Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We're getting a lot more kids in lately buying models for Warhammer 40K. Unfortunately, the trend (and this is new for me), is their general lack of knowledge or even interest in the army they play. The rules are in their codex, but few seem to own one nor are they (or their parents) interested in spending money on something as lowly as a book. They come up to me and ask questions about their army, stuff available in the codex on the shelf not two steps from their beloved blue super men. How they make their armies is beyond me. It seems to be piecemeal, based on what their friends have told them or what some GW employee suggested, with probably no hope of ever having a legal army.

I'm thinking this has to do with the GW sales method at the company stores. They bring them in, show them the game, build much excitement and get them to buy models. Wash, rinse, repeat. When those kids visit a store that's not entirely devoted to selling GW products, they're lost and I feel like a goon for not knowing every detail of every army. Yet, it's not like customers come in and expect me to know the difference in damage between a Dungeons & Dragons fireball and flame strike. It's in the book. Is 40K a game that attracts the illiterate? Perhaps it's just that their kids.

My goal, which is probably in vain, is to attempt to get the kids and parents to buy their codex before they buy yet another model (YAM). I just wish the GW stores would focus more on empowering their customers rather than selling them more plastic. Teach the kid to fish so he can come in knowing what he needs. Maybe if they actually built an army list and did the math on how much it would cost, the process would end before it began. Nevertheless, the kids need the books.


  1. LOL, I played collectible minis at your store for a few years, and my experience is young 'uns will not RTFM. When I started playing I found most teens (and some adults) had no idea how to play.

    SWM was relatively simple. With the increased complexity of 40k... Yeah, I suspect someone will have to step up and teach them. Maybe there should be a seminar or class to explain the basics of the game if this has been a problem. If they participate, give them a badge or something that lets them have a few extra army building points for the next tourney or something.

  2. Over time, you may switch your complaint to "RYOFM" - since players will frequently use the store's books as their personal library, rather than buying their own.

    There are several factors at work here:

    1) "The toys are cool. I want the toys."

    2) "Book? WTF is a book? Read it for me and tell me the stuff I need - I don't want to put in the work of reading a book! What are you, anyway, my GD English teacher?"

    3) "Plan? What the heck is a plan? I want what I want, and I want it now!"

    4) "I just want all the boss models and other cool stuff. Rules don't apply to me."

    5) "Attention span? What do you mean I have a problem with my attention spa... Oooh! did you see that cool tank/dragon/pirate/whatever?"