Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Daughter The Miniature Wargamer


My husband is a big miniature wargamer. I have dabbled, but I do not have the passion for the hobby that he has had for years. We even owned a store devoted to miniature wargaming and I painted and played, but it's not my passion. My kids, however, are another story.


It was never in doubt that the two of them would be gamers. Board games, video games and role playing games were introduced into their little lives the minute they were old enough to play. Miniature wargaming, however, is a bit more complex. That one had to wait until very recently for its introduction.


That's not to say that the two of them didn't know about it and want to play. I have several sloppily painted models of, um, things with too much paint on them for me to identify as proof of their excitement for the hobby. But learning it and really enjoying it is not something for wee kiddos.

My husband had promised that when they turned ten he'd not only take them to the game store for one of his game nights, but that he'd really teach the art of miniature wargaming. My oldest turned ten over the summer and has been slowly learning to play.

This last weekend, while I was out with my younger daughter at a giant sleepover for her Girl Scout troop, the husband spent some quality time with our eldest finishing up her latest models. I have a static-grass covered floor as proof.


The most amazing thing was not only that she'd taken the time to assemble and paint these models, but that they look good. Really good. She's only ten so they're not Golden Demon level but they're darn good and she loved the process.

Once I got home she joyously told me how she'd covered each base, managing to completely coat her fingers in that static-grass I mentioned earlier. She talked about the littlest details, the smallest mistakes, and wasn't upset but excited.

They've played a few games of Hordes (which she won) and she is so into the entire process that all she wants to do is play and then go buy more models so she plays better next time, just like her Dad.

I'm not sure which is more fun for me. I'm loving watching my daughter find a hobby that excites her, but the gleam in Dad's eye as he gets to show her exactly how it all works is priceless.

10 comments:

  1. It may be inappropriate to tell a 10 year old girl to play like she's got a pair, but I assure you that among WARMACHINE/HORDES players it's a statement of support and respect.

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    1. Bahahahaha! I'm going to let Russ explain that one to her ;)

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  2. My son is nearly 10. He's been enjoying CCGs for several years and really enjoyed a dip into RPGs, but our relationship with miniatures wargaming has been troubled. He's fascinated by the worlds and stories and models and art, but is a dreadful loser. The second a roll of the dice goes against him, he crumples, weeps, wails, stamps his feet and leaves the room.

    I am persisting, because I think the experience will teach him both the value of persistence in the face of disappointment and how to lose gracefully. But I have seen it argued that introducing children too early will give them the impression of the hobby as a "kids' thing" . I like to think that this will be off set by having a father gainfully employed as a game designer and professional miniatures painter, but I will be a bit disappointed if I can't raise him a good gamer geek...

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    1. Every kid is different so the right age is going to depend on your son. If he's frustrated with losing, I'd try to teach him about sportsmanship first, then introduce him to mini wargaming later.

      Maybe pick a game that's not quite so new in nature, a board game or even a video game he likes to play. Work on teaching him how to lose at something he's comfortable playing and then branch out.

      I think, as far as the "kid's thing" goes, when they see Mom and Dad playing it, and know other adults play, it removes that problem. And the whole game designer/pro painter thing should help too ;)

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  3. This is just too cool !!

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  4. Have you had any issues wiyh your younger daughter wanting to get involved like dad and big sis? I aasume she gets her own quality time with both of her parents so its not an attention jealousy thing, but having to wait until she is ten, while her big sister gets to play "dad's game" might be difficult for her and cause its own issues

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    1. Nope, because she's not really into playing with minis yet. He does paint models with her and they've played a little, but she is too young to have the same interest level. They do play A LOT of other games together, board games, RPGs and video games so she's perfectly happy.

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  5. Wow, those miniatures look great! I love stories like this.

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  6. Wow, those miniatures look great! I love stories like this.

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