South Island Wargaming, New Zealand.

South Island Wargaming, New Zealand.

 
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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 12:07 pm
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Location: Christchurch
Thanks Tim,

In a way that's good to hear, I wasn't sure how much push there had been, and given the lower numbers we have an explanation. Better than having pushed hard out and getting low numbers.

There's a higher chance I could help out next year as I'll have a 1 year old rather than a newborn by then. :D

-Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:38 pm 
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FlangeNabber wrote:
Nobody else has mentioned it so I will,
there seems to be far fewer new players

I'm just starting and I've met three new players at the club as well as another three outside of the club.

There seem to be a couple of us, although maybe not enough if others are leaving?


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Bit of a necro, but I guess it's relevant again.

The high entry cost is definitely prohibitive (and getting more so if the trend continues), especially for a new player who is likely to be student or on a lower income. GW is doing a great job of pricing people out of the hobby, especially when you compare it to something like Infinity, or Dropzone (which I recently dropped a couple of hundred dollars on; once it all comes in, that's a sizable 1500 pt army along with books/cards etc., the works).

I do want to mention my experience as a new in Christchurch though. Especially as I attended several events and club days, but no longer do.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the easiest person to relate to, plus I can be rather awkward at times. But having discussed this with my girlfriend and two other friends who attended these as I did, we all seem to have come to the same conclusions. I'm not sharing these to be adversarial, but as a marketer I know feedback is worth it's weight in gold. I have a narrative, rambling style to my writing. I also, as a modicum of fairness, should mention that I understand 40k is an inherently flawed game. The scaling is poor, the rules are average and a 6 year old could do a better job of balance. So I will attempt to stick to the Christchurch community. While we are doing disclaimers, I should also mention that this is from my perspective as a new player, after a bit of collaboration from others. I obviously do not know, or have seen some of the history, or behind the scenes work. In all fairness, I don't think that matters one bit, as a new player, who is forming opinions, doesn't have that either and that's what we are addressing here.

Firstly: Comics
As I'm sure a lot of people do, I listen to several podcasts on Warhammer 40k based in the US. They tell awesome stories about store events, passionate employees and community support. My experience with Comics, purely from a supremely casual customer point of view, is that I am not really valued as a customer. The prices are high, the sales staff I have interacted with barely knew what Eldar are and at no stage did I get a feeling that they were interested in what I was to do with my miniatures once I left the store. I approached them and asked about any events or clubs in the area, but the only answer I got out of two people was to google the forums. As a marketer, I was amazed, this was not the Manchester street comics I remembered as a 12 year old kid, with John wandering around explaining all sorts of things about 40k and Fantasy and who got me really hyped on the game. On the plus side, they have always been friendly, happy to order GW product in for me and really helpful when it came to paint selection. The price thing isn't even an issue, it's more about getting value (as in additional service or positive experience benefits), but I don't. I feel like I get the same value from a US wholesaler who I have access to, but with them I only pay about 60% of the cost.

Secondly: These forums
Maybe it's just that I am a young 20 something who has grown up surrounded by technology. But the second thing I did, after approaching Comics, in order to find out about the local 40k community, was visit these forums. Well. Actually I tried to sign up to the forums, but I couldn't, the option was disabled at the time because.. reasons? So nothing was visible. Once here, I discovered they are rarely used and for some odd reason I often start reading a thread only to look and find it was 3 years old, but still very near the top of the subcategory. I understand that someone is clearly paying for these and volunteering their time and I appreciate that, I truly do, but the whole thing just feels clunky and a little bit unloved, especially when you consider how dynamic a group could be. (We still have pinned threads that haven't been updated since 2006! Were people even alive back then?)

Third: Woolston
Having found virtually nothing out from my previous two avenues, I took what information I had and headed to the Woolston club. Except that was difficult too, as on that day there was no signage, I had no idea what to do or what I needed to do, eventually asking some friendly old people at the bar. After getting directions on where I room was, I and my partner walked into the room, to find a few people playing, but no one jumped out their chair to say hello, nor was it obvious that there was any sort of person to approach who might help us in any way. Of course we asked around and was eventually pointed to Daryl. I understand from information gathered after the fast that there was an officer of the day, who was not Daryl, who was currently there but did nothing to approach two very clearly new and confused people. Now this kind of thing may not bother a lot of people, but as I mentioned above I am both crazy and a marketer, so this kind of thing does bother me. From there though Daryl was amazing, showing us around, talking to us and generally getting both myself and my partner hyped about both the game and the club. Since that day I have almost always had a great experience going to Woolston; Daryl, Jono, Nick and Jason were always great to have a chat to and really seemed to understand the game, without trying to break it. Again, just my perspective. I really enjoyed my games there. My only issue and the reason I am no longer attending is simply a time factor. I live 45 minutes away, so I end up spending the whole day there to get value (that word again). It just becomes a big time sink for my personal situation.

I do have two other things I want to mention though in relation to the club. In April I attended the AGM. Frankly I was amazed. As part of my job and volunteer work at my educational institute, I spend a LOT of time in meetings. All sorts of meetings; management meetings, procedural meetings, strategic meetings. But what's important is that there is always frank discussion going on about what we've come to talk about. This didn't really happen. I felt that there were some members, who were definitely more concerned about the ritualised aspect of the whole experience rather than having an actual discussion about potential changes. We're a small club, there's really no reason why so much of the 'going ons' must occur behind the scenes. Targeted transparency is king in the new era of marketing, I feel it certainly applies to gaming clubs too.

I should also mention. And this is something I think is so crazy that I still can't believe it. I had no idea who the anyone on the committee was apart from Daryl & Jono. Not until the AGM, this is after a year of being a member. Dear lord meet the people that are young, new and giving you money.

Fourth: Gamers
I class myself as a gamer, I love a wide variety of games. I played WoW for 8 years, I played a weekly poker game with the student council throughout high school. I played competitive paintball for several years. Starcraft. Hearthstone. Call of Duty. Pong. Snake. The point being, that I love games. I understand games. I interact with a wide variety of gamers. My biggest problem with gamers who allow the game to consume themselves. Who focus on their game, it is their one, huge highlight in their life. For them, the game and therefore winning becomes all that matters, because that's all that matters to them. Unfortunately that's not all that matters to me. I enjoy a wide variety of games (as previously mentioned), I value my education highly, having just collected two separate degrees (one in Marketing, the other in Human Resource Management), I have a pretty demanding marketing job, I have a partner, I watch a ridiculous amount of TV shows across a wide variety of genres. I read books, I go for runs, I go tramping. I don't sleep much.

I guess my point is. There are some members of the community that are 'experts' in the game and only care about winning. As a relatively young player, who is still learning the rules, these players make my experience 'not fun'. Getting beaten I have no problem with, as I have said, I'm a gamer, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. My problem is that often I felt like I was getting taken advantage of. I would play games, in both the club and in events, have a rule be 'told' to me and I would go along with it. I would go home that night though, look up some rules and discover that often I was being told wrong, always to my detriment. Now I get that these things happen. I get that these kind of members exist in every community. But honestly, it was and remains extremely off putting. This even occurred in 'friendly' events, combined with 'hard' list taking, I personally, along with my partner and friends, simply stopped having fun. Combine that with having nothing else to talk about, besides the game, because that's all they cared about, it just made it even less fun. And I'll be honest. I'm from the young, entitled generation. If I'm not having fun, I'm going to stop. Because I have far too much going on to do something that isn't fun. There were some great opponents to play against. But unfortunately enough poor ones to make the experience off putting.

Fifth: Events
As a PC gamer I am well accustomed to constantly using spreadsheets and formulas to find the most efficient way to eek out 3% more performance in a specific aspect. So I understand taking this philosophy into 40k as well. The problem is, it doesn't work in 40k. The game is so unbalanced all this causes is wild swings in 'player power' that can mathematically significantly reduce the possibility of winning and therefore player fun (because who wants to play a game they have 3% chance of winning?). I understand that that's part of the game. Sure. But when you advertise a 'friendly' event and some people turn up with those lists and are allowed by the organisers to play those lists, then that impacts on some players fun. As I've already alluded to, if I'm (and by extension others like me), are not having fun, because we turned up with a 'fun' list, and others showed up with two blobs and Pask. With some slight tweaking, that's a top tier list. In a friendly event. A 'narrative' event. What.

If you want me to go out and buy 6 Wave Serpents and two Wraithknights just to have some fun. Sure. I'll do that. I play games like that against my friends 3 Riptide Tau list. But there are only so many times that kind of game is fun. And we both make sure to take the appropriate level of 'brokenness'. We agree before hand. The problem being that when an event is billed as 'friendly', I expect it to be exactly that. In the four events I went to. Two of these were billed as 'friendlies', neither were entirely. Especially when the prize support was based on a 'first, second, third' placement, that doesn't incentivize friendly play. It basically, when you boil it right down to it, you are asking someone like me to either; bring broken lists to a friendly in order to have a vague attempt at fun, or essentially buy the person with the broken list some warhammer in exchange for a game against them in which I am crushed and don't enjoy. I understand there are some good players out there, Jason for example. Who could take 200 Boyz and still win. But as a new player. Nope. Not happening. Not a thing. I still don't even fully understand how assault works.

Joint under this heading, but unrelated to the above points; advertising! I know a lot of people who have about 1000 points of half painted warhammer. I know even more who would happily play a 1000 point game using a friends miniatures and understands enough about the game to play a random learning game or two. I even know a couple of people with fully painted 3000+ points who aren't all that keen on playing in events but might consider it if they knew about them. The point being. Events are advertised internally well, but externally poorly. It would be great to see large posters for every event in Christchurch displayed at Comics and Toyworld. Online at Mighty Ape too! And what about at Slave to Painting? And Facebook! Aren't we all on Facebook? Probably belong to the same warhammer facebook groups. Why aren't we taking advantage of these pretty cheap channels of communication?

Actually on the subject of Mighty Ape.. They seem quite happy to support these events in exchange for a few pictures and a bit of a write up. But I never seem to see them communicating these things back into the wider community. Am I simply missing it? Is Mighty Ape not passing it on? Or are we not taking the pictures and doing a write up?

If you've managed to get to here. Well done! It's over! If you have anymore questions or wish to discuss what I have written. Feel free to reply here, or better in my opinion, feel free to e-mail me at: vrashnar@hotmail.com. If you disagree, great! That means we have different perspectives. Feel free to voice them as I have done. I want to reiterate that my purpose for writing this, for spending over an hour writing this, was to share my experience as a new player attempting to 'break in' to this community. As simply one perspective upon which perhaps certain key individuals within the community can utilise as some honest feedback.

Cheers,
Jason


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Vrashnar wrote:

Fifth: Events
As a PC gamer I am well accustomed to constantly using spreadsheets and formulas to find the most efficient way to eek out 3% more performance in a specific aspect. So I understand taking this philosophy into 40k as well. The problem is, it doesn't work in 40k. The game is so unbalanced all this causes is wild swings in 'player power' that can mathematically significantly reduce the possibility of winning and therefore player fun (because who wants to play a game they have 3% chance of winning?). I understand that that's part of the game. Sure. But when you advertise a 'friendly' event and some people turn up with those lists and are allowed by the organisers to play those lists, then that impacts on some players fun. As I've already alluded to, if I'm (and by extension others like me), are not having fun, because we turned up with a 'fun' list, and others showed up with two blobs and Pask. With some slight tweaking, that's a top tier list. In a friendly event. A 'narrative' event. What.


Agreed, welcome to tournament events. I understand the Christchurch community is about 10 times larger than what you see on the surface. I know about several groups who game, and occasionally turn up to events, but for the most part aren't interested in tournaments and would rather play amoungst friends. A few that I know of don't turn up because of the powergaming aspect.


I can't speak for the 40k elements, but check out Ides of May as that's the best narrative campaign for fantasy.

Vrashnar wrote:
Joint under this heading, but unrelated to the above points; advertising! I know a lot of people who have about 1000 points of half painted warhammer. I know even more who would happily play a 1000 point game using a friends miniatures and understands enough about the game to play a random learning game or two. I even know a couple of people with fully painted 3000+ points who aren't all that keen on playing in events but might consider it if they knew about them. The point being. Events are advertised internally well, but externally poorly. It would be great to see large posters for every event in Christchurch displayed at Comics and Toyworld. Online at Mighty Ape too! And what about at Slave to Painting? And Facebook! Aren't we all on Facebook? Probably belong to the same warhammer facebook groups. Why aren't we taking advantage of these pretty cheap channels of communication?


I think that's partially due to knowledge of how to go about that kind of thing. I have some design knowledge but most people wouldn't. Often when advertising is done it's the small hand out types. *shrug*

And where the advertising is done depends entirely on the people organising it. I should also point out that many of them have done it for years (not speaking for everyone) and more recently events are run by them as no one new is stepping up. (And yes I know that's because of all the points mentioned in the wall of text)

I'm sure no one would object if you wanted to run something.

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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 340
Location: Christchurch
I really enjoyed reading that Jason.

I'm looking forward to playing with my Exodite army at conquest this year and it'll be interesting to see how that goes.

I'm excited to be getting into Dropzone Commander though. Hopefully we can foster a community in Chch. Its a great game with a lower price point than 40k in the long term and the models are fantastic.

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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Bladeace wrote:
FlangeNabber wrote:
Nobody else has mentioned it so I will,
there seems to be far fewer new players

I'm just starting and I've met three new players at the club as well as another three outside of the club.

There seem to be a couple of us, although maybe not enough if others are leaving?


There's a revolving door of players in any game. Xwing is on the upswing, and now, more than ever, there is a variety of games for people to choose from. Interestingly, the majority reason for not attending, from what i've been able to gather is not players leaving the game. some did, of course, but that's inevitable.

Jason, i'm gutted to hear that things have come to this for you. I'm partly responsible, as i bill CavCon as a fun event but the year you attended did feature a few lists i should have been more careful to discourage. Sorry, that's on me.

I had a similar experience to you when i attended a Woolston meeting, and then again at a Cav's meeting. Neither group was initially very welcoming. I think it has to do with whoever it is that's "in charge" of welcoming people to the club or to that game. Tim Adams (ginga on the forums) has become the 40k meeter and greeter at Cavs and, as i'm sure Bladeace above will be quick to point out, is a friendly, outgoing guy who's genuinely interested in having people join the club and have a good time.

We/Cav's are lucky to have a guy like that stumping for 40k. Most of the people "in charge" ended up in "in charge" because no one else was interested. These clubs aren't businesses and aren't interested in operating like them; there is no focus on marketing and expanding the hobby because no one is really that interested in that. They exist to give more people a place to play and shoot the ****. "growing the hobby" is a nice idea, but in all honesty, it's hard to do in a focused way because the hobby means different things to different people.

In my various and lengthy chats with Tim and John at Comics, the idea that the clubs and the events draw the a fraction of Chch's player base comes up again and again. this isn't a bad thing. again, the hobby means different things to different people. I learned to play in Ottawa, in my friends' basement and he was pretty much my only opponent for the 1st year or so. coming to Wellington, and watching 40k die at the Warlords before moving to Chch and seeing how it's continuing to thrive (at Cavs; i can't speak to any other club since i don't attend their meetings) even as people drift in and out of the game has given some perspective. It's a shame that the club/event scene hasn't given you what you wanted.

2 more quick things and i'm out:

- I'm gonna stand up for Comics here, and say that i've had innumerable chats with John, Tim and Clinton in the last few years about my army; the state of GW and 40k; running a small business; warmahoards, xwing and fantasy; teaching and learning to be a teacher; events and organising them; and a bunch of other things i don't remember. Sure, a few of the newer guys are dull, and don't know their wargaming. when you're hiring part time staff, that's gonna happen. i don't hold that against them.

- the forum doesn't work for the same reason clubs don't. people want different things from their hobby. a few of the 40k guys have a facebook group, but there's only a handful that post regularly, even though it was created by passionate, involved, local 40k players. with communities like DakkaDakka that already exist to cater the needs of players great and small, about the only thing we need this forum for is event advertising, since that's the only thing special to our little community.


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:56 am 
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Wow Jason, good read. I too have found similar issues.

Comics: I too remember going into comics in Manchester street, John was super keen about 40k. Sadly that was back when you could afford to buy all the codexs, so that you could learn about all the units. Now GW cripples NZ retailers by setting the price so high. The starting cost is horrendous, I don't understand how they get new players with massive rule book, codex prices, models and paint. (I also remember Comics giving better discounts).

Forums: These forums are a great location for local events and anything specific to the clubs. But there's not much point trying to have painting, list help and other hobby related stuff here when there is such a great collection of sites out there. Dakkadakka, Bolter and Chainsword etc.

Clubs: Sadly the biggest issue I have is time. When I started I had heaps of time, but no money to play. Now I can afford the models, but I have no time to paint/play. I've never really had an issue with power gamers at clubs (Cavs). Thanks to the earthquakes I've had to move out to Rangiora, we don't have any club. Cavs is still the closest but when I finish work at 4pm, it's a big waste of time to hang around, and expensive to make 2 trips.

Events: One event I will go out of my way to attend is anything run by Wes. I'm looking forward to Conquest this year, as I find it a fun event, with beer and deep fried food. I just hope I have time to bring my army up to painting standard. When it's a long weekend/public holiday/3day event I would really struggle to convince the boss that she should let me go. This year they acknowledged this and are avoiding Labour day and are just running 2days. I hope the turn out will be better.

Marketing: Maybe the 40k community needs a bit of help. If it's difficult to get info from Comics (maybe the staffer on at the time is more of an expert on Comics or Xwing), maybe we need a little notice board in there with upcoming events, details of this forum and each local club. Maybe each club needs an info board at the entrance with some photos of the guy to go see? Maybe they should invest in a street sign they put outside that says 'model wargamming, please head upstairs'. (Maybe they have these things)

One common theme I find in clubs is that everyone is happy to pay their money, as long as someone else organises everything. It's usually hard to find committee members, and it's quite a thankless job. What a good club needs to function well is everyone pitching in, anyone that spots someone new could welcome them, it doesn't have to be the leader. I've found Cavs pretty welcoming, I couldn't comment on Woolston.


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:53 am 
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Sorry about the thread necro guys! My mistake, didn't read the date.

Wes wrote:
Bladeace wrote:
FlangeNabber wrote:
Tim Adams (ginga on the forums) has become the 40k meeter and greeter at Cavs and, as i'm sure Bladeace above will be quick to point out, is a friendly, outgoing guy who's genuinely interested in having people join the club and have a good time.


Tim has indeed been extremely friendly and approachable, thanks Tim!


If other players out there are looking to get into a 'light hearted' league or something of the sorts, I'd be very keen! Perhaps a narrative driven escalation* league for those of us who aren't yet 'ace' at the game?

*I mean play, say, 500 point games for a month, then 750pts for a month, and so on...
Possibly allowing painted models only and stepping up to 1500-1850pt games over an extended period?


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 Post subject: Re: 40k Conquest attendance 2010-2013
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Wicked read guys, I agree with alot and also disagree with a lot as well. Been mainly a fantasy player (I do have heaps of eldar) I see the 40k seen in chch is quite strong. It could be worse you could have fantasy numbers at your comps.

P.S. Jason what paintball team you play for?


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