Thursday, March 2, 2017

Building a Community : Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my "Building a Community" Series.  If you have missed Part 1 and Part 2, please check them out in the links below.  Today I want to talk about my local club’s tables, terrain, etc...

I need to be honest with myself.  Building and painting terrain can be a chore for the common hobbyist, with the exception of a few notable exceptions.  When I go home to hobby I would rather build lists, paint, or convert models while catching up on Warhammer TV streams.  I could go on and on about the parts of the hobby that I love, but it would take some time until I mentioned building and painting terrain.  I am falling short in raising the bar in that regard for my local scene.

When I took over the leadership position of my local club, I inherited a ramshackle assortment of terrain and gaming mats that the club has collected over the past decade.  Most of which has been donated from less hobby enthused patrons, to say the least.  It is the same terrain in service today.  While it is great to have anything to put on the table when you are just starting out, our club has been around for a number of years.  Despite my motivation to take the club beyond where it currently stands, I have not managed to rectify this situation.

A classic piece of terrain, but it has seen better days...

When we show up for Club Meets, we begin by setting up uneven tables in the basement of our local library.  Old felt mats, not even cut to the proper size, are then laid out.  Terrain, that has seen better days, is then spread out among these felt mats.  It is time to correct the situation. My goal has always been to motivate others to play and enjoy Age of Sigmar, and that must include playing on quality tables.

Basic field at my local events

Many hands make light work, and building and painting does not require a high level of hobby skill, but it does require a time commitment and perhaps even a few dollars.  Hopefully, I can get the club on board with taking a few of our standard Club Meets throughout the year to spruce up our tables.  My goal isn't to have Holy Wars or Realms at War level of tables, but I would like our club to be able to host a small size one-day event without the feeling that the playing area is lessening the experience of the players.

While I need help from my club to improve the tables, I realize I will have to take on most of the responsibility myself to make it all happen.  I have worked with my FLGS owner to purchase some Games Workshop terrain for use at the club so each table can have a few high-quality pieces.  I need to motivate myself to paint these up quickly to inspire everyone else to put in their effort, so we improve our club as a whole.  It won't be an overnight change and it might not be very easy, but it needs to be done.

A beautiful table by Steve Herner One day I hope to play on it myself!

Luckily, I have a few stalwart friends that I know I can count on.  Others I may have to drag along in this process, but that is part of being a motivator.  My hope is everyone steps up to help, even if it is only in a small way.  The fear is that there are a few who feel they are above this endeavor or do not feel like it is a good use of time.  No matter who is on board or possibly not on board, I will give it my all to inspire and motivate others within my club to create the best playing experience possible.

A lovingly crafted table by Ming

Another thing to keep in mind is that our club currently shares terrain between 40k and Age of Sigmar.  While this is great for starting out it will have to change so we can theme our tables wholly within The Mortal Realms.  While hills can easily pass for both games I doubt a High Elf Dragon Prince would land next to a power generator and a chemical plant any time soon.  As a club, we will need to acknowledge and sort our terrain between the two games to prevent unnecessary damage and keep it thematic.  I have seen firsthand how players from other systems can be careless and downright abusive to terrain that they know is not theirs.  Hopefully separate tubs will be enough.

I have fallen short of my goals for this club so far, but I will work to correct it with their help.  Currently, I am striving for having 6 tabletop standard tables with 8-10 quality pieces of terrain for each prepared by the end of this summer.  I would like to invite anyone who has advice on the matter or from anybody who has been in a similar situation.  I will continue to keep everyone posted on my progress on this topic.

Until next week, Happy (Terrain) Hobbying!

Building a Community Links:

Edited by @Grudgegamer