Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gaming in Muncie

This weekend is our biannual North vs. South tournament between the Wizard's Keep and Game Preserve Bloomington.  The last time we played, the circumstances were very different and the gaming group from Muncie was much larger than it is now.  I'm  not sure why the group has declined as much as it has, besides various students graduating, but I'm hoping we will be able to get the group back to a decent size and have a more vibrant gaming scene here in Muncie.  I know I'm going to be leaving town in about six months, and I'd like to find a way to leave the gaming community better than I found it.

Some of the problems we're having are surely unavoidable when gaming in a college town with college friends.  People graduate and a divide forms between upper and underclassmen.  One problem is that Muncie is not the most prosperous of cities.  Besides the college, there isn't much employment in industries that pay well.  No one can say that 40k is a cheap hobby and the it may just not fit well with the town.

But I'm a stubborn old ass and I want to see if there is a way to get the band back together.  It may be that there is no way for our gaming group to meet on Saturdays like we had for the last few years.  Maybe the best way for us to revive 40k in Muncie is to move the meeting time to another day of the week.

I know Ishmael and I have similar concerns with the state of the game and its inherent time commitment.  The points standard around here is still1850-2000 points and those tend to take 2-3 hours per game unless there is a time limit like there is in a tournament.  I can understand players not wanting to play when the game is taking longer and longer for the same points level.  Imagine what else you could be doing for two or three hours and is the game of 40k really worth your time then?

We've also been accused of being overly competitive and there may be some truth to that.  I've always been a competitive person who loves to see anything come down to the wire.  The tension of a close game is intoxicating, but the high can also lead to some lows that aren't very encouraging.  I've been burned out on 40k for a while, but then again I've also been shifting my interests more into card and video gaming, so I can understand why other players may be doing the same.

It may be that interest in gaming is cyclical, an itch you need to scratch every so often and will forget about after that.  It could be that we're in a troff in gaming and it will self-correct.  It may be that the time required for 40k just isn't there as people are working more.  I can't blame people for dropping their leisure so they can get a better job, good for them.  I'm just wondering how we can bring gaming back and reinvigorate interest in the hobby here in Muncie.

I'm Underground Heretic and I get to live with that every day.


  1. SandWyrm and I have seen a slowdown in 40K at the GP North. Where 40K used to draw 12-14 people, it now might have 4 people show up to play.

    that's a big difference.

    we've also noticed that at 2D4 on the west side, other than for Apoc, their 40K crowd seems to have shrunk as well.

    I'm suspecting this is a wider systemic downturn. Possibly to do with economics and the cost to update armies to a new edition. It could also have to do with other games presenting themselves. SandWyrm and I picked up Flames of War, and really like it. I know Wieneas really likes DUST.
    There are new miniature wargaming options out there with some darned good rules, and cheaper army buy-in costs.

    all of these things have me concerned for the future of 40K. But don't tell Spaguatyrine I said anything remotely negative about 40K, he gets pretty defensive and touchy if we do anything other than praise GW.

  2. I think GW has only shot themselves in the foot and has only themselves to blame when it comes to the downturn in players.

    Simply put, the economic downturn is not conductive to a high-octane hobby like 40k. With GW being expensive, there is less incentive to keep up on a hobby that only rewards it's players with higher addition to new models every now and again. Paint is expensive, basing is expensive, $50 models could be used to buy a few games on STEAM or smaller luxury items. Truth to be told, I am well beyond the point of actually buying from GW. I buy secondhand or (if I go to Game Preserve) use my points that I have built up over time to supply the GW parts that I need.

    Course, it is easy to also dismiss the hobby as a competition of egos. It's the reason I don't play in tournaments or even Saturday games anymore. I hate the whining that comes with losing, or cheese, or poor sportsmanship. I've got my group of friends that I play with and (usually) we have a great time. That's good enough for me and a better incentive than going to a gathering where I know there is gonna be one douche.

    Thanks addressing the problem. Now what do we do to fix it?