Have you got game?
When is this game?
Is your game regular?
This is what a life fulfilled looks like.
It’s a hard thing to organize, the mythological regular game. The unicorn of gaming. The Sword of the Lady of the Lake of gaming. The emerald in the pommel of The Sword of the…. I digress.
Getting a regular game is not easy, in my case it means I have to be friendly enough to be able to approach someone. Not that easy at all. You need to play the same game. In this day of fractured wargame communities you also need to play the same edition of the game. Then you need a space to game in, as well as terrain to play around and an army assembled to the point your opponent can recognize it.
Seriously, that’s like a lot. I’m surprised I can even crawl out of bed and lurk around my local hobby store waiting for unsuspecting vict… opponents.
Wanna come back to my place? I love 40k.
So here are a few tips for those of you without a regular game.
Hang around your local hobby store from time to time…
I know what you’re thinking: “But Tim, I’ll just buy more stuff.” Me too. Get a paint brush, you always need more of them… or space marines. But this is how you meet people. Out in public places. Where sunlight is.
You will just have to suck it up.
Now when you get there you will have to take it slow at first. A herd of gamers are like a herd of American Bison (Buffalo). You can shoot at them from afar and they wont notice, but if you do something unpredictable from within you will be trampled to death. Stick to head nods at first. Try laughing along when you hear a funny joke. Tell some guy his awful paint job is cool. Simple, non-confrontational, low word count statements.
The most horrifying way to be trampled.
After a visit or two, try to signal your gaming virtue. Talk about your favorite movie. It’s a great way to break the ice. Star Wars is always a safe bet. Compare something to your favorite Original Trilogy character. Please make sure it’s apt. We don’t want any statements like “Jakaero are practically a rip off Ewoks.”
People don’t even try to like this guy.
Play a game or two in store before you try to separate someone from the group for a home game. Unlike a serial killer, you can’t pick up a stray hitchhiker for a thrill game. Find a member of the clientele with similar feelings on your favorite topics and who isn’t that popular. People won’t notice when you leave with them.
Or hang around your local games club…
The same rules that applied above, apply here.
Now I can hear your thoughts again: “But Tim, have you seen the weirdos that hang around at gaming clubs.”
Yes I have, hell I am one. You are too, or at least you will be if you’re looking for your gaming soulmate.
Games clubs often have a lot of interesting personalities, like a Dickens novel. Especially the one I go to, if you imagine Dickens wrote a novel where every character was Fagen.
You’ve gotta pick a pocket or too?
I have caught him, what do I do now?
Are you sure he’s not your favourite character?
Now you have a fish on the line, you gotta reel ’em in. That’s not going to be easy. Like any kind of geek or nerd, wargamers like familiarity. You’re not going to be able to replicate their natural environment. It’s not possible. Where are you even going to get a vintage Barbarella poster anyway?
There is a simple way around this problem. Snacks! Salty, Sweet, Fizzy and Crunchy. Resist the urge for a cheese platter and a cheeky red. Unless it’s a platter of cheese flavored crisps and some raspberry soft-drink. The cheaper and more nutritionally terrifying they are, the better. If they are sleepy from sugar and fat overdose they will have a better time. I like to go with corn chips and lollies, but M&M’s and salt and vinegar crisps are a good combo too.
If you think your opponent might have broader tastes, try pistachios. Removing the shells will be cathartic and distracting. Encouraging compulsive behaviors will make it easy to trick them into coming back. Next time you call, their fingers will twitch and their brain will fall into line.
You will need to do this a few times to make them really comfortable coming to your place for games.
Now I bet you have a few more questions. I’ll try to address a few.
Should I lose a few times?
I’m not gonna lie, It could help. But do you really want to be that guy. I say crush them and subtly mock them. They will return seeking victory.
What if they start wanting to play a game I don’t like?
Honey, I promise we will play Pictionary with your work friends next time.
Oh, you got yourself one of them closet Age of Sigmar people. Look, it is not that bad. Play a game or two. You could try finding a new person, but seriously… look at you. You can only get lucky so many times before you need to settle.
They wanna drink beer, what do I do?
How cool are they? Just sip your single malt and smile as they chug.
My wife/husband is seriously not cool with people coming around?
You might have bigger problems than the regularity of your games. I can’t help you here. I only give creepy gaming advice not creepy marital advice… for now.
He/She is super farty?
Play in a ventilated area.
Armed with the above information, now you can seek out the gaming buddy that completes you. Good luck. Smile, be friendly and above all remember their name. It’s important to them, make it important to you.
Uh… Sir… is it Sir?