In what feels like my usual opening for the last few Imaginary Wars blog updates, I’m starting off explaining why it’s been so long since my last update. I think I’ve figured it out though: my extreme delays are caused by my feeling that I should be expounding on some contain some grand polemic (like, say for instance, how Games Workshop, through their Age of Sigmar game, is single-handedly saving the miniatures gaming industry). So rather than doing simple updates where I talk about what’s going on in the store …or what comics I think are cool …or what miniatures I’m painting …or what games I’m playing, I end up not doing anything –y’know, so I can (ostensibly) let my brain stew on “big” ideas that will guarantee a truly epic blog update from me.
Today’s blog update is me adopting a new strategy. Simply put, I’m recapping some events recently run at Imaginary Wars …and I might even preview some upcoming events (honestly, our fall roster is starting to look like it’s going to be packed with gaming!)
August Gaming Recap:
Though September is definitely the ‘Back to School’ month, we got a jump on that in late August with several Learn-to Play events: we ran our second Heavy Gear session!The afternoon was a success and well attended: our pool of players has grown in size because of that afternoon–and plans for a Mad-Max style campaign could even be in the works! Seriously, if you have a penchant for giant robots and science-fiction battle games that require less than thirty models, you owe it to yourself to look into Heavy Gear. (They have a new edition coming out in the fall, and right now the beta version of the rules are available as a free download.)
Also in late August, we had volunteers in showing off the new Games Workshop game, Age of Sigmar and teaching the easy-to-grasp system to any and all who were interested. The game is very malleable in how players wish to game, and we presented the game accordingly: one evening we had very narrative-focused gaming with uneven forces matched up (but with scenario objectives set up to balance off the uneven forces); the other session showed how GW’s new fantasy rules set could also reproduce ‘classic’ Warhammer gaming, with armies matched up according to a metric to produce a fair fight. Age of Sigmar is presenting exciting options that we plan to act on this fall. (And in case you hadn’t heard: Games Workshop offers free downloads for the game’s core rules and army books for free now as downloads!)
September Event Recap:
It feels odd to “recap” a month when we’re only half way through it; but I know the closer we get to the end of the month, the less time I’m going to have for writing. Plus, I don’t want to miss out talking about these two successful events that meant a lot to us.
September 3rd Strange Aeons Release Party
One year ago, Strange Aeons: the Lovecraftian Miniature Skirmish Game withdrew into a dark cave (undoubtedly littered with Cyclopean ruins), then emerged just this fall to present us with a new edition. Last October, Uncle Mike’s Worldwide, the makers of Strange Aeons, embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to help promote the new edition and new models for our favourite Lovecraftian miniatures game.
The final result is Strange Aeons: 2nd Edition. The new edition and new plans for models were not only funded in twenty eight minutes, the project itself also surpassed its funding goal by an amazing five thousand percent AND delivered all the products to its backers on schedule–something virtually unheard of with Kickstarter projects!
So on the night of September 3, Imaginary Wars asked Mike and his team to to come down to the store so we could congratulate them and hosted a Strange Aeons release party! The Strange Aeons crew showed off the new book, the new range of models and the game in action. Uncle Mike made a point to be on hand to teach any curious souls present how to play his game.
It should be noted that also present were members of the Strange Aeons team that put so much hard work into producing the new edition (as well as making, packing and shipping all the models); they came not just to soak up the well-earned glory but also brought all the Kickstarter bundles for Calgary-based backers to better help those backers get their new Strange Aeons swag all the sooner! It was a fun evening, and Imaginary Wars plans on re-establishing regular Strange Aeons gaming in the store this fall.
Labour Day Bitz Bazaar:
On the Labour Day Monday, we ran our second annual Bitz Bazaar: a free market where people can swap, trade, barter or sell off their excess models (and model components ie: “bitz”) to other people. The format is simple: the store provided plots on each of its gaming tables for people to display their wares; the plots were purchased for ten dollars, but when the seller showed up for the bazaar they received +1500 points to their Imaginary Dollars Rewards Points total (which equates to $10-25 in future savings: the higher the points total, the higher the savings).
This year the response was immediate and a touch overwhelming—we even had to set up four “overflow” plots! The day itself was hectic, energetic and at times overwhelming from the sheer variety of miniatures on the tables and from the deals being made! The Bitz Bazaar has become a way for us to thank the miniature gamers who support our store throughout the year; the highlight for me seeing buyers and sellers –gamers– connecting with each other, making trades, sharing modelling ideas–really for just being a part of the crowd at this event. The atmosphere that day was congenial and very club like; camaraderie was in the air as everyone present came to realise just how vibrant our gaming community is.
This upcoming weekend sees us focusing on the miniatures games, Warmachine and Dystopian Wars. This is a double-header weekend, with a special event on each day!
Saturday Sept. 19: Learn to Play Warmachine
Though a fantasy miniatures game that also boasts a good dose of steampunk and gun powder, the setting of Warmachine (the Iron Kingdoms) was originally designed to be a game world for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The miniatures game was launched in 2003, is currently in its second edition, and has been growing by leaps and bounds—especially over the past few years. One of the hallmarks of Warmachine is that cross-table attacks don’t really exist as a main game mechanic, meaning , meaning gamers are required to play aggressively and get their models into closer quarters to be truly effective in the game.
On September 19th, our local Press Ganger, Matt, will be at the store providing everything required to introduce players to the world of the Iron Kingdoms and the basics of Warmachine! All you need to do is show up!
Everything starts at NOON.
And just like that, this has gone from a simple update to something …longer. So I guess that’s all for today, but we’ll whet your appetite about our future updates with some of the in-store posters for some of our upcoming events:
Coming September 20
Coming September 25-26