So, I figured I would write this in the hopes that I could help the next generation of wargamers with getting into the hobby. Whether your interested in Warmachine, Hordes, Warhammer, LOTR Mini’s, DND Mini’s, Malifaux or any of the other of the crazy varieties, I figured that the experiences that I went through and the things I have learned could be of some help.
Lets start at the top. My journey into the hobby started fairly recently, just in July/August of this year, 2009. I had always been interested in the hobby and had tried several times previously to get into the games without much success. I tried 40k and Warhammer Fantasy and just couldn’t ever motivate myself. A few years ago I found Warmachine and was curious, and even registered on their forums but never actually bought in.
So fast forward to last year. I had money, I was interested again, and I had the actual want to play. So, I tried Warhammer Fantasy again, and made my first mistake. I realized I had no one to play with! No one I knew played Fantasy, and in fact I had wasted my money buying the new box. I also realized that I had chosen a Horde army (so called because of the amount of troops you would need) and quickly found myself put off with the amount of units I would need.
I waited a few months, and then came the urge again. This time, I said, I would do some research, and determine exactly what I wanted to do. I checked into 40k again (Space Marines) and also Warmachine. I never looked at Hordes (boy do I wish I had now!) and one night after getting paid decided that I would dive into one of the games. I went to my local Hobby Shop that I had found, and found that alot of people were playing both games. I ended up going with Warmachine, mainly because after talking to one of the store employees (who turned out to be our local Press Ganger!) I would find Warmachine more my fit, as I wanted to play smaller point games.
Thus I purchased Cygnar, having them as a second choice (I had wanted Khador). And the rest as they say is history. I discovered I didn’t like Cygnar, and fell in love with my Trolls.
So, what did I learn and how can you all avoid it? Well, lets make a list out of it!
1. Research. I cannot stress this enough. Before spending ANY of your money you need to sit down and decide if you can devote the time and resources to this hobby. You also need to decide WHAT game and faction you want to start with. You can find all sorts of resources on the web to discuss this. Ask veteran players of the games that interest you, and make an informed choice.
2. Prepare. You are going to need more then just the starter kits to get going. You are gonna need glue, clippers, hobby knives, files, and paint supplies. My advice? Go to a craft store. You can get a good selection of all of the above for about $20. This cost is something you may not expect just starting out.
3. Community Check. Make sure you have a place to play that is welcoming. If the local community for your game stinks, or the game store you want to frequent is very insular you may run into issues and thus not want to play.
4. Decide your level of play. Tournaments? Casual play? What level do you want to go after? You want to include this really into research as some armies/factions for games are generally under the power curve compared to others. My faction for example, Trollbloods, is not considered a “Top Tier” faction and I am aware of that. I still like the army.
In the end be prepared. I cannot stress this enough. You are going to want to be careful with what you do. I would not jump into the game. In fact, playing a few demo games may be a good idea as well, as you can learn the mechanics of the game and quickly learn if you are even wanting to spend time playing it. I learned from my mistakes. I should have done a WHOLE LOT MORE Research, which was really my major mistake. I had thankfully done the other 3 things on my list, and came out ahead. My FLGS is great, and they welcomed me with open arms.
Whatever you decide, whatever game you play, just remember this one major caveat: Play to have Fun first, and you will always be happy.