Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beginner's Corner: Overcoming your Fears

You've been prowling around the lgs for weeks now, you know you want to take the plunge, but something is holding you back...Fear.

Fear of Rejection: “If word ever gets out that I play with toy soldiers I’m ruined!”

While it’s certainly understandable to be hesitant about sharing your new hobby with normal people, from my experience there is really nothing to hide. When I share information about my hobby with non-gamers they are generally politely interested and often impressed when I show them a miniature I have painted. This hobby rewards patience, developed skills and attention to detail and I think most people can appreciate that just like they would respect those who are interested in woodworking, basket weaving, fly fishing or any number of hobbies. You might get a little friendly ribbing but that’s fine, if you can’t admit that this hobby is a just a teensy bit geeky then you’re taking yourself too seriously. Plus, seeing as how most normal people watch sports, reality TV or gameshows you have plenty of ammunition to fire back with.

Fear of Painting: “But they’re so tiny! And there are so many of them!”

The thought of taking a couple pieces of bare metal out of a blister and turning it into a dynamically painted model is a daunting task for any neophyte such as yourself. “But I’ve never even seen a brush small enough to paint that!” Well, trust me there are plenty of them, in fact there are more tools, tricks, paints and tutorials out there than you could ever imagine. You will be surprised and proud of how good your first painted miniature can look, and how much easier it is than you imagine. I will cover your first paint job in a later article, but for now calm those fears. You can paint, you can do it well, and hopefully you’ll find that you enjoy it.

Fear of Spending: “$30 for one hunk of metal, are you kidding me!?”

Ok yes, the price tag on models can be a bit steep (some more than others). Trust me you aren’t getting ripped off. A box of infantry or a warjack will run you about $30, you will spend at least 5 hours assembling and painting (depending on the complexity of the model, your painting prowess etc) and then countless hours actually fielding the model/unit in your list. On top of that you will have a beautiful model to show for your time and effort. Compared to other ways to spend your money $30 for a model or unit is pretty reasonable.

For example, going to a movie probably costs you $10 (given gas, snacks etc), for $30 you can see 3 movies which is probably about 6 hours of entertainment (assuming the movie doesn’t suck). So for about the same amount of money you can get 5-6 hours of entertainment, either from watching 3 movies, or modeling/painting your warjack/unit. With your model you also have all those fantastic games ahead of you, plus more than a ticket stub to show for your time. I’m not trying to tell you not to go see movies, or that wargaming is the most cost effective way to have fun, just that dropping $30 on a model isn’t as painful as it feels at first.

Fear of Horrifying Mutation:”I walked past the Sci-Fi section in a bookstore once…it wasn’t pretty.”

Yes there are those who live up to every stereotype of a geek, and when you encounter them in the wild just remember that they are far more terrified of you than you are of them. There are also those of us who live very normal, productive lives in spite of our darker urges. I am a fairly normal person in my mid 20s. I’m married to a fairly normal person, have a normal job, I’m able to carry on conversations with males as well as females without social awkwardness, I don’t live in a basement and I have personal hygiene standards well within the acceptable range. I also happen to enjoy wargaming as a hobby, I don’t think it’s something I need to be ashamed of, or grow out of. For further reading on normal people and gaming consider (Did I just ruin my normal guy cred by linking to a web comic?)


  1. I overcame my fears fairly quickly thankfully. Now I am all about the game :D

  2. I didn't know about weregeek, thanks for sharing! Great, hilarious reading.

  3. And today's comic was highly appropriate, too!