Bringing New Players In: Auxiliary Costs

We are currently running a Journeyman League here in Bozeman (more specifically, smash is running one), and smash and I have been busy getting new players into the game wherever possible. (This has lead to a whopping 29 people signed up for the league!)

When I get new players into the game, I am constantly reminded of when my wife and I first purchased our house 3 years ago.  Not because of the relevant costs (this isn’t GW after all), but because of auxiliary costs.

What do I mean by “auxiliary” costs?  Well, I will give you an example.  When purchasing our home, we had a number of things we had to worry about.  There were appliances that we needed to purchase (yes, those normally come with the place, but they didn’t this time for a variety of reasons).  There’s a clothes washer and dryer.  Things like that are obvious.  What is less obvious are the smaller, more home-specific things, that you don’t think about or have to worry about until you live in or own a home.

Things like a lawn mower.  That was one that bit me early on.  Or a snow shovel (living in Montana means you get the joy of both seasons).  Or, if you are moving from a place with less bathrooms, more plungers.  Or garbage cans for more rooms.  These types of things can quickly add up to be more than you were anticipating.  And many new home owners end up choosing a select few things to purchase, and then expand out on the secondary essentials as time goes on.

I find this to happen in miniature games as well.  People NEED a tape measure.  They NEED card sleeves and a dry-erase marker (or some equivalent way of tracking values).

Many players feel like they don’t need the rulebook to start with.  Or tokens.  And I cannot blame them.  If you are on a budget (or, more specifically, have a limited budget to play with), it often makes sense to pick and choose.  Something that I have done my best to do with new players is explain the pieces they must have to play (tape measure, etc) and explain how they can get around the others (stealing dice from an old board game, borrowing things, etc).

The items I see as auxiliary for Warmachine and Hordes are:

  • Tape Measure
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Glue
  • Dice
  • Tokens
  • Card Sleeves
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • Flock/Sand for Basing
  • Templates
  • Rule Book
  • Model Case

Of those auxiliary costs, I think the following are always required to have with you at the game:

  • Card Sleeves
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Tape Measure
  • Dice

I think you need access to glue, although you may not need to buy some right away (or you can always get a small bottle from the grocery store, and just glue everything in one evening).

Templates are a more tricky one.  If you have sprays in your army, or lots of AOEs, templates are really nice.  But, if a player is really on a budget, they can always trace the templates in the back of the book.  I would not hold it against them at all if that is the case.

So, when bringing in new players, especially players who might not have a lot of disposable income, keep this in mind.  We all love to have new players, and I think Warmachine and Hordes are one of the less expensive games to get into in the genre.  The auxiliary costs sometimes surprise people, and I have found that if you can call them out earlier in the process, most people can then plan for them appropriately.

Any other thoughts from others?  Any other ideas?

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4 responses to “Bringing New Players In: Auxiliary Costs

  1. Don’t forget wreck markers. Not that people need metal ones, but it is good to come up with something for those. I personally really don’t like it when players have to leave a scrapped jack on the table since no one has markers.

    • Totally forgot about those – definitely a need. Part of why so many of us carry around extra wreck marker tokens anymore.

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