Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hello is anyone still gaming?

Crickets, can be heard in once packed gaming halls in my area. Perhaps that is a slight over statement. Let’s stick with what I have seen. These could be wrong, but the impression is that things have gone quiet. What do I mean by that.. Well..

The online community doesn’t seem as active as it once was, but that is a relative statement and could be just from my perspective. What I have also seen is that since 6th edition more and more people I know online and offline have either moved on to another gaming system, or have picked up a second system in addition to 40k. I have friends that are actively looking and to be honest I have been looking at other games off and on as well. Is that the natural tendency of gamers to jump from system to system?

Locally the 40k crowd isn’t near as active, and I know several people that simply have walked away since the new edition. Is this because of the economy? Has everyone in my circles had real life issues crop up at the same time? While possible odds are strictly against that since my gaming friends are so diverse. The age range, and even location range is vastly wide of the people I talk to and game with. Sure there are those vastly invested into the system and community that are going strong as ever. You will have your Paul Murphy, Mike Brandt, or Thomas Reidy type personalities that are in for the long haul as the game shifts in one direction or another. These are people who are more interested in the experience of playing with people, and challenges of operating within the system regardless of the system. It’s socially what they do and they have solid play circles I would imagine.

Personally while I don’t despise 6th, I find it interesting but will admit just like other editions it has some draw backs. 5th edition was streamlined for fast play, while 6th edition seems like it takes twice as long to play as they added so many extra things to the game. Placing terrain, random objective results, random terrain results. Warlord trait rolls, power rolls, etc etc… The game is more random and takes longer which makes it harder to play in a formalized competitive environment. Also Allies adds a interesting twist on the balance of different armies. I didn't walk away because I didn't like the new rules though, I got hit with the real life bat, and it has slowed my actually gaming time to a crawl. I won’t bore you with the details of my hectic life, but free time is scarce at the moment, and when I do get it, it’s rare I can spend it out gaming or that it lines up with when an event is even going on locally. Add in the fact my once large circle of gaming buddies has dwindled down as people all have walked away for whatever reason, and now my support group to even talk about the game has been slowing failing saving throws. I have been more focused on the hobby then the game as late as a result of all the above…. But the purpose of this rant is because again as I look around it appears so many are losing interesting..

I understand there are more GT’s than ever, and the hard core crowd appears to be going strong. It’s just everyone that wasn’t hard core has made me feel like they are more and more looking for something else to do as a club than kill some space marines… (A shame those MEQ’s need to be killed by someone)

Am I off base? Did the entire planet get busy at once? More importantly

 How has 6th edition impacted your gaming circles?


  1. Where I am (Portland, OR) I don't know if I have ever seen the 40K scene stronger. Tons of players (20+ average at my FLGS 40K night, and it isn't even the only one in town) with more coming out of the woodwork with their old army every time a new Codex gets released (which has been a lot lately).

    I have seen less online engagement with 6th edition than previously, but I am not really sure why... I have seen several former bloggers move a lot of their projects to Facebook pages.

    The only thing I have noticed lately that could be akin to what you are talking about is that the people that have always bitched and moaned about 40K, but still played it, have actually put their money where there mouth is and moved to another system... but, honestly, I view that as a positive.. addition by subtraction...

    1. It's awesome to hear that the community is thriving someplace. Perhaps your right the complainers moved on which isn't a bad thing at all.

  2. What I've noticed is that 6th took a step back away from the competitive side, and those that had gotten into 40k with 5th edition playing competitively, have backed out. A lot of the blogs were primarily about that, and so they too have faded away. I see this as a dormant period. I don't think that many are fully quitting, but cutting back both in playing and buying.

    1. I didn't really consider this as a dormant period. I am newer to the gaming scene than most people I know, so perhaps your 100 percent right. I completely agree that 6th isn't focused on being competitive at all though.

  3. Very good article! I play competitively and love your description of my type of personality. It is true I am an adapter. And I have seen the adapters thrive. Life has also hit me with a bat as I lost my job in December and my new work schedule changed. That being said the GT crowd is strong and pockets of the country continue to get stronger while some pockets drop.

    We all need to do what we can for the hobby. As a TO I need to do more also. .. :-(

    1. Sorry life has thrown you a curve ball as well Spag. I am right there with ya buddy keep your head up!!. I suppose I am just confused that the GT crowd is thriving but the RTT crowd is a bit lackluster compared to before at least in my circles.

  4. In my particular area, as mentioned above, Ive seen a very solid gaming group. More importantly, Ive seen a more diverse group of people enter the hobby, which has been great to see. With that said, the biggest factor in how strong a community is I think is more so based on the community itself rather than the game. We have a new store manager at the local GW store and he has brought a lot of enthusiasm into the area (as there was 2 managers ago) which has really vamped up the interest in the 40k community here.

    1. It's very cool to hear that a GW store is doing well. My personal experience with them is they push product but aren't overly concerned with building community. Glad that isn't universally true. Also good to hear another area is thriving game wise.

  5. I had 3 close friends who played a lot and spent way more than we should have, we played with a gaming group of 20 or so, from the end of 2011 to now that group has disbanded because they now struggle to get 5 people to play, and my group of 3 close friends? Well out of us four only one of my friends still plays, same old reasons... GW is expensive, prohibitively expensive in australia. The atrocious public relations of the company and the latest rulebook. I still have my minisbut havent purchased anything in over a year and I havent played since october... I still am involved in other tabletop games as a matter of fact I have spent close to 1k in the last 14 months which would have been in GWs account if it wasnt so expensive.

    1. The hobby has been on the steady cost increase as well. I buy less because of this and I know friends that are attempting to buy nothing GW and use third party to fill in gaps as new units come out again because of cost.

  6. Well, you know what's up with me, and EAP falls into a similar circumstance, only has the new child on top of it. In a word, "work."

    Work doesn't allow a lot of free time these days. Every employer has been stuck with the more with less mindset for about three or four years now. I know EAP and I can both count our weekends off this year on one hand. Mouse is in the same boat. He's been out of state on work for every weekend for months. That small selection of the local community is hardly atypical.

    On top of that, the FLGS situation isn't helping. After the Keep shutdown, where is there that you can go for a pick up game? Epic seems like everything is scheduled, Bookery is a pretty small venue, the hobby shop is a ghost town.

    The Keep's biggest advantage was it was huge. There was enough space that pick up games happened all the time, and as a consequence, there was generally a crowd there on weekends. You know the effects that had on the community as well. A large segment of it simply hasn't found another venue yet, still.

    So, between our FLGS scene having changed, the fallout from that, 6th being what it is, and Dayton being one of the top cities for not having hit any sort of recovery yet (caught it in the news sites this past week, Dayton is one of the top three cities in the nation for not having a real chance at recovering to what it was in 2007 until 2023 at the earliest), and everyone having to work the way have for years now...

    Can't say I'm surprised really.

    Since I transitioned employers (same job, different company signing the paycheck) the official guideline has been that we are to be 125% allocated at all times, and while in theory that should lead to a fifty hour week. It's actually on the order of 60 to 70 hours a week, as our old employer was over allocating us an representing that as normal workload to the company that bought us.

    It will take about a year for the new company to realize how they were lied to, instead of the way they think they were, and then to hire more folks, and for us to get them trained. It'll be 2014 before a weekend off is a normal thing again.

    I am definitely not the only person I know in a similar situation.

    As you know from a couple places, I've not stopped buying or building, I've even got some small work done on the orks (thanks again btw), and you'll be seeing pictures of the next project before the end of the day tomorrow at the latest.

    Games though? I've played so few I can't say I've internalized the rules of 6th the way I had 5th when it had been out this long. Think I've played three total since 6th was released?

    If you want to get a game in, let me know. I can generally find a few hours free during a weekend.

  7. That's not as Atypical as you think in our area. Josh is so busy with work and such he never plays. Edge also plays far less than he did before he got his current job.. That is just two more in our specific circle, I also know a handful in the same boat not in our club locally, and another entire circle that has basically stopped playing due to 6th edition/price increases.

    My friends in Chicago are similar (although the entire chicago area isn't like that there are still very active groups there) It's interesting how our area got hit with a nerf bat, but other places are thriving?

    I'll totally ping you for a game if I have time in the future though. When I have time I honestly ping our entire circle for any takers... but since you haven't gotten a text from me asking in the last X months that should say something lol. I have been trying to make a event in INDY for about 4 months now, but I never have the dates free that they are running something...

  8. I quit playing 40K when 6th hit. I read the rules, and wasn't all that interested in sinking another $300+ into one of my forces to make it 'competitive'
    I saw the Sisters 'codex' and was disappointed, and knew the GK codex wouldn't have staying power, and didn't really have enough IG around to get excited about.

    The bigger problem for me playing 40K was that I picked up Flames of War. The differences are like night and day. I so much more prefer to play and do Flames of War than I ever was interested in 40K.

    add into that GW's not been helping keep any interest other than to watch the ship flag in the water.

    Play has dropped off a lot around Indy (contrary to what Spag's gonna tell you) I see maybe 2 games on the North side shop of 40K a week. (it used to easily have 6-7 a week) From what I understand, it's similar over on the west and south sides.
    I know some of those guys have gone underground (GraveMind meets with some guys in one Dude's basement to play now.)

    dormancy is probably a 'positive' way to look at the state of 40K right now. A lot of guys are shifting to playing something else, and perhaps not selling off their stuff.
    Me, I'd like to sell my stuff and spend that money elsewhere. I can't afford 40K as a hobby anymore.
    but on a brighter note, the LandRaiders I bought for $45 back in '09, I can now resell for $60 as second hand.

    1. How is the flames of war crowd around you? Just a bit curious one of the main draws 40k had originally when I started playing it again was that it had a active community.

      I wonder if 40k can survive being dormant though? I mean 6th drove so many people away it seems and it supposed to be the main rule set for longer than normal if you believe the rumors.

    2. Able Companie here in Indy is a fairly active group. Unfortunately, most of the guys tend to meet on the West side, or on the south side (both 45min drives for Sandwyrm and I). SandWyrm and I meet up at the North store and play, mostly using Sandwyrm's Desert terrain.
      So we mainly do Mid-war. Sometimes Early. I've been trying to talk him into participating in WWPD's Operation Overlord global campaign.
      I think the Flames of war group over in Ohio that used to do Origins was Golf Company. Able Co. here in Indy does Gencon.
      There are tourneys typically about every 6weeks between Indy (Games 2D4) and Lafayette (Sage's Shoppe). I find it nice to have a nationwide/worldwide community that Battlefront actually supports. WWPD is a great source for FoW and historical wargaming. The Battlefront forums are also pretty good.

      40K will probably survive, but it might not be as dominant as it once was. GW's strategy has been to shift it more towards the luxury goods niche, instead of the everyman's niche. (think Lexus vs. Toyota)
      There will always be people willing to buy GW stuff because they've got the money to, and because they want the aesthetics. I think if you've been playing 40K for an affordable and/or tactical/strategic wargame, it's time to look elsewhere.
      For me, 5th just needed some tweaks. It didn't need as big of a change, and as much of a moneygrab.
      I just don't have the money to throw at GW in the amounts they seem to expect.

      Something's going on right now with investor turnover following the Chapterhouse rulings.
      I don't doubt that GW was trying to set up a sale, and it probably fell through. (which would explain some of what I feel were shortsighted decisions to move product and boost revenue figures)
      but that is another topic entirely.

    3. I didn't say the playing has dropped off in Indy Farmpunk. I said the GT crowd is strong and that pockets are stronger in some areas. Which is accurate as described by many below.

      The difference in my opinion is the type of players that are thriving in 6th are adaptive players vs static players. 40K doesn't fit in a box anymore. You can't know everything, every army combo. You have to be ready for anything. And some people can't or don't want to handle that. And the prices increasing doesn't help. GW could do things better but what we have is what's we have. Optimism vs Pecimism.

    4. Meant it had dropped. Stupid auto correct. :-(

    5. I think you hit on a very important caveat Spag. People who have money to build very flexible lists and can adapt to their opponents might be doing well.
      Not everyone already has 6 forces, and/or the money to purchase a few forces to remain competitive.
      The current trend is more towards having a small force from each new codex, to 'keep up', and be able to use the newest hotness.

      There probably are hotspots for 40K. We used to be one. There might be areas where it's pretty much the only wargame in town. There are probably areas where people want narrative games, and don't mind loose rules.

      I find 40K has gotten too expensive. I'm not getting the return on my investment I want to. So, I chose to stop collecting, and get out of the arms race.
      I don't think that's Optimism vs. Pessimism. I think it's Romanticism vs. Realism.
      There's also a bit of priority difference. My priority is for a good game, no matter who makes it, not for the most popular game, or for making the best of what one company makes.
      If my priority was based around making the best of what GW gave me, I'd sound much more gung-ho about 40K.

      But I'm not limited to GW. I don't have to be. If GW produces a good product at a decent pricepoint, I'll buy it.
      GW has been choosing a luxury good course with it's products... and I don't feel I'm getting my money's worth anymore.
      Like Big Red wrote about over on BOLS... for the price of a 40K allies force, I could buy a new computer, or a new Stove, or enough Wine and Beer brewing kits to keep me in constant production for at least a year. Heck, I could also buy into an entirely new wargame, and get a few forces to play, not just an ally faction.

  9. My local gaming store has gone from hardly any players to a thriving slow grow league, all focused on casual and narrative play. The European blogs I read, focussing again on narrative but also on kit bashing and painting, are discussing if we are in a golden age of 40K...

    1. The narrative guys local to me moved on to playing more historical and mantic games.. So I know locally the original crowd that did that stuff has moved on.. however I know they play apoc monthly at a store by me.. perhaps that counts lol. Again always cool to see the hobby doing well someplace though.

  10. The local scene in Cincinnati is booming. It is amazing how many new players are getting into the game these days. With Eastside games n cards and the Hyde park plaza gw recruiting its been phenominal. Egc has a league with 26 people signed up, with at least 25% of people playing less than 5 games. At least 3 nights a week the tables are full of 40k! The local tournaments are doing good at EGC. And i look to expand those to other locations to help support Cincinnati Arsenal Gaming's CAGBash!
    The online presence had definitely declined recently but ding ok on Facebook it seems.

    1. I have said before that I wished I lived closer to EGC, you guys are the most active store in this area, your just too far to commit to a weekly game time for several of us down here in the Dayton Area Sean.. EGC is my current favorite flgs to game at.

  11. I have to go with several of the others. I don't mind 6th ( only learned about 40k back in 4th, never really learned 5th ), but the only way I can afford to play now, is because I bought a few older battleforce box sets when they could be found on sale @ $90 US. In just the last couple of years, I have seen prices jump 25-30%, and for what? Basic units. You can't even afford to learn how to mod a basic unit into something great, because simple mistakes are so bloody expensive. Basic Rule Book - $100; Army codex - $60 ( hardcopy, e-copy is still $50, and there isn't even the cost of printing, shipping, and storage space to go with it ), quite simply it is going to cost more than $350, before that first 1000 points ever hits the table. In short, 40k has become a game of who has the most $$$$ - no wonder there are fewer recruits.

    1. I know several people in this same boat as I have said.. The GW games have become pricey for several of my friends and it tends to make them lose focus and look to other things.

  12. I haven't seen much of a drop in the attendance at my LGS out here in Washington state. Not sure there's much growth either.

    I started back in 5th edition and learned to play then, and when 6th came out, I just shrugged and kept reading. I don't understand the quitting over a new rules edition. Sure, you may have to change tactics, or change out some bitz, maybe buy a new unit or two, but I really haven't seen anything that screws over an army so bad that you absolutely will lose every game! And even if you feel that way (which you shouldn't) you can always fund a new army by selling an old one.

    My niche of units has drastically changed between editions, and while some rules are silly to me, I understand that I'm a grown person playing with little plastic toys on a table in a Haven of Geekdom that I spend too much time and money at for entertainment. That's even sillier.

    As for the cost of GW stuff, I really only buy from my LGS when I have the need. If I can wait, yes, I buy second hand. But my LGS has other things I need that are a heck of a lot cheaper, and those things I buy plenty of. But not GW. I'm hard pressed to be willing to buy from them.

    1. There is a bit of catch 22 there though isn't there? And something that is only a issue for tabletop style games? If you don't buy some where you play and support it then it might vanish. That's what happened to one of our local places.. Very active store, but people normally purchased goods online and not there. Magic drives sales by supporting the events, however 40k isn't exactly the same, you get some sales from running a event but not like magic I think where you purchase packs to play moving much more product. 40k is a bit pricey to be forcing a unit purchase to play a small RTT though lol.


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