Hey Everyone. I recently got to sit down and chat with a local Community builder Mike from one of the local clubs I belong to called Steel City Sigmar to talk about his experiences building the Age of Sigmar Community in the Pittsburgh Area. The club is one of the bigger groups in the area and if you have seen me around Adepticon or Nova Open you can often find wearing the clubs shirt on one of the days. Mike is a man after my own heart as he has really involved himself in building the community for Age of Sigmar to connect the separate groups in the area and it was a pleasure to sit down and chat with him about his experience creating the club.
Mike with a club shirt he made for Dan of AoS Shorts
Mike, Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you found yourself in this hobby?
"I got into the hobby at the age of thirteen when I was playing a lot of Magic: The Gathering. I went into a local hobby store to buy more cards and saw an army of High Elves being played at one of the tables. I left that day with Dwarfs instead of the Magic cards I went in to buy originally. Ever since then I played garage Warhammer up until the release of Age of Sigmar and having an official Warhammer Shop opening in our area around the same time.
What Armies do you play or plan to play in the future?
"Since the release of Age of Sigmar, I was grabbed by the Stormcast Eternals. I enjoy their narrative and the look of the army. They also have a great deal of diversity to how they can be played which really keeps me coming back to them again and again. I have had some interest in starting a Kharadon Overlords, but their one-dimensional play style has held me back from buying an army."
What is your favorite part of this hobby?
"I really love the Age of Sigmar models. They have all been fantastic and keep getting better and better. They are packed with so much detail and I find assembling models really scratches my hobby itch."
What is your least favorite part of this hobby?
"It is painting without a doubt. I really enjoy playing with painted armies, but I am very obsessive in perfecting my painting on each model to the point of making a chore out of it. It isn't stopping me from painting mind you, but it is my least favorite part."
What is one of your favorite memories of this hobby?
"It was the first Age of Sigmar tournament held at the newly opened Warhammer Store. It was the first time I really played with strangers and outside of friend's basements or garages. Everyone was having fun playing and meeting each other and I felt I had finally become part of the Warhammer Community I had only read about as a garage gamer."
Can you share your dream hobby goal?
"That is easy. I dream to head to Warhammer World to meet the people who make the models and the game and play some games there while having a beer from Bugmans."
You created and also lead the Steel City Sigmar Club. Can you tell me a bit about the club?
"I actually Co-lead it with a great gentleman Jose Cosme and it was created as a club for Age of Sigmar gaming. The club is built to get players together within the Pittsburgh Region while trying to connect the various smaller communities in the surrounding area. The idea was really inspired by a podcast by Ben Curry about "Building your Community"
How has the Age of Sigmar Scene been going in Pittsburgh?
"We have been hosting one event a month at one of the larger stores in the area with an average of twelve people at each event. There has been a bit of plateau in attendance and we haven't been able to really attract much new blood, but the regular attendees are very committed to the game and the club."
What Challenges have you encountered as well as any victories in setting up the scene?
"The biggest challenge besides attracting new players to the group is trying to consolidate the separate groups together. Despite trying a wide array of events it is a struggle to get the groups playing together. My biggest victory was the first event as seeing the turnout and the fun everyone had really validated all the effort I put into getting it together. I want to give big thanks to my friend Bill for helping push the event as hard as he did to really get the word out."
What are the plans you see for the future of the club?
"We have had a successful first year of consistent meetups, but my future plan is to connect the different and separate Age of Sigmar groups in the community. I also hope to really engage the wider community with Social Media as we only have a small Facebook Page at the moment."
Mike's Stormcast Eternals Army
How can someone reach out to you or Steel City Sigmar?
If you are close to the Pittsburgh area be sure to check out the Facebook page for events or even pickup games. The club usually meets at the end of each month on Sunday for friendly tournaments as well as relaxing hobby days at one of the local shops. I have been lacking in attendance myself, but hope to remedy that in the coming year. Until next week, Happy Hobbying!
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