March 11, 2014

Kids and Warhammer: New Blood vs. Old Guys Club

I was inspired to write this bit from things I saw in a comment section. Yeah, I know, you have to take comment sections with a grain of salt, but it kind of irked me, so I thought about it a couple days and thought I'd write something on it.

The comment can be found on the Faeit 212 blog in the comment section of a post about the Memphis World of Battle location switching to a one man operation.
"This hobby is not for rug rats anyway..." - Cruzcontrol39
I want to give the poster the benefit of the doubt and think he meant really little kids. Like for example, my daughter just turned five. She loves watching me paint my minis and is excited at the prospect of painting one herself but she's not anywhere near ready to try to play.

In the same thread, they also discuss parents dropping their kids off there while they go do something else. Now, I will agree that this is wrong. Gaming stores are not day cares and should not be seen as such. It's not like letting your kid wander around a toy store which I remember doing as a kid. Yet, at the same time, the comment feels like an "old guard" argument. A "get off my lawn!" kind of moment.

I'm of the opinion that it's great to involve kids in gaming. When I'm playing something with friends, my daughter is full of glee to roll handfuls of dice for me. She thinks it's the greatest thing ever and isn't that something that we want to instill in our children? A love of gaming? A joy in the social and creative aspects of it? If a kid is stuck in the store, wouldn't it be better to take the kid under your wing and share with them instead of sneering and turning your nose up in some weird territorial pissing match? I suppose some people may see going to the local game store and playing a game or two is an opportunity to get away for a little while from their own kids and relax and have some fun and so may not want to have to deal with other kids. I can understand that. I get that. The attitude of "Thsi isn't for kids" though seems to push that too far.

It's true that Warhammer, as a hobby, is mighty expensive and not something that most kids can get into due to the high costs. Over a decade ago I ran a Warhammer club where I met a friend of mine and he had two boys, ages 9 and 10 at the time if I remember correctly. They played both Fantasy and 40k. Now, granted, back then you could get a whole 2000 point Fantasy army for about $350 where now that buys you two or three units. They were taught from a young age to save their money and spend it on what they really wanted or needed. As such, they could afford to play Warhammer.Now, they may not have had the head yet for tactics and such, but they still tried and had a good time with it.

New blood is necessary to keep the hobby going though. If kids don't get involved, or get the bug for it, there will be fewer people who play. Sure, some of us come into it at a later age, but getting kids involved helps keep the hobby going strong. They may not have the tactical know how to be good at it yet, but with a little coaching and encouragement, they can get it. Even if they only paint at first. I came into Warhammer at a later age but I started painting miniatures around the age of ten and loved it.

So the next time you see a kid wandering aimlessly through the store, do something positive. Call them over, ask their name, take an interest in what they may be interested in. Show some of your miniatures, and heck, if you're so inclined, give them an unpainted one to try to paint. You can always paint over it. If you're playing a game, tell them what's going on and explain what you are doing. Let them roll some dice if you're not superstitious about that kind of thing.

I promise... it won't hurt.


  1. Excellent! I agree 100% and have a similar article planned for BoLs. I run the Kid Warhammer events at my local store. There are is surprisingly large percentage of kids that can afford this hobby or rather their parents can. The amount of griping about kids that the spoiled man-children spout is incredible and absurd.

    1. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this. :)

  2. The Warhammer hobby is going to die anyway...

    Jackson and Livingston we have their vengeance at long last as the giant dies from chronic gas pains.

    just hope enough of the good old game designers from the era when Warhammer was all about the hobby and not the corp logo are still around to re launch the old product lines . the day the swap to 28mm happened Warhammer became the worst rubbish on the shelves... within a few years it was the only rubbish on the shelves...

    I will never stop playing with my 25mm collection and 2nd edition rules from the 80's... might just have to be buried with them.