Recruiting the next generation of wargamers
40 years wargaming and playing with toy soldiers, I’m still not a WH/40K tabletop player. I tried several times and it never took. But when Grandsons 1 and 2 caught me playing the PC game “Warhammer 40,000 : Armageddon”, they were so taken by the epic battles between Space Marines and Orks, I seized the opportunity and grabbed the “Battle for Vedros” starter game to see if I couldn’t channel some of that interest from the screen to the game table.
Well it worked. We’ve been playing very simple slugfests when they visit and they love it. They split command of the mighty Space Marines while I Warboss my way into their fields of fire and lose with all the appropriate sound effects and over-dramatized anguish.
All things considered, the Battle for Vedros set is the perfect starter for something like this: decent price point (especially if you find it on sale) a good amount of easy-assemble models, dice, a simple rule book. Terrain would have been helpful, but hey… The models have nice detail but are robust enough to stand up to rough play by 6 and 7-year old boys. Now of course I had to ‘reinforce’ the box armies, which meant a Killa Kan and an Attack Bike for sheer coolness quotient. Then a few more infantry to round out the foot sloggers. But that’s just me…
There’s lots to be said about getting kids to play a table top or board game: it gets them away from a screen, interacting with other actual people. They learn about fair play, taking chances, planning moves, accepting loss when the dice don’t roll their way, being gracious when they win, and most of all, having a blast with friends and family over little army men. They’re already leafing through the booklet, pouring over the pictures, and lobbying for more reinforcements. (“Grandpa, that tank looks cool.”)
Yes it does. It does indeed.
But I better buy some decent terrain first. Something cool looking but simple and robust, without fiddly bits that break easily. I’m open to suggestions here.
Anyway, Hats off to Games Workshop for a great little starter set. The Battle for Vedros made my grandsons quite happy.