Idiot has a Pop at Wargamers

Now I am not one to have a moan about people outside the hobby or inside for that matter.

I am happy to listen to everyone’s point of view about anything from sculpts to army lists its what makes the community so great.

But when you stumble upon someone who just wants to have a pop at a community because they have a wider audience like say a newspaper blog, it makes the blood boil.

Below is the article I haven’t linked to it as I don’t want to give him the hits. I think he is a rage quitter, who clearly has some very odd memories about something that is a lot better than drinking and fighting in the streets but there you go!!!

Some people are addicted to hardcore pornography, some to crack, some to molesting fish. Then there are those who collect thousands upon thousands of miniature orcs. And they need help, too.

For the uninitiated, Warhammer is a table-top battle game played with miniature figurines that comes in two forms: Warhammer fantasy and Warhammer sci-fi (it’s all the same crap, but the latter has guns). Armies of different creatures that bear more than a passing resemblance to those featured in Tolkien (orcs, goblins, knights, dwarves) fight to the death on the roll of a dice. Some people collect for the sake of winning battles, others (like muggins ‘ere) just for the sake of painting the models. The whole experience is pitched at teenage boys, but some of them never quite grow up and you’ll find men with dank pony tails still collecting well into their thirties. Emphasis upon “boys” and “men” – this underworld is no place for a lady.

The sport has some undeniable thrills and art to it, otherwise people wouldn’t become addicted. And here’s my own personal testimony. I started on the path to Warhammer addiction in secondary school via the choose-your-own-adventure Fighting Fantasy books (“If you say hello to the dwarf, turn to page 8. If you kick him, turn to page 10”). Killing trolls in book form was fun enough, but something inside of me demanded more. One day I walked into a classroom at lunchtime and found a bunch of boys beating the living daylights out of each other with lizardmen. I was intrigued, and a shady kid called Barney told me that for just 10 quid I could have my own squadron of sweaty axe men. I started small – a few skirmishes in the changing rooms, an armed confrontation in the library – and soon worked my way up to a massive army of faux-French knights called Bretonnians. I got the painting bug and by age 15 I was getting through 10, maybe 20 archers a week. We’re talking two coats and a bucketful of superglue. Most evenings I was as high as a kite.

Although it now makes me sick to my stomach to think about it, I can’t deny there was some joy in my Warhammer problem. Boys get a unique kick out of collecting and owning things that other boys don’t have, in beating them in wits or being able to show off a magnificently painted griffin. But it did function like an addiction. Once you get hooked, you find that the price of the models creeps up and up with every year. New ones are always coming on the market, and every five years or so they change the rules completely – which necessitates buying a whole new bunch of stuff. One particularly scandalous change was when they decided that people could no longer populate their armies with powerful character models: for every shaman or berserker you now had to buy several regular units, too. Of course, if your pocket money runs low there are always street pushers like Barney who will palm you second hand models in exchange for the sordid indignity of doing his homework. But what he sells is always an older, inferior product. The rush isn’t the same.

What got me off the habit? Girls. In my first week at university I visited the room of another collector and his shelves were covered in Space Marines. I thought, “Dude, you’re not going to get any action at all.” So I threw away my Bretonnian army and tried to put my past behind me. It lasted until halfway through my PhD, when I stumbled upon a website and found that the manufacturers had released a super cool new undead army. Lonely and gripped by self-loathing, I succumbed. A few days later, unshaven and sleepless, I found myself sitting amid a pile of skeleton warriors – looking on at the ruination of my life. A little while later, I threw it all in a dustbin and tried to get my stuff together. I’ve been clean ever since.

I’m in a bit of a “banning things” mood today, and while David Cameron’s mind is on regulating porn I’d also like him to turn his attention to Warhammer. Of course, it won’t be enough just to throw the pushers in prison – there will have to treatment for the addicts, too. The painters could be encouraged to join art classes and the collectors given stamps. And for anyone who needs a fix, walk-in clinics can provide a limited dose of Warhammer to get them through the day (perhaps a small goblin to paint). But the war on collecting camp little miniatures is one worth fighting, Mr Cameron. If only to save the next generation of boys from the years of acne and sexual deprivation that inevitably follow.

7 thoughts on “Idiot has a Pop at Wargamers

  1. I read the article online earlier today but like The Bear I’m not going to say where as I don’t think this idiot deserves any more publicity either.

    My thoughts?

    I agree that he’s lilkely a Rage Quitter or something far more sad. He could be one of those who can’t fully make peace with his past. Over the course of our lives our interest can and do change, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes previously discarded interested are rekindled.

    This is not a sign of weakness, immaturity, arrested development or whatever. It just is, and is completely normal. I’m a good example as I stopped wargaming when I went to university and aside from some Necromunda, Bloodbowl and role playing I didn’t start again until my late twenties after my now-wife bought me some GW vouchers for my birthday.

    There are pastimes, passions and hobbies that I couldn’t give a toss about. Football is a good example as I find it dull, tedious and a waste of resources. I don’t see the appeal yet I would never denigrate another for liking it.

    The author of this article has a lot of growing up to do.

  2. As a girl, just saying – if the guy at the party asks me what model car I drive, then I’m already bored. If the guy happened to ask me what faction I play, we’re probably going to get along famously.

    Now, that isn’t saying all car people are boring and can’t get laid, I’m sure there are girls that want to talk cars. Just as there are girls that want to talk gaming, miniatures and hobbies.

    The author has no idea what he’s talking about.

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