Monday, April 18, 2011

Where Do Today's 40k Players Come From?

I have been thinking lately about our community, not the blogosphere in particular, but the total 40k community and where everyone comes from.

You see, I have played in a few other areas and have seen the same thing over and over again in the 5th edition scene. You have a fairly large group of folks who are new to the hobby or at least the game. Then you have the (usually) equally large or larger group of players who have returned from 3rd edition, having taken a break through 4th edition.

The very rare groups it seems are the old timers crew - the fellows who have literally been pushing pewter since Rogue Trader, rocking battle cards for their tanks, lol ... and that strange group who were born into the game in 4th edition (the group to which I belong because that was when I could afford the game).

With all that being said, the old crew and new crew are easily explained in any scene, but what has always staggered me is the lack of folks who started in 4th ed and have played through AND the mass of players who are back having all seemed to have missed 4th.

I think it is too easy to place the blame on how terrible 4th was, though it was pretty terrible. I would like to explore deeper by asking everyone a few questions ...

When did you pick up the game (in terms of edition)?

If you started in 3rd or earlier, what drew you to the game? Did you take a break and if so, why?

Did you miss 4th or did you start during it? What brought you in?

What is the demographic of your gaming group? New guys? Old guys? A mix?

Let's hear where you, your local players and friends come from and any of your theories to what I have discussed above - even the theory that I might be a complete crack pot on this one.
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  1. I started a couple years before fifth edition rolled out. I liked 4th edition, and I do occasionally miss it.
    I'd say my local group is about half people who have been playing before 3rd, and half people who started up with 5th. Of those that have been playing 3rd edition and earlier, half of them played through 4th, the others are coming back.

  2. I started cause my chess coach said "playing other games will help your chess game" ... 2 years later i stop playing chess and play warhammer all the time. This was in the beginning of 2nd ed. At the start of 4th the store I went to closed and the other store and me were not on good terms... so i sat out 4th.

  3. My group of friends all started in 2nd Ed, when we were in high school. Some of us got here via Space Hulk. All of us that are still playing played through all editions of the game (even 4th).

  4. I picked up Rogue Trader because I wanted to paint Space Marines. I figured if I was going to buy models I might as well have a game to go along with them. My interest (and proximity of friends that played) waned after the 2nd Ed box set. I missed 3rd completely but came back about halfway through 4th. The local scene is mixed, but I think I'm the "oldest" player by far (Edition speaking). We are a rare breed to be sure.

  5. Old grognard here. Played back in the RT days, skipped 2nd ed but got pulled into early 90's Epic. Back to 28mm mid 3rd ed, going ever since.

    The RT book was the big pull - lots of craziness and really pulled in lots of stuff that was in the nerd zeitgeist of the time - Star Wars, Dune, etc. Plus the Space Marine figs were really cool; we did lots of skirmishes with marines vs. whatever other figures we had on hand as rebels/aliens.

    In the wider local scene there are lots of older players who've been in for many years. At the very local scene where I go to play it's a mix, a number of old school players mixed with newer ones, with some returnees from various editions thrown in.

  6. Ishmael and I both started in 5th (maybe late 4th in his case), but Loki has been around since at least third. I enjoy the simplicity of 5th, even when it is frustratingly vague, by Loki will swear by 4th. Since I decided not to learn the rules for 4th immediately before 5th, I don't understand why some people love it and others hate it.

  7. Rogue Trader. Saw a copy of it on sale in Waldenbooks when I was eight or nine and already could quote Aliens from start to finish. Seeing the promo with Astartes fighting Genestealers told me this was the game for me.

    I trailed off a bit in fourth and lost all interest when the new Chaos Codex hit and gutted my Night Lords. Finally came back in fifth with one of those dreaded 'Counts As' armies.

    Demographic seems to be early 20s to 30s, with a mix of other RT folk and brand new players.

  8. I do think a lot of people quit during 4th not just because 4th was terrible but also because other companies like Privateer Press started producing pretty good systems.

    I started late 2nd but really only started to collect and play in 3rd. Around the time 4th came out I had moved to a new area and the general mehness of 4th edition backed up by the lack of players in my area (and any desire to seek others outside of this area) made me stop during 4th until I walked into a GW store whilst on holiday when 5th came out and picked it up again.

  9. I have been interested in 40k since I was a teenager in the 90s but there was no way I could afford it back then. I finally got into the game just about a year ago when my brother and a few of my friends started playing and finally got me into it a couple months after they started. I'm new to 40k but I've been playing various wargames my whole life pretty much as far back as I can remember.

  10. I did. I started playing in 4th ed. With Mech Sisters no less (which kinda sucked back then). I took my beatings, and figured out light armor target saturation. That was when I started winning.
    The switch to 5th ed helped me out a lot. I can't say I miss 4th ed, but I do get rules mixed up from time to time.

  11. I started playing back in RT days. I was really into D&D and was visiting my cousin on summer vacation. He said, "You need to check out this totally awseom game called Warhammer 40,000!" It's been a long lasting love affair ever since and we are still as passionate as ever!

    My local FLGS is a mix of old vets and new blood. The guys I seek out to play though mostly have been in the game since at least 3rd if not earlier. There's a solid core of those guys.

    Personally, I liked 4th, but I do enjoy most of the changes they've made in 5th. If I could change one thing, it'd be to bring back the old area terrain rules. Much simpler and doesn't require huge terrain pieces to block LOS.

  12. Started playing start of 3rd stopped with 4th, never actually read the rules or anything, just had other stuff going on. Started back up in 5th because of OST and i being stationed together.

  13. 4th edition for me. Wasn't too bad but had some complicated stuff which 5th edition has fixed nicely.

  14. I started during 4th ed. my playing group is actually a mix of others who started roughly the same time and newer folks who started in 5th edition

  15. Guess I would be considered a new blood still even though I don't feel like it. Been playing wargames since 2005 playing warmachine but I didn't start playing 40 k until after the new space marine codex came out at the start of fifth.

  16. I started playing fantasy (orcs and goblins) in middle school around 1995. My buddy's brother started him playing and we played without any rulebooks or anything. It was pretty bad.

    I started picking up 40k models in high school and bought the Dark Eldar vs Space Marines box set and started building my Blood Angels. My friends didn't really want to play it, though.

    About a year after I moved to Lansing after college and after passing it dozens of times I walked into Evo Games. I was super pumped about the amount of gaming going on and started playing my Blood Angels again.

  17. Started with Space Hulk and moved over into Rogue Trader in 89'/90'. I played little of 2nd ed but came back into 3rd ed with a vengence. I rode out 4th edition and 5th edition has returned me to actively playing again. The main reason I played few games of 2nd edition was left the military and it took a while to find a group of local players. Then during 3rd ed a GW store opened near me and I found plenty of opponents since then.
    The local gaming scene has a mix of old and new gamers but a new shop opening up has brought more new players to the hobby.

  18. I started with the Space Marine (now Epic) game. Came into 28mm with the Catachan Codex and sat out most of 4th ed b/c I moved around and couldn't find players.

    I'm just now getting back into the game. I've been slow getting into it because of the outrageous cost of models, but I've slowly built my army over the past decade.

    Our local store started an escalation league and people are jumping on. Most have never played before, some have been at it a while, and some have dabbled but hated to invest if there weren't going to be players - again, that outrageous cost keeps people out or on the fringe.

  19. I walked into a GW in Toronto and was sold on Space Marine (like anon says, pre-Epic) and from there, introduced some of my friends to it. We upgraded to 40k after seeing the incredible detail on the larger minis.

    Also, your pic... *shudder* makes me think that's where 40k forum posters are born from.

  20. I started playing roleplaying games with friends at school in the 80s, then we graduated to Laserburn, a 15mm sci-fi game (still available I see, on the web). After a couple of years of that Rogue Trader came out and we started playing with those rules which were a lot faster, initially playing in 15mm and translating inches to cm.

    Eventually I started collecting Slann, and then Squats... GW screwed me ov er big time there and it put me off the hobby for years. Around 98 I was going out with a girl whose son played 3rd edition so I started collecting, wait for it, Alpha Legion! Eventually we broke up and I stopped playing. Decided to get back into it when I found my old miniatures a few months ago, only to discover when I look at the 'new' Chaos Codex that my Alpha Legion have been nerfed and I now have 80 Cultists sitting on the shelf! Still I'm not going to let GW spoil my fun, I enjoy the game and I'm about to start playing again having got my plastic chaps up to strength via Ebay.

    I have vowed never to give any money to GW unnecessarily though, so its all Ebay and Scribd for codices, and I can't imagine I'd ever collect a new army again. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice (or should that be 4 times...) shame on me.

  21. Started with RT & Space Hulk as I really liked the idea of Space Knights fighting Aliens. Stopped playing when I went off to Uni and came back for the last year of 4th Ed as I could not get a game of Blood Bowl every week.

    Our group is a real mixed bag of new and old players. Strangely most of the games club stopped playing 40k when 5th Ed came out but drifted back a year or so later. A lot of old friends who quit during 2nd or 3rd got back into the game with 5th Edition so they must have done something right (even if it was just marketing).

  22. Late 3rd ed here :) But I started with Fantasy at the beginning of 4th Ed. Most of the people I play with nowadays started with 5th ed but they are all very good players :)

  23. New blood, started 2011. Been wanting to play since 2003 when I was a lad but couldn't afford it as my parents had too much sense than to spoil me rotten with overpriced models :(