Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Sermon: Now with added FREE!!!

  
   

Well I guess now the Blog is a year old I should be reminiscing about the good old times shouldn't I? But I guess I did that yesterday. Speaking of which, do spread the word about those prizes, they're well worth winning. This isn't going to be a long drawn out Sunday Sermon either today, mainly because I'm a little bit busy right now doing other less interesting things, and well, I guess I'd rather people read my  Birthday article. There is a point to me directing you towards that post though, even if it is a tenuous link. You see in that post I am offering my readers an awful lot of 'free' as it were. Products kindly donated by companies to help celebrate my Blogs Birthday, but companies obviously don't do such things out of the goodness of their hearts alone. They'll have weighed up the pro's and con's of doing so, and decided that there was something in it for them.


Maybe it's just that they really like me and think I'm splendid! You know and having me for a friend seems worth it. But I doubt it, far more likely is the fact that they see this Blog as a good place to promote their products. That my readership are the sorts of people they want to be targeting their products at... which isn't a surprise to me because I've been pimping those guys products myself because I love them, so it's a good thing. Marketing types call this a 'synergy'. So here's the thing, I got to thinking the other day what a terrible influence I am on my friends, and now all you lot who read my Blog. I mean I've always chucked the odd free mini from this range or that to my friends that I've purchased myself, to get them interested in a game. You know, "here, have this spare Anima Tactic's mini I've got kicking around" or "here, you want this Prussian fleet for Dystopian Wars? I'm not using it"... it's normally worked too.

Meh pimp paw iz way strong

I then did even more thinking, it's kind of difficult to stop my brain once it is in motion. In reality I got into wargaming myself when my dad gifted me my first ever miniature, a small car for Battlecars, which yeah OK I painted shocking pink and lurid yellow, I was young, impressionable and had terrible taste in colour schemes. Some might say not much has changed. So I asked a few friends what got them into the hobby, you know as you do. They obviously started regailing me with tales of the game they played first, Hero Quest, 40k, but I pressed them further. What exactly was it about the game or the experience that worked? Most couldn't actually tell you anything about the game... but they did remember somebody gave them a mini for free, almost 9 times out of 10. Frustratingly its actually 8.73 times out of 10, rounding up to 2 decimal places, plus I'm not so sure it's a representative sample! You get the point though, whether it was a free plastic Marine from Games Workshop, or a friend giving them the Orks and Gretchin from the second edition 40k starter set, an awful lot of people it seems were introduced to the hobby via a gift of some sort. A promo if you will.

Toy soldiers just as addictive... just not as lucrative!

There is another industry that is famous for such similar, free sample, try before you buy tactics... the drugs trade! Yep the old joke about Games Workshop miniatures being plastic crack might not be too far from the truth. Because once the hobby has its claws in you, and if you accept a free sample it will get its claws into you, it is like an addiction for some of us. Hopefully not it's not quite as life destroying as an addiction to narcotics is... but seeing some of my friends faces and how their lives have gone I do wander! So here's the thing, think back to when you first got into the hobby, did someone give you a free miniature? Was it really the game that hooked you? Or was it that first illicit hit of the free good stuff? Be honest with yourself, there's no shame in admitting you like the pretty shinies. I make no secret of my sordid tactics of enticing people into the hobby, I'm a pimp and a pusher of toy soldiers, I'm the Stringer Bell of wargames... I just have to hope the Omar of wargames doesn't shoot me in the head now, for some perceived injustice!

some of your projects are NEVER going to happen!!!

So where the hell am I going with all this? I normally have a point somewhere don't I? Even if it takes me far too bloody long to get to it! How many of you have unwanted and unloved miniatures kicking around your attic, or at the bottom of the painting pile, or under the painting desk, so forth and so on? How many times do you look at that unpainted Ork horde or the unfinished Space Marine army you were going to do, maybe the second Infinity faction you were going to do but you then brought Aleph and think... well after I've finished my Grey Knights? Look you're an addict and I know it's difficult for some of you to admit that, and to think about giving up some of the "good stuff", but here's the truth of it... you're never finishing that project! However, IF you give the gift of an unwanted and unused mini to somebody you know who might be interested in the hobby, you are likely to created a new wargamer to play against. Now look at all those mini's you'll NEVER use... yeah that's right, you could be a one gamer mega recruiting phenomenon all on your lonesome couldn't you? So why not become a games pimp yourself? Peace out!

19 comments:

  1. I think going back as far as I could resulted in realizing I started on models in general when my father gave me a model aircraft for birthday. Does that count? :D

    Seriously, I think there might have been situations that some 'free' tipped the scales of our interest, for example I started on WH40k by buying some miniatures because I got attracted to details and cheap blisters (compared to WarZone boxed sets that were available in our hobby shop). I had no real intention of playing it. Than a good friend noticed that single miniature (3ed Plague Marine with Melta) and gave me a copy of his Chaos Space Marine Codex. That, combined with the amount of people that played 40k back then got me playing. The other thing must have been the tournament trips said friend organized - that was great fun to!

    So, I don't think that the 'free' got me into the hobby. I think I was more a modeller from the start, and it was more about some friends who said "lets play this" that got me into wargames.

    Right now I tend to call myself more of a collector because I don't really play with all the miniatures I have! But I can't bring myself to sell any of them, maybe I should give (some of) them to somebody like you say? That sounds nice - I remember I did give some Infinity models away almost for free (it was to be a symbolic sum that I never collected), but that was a friend gamer who was already putting together a force.

    I can't seem to find any suitable people to give any models to - there doesn't seem to be much interest with who I meet recently. I'm stuck with boardgames then... At least I can play them with my wife-to-be. ;)

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    1. I think your dad giving you a model kit sort of counts... plus although you were already looking at models because of the original gift, it still required a further free gift of a Codex to get you over the hurdle of actually getting into the gaming side of things.

      I tell you what we'll say you reside in the statistical grey area I used to round up, so you're in the 0.27 out of 10 who are slightly awkward!!! Does that about sum you up? =P

      As to giving mini's away... it's not always easy to find them a decent home I grant you, but I do think it's a really worthwhile endeavour if you can make it happen.

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  2. I see a lot of sense here. And it isn't just to get us into the hobby. At Salute, GZG had a box of mixed freebies that both shoppers and browsers were welcome to help themselves to. I was happy to, which got me browsing other minis and rulesets. Within a week I'd an order in not only with GZG, but also Khurasan. Within a month by brother had started his own faction.

    A clear sign that freebies reall work for us addicts. Perhaps 15mm SciFi is the heroin to my historical coke. Or something.

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    1. Man... the amount of times companies have sent me a free sample and I've gone on to buy stuff from them at a later date just scares the crap out of me. I swear I'm a marketing mans wet bloody dream. Show me a pretty mini and I'd sell you my nan, give you my first born and promise you my kidney. I pretty sure I've got sucker tattooed on my forehead!!!

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  3. Well, the first minis I ever actually got for free were a bunch of 1/72 scale WWII infantry I got from a friend when I was about 10 or 11. It was a mix of Germans, Russians, and British as I recall. This was about the time I had started playing Axis & Allies and Magic: the Gathering. I noticed some guys playing Warhammer at the local game store, which inspired me to create my own simplistic rules to use with my ever growing collection of 1/72 soldiers. So I suppose it was those first little plastic soldiers that served as my entry into the hobby, though I think that my general interests would have led me into it eventually anyway.

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    1. I'm pretty sure most of us would have ended up in the hobby anyway. I mean nerd is hardwired into most of our DNA pretty much... cut me and I'm pretty sure I'd bleed toy soldiers, comic books and stats equations!!! It was a simple inevitability for me that I'm get sucked into the dank, dark, seedy underbelly that is wargaming... BUT... those freebies help smooth the transition over and speed things up. =)

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  4. Space Crusade started me down the long dark road..... :-)

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    1. And dark it is... you get AA meetings, I've yet to see a WGA meeting!

      Hi my name is Frontline Gamer and I'm addicted to the pretty shinies. I haven't brought a shiny in... oh bugger it's only been 10 minutes. o.0

      WILL POWER FAIL!!!!

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  5. Excellent advice! Especially for us old gamer owls who have loads of old minis lying around, stuff that we'll probably never get working on ourselves anyway.

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    1. Yeah I'm thinking of starting an International Miniature Amnesty Day. What do you think?

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    2. Sounds like a good idea! I'm sure it would bring at least a few new players into the fold each year. :)

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    3. Hmm... I wander if we could pull it off?

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  6. Space Hulk was baught for me by my Dad, after we watched Aliens together. I'm not sure if that counts or not.

    However he was trying to get me into painting Model Aeroplanes at the time. I should issue him with a bill for the amount I've spent on this hobby since it is all his fault.

    As for passing on my old stuff. I did get the GW purist into Warhammer by buying him some Necrons. As for my old armies, I don't have much laying around to be honest. Money is limited and I tend to sell the stuff I haven't used in an age in order to fund the latest project.

    -Voidsign-

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    1. Well at least you find your stuff a decent home!!! I hate seeing good minis go to waste... and I'm one of the worst culprits. I sometimes can't bear the thought of parting with my shinies. As I say I do give an awful lot away, but I do tend to hold onto more than is healthy for me!!!

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  7. I actually got started with Wargaming by a free model. Games Workshop had a thing where you could call into mail order and they would send you an old White Dwarf and a Plastic Terminator. This was like 15ish years ago. I had all my friends call in and get one of these sent to there house. So I had a full ten man Squad of Terminators that were plastic, which was almost unheard of at that time.

    Needless to say, I was hooked on Plastic Crack. I mainly just play GW games, but I do buy other ranges models that I think are cool.

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    1. Good lord, I think I might actually remember something like that. I might be making it up or confusing it with some other such scheme but it is ringing a bell. You're like many though, you started with a bit of GW plastic free!!! =)

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  8. I remember exactly when all this happened for me - a mate of mine had aquired some Orks, which in retrospect I guess would have come out of the 2nd Edition boxed set. 3rd edition had just come in at this point. He didn't let me have one, but he did let me paint one. Then my brother asked if I wanted to start playing 40K, we ended up with the 3rd edition boxed set and the rest is history...

    While I would be at some pains to part with the models I've bought specifically for an army that I collect, I do have something that might be worthwhile - the Mines of Moria boxed set. I know you guys might have a few ideas of your own about the Lord of the Rings game, but stay with me here:

    My girlfriend's a big fan of Lord of the Rings but she's never shown any interest in wargaming, or even painting. She's never told me why and I've never asked (I'm not going to like the reason, whatever it is!) But if what's putting her off is the thought of long and complicated rules, financial investment and mid-long term commitments, then people I have the answer in a Mines of Moria boxed set. It has easy-to-make models, the goblins if nothing else are easy to paint, she'll get it for free and the rules are about as simple as it gets for a GW game. It would have to be something we'd do together as even then I doubt she'd do it on her own, but it would be great to share that part of my life with her as well.

    Saving it for a rainy day, and there's other games I can use to ease her and her friends in gently into the world of tabletop gaming...

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