Thursday, 9 January 2014

binty learns the art of war!

I'm going to use the old verbiage: I remember it like it was yesterday.

One sunny, winter morning in Cardiff, during a particularly honest conversation in the infancy of our relationship, Ian turned to me and said “I have something to tell you.” Since he was following a truth of my own and wore such an apprehensive expression I prepared myself for the worst. I actually thought the words 'Oh god, he's got a kid.'

After some fluff and a few 'out with its!' he finally hurled the words 'I play Warhammer!' at me and flinched in anticipation of my response. Writing this, 2 years later, I do understand his anguish. I think he genuinely thought it was going to be something we couldn't share. However, at the time, I think my heart burst in my chest with pure and utter love.
  1. How could anything that this man enjoys as a hobby bring anything but happiness to me?
  2. OMG you mean the little battle dudes!? That you get to paint and shit and go to war and that?! My brother had some and my friend Dylan brings some into work and I've aaaalwaays wanted to watch a game! Will you show me?!   
Basically, his confession benefited me more than him. I finally had an in.


The following Christmas brought my first Battle Box! Ian had chosen the game Warmachine as a starting point for me and my premier army was to be Khador! According to the battle college wiki page:

“Warmachine is a 30mm tabletop wargame from Privateer Press. It is a fantasy wargame with a touch of steampunk set in the Iron Kingdoms, originally created by Privateer Press as a Dungeons & Dragons game world. It is currently in its second edition of the rules.”

Everything I needed to go to war for the first time was included in the battle box. He'd assembled the two heavy 'Warjacks' and the 'Warcaster' that the box provided and added a tape measure, some pebbles, a pen, some card protectors and some laminated rules for my faction! How cool! He chose the army Khador because the battle box came with a female character as the Warcaster (this is like a leader!) She is called Sorscha and she's a mega bitch. Perfect!

That NYE we attempted my first game.

Overwhelming is an understatement.

I tried, I really did, but quickly became fed up and lost confidence fast. We have since come to realise that Ian has been speaking this wargaming language for nearly twenty years... whereas I was trying to relate everything to, say, computer games. I couldn't grasp the basic mechanics, got all tied up in knots thinking about spells and became quite stressed trying to decide what to do and when.

Unfortunately, and quite probably because I didn't take to it quite so well, we sort of gave up. It was something we couldn't find time for in the years since and I felt that Ian had given up trying. He had enough friends to play with and I'd failed dramatically! I mentioned it a few times and even went looking for models (I bought a Spriggan!) but it was relegated whilst real life took over.

This Christmas, however, it seems we've come up with a strategy that feeds my interest and isn't overwhelming! He's been teaching me the basics one step at a time! Sounds simple really... We played one round just making moves using the SPEED stat (a numerical value indicating how many inches a model can advance) Then we played the next round moving and attacking using the MAT stat (Melee attack!) and we've been carrying on like that, adding in the different elements of the game one round at a time.

I can't believe how much fun I am having!

During all the house moves up and down the country (and others!) we've had to endure in our short relationship, it's sad that my battle box has been misplaced somewhere in storage. I couldn't want it more right now! Since Ian has a bigger Khador army already (and others) I've been using his models whilst he uses his Cygnar battle box.

I've been looking at the other factions in the Warmachine universe and have decided on investing in a Cryx army! The Cryx faction has some wicked girlies in it (yes, this is important to me!) The Cryx battle box itself contains one such girlie, the Warwitch Deneghra!

There's a gaming centre and shop in Cardiff called Firestorm and this New Years Eve we travelled there to buy my Cryx battle dudes. I can't wait to play them! This time I will get chance to assemble them myself (with much much guidance) and paint them too!

Ian also took me to have a look around the nearest gaming centre to me in Bristol: Bristol Vanguard! We chatted to the dude and he gave us a tour! We got to see the tables which are all kitted out with terrain and there's a painting room! I am going to join the forum and see if there's any other girls out there that play Warmachine! I sure hope so!

Firestorm Games: the merchants of WAR!

I also hope to blog my progress since it will include so many different steps and skills! I hope these will be interesting from a complete n00bs perspective. Cleaning up models, painting them ready for battle, visiting gaming centres, playing the damn game... phew!

I love writing about what I'm currently enjoying, I hope you will enjoy reading it ^-^


Terry Cooper said...

So having a kid is 'the worst'?? Harsh! :/

Unknown said...

At least you can put warhammer figures into a box and forget about them for a while, kids don't seem to like that very much...

WELCOME TO THE FOLD! Geeks of the world unite :D

Paul Hill said...

Back many, many moons ago I used to be into Games Workshop stuff. In fact I remember when there were hardly any Games Workshop shops in the country. I was very excited when my mum took me to the grand opening of the Hammersmith store. I must have been about 10 at the time. I can't believe she had the patience to take me all the way there and wait in the long queue outside. Thanks mum.

This was in the days when Games Workshop made role playing games, board games and Warhammer battle. I was always more interested in the role playing and board games. I could never get into the complicated rules of the battle games and I always got frustrated that my painted miniatures looked nowhere near as good as the ones featured in White Dwarf magazine.

Eventually, Games Workshop phased out all the types of games I liked to play and concentrated on just the miniatures and battles. This also coincided with me moving from junior school to middle school so I was parted from a lot of my game playing friends. That was that. I suppose computer games filled the gap.

However, over the past year or so a sense of nostalgia has swept over me. I've found myself thinking back to those games. I bought the recently published Fighting Fantasy book. I watch TableTop with Wil Wheaton. My parents have brought all my old games over to my flat (mostly because they want to de-clutter their own house. Actually I'll probably have to sell some as I don't really have the space either.)

And to top it all off I'm designing an adventure card game in my spare moments. It's tougher than you'd think. Which is why I'm dragging my heals a bit.

Anyway, what I should say is that there is no shame in this. It's a hobby and it's creative. I always liked roleplaying games because they were interactive story telling. It influenced the way I think and I guess ultimately the career I now have.

Well, that's the end of my ramble. I'm glad your discovering this new world. Have fun!

Upstart Thunder said...

I still hold on to a few of my painted figures I did when I was younger and for a short while I had people to play with. It didn't last for long. Never really had anyone to play with. That's the end of my story. Now I am sad (in an emotional type way)

bintykins said...

Paul that was exactly the kind of comment I was hoping for ^-^ I feel so inspired! I've been watching painting tutorials on youtube and I've found a coupla girl gaming channels too! (Don't mean to keep playing the girl card but it sure does help inspire me! :D)
I was a little afraid of 'coming out' but not so much as to stop me! I love pouring my free time into creative things! And, as I'm learning, the game is WELL 'thinky!' It's a frigging skill in itself. AND it couldn't be more social!
Jane, I have no one to play with either and that's why I'm really excited about the prospect of playing in a club! You can join tournaments and shit and meet people! When we went to Firestorm they let us look around and they have a bar and loads of space! And they were so friendly! Same with Bristol Vanguard.

LEE said...

Fab blog - LOVE your face in that pic! (though to be fair I love your face generally)

I've never played a tabletop wargame*, though I've always liked the Warhammer 40K universe via the comics they did a while back and the sourcebooks my brother had. Loved the miniatures too, and would've collected them just on their own if they weren't so expensive & I didn't have so many other moneypit hobbies. (I love my plastic tat as well you know!)

*not a proper one. Though I did invent one with my friend Jason Clay back when we were kids, using Airfix/Matchbox plastic soldiers and the counter-shooting pill-box dioramas you could buy back then. Good times.

bintykins said...

So many game inventors coming out of the woodwork :D I'm so impressed!

Vincent said...

Can't wait to see how you get on with this! Looking forward to reading many excitable posts about it :D

bintykins said...

Hehe, thank you SO much! I'm struggling to find the time to clean up my Cryx box and glue Deneghra together this week! D'OH!

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