Thursday, January 22, 2015

Building a Community Part 1

Hi Malifolks!

Let's be honest. For many of us it all started with the humble Space Marine.

I began playing tabletop miniatures in 1998 when I was a freshman in high school. My small group of friends were already avid video gamers, role players and were assembling our first Magic the Gathering decks, but miniatures were foreign to us.

The first time I walked into the LGS and saw half a dozen tables showcasing mass warfare in the year 40k my mind was blown. I hovered around the table edges, crouching down so that I could get to eye level with the waves of Tyranid swarms, Eldar hover tanks and legions of Ultramarines with their bolters at the ready. It was a love affair that continues to this day. I was a miniatures player.

Pretty much the coolest thing from the 90s

In retrospect, I am somewhat surprised that I wasn't scowled at and encouraged to mind my own business. With all of my questions and curiosity, I'm sure I was making a real pest of myself. However, the community at that little hobby shop was amazing and they took the time to teach me the game and encourage my interest. Some of them even passed down old miniatures and hobby supplies, the models crusted with old paint or missing bits, so that I could hobble together my own little army. I was young and poor and those miniatures were some of my most prized possessions.

I've noticed a recent trend where gamers become annoyed if not outright belligerent if their hobby draws a crowd. I've witnessed stern glares and biting remarks that chase potential new players away and stifle any community growth. While this is a rarity, even a few bad seeds in your community can smother a hobby with staggering speed if their aren't those willing to balance the scales and welcome the curious and the interested alike. 

Sometimes you have to Power Hug it out

While I have long since moved on from Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy, I continue to collect and play tabletop miniatures with a passion that was inspired nearly 17 years ago. In Part 2 of this article, I'll be going into the actual steps needed to build a positive gaming community and what elements are required to see it sustain itself once you decide to take a step back. In regards to Malifaux, our community is in the very earliest stages and I plan to archive each step of introducing the game to our LGS along the way. Keep reading and we'll keep posting!



  1. The hobby is definitely better with more people, and sometimes a salty dog or two can turn off possible converts. My friend and I go to one of the local shops and we are the only people there who play Warmachine. I try to give a basic rundown of the models I'm running, and if they stick around to watch, I'll definitely answer questions. That said, I'm trying to get him to play some Malifaux, and we saw a couple people setting up to play a game, so there is much hope in that. While I do enjoy the practicality and freedom that comes with playing at home, I do enjoy the social aspects of gaming, and that means hitting the FLGS. If I can help push a few more people into the game, all the better.

    1. I completely agree. There is only so much kitchen table games you can take before you start missing that LGS environment. All it takes is a few dedicate people to start a gaming community and it sounds like you have the numbers. We are in the same boat you guys are, in regards to building interest and a player base for Malifaux. Keep us posted on how it turns out!

  2. Well, let's see. If I can get my friend to play, he will probably drag his wife along for the ride, and she might appreciate the gameplay style a bit more than WM. Plus, she leans towards the hobby side of things, and there are all the cool minis.

    I actually cut my teeth in another FLGS, but travel will be tricky til I get the Woemobile re-wired... that's its own post. We had a good-sized group back in 2008-9, then interest piddled out. When we had a henchman move to the area in 2013, he started us on the M2E open beta play, and interest got renewed... especially for me- but the timing was bad and I relocated a bit out of the way for a new job, which is why travel is tricky. So homeplay also serves a practical purpose for me. It also allows me to playtest some fo the concepts I've been brewing up, although the mechanics of malifaux make solo play a little trickier than say, WM.