Friday, June 8, 2012

Why I'd Rather Game Elsewhere Beside St. Louis

I wrote earlier that I felt historical wargaming was a dying hobby in its "golden age".  I should have confined those comments to St. Louis gamers.  No prophet is honored in their hometown.  There are about 100 historical gamers in the St. Louis metro area.  The medium age of them is 55.  The people I play WH40K with is about my age or younger (medium age of 40).  I've lived in other places and seen gaming clubs include historical and other miniature venues on a weekly basis (this is true of the Iowa State Gamers Guild in Ames, IA).

There are younger gamers in St. Louis who play Flames of War on a regular basis.  But many of them also play 40K or Warmachine.  Most of the FoW players haven't crossed over into other historical wargaming besides FoW.  There is crossover for games like Firestorm Armada and Uncharted Seas. 

Part of the problem is any gaming is done on an ad hoc basis.  I vary what I game on a weekly basis with my friends.  I also do organized gaming on a monthly basis at another shop in the metro-east.  Outside of a couple of conventions, my local gaming club doesn't do much to help support different games.  It's not for a lack of trying.  People have tried to do organized gaming on a yearly basis.  But St. Louis gamers by and large have resisted that.  I don't expect Big Muddy Historical Gaming Alliance to do much other than sponsor some gaming conventions.  My attempts to get people to my games have also failed.  And I have sent out a yearly schedule of games for 2012!

The only gaming I do is my own projects with my friends, mainly.  Other people are more than welcome to play.  But I don't see the point in getting upset over the lack of historical gamers for my gaming scenarios when I do run something.  I use Yahoo User Groups, emails, Facebook, and Game St. Louis to get the message out about my games.  In the past, I've gotten few people to show up for my events.  I've lamented this fact with friends.

Other parts of the United States aren't like St. Louis.  People will actively seek out new gamers and run mixed venues.  I feel new rule systems like Hail Caesar! and Black Powder have the potential ot bring new gamers to historical wargaming.  I think plastic miniatures are the wave of the future.  They combined with enjoyable rule systems will make the early 21st century a gaming mecca for historical wargaming. 

My experience with a big box system like GW is mixed.  I could be called a GW crack baby.  That addiction is coming to a swift end.  I've been gaming 40K since the Rogue Trader days.  The company has gone back to its old motto of treating its customer like crap.  There has been little to mark the 25th anniversary of 40K.  This latest price increase is surreal.  I can't afford to buy any of their product for full retail anymore.  $75.00 for a Space Marine Land Raider?  $82.00 for a Stormraven Gunship that cost $66.00 last year?  This combined with getting rid of Warhammer Historicals has hurt.  I made a purchase of a Thousand Son from a guy who was getting out 40K for $200.00.  I got about $400.00 worth of figures and vehicles.  I need to spend another $200.00 on new product to get the army completed.  I would have liked to have gotten a Nurgle Plague Marine army, instead.  I can't afford 4 boxes of Finecast Plague Marines for $45.00 each. 

GW has stopped advertising what their new releases are supposed to be.  I don't even think the store reps know what will be released until the week of the release.  What brainiac thought that marketing strategy up?  I wonder if this company is being run by zombie executives and model makers who believe their game is a prestiege product.  And the sky is the limit as far as prices go.          

But back to the local gaming scene.  I don't expect much to change.  Gamers will stay provincial and keep to their basements.  I'm just wasting my time and breath with all the postings and emails I write.  It was so much easier gaming in Ames, IA when I could email my friends and come up for a monthly 28mm SYW game using Age of Reason.  Or show up for a 1/2400 WWII naval game using General Quarters...


  1. I hear ya, Blake, and agree, especially about the Games Workshop stuff. About a month ago I got blindsided with the new Empire rulebook for Warhamme Fantasy. I bought it, flipped through it, and was like "Man, so I'm gonna have to reorganized my Empire army???" And this is on top of them switching a lot of the leaders in the Empire army to that Citadel Finecast crap. At this point, I'm not sure if I want to play WH anymore.

  2. Blake,

    There is a large group of gamers in the Saint Charles-Lake Saint Louis area. We game all the time. Most of the time there are at least eight to nine guys gaming together.

    We have talked about this before; gaming in this area for the most part requires a 30-45 minute drive. You are always welcome to the games we play and put on. You just have to choose to drive to get to them :)

    Gaming isnt dead in St.Louis, in fact its alive and kicking! You just have to cross both the phyiscal bridge and the psychological bridge to get there. :)