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Tabletop Minions - Why Isn't Wargaming Dead?


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There is a ton of great wargaming content out there on the Internet. One of the YouTube channels I watch is Tabletop Minions. They (he) posted a great general interest video earlier today and I thought that some of you might be interested in watching. Basically, he begins by mentioning the long-touted inevitable death of our hobby and how the actual state of our hobby is quite different from the doomsaying.

Games Workshop is mentioned quite often, naturally, since they are the dominant presence in the hobby.

If you like the video, you can find more great content from Tabletop Minions at their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tabletopminions

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GW seems very aware of the aging out issue considering they made Warhammer Adventures, a book series aimed at the 3-12 range lol.

 

Good videogames definitely seem like the most effective tool at getting people into the hobby. Considering the glut of what looks to be some really good videogames on the horizon that can only mean good things for Warhammer. Space marine 2, Darktide, Boltgun, Roguetrader, Immortal Empires, shootas blood n teef.

I actually think this might be the largest thing that is holding Age of Sigmar back right now. The models for AoS are fantastic, the game is great to play, and the lore has become pretty good. But its really hard to get people to give it a chance. If it has a moment like Dawn of War 1 that can show off the setting and characters properly then it might blow up.

Warhammer+ is interesting, we know that videogames are effective, but this is pretty much untested. I suppose its quite appealing for someone who is deep into the 40k lore but not into the hobby, they get access to the shows that cant be gotten elsewhere, and after a year they get their first model naturally alongside it and can try the hobby out. It's an interesting experiment. Although obviously there are things they can improve on, uploading the first episode of each season to YouTube, an animation each week etc etc.

The next biggest thing has to be Eisenhorn. I suspect GW has trouble getting any investment into any warhammer show or movie because Hollywood investors will try to change everything like they did with Halo, and GW apparently absolutely hates that kind of IP changing. Honestly I half think GW should just eat the cost themselves even if its painful, getting that first show done and showing that there is an audience for grimdark will probably make the next show or movie a lot easier to get funding for.

 

 

Edited by twiglets
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This is an enjoyable video. It makes me feel better to watch, as I love the hobby.

My own personal circumstances have seen a problem in getting my kids to play 40K. They're just not into it due to the effort. They like the painting but the gaming is just wearing them out and seems like work to them. They would rather play a PS5 unfortunately.

My friend has seen the same thing with his 11 year old.

So I hope that that isn't the norm and an anomaly! I suspect the hobby will call to them stronger when they get older! Which I think is the likely thing to happen.

Edited by Captain Idaho
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2 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

…They're just not into it due to the effort. …

So I hope that that isn't the norm and an anomaly! …

I don’t want to take this too far outside the hobby realm, but I don’t think this is an anomaly, it matches pretty well with what I’ve seen during my job training as well as college education and even gaming.

When I asked a buddy of my youngest brother why he’d watch a streamer playing a single player game instead of playing himself, the answer was that it’s too much work to figure the game out and he thinks he’d never figure out on how to progress (we were talking about the game Prey).

with that in mind it, to me it seems very plausible that complex games like warhammer will have a hard time to get people put effort into, especially as the effort needs to be put in up front.

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4 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

This is an enjoyable video. It makes me feel better to watch, as I love the hobby.

My own personal circumstances have seen a problem in getting my kids to play 40K. They're just not into it due to the effort. They like the painting but the gaming is just wearing them out and seems like work to them. They would rather play a PS5 unfortunately.

My friend has seen the same thing with his 11 year old.

So I hope that that isn't the norm and an anomaly! I suspect the hobby will call to them stronger when they get older! Which I think is the likely thing to happen.

My missus read your post over my shoulder and agrees with your kids, the game is a pain in the rear to play as its a hot broken mess, cant pull in new players when its currently more paperwork than Rogue Trader to play a game. 

 

It seems like the younger generations are just interested in flashing lights and bad sound cloud rappers than a damn god time throwing dice around with your mates. 

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4 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

So I hope that that isn't the norm and an anomaly! I suspect the hobby will call to them stronger when they get older! Which I think is the likely thing to happen.

This is not an anomaly. Young kids and teenagers are just wired differently than older people. An adult can sit there and paint for hours at a time, whereas most kids will go nuts if you try to keep them sitting still for that long.

Also the timescale for things feels different for adults than it does for kids. An older person is fully capable of making a little bit of progress on an army for a year or more. A kid will give up or not start because they perceive time differently.

A kid would get into the hobby in a different way or on a smaller scale than an adult, then pick it up full scale as they get older.

Edited by phandaal
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I still plug away with the boys. Little bits of easy painting for fun etc. I'm hoping they get more into geeking when older. (Fingers crossed)

I remember the restrictions on easy gaming when we were kids. Most working class families like mine only had 1 TV and you had to ask a parent if you could play a video game for like an hour. There was a requirement to entertain oneself growing up.

1 hour ago, Slave to Darkness said:

My missus read your post over my shoulder... 

I feel like such a celebrity! :laugh:

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Not to turn this into a 'help Idaho's kids get more into warhammer' thread, but I have some thoughts on this that might help.
Like Slave to Darkness said (my brain wants to shorten that to just Slave or StD but neither of those work lol) the game is a bit hard to grasp and get into. I got into 40k when I was 11, but I never really played it until I was about 14 or 15, because my brain just couldn't get a grip on the pages and pages of rules. It could be the same thing for them, especially with how bloated and massive the current rules feel. They could also just not be into the gaming part of the hobby, I'm certainly not. My main focus is on building and painting models and reading lore/novels, and it might be the same for them.

On the topic of video games, while I think it's a bit silly and really old to go all 'These darn kids and their flashing lights and rap music!', video games are a fantastic medium, and one that has a fair few 40k titles that could help ignite more of a passion for the hobby. Dawn of War 2 still holds up as a good looking game that plays well, and it's a great representation of 40k. If PC isn't an option, Space Marine is still a great hack n slash game that might just hit a sweet spot for them, like God of War did for so many people I knew growing up. Don't underestimate how powerful a video game can be for inspiration and such. While not 40k, the Halo series provided a ton of inspiration to me, and gave me another look into what a space opera could look like. (Also you're a super soldier cyborg in power armour that fights multiple alien races that seek humanities destruction with a background noise of an ancient alien civilization, now lost, whose ruins dot the galaxy.) There's also Dark Souls, and while they're certainly a bit young for it, I'd consider that an ideal game to introduce someone to the Grim-Dark genre.

The hobby is also a lot of work! It takes a ton of time to build and paint the models, learn the rules and unit entries, get a table set up and then actually play the game, where as with a video game you just push start and off you go into a beautifully realized world that (usually) doesn't require a massive tome to get through. (Now a days, anyway, I pray for everyone that lost hours to that friggin' Mist game)

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Oh I'm all for making the topic all about me lol

Seriously though, good points and we can extend that all young people we might want to show the virtues of our hobby to.

Space Marine 2 is out this year and both my boys are looking forward to it. It think you're right, it can be the cultural exposure we need.

As for the game... yes it's just not too easy to pick up and play right now. I've played some stripped down versions of the game which is good but a new edition could help that.

I think when they're older they'll be amenable to the concept of the wider game.

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Space Marine 2 looks fantastic, and there's Darktide as well, both of which will be wonderful introductions to the hobby for many, as well as fuel to further inspire those of us who are into it. What kind of games are your kids into? Depending on what genre they enjoy, that'll help you pick what parts of the setting to show. I was super into sci-fi shooters and anything with big tanks and explosions, so Space Marines were a natural fit for me. If they're into D&D style adventures, Rogue Traders would be a good way to go, or Inquisition stuff if they like mystery and intrigue.

Like you said too, they might just need time to appreciate the setting. I certainly did. It's only when I came back to it during college and saw the depth of ideas and references after I'd watched a ton more movies and read more books that I really started to fall in love with it. There's also the idea of going back and playing a previous edition that's a bit simpler, and has the bonus of being done, as it were. 3rd edition has all the content it's ever going to get, so it might be easier to manage than having to keep up with all the new rules and such.

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I've done more with the hobby in the past 6 years than ever before, so the original video this topic is about is quite accurate when it points out a lot of folk are older (I think he mentions grew hair!) and more appreciative.

The older one likes CoD shooters and has been into Fortnite, with both playing Minecraft and FIFA. Maybe Blood Bowel might be a good feeder game. Smaller scale etc.

Space Marine 2 is the good benchmark I think as things stand. Recognisable protagonists and all that.

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Funny, this topic pops up and today my neighbour took his 4 year old past the local GW and now he wants the cool soldiers, he came round with his dad and had a look at my Guard earlier and now it seems I brainlessly offered to teach his kid how to paint... Well thats gonna give me bad flashbacks to when I worked for GW, as I was the new kid it was my job to show the lil Snotlings how to paint, so much spilled paint, brushes stubbed to death and knocked over water jars. *Stresses gasmasked noises*

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1 hour ago, Captain Idaho said:

I've done more with the hobby in the past 6 years than ever before, so the original video this topic is about is quite accurate when it points out a lot of folk are older (I think he mentions grew hair!) and more appreciative.

The older one likes CoD shooters and has been into Fortnite, with both playing Minecraft and FIFA. Maybe Blood Bowel might be a good feeder game. Smaller scale etc.

Space Marine 2 is the good benchmark I think as things stand. Recognisable protagonists and all that.

Guard would be a great place to start, I think. They're the most similar to a modern-day type military, so aesthetically it be an easy sell. The Ghosts series would be a great place to start for some fiction, especially if there's ever a book report type thing they need to do. (I assume that's still a thing in school) Gives him an excuse to read a cool Warhammer thing for school, which I can personally attest, feels like getting away with murder. In terms of actually playing, a game of Kill Team would fit incredibly well into the small scale skirmishes of CoD. Some deathmatch type game, king of the kill, etc. Could be a fun way to bridge the gap between the two, or even do some small narrative focused games. Blood Bowl is also good, tho I've heard the rules can be pretty dense, so maybe the simplified Blitz Bowl would be better?

I honestly can't wait to see how well Space Marine 2 does. I think it has a ton going for it. Recognizable protagonist, long awaited sequel to a really good 40k game, Tyranids being the perfect video game enemy, and the trailer is amazing. Very excited for that one, especially.

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Fire Warrior was fun back in the day, even if I did play a dodgy Tau. As soon as I got Imperial weapons I felt much better, the Chaos Bolter though when it fired, that noise!!! :wub:

 

I agree with Trysanna on the Guard though, bit of CoD style gaming against Nids or Eldar would be sweet. Krieg vs Vraks would be better!!! 

Edited by Slave to Darkness
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4 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

Oh I'm all for making the topic all about me lol

Seriously though, good points and we can extend that all young people we might want to show the virtues of our hobby to.

Space Marine 2 is out this year and both my boys are looking forward to it. It think you're right, it can be the cultural exposure we need.

As for the game... yes it's just not too easy to pick up and play right now. I've played some stripped down versions of the game which is good but a new edition could help that.

I think when they're older they'll be amenable to the concept of the wider game.

Did you try showing them one page rules? I've never taken a moment to look them over but TTM also recently covered them 

 

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Advertise, thats what they need to do. One of my other hobbies is verry similar and a few years back all the larger systems i was involved in were bemoaning the lack of fresh blood coming into the systems as veterans aged out and generally drifted away leaving significantly less players at big events (Though arguably at smaller ones). This situation is about the same at some of the legacy systems but newer ones arose with excellent marketing and use of social media and influencers, only to pull in record numbers of new players of all ages even despite the covid lockdowns and mayhem.

Get the word out, especially in places people who dont already play the game frequent, and let them investigate privately at their own speed. Someone might be too anxious to walk into a strange shop but spend hours poring over youtube videos or instagrams!

People might want to investigate how teenage players broadly interact with the hobby or gaming, because a lot of "obvious" assumptions are wrong :D They love layers of rules to dig into (more than most older folk actually) and are perfectly capable of doing big or long projects just as they are capable of flitting between ideas and looking to find their feet.

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7 hours ago, Noserenda said:

People might want to investigate how teenage players broadly interact with the hobby or gaming, because a lot of "obvious" assumptions are wrong :D They love layers of rules to dig into (more than most older folk actually) and are perfectly capable of doing big or long projects just as they are capable of flitting between ideas and looking to find their feet.

There's definitely an image where younger people are supposed to have shorter attention spans, prefer digital only, and not want physical slow games anymore.

But younger people are also the ones who drove the board game boom and the explosion in dungeons and dragons popularity, probably a bunch of other physical games too.

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1 hour ago, twiglets said:

There's definitely an image where younger people are supposed to have shorter attention spans, prefer digital only, and not want physical slow games anymore.

But younger people are also the ones who drove the board game boom and the explosion in dungeons and dragons popularity, probably a bunch of other physical games too.

Modern board games are a lot quicker to play than old ones though. Unless you go for the massive games. 

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I see Blood Bowl mentioned earlier - my boy turned 7 in April and he's started to show a slight interest in my minis when I'm working on them, and when i tried to explain the 40k universe I saw his eyes glaze over and he started talking about food, but then when i mentioned Blood Bowl, and made it comical with much reference to smashing and bashing the other team, he thought it was great and wants to play!

He also likes the look of Space Hulk

 

As for the original topic, good video, i do like TTM. His stuff is easy watching for the most part

 

 

Edited by Cyrox
spell fail
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12 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

Good idea. CoD would be a great way to harken back to their interests. 

Harken... We wont mention him, with his fancy jump pack and poopy looking spear... 

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On 8/1/2022 at 11:13 AM, Cyrox said:

He also likes the look of Space Hulk

I was gonna suggest this, its a great game to get younger players into. Or necromunda where you limit the stuff and play 'half the rules', in a very narrative fashion.

I've managed to get my godson who's 11 into space hulk and he's proper hooked now, after just one afternoon. Dont get my wrong, part of it was novelty of playing with me, not sure if his dad would have had the same success, and part of it was the cool termies shooting aliens that was 'like the video games'. But since then he's asked if we can play it every time ive seen him in the last 3 months.

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I don't think of myself as an abnormally intelligent person, and I never have...

I played my first game of AD&D in grade 3, which would have put me at 8 or 9 years old (I think 9, because if I remember correctly, that game happened in the spring). I was GMing AD&D for adults by the time I was 10.

I think this formative time set a lot of my preferences in gaming. I didn't get into 40k until high school, and by then I was already a certified role-player, having dabbled in Mech Warrior, Cyberpunk, Shadowrun and World of Darkness in addition to D&D. And in those days, RPG rules weren't afraid to be EXPANSIVE, detailed and complex. 5th edition D&D really doesn't cut it for me- the skill system is so basic it might as well not exist.

This is why I like complexity in my games. I learned it early, and I came to expect it. It's why I love the layered rules of 9th and the book-keeping of Crusade. It's why I have a hard time relating to folks who see many of the options that exist in 9th as bloat.

I tend to assume that most players who do see 9th's bloat as a problem are younger than I am, or that they don't come from a strong tradition of pen and paper RPG's. That isn't always fair to those posters of course- a good many of them are of a similar age, and a handful are older. Perhaps they started later, or perhaps they didn't go as deep into some of the older versions of RPG's as I did- but it isn't always age that is the determining factor.

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Younger kids definitely have a lot of low effort activities vying for their attention these days but I don’t think it’s fair to land it all on them. I’m entering middle age now and I honestly don’t think I’d be willing to put in the effort needed to learn this game now if I’d never played 40K before, it’s just too much. As soon as someone told me I’d need to download several updates to the core rule book and the codexes themselves plus the points update and the balance dataslate then manually cross reference it all I’d just switch off. And that’s  before you even get into how complex the actual game has become. 

Then on top of those things you’ve got the cost and the time investment and it becomes a hard sell to anyone, not just younger players.

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