Monday, 23 January 2012

The "Big Divide" nearly swallowed me up !

     I popped in to my local Games Workshop yesterday to pick up a pot of paint.  Now I normally use Vallejo paints but I do quite like the Citadel Foundation range and the inks are good too. I'm no stranger to this store as I have been visiting for the last 18 years but I realised I haven't been in quite a while. I love Sci FI gaming and painting but my interest in Warhammer 40K has waned quite a bit, I have come to the conclusion that 5th Edition is overly simplistic and is more of a dice rolling exercise then anything - but I will save that epiphany for another day. 
     I chose my paint waited at the counter and was greeted by the staffer "Hey haven't seen you in ages, you OK ? What you working on ?". Well - I'm working on several different Infinity armies but not wanting to upset him too much in his own store I said "oh a few bits", straight back at me "like what ?". Now I know this is programmed into the staff to try and drive sales, but it does wear a bit thin every single visit so I said "Infinity". Without even a pause he replied "Oh that's crap, the rules are really awful - the worst I've seen". Now Infinity has a steep learning curve and isn't easily broken down into steps where you role a handful of D6 whilst your opponent stands around waiting to remove all his models and repeat the process back to you . I love the Infinity rules, I want to be able to Air-drop on to a roof, throw smoke grenades charge through the smoke and hack into the net to disable something big. I love being able to have Thermal Optic camo, Mimetism and multi ammo sniper rifles ! Infinity for me perfectly replicates Special Forces Sci FI action with a cinematic feel to it and actively involves both sides at the same time - none of that waiting around nonsense ! I couldn't help feel that his response, although heartfelt wasn't at all genuine, wasn't based around his own experience but more around company indoctrination. "I'm also painting up a Malifaux crew" I threw at him, "Nah don't like the look of it - the figures aren't very good" was his response. He had clearly lost all interest in continuing the conversation but as he started to walk away I called out "I've nearly finished my Hordes Orboros army and I can't decide to get Firestorm Armada or Dystopian Wars next !" He just kept walking as if I was lost to him. 
     I don't really have a problem with Games Workshop, they sell their products, they're happy. I can understand them not allowing other companies products in their stores - they are there to sell Games Workshop stuff after all.  What does concern me is this denial of a larger world out there, it's got to be Games Workshop paint, with Games Workshop brushes on Games Workshop figures, played on a Games Workshop table whilst listening to a Games Workshop Audio Book. Have you noticed that they refer to it as the Games Workshop hobby ? I thought it was wargaming and I thought we were all wargamers together ? Denying the bigger picture is disingenuous and does nobody any favours in the long run.Go along to an independent Wargame show and look at the trade stands, the demo games and the variety of people happily rubbing shoulders. I will take the time to look at demo games of eras and rules that I have no interest in whatsoever, but you can see the work that has gone into it, the passion behind it and although I like rules A and they like rules B you can still have an interesting, adult conversation coming from a similar, common background.
     When grown men auto reply "That's crap" without thought, it can only be divisive and damaging to the future health of our small community.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that they are a bit zombish - depends who you get. The dude today was quite robotic - keen to sell. The Southampton manager (Rod) is pretty sound.

    I myself don't like the Malifaux miniatures but it seems like an interesting system.

    Also who/where is Infinity played in Southampton (I'm in Shirley)