Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fantasy Renaissance

The Muster of Rohan

I quite like this; at this rate, I won't have to think of any blogs - I'll just sit back, watch my comments and Twitter feed, and let you guys come up with my blog ideas! So, today is a bit of a 'mailbag' blog... But perhaps a little more exploratory.

So, without further ado, this was the comment that got me thinking:
"I find it amusing that lots of people think that there is a lack of Warhammer players as my experience seems to be the opposite. At my club more people play Warhammer than any other game systems (although we have a healthy number of specialist games players too). I guess it just depends on the local gaming scene. However, I will say that it is easier to get into a game that everyone else plays so perhaps these trends within local gaming circles end up perpetuating themselves. After all, you don't want to join a gaming group and be the only person to play a particular game.
It will be interesting to see if this trend for sci-fi gaming continues when The Hobbit hits the cinemas. I'm not a betting man but I would put money on a fantasy renaissance over the next three years :)"
- Andrew King

Éomer, Knight of the Pelennor Fields

Andrew left this comment on yesterdays blog about Warhammer and how sometimes it appears to be eclipsed by Warhammer 40,000. I hope you don't mind, Andrew, but I thought I'd have a look at this as you have some very good points, and got me thinking a little. As such, today's post is sort of an introspective.

Of course, every scene is different, and this is one of my favourite things about the hobby. If you go to wo different clubs, there will be different games, different armies, different house rules. It's why I like to pay visits to any war gaming clubs I hear about, just to find out what they do differently, to steal ideas etc.

One club I visited had a very big Battlefleet Gothic community that interlaced BFG games with games of 40k at the same time. Another had almost no 40k at all, playing, Warhammer, Mordheim and Hordes almost exclusively. As for some of the house rules... Well, I could almost write an entire blog just on those!

Éowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan

Andrew nailed it perfectly when he pointed out that "it is easier to get into a game that everyone else plays". Again, as an HCM, I see this all the time. If a young lad comes into my Hobby Centre because one of his friends has told him about Games Workshop, it's natural that he'll want to collect and play the same system as his friend. In sequence, then, any further friends that they inspire to collect will also want to do the same system, perpetuating that system outwards. Essentially, it becomes viral.

Beyond the word of mouth propagation, as I discussed in the previous blog, people stick with what they know. Those who are fans of Star Wars, Halo and science fiction franchises will naturally sway towards Warhammer 40,000. Those who are closer fans of things like Final Fantasy, Warcraft or even, in my experience, Poke'mon, tend similarly to veer towards Warhammer or, of course, Lord of the Rings.

As a mention, yesterday's post mentioned both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, yet I neglected at all to mention Lord of the Rings. I wanted to clarify this today. I am a huge fan of Games Workshops Lord of the Rings models and game, with a decent collection of both Rohirrim and a Minas Morgul force. I mention this as some may be under the impression that, because I have not yet talked much about it, I do not deem it worth mentioning. This isn't the case, just I have less to say as its currently on my back burner :P

Rider of Rohan

Talking about Lord of the Rings leads us nicely onto my next point. On December 14th, The Hobbit arrives in the cinema. For us hobbyists, this means several things. Firstly, those of us who are Tolkien fans will have a have a fantastic film to watch, maybe some new models, and a whole new generation of people being introduced to the worlds and ideas of fantasy.

Andrew suggests the idea of a fantasy renaissance over the next few years. This is congruent with the rise in World War II figures at the release of 'Saving Private Ryan', and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Rider of Rohan with Throwing Spear

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