Thursday, 18 April 2013

I Believe That Children Are the Future

I often read with jealousy the various wargaming blogs and forum threads that show proud dads introducing their offspring into the world of tabletop gaming. From a tender age these kids, usually sons, pick up some simple, often homebrewed rules, some eye-catching miniatures and away they go.

At the time of writing my eldest is 4, and is possibly the fluffiest girly girl you’re ever likely to meet. If it isn’t pink and doesn’t have fairy wings then she isn’t interested. Couple this with the fact that she has picked up on her mum’s distain of the hobby, and you can be pretty sure that she isn’t going to be rolling a D10 for morale any time soon.

Or so I thought…


Having chucked my minis willy-nilly into their boxes after the last VBCW game, I was putting them into some kind of order in the living room when the fluffy female one offered to help out. I didn’t think she would understand ‘okay, please sort the pseudo-fascists from the socialists’ and so instead tasked her with grouping together all my Twiggy Mommet protestors – ‘the ones with the scary masks’.

Amazingly she set to work without a twitter of protest (the same cannot be said when asking her to tidy her room) and asked (joy of joys) ‘Daddy, how do you wargame?’

Long story short, next thing I know she’s lining up her Disney princess dolls and we’re ‘wargaming’ on the carpet. Her rules consisted of rolling a large novelty D6 and moving each princess (mine wore a fetching orange ball gown) forwards that number of paces. The various toys strewn across the room became hazards, the worst being a wooden hippo that would ‘poo on your dress’ if you landed on it.

Her princess (Snow White I believe) quickly outpaced mine (not surprising considering the number of 6s she rolls during Junior Monopoly) and reached the toybox (our intended goal it transpired) way ahead of my orange Cinderella.

So there’s hope yet! You never know, she might start going along to a few games to fight alongside her old dad - especially if she keeps on rolling those 6s!

23 comments:

  1. Jon, what a fantastic post. 4 years old is such a brilliant age. Looks like you had great fun.

    My kids (10 and 6) get involved in my hobby from time to time. It's mainly curiosity which drives them I think. They love anything which involves making a mess, so terrain making is perfect. Sprinkling sand, gluing, painting and dry-brushing terrain are all favourites. And people wondered why I (we!) churn out so much terrain!

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    1. Hehe, terrain... Yeah, that's a great idea - I can sneak it past SWMBO as father/daughter craft time!

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    2. "Craft time" is, scarily, EXACTLY how I described it to Mrs Roundwood!! Just make sure that the kids don't bring their own craft materials - they turned up with glitter on one memorable occasion.

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  2. Hm, are there any pink, glittery landmarks in 1930s Herefordshire?

    Delightful post! Here's hoping for loads more quality father/daughter time.

    Have you seen Terrain for Hippos? It seems to be aimed at under-tens.

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    1. You never know around these parts...
      Terrain for Hippos is a cracking blog isn't it? My little 'un is a bit too young for blogs yet though!

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  3. Nice one !

    Sadly my cats have only taken a paws on approach to my figures and either batted them off the table, or chewed them.

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    1. Heh, if my kids start doing that it's time to worry...

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  4. Thats great news but please don't let her be influenced by Spode's Blackshorts my friend

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  5. That sounds genuinely hilarious! there is hope yet.

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    1. Now to get my 8 month old interested...

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  6. As the proud father of three girls I have similar hopes for my daughters. Having read so many fairy books and watched so many princess movies, my way forward lies in producing miniatures of strong female characters. I recently started a super hero minis line and will be making a high percentage of female supers that have realistic proportions and modest dress. :)

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    1. Nice one! Does your range have a website? I'll have to check it out...

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    2. Thanks for asking, we're at crossoverminiatures.com. There are only two females at the moment, but three of the next six out next month (well kickstarter starts next month anyway) will be women.

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    3. Ah Crossover! Love your work sir, and wish I had the cash to branch out into other stuff like this. (Now if you did something suitable for the 1930...s ;) )

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  7. Sweet! A new recruit to the hobby! =)

    My stepdaughter, a cynical fashionista graduate student of 25, took to wargaming when we visited my old club in England before Xmas. Not only that, she found her boyfriend among the ranks of gamers. There's hope for us yet! ;)

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    1. So there's a wargamer with a girlfriend? These truly are wonderful times :D

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  8. Its all good, my two girls are the exactly same 5 and 3. They see me painting from time to time but not very often as I usually do it when they've gone to bed. Its great to see the little one has shown an interest.

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  9. That is absolutely priceless, possibly the cutest thing I've read in ages. Mind you still chuckling at ‘okay, please sort the pseudo-fascists from the socialists’ - brilliant!

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  10. What a wonderful post. I am insanely jealous sir! My kids happily praise my painting but never bat an eyelid when offered a chance to game. They are far more interested in things that plug in. Ugh!

    Yet, there is a glimmer of hope now - the boy has discovered D&D. I'm now planning an extended campaign of misinformation and ruses before he unwittingly finds himself commanding "the enemy" on my table top. He will game with me. Oh yes, he will... ;-)

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    1. Why not set up a solo game and then say "hey son, I'm getting surrounded by orcs and I'm a bit stuck. What do you think I should do?"

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