As I was taking my first tentative steps into the world of tabletop wargaming; as I was falling in love with the miniature monsters and warriors and the art of assembly and paint jobs, I remember dreaming of a rough goal to play a stranger, at a proper table, in a proper gaming club by the end of the year. I'd been tinkering around playing duels with Ian on an empty 4x4ft folding table, practising and playing games which involved nothing more than running at each other and getting into combat as soon as we could. I'd started writing blog posts to catalogue my enthusiasm and thus started dreaming of all the different aspects of the hobby I could document, ya know, to help noobs. I thought the notion of playing a stranger to be wild, ridiculous and way, way, waaay distant.
Well FUCK THAT 'cause binty gone joined a LEAGUE.
With barely any field experience I went off into the wide, wide world and found a club on my doorstep, packed my army and wrecked face. In pigtails.
My first game was at a gaming club called Vanguard Wargaming, a shop in Bristol with a great gaming space. I introduced myself on the forums, asked if anyone wanted to school a noob and the rest is history!
I'd arranged to play a dude called Liam (who I knew as 'Monk' on the forum) who promised to show me the game at a pace that suited me. I nervously laid out my Cryx starter battle group, dice and measuring tape and hoped for the best.
I needn't have worried! The atmosphere was party-like! People were introducing themselves left, right and centre. Watching, chatting, pointing out possible moves I could make, talking me through all the tactics I could employ. Liam was a true gent, talking me through the basic rules, answering all my questions and pronouncing his moves as he made them so I was always following what was happening!
There was such a lot of interest that evening that the Bristol Vanguard club has since started it's own starter league called Escalation, which I am a proud participant of! We have 11 players in all, ranging from uber-n00b (me: no gaming experience whatsoever) Warman00b (experience of gaming, but not of Warmachine) and totes-pro (they've got custom brief cases of soldiers upon units upon warriors!) and a great variety of factions! I've played 6 games in the league in total already and the objective is to grow our armies and play bigger games month on month. I've had some great nights there and learned a lot and made some new friends!
|Bristol Vanguard: Your friendly neighbourhood wargaming club!|
I've also been assembling and developing my army! I've been using my Khador battle box for painting practice and cleaning up and gluing my Cryx models. My most favourite thing has been reading the Cryx faction book and choosing who to employ next. I try to work out who might play well with who in terms of abilities but to be honest, I am mostly going off the nicest art work and the bestest back story! For example, I bought a new solo called a Skarlock Thrall, (that gives me the capability to cast spells independent of my warcaster) a Warwitch Siren (because she's hot) and a Bane Lord Tartarus (because he's eeeevil!) and I can not shitting wait to throw them down and do dirty things with them! RAWR!
|Some assembly required|
I am thrilled to have found out first hand just how social wargaming is. I find myself looking forward to my next game, no matter where it is! I took Ian down to the club at the weekend so we could have our first game on terrain together, and I hope we go back to Firestorm to play there soon too. I also love watching and just hanging out when I'm not playing. My confidence is growing with every game!
|Ian (beard) vs Neil ('tache) at Firestorm! GG chaps!|
We are currently into our second month of the Escalation League and are due to boost our army to the next level (to a 25 point game!) This means I get the chance to play the new models I have bought and think deeper about tactics and manoeuvres.
I'd better get working on my army list... :p