's not really that hard to make it happen, as long as you're willing to be "the guy" long as you can find one person and plop down once a week around all the 40K and LotR players..have a good time and talk the game up, people (in my experience) usually like to try something new and frustrated 40K players are the easiest to sway as your just moving to another popular GW game, while GW is not doing themselves any favors these days getting new people involved, you can probably make something happen since it looks like you have the bodies, it will just be up how much energy you have and if your willing to organize, you already got the blog so thats a good start. Good Luck. hey I am doing TT on sunday maybe we'll run into each other..I'm going to try to say hey to as many bloggers as I can this year!
Nice Beer review, 11% ouch!

The Lord of Excess said...

In 2000 when I re-entered gaming ... I wanted very badly to play WHFB. I was living in Las Vegas at the time and searched and searched and couldn't really find anyone who was regularly playing the game in public. I sort of collected and painted models for a year and then just finally broke down and said screw it ... and bit the 40K bullet. Not that I'd advise others to do that per say ... just saying I can relate to what your saying. I have moved away from Las Vegas up to Utah (no I'm not mormon ... lol) and lost an amazing gaming group ... only to be stranded in an alien land without people to game with. I've spent the last year rebuilding a gaming group and starting a gaming club. We have a web page, we have a monthly open gaming event at a local library, etc. My goal is to build a public, stable, gaming club that I can draw upon to bolster my home gaming group. I've been playing bloodbowl and mordheim with people (in addition to board games and RPGs). I have found it is somewhat difficult to convert 40K players to WHFB ... in my personal experience its actually been easier getting mini game novices to try WHFB.

Randroid said...

@John - That is my plan currently, to show up and be around at as many of the open gaming locations/sessions as possible and make myself known.

I am also working on collecting names and email addresses in case I decide to go mental and start a group forum or email list for communication.

I'll be playing my Ogres at the TT, and I will likely be around the event halls on Saturday as well wearing either a BattleForge Games shirt or a Austin Minature Minions shirt (one maroon and one red) so if you see me say hi!

Randroid said...

@Lord - Thanks for the input, I know I am not the only one facing this problem but it has been a big change from what I was used to in Austin. There is a massive amount of tabletop gamers in Austin, two stores that promote it heavily (plus another few which feature it to a lesser degree) and hold regular monthly tournaments, and tons of talented players.

I miss it, but I am trying to stay positive about this new challenge while I get more people involved in building a local scene.

Feel free to share any other tips you might have!

inanecourage said...

Resorting to 40K is never an option!

Initially playing short, 500 point games might be an option. In my experience 40K players are compulsive buyers, and usually have 500 points worth of Warhammer stuff tucked away somewhere. All you have to do is get them playing Warhammer some how, and its hooks will likely sink in far.