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Wargamer Morale

Hello wargamers, lore nerds, dice fiends and 'that guys'.

I figured I'd open up the first post to this blog by talking about something I hadn't put much thought into until recently, player morale. Naturally we nerds like to share our hobbies with others and love to see more people get involved in our not so little game of toy soldiers, but sometimes people lose the enthusiasm that keeps us going through those downtrodden times of broken armies, sub par battletomes  or lack thereof. 

My local wargaming community is pretty casual. Most people play for fun and like to try goofy lists, a lot of us proxy frequently to experiment with neat army ideas and instances of 'that guy' syndrome are few and far between. We've got our competitive players that only roll up for tournaments and our casual players that play whenever they get the chance, but we've also got a few people who just can't seem to catch a break.  

For example we've got a gaming lounge in my town that I frequent for AoS and occasionally 40k. Naturally the owner and the employees are all a bunch of nerds who enjoy warhammer, D&D, magic etc. but don't often get many chances to play since, well they have a business to run. One of the employees, the owners brother, is an ironjawz player. Nice enough guy but is kept busy by work and doesn't get to put his army to the table often. I was asked by a friend (stormcast scum) to come in and fill a spot for a 2v2 game because I play Legions of Nagash and my partner was a Vampire Counts player from 8th edition WFB who missed the AoS train due to a prolonged stay in Japan. So me, the ironjawz player, stormcast scum and vampire weeb sit down for a 3000pt 2v2 (1500pts per team member). My partner had brought a lot of vampires and bloodknights to the table so I showed him legion of blood (he was using grand host originally having not looked into the 3 sub legions) so he made his VLoZD his general, gave it the walking death command trait (6+ automatically damages without wound or save rolls) and then proceeded to roll hot dice all day and demolish 1700pts in units with just the VLoZD... His VLoZD got into combat with some brutes turn 1 and proceeded to mulch all 3 units of brutes the ironjaws player had over the course of the game (with a little help from my skeles in round 2) We where using realmgates so come round 2 the ironjaws maw crusha was warped to the opposite end of the board to deal with some skeletons moving on an objective. By round 3 all the ironjaws player had left was his maw crusha while this VLoZD was sat there belly full of orruk with 4 wounds left. Me and  stormcast scum where mostly at each others throats all game over a center objective with my Arkhan taking the heat of the ballistas off of weebs VLoZD. Me and stormcast scum are used to defeats as we face each other almost weekly having a good laugh trying to one up each others lists, but our ironjaws friend was feeling pretty down having just his lonely maw crusher by the end of round 2. None of us had particularly competitive lists that day but apparently ironjaws has been on a bit of a losing streak. That paired with how infrequently he gets to play, it seems like he's losing interest in the game despite how much he seemed to enjoy it when I first met him.

Weeb was loving the game at least. Always glad to see someone get back into the hobby, especially when they join the objectively best grand alliance (totally not typing this while painting the masque of slaanesh)

Anyone else have stories to share about discouraged players? Ever been a discouraged player yourself? Anyone have any ideas on how to help raise the spirits of players feeling down on their hobby?  

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Great  topic! This is something i both encounter with others  and experienced myself. Often this feeling of discourage is in the keelwater of dissapointment. When one have ( like the brother of the store owner you described) limited opportunities to play you want to make the most of it. DurIng those games one wish to:

- see oneselfs miniatures to live up to the potential thier rules promise

-get engaged in the scenario

-have some friendly discussions whith thier opponents.

And if( according to my own thoughts ) 2 of these statements is not fullfilled, one can easely start to reflect if this hobby really is worth thier time. 

To get around this (which is easier said than done) you have to partly working with your own expectations and also before, during and after the game talk with your opponents what you and them want from this game. 

And one more thing is that, while i think AoS is an amazing game, it is poorly suited for multiplayer battles. While The idea to get more People to play the same battle is intriguing, it often ends up with sitting and waiting for your opponents doing thier turns where you have few options to affect whats happening. And worse is if they all decides to target your army leaving you with fewer things to do on your own turn. 

But why is I still playing? As I said, AoS is a fun game when I and my opponents have set our expectations on a realistic level, and help each other to immerse whats happening  even when ones turn is over. Lastly is of course to have a positive attidute, even when you lose 9 out of ten models in a unit in one attack. I usually makes it my personal mission to keep that lone warrior alive or challanging demigod models like archon to duels. 

Its our game, we decides how to play it.

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