5 Steps to Get Your Partner into the Hobby

By |2017-01-04T08:00:08+00:00January 4th, 2017|Categories: Editorial, Warhammer 40k|

warhammer-loveI’ve been playing 40k and Warhammer fantasy for almost 30 years now, and as I’ve grown older the same question comes up time and time again.

“How do you get your significant other to play Warhammer with you?”

In fact I’ve given this advice so many times now that I kind of have a method and after a bunch of requests from the Spikey Bits Facebook Group I thought I’d share my Top 5 tips to get your partner to Game with you.40k_couple

Tip 1) Keep the first game simple and fun.

I learned this one from running intro games back when I worked for GW. My manager told me there are only a few things new players need to know when they walk away from their first game.

These are the following: We have cool miniatures, we move these miniatures with rulers, we roll dice to see what they do, and it’s a lot of fun!

That’s it.
The actually Strength/Toughness calculations can come later, the Psychic phase isn’t important for those first few games, no-one cares about your killer combo army that first time.

Your goal for game one is to keep it simple and fun. It doesn’t matter if you follow the rules 100% to the letter, it’s more important that you keep the game moving and engaging, which brings us to tip 2.

warhammer_40000_dawn_Tip 2) Tell the story.

Whether your partner is into war gaming or not they are highly likely to be into movies, and the reason people like movies is because of the story. If you tell a story through the game you’re going to have a much better time convincing someone new to play.

It shouldn’t be about the strategy of who is the best… your first game should be about whether your opponent can manage to hold out against all odds… to SAVE THE WORLD!

It’s a classic story for a reason, people like hearing it.

Tell them about how they’re humanities last salvation against the evil hordes of Chaos, that if they are killed before a tech adept can defuse the bomb in the bunker all of humanity will perish.

A story line makes the dice rolls mean something, it gets them invested in the game, but even that isn’t enough. If you really want them to LOVE the game then they don’t only need to know the story… they need to be the Hero of it.


Tip 3) Let them win.

I know it sucks to lose at a game you’re supposed to be the expert at.

But the truth is if a new player feels that the learning curve to victory is too huge they’re unlikely to want to put the effort in to catch up. (After all you have years of experience over them!)

This is why games like shoots and ladders and monopoly are so popular. There is so much random chance involved, the skills required to play are minimal, so the game is on a level playing field.

If you want someone new to love the game you need to let them win game one.

space hulk deathwingThis isn’t about taking a dive, it’s about staking the odds in their favor. Give them more points, or better weaponry. Something to give them an advantage so they don’t feel like you threw the game.

When they feel that they have a chance to be good they’ll be more likely to put in the time to improve and then they’ll be able to win on their own.

In fact this reason is one of the biggest my friends have failed to get their partners into the hobby. They want to win so bad they forget that the goal is to spend time with their partner doing something they love.

Personally I Love sitting with someone I love over a game of Warhammer. Win or lose is irrelevant. Spending the time with them is the goal, and as long as I remember that it’s always a fun time.

Tip 4) Take them shopping

Chances are your partner likes shopping… EVERYONE DOES!forge world store1But they’re not going to want an army or miniatures for a Christmas or birthday present (They don’t want to lose out on the gifts they love to take part in a new hobby) However once you get them interested in playing the game they will want some nice new shiny miniatures.

So take them to the biggest store you know, with the biggest selection and make it about them.

Talk to them about the miniatures they like, maybe even do some research online first. Focus on the story, the miniatures and the theme of the armies vs which is tactically sound.

Buy them the miniatures they want and spend time gluing and painting them together.

Again you’re spending more time with your partner doing what you love, and gradually introducing them to the different aspects to the hobby.

warhammer-40kTip 5) Don’t Drown THEM!

Once you play a game or two, take a break, make it something you do once every two weeks or so, not EVERY SINGLE DAY.

For me this is the hardest one because I can literally hobby every single minute of every day, but the problem is your partner isn’t going to want to lose their life to a new hobby. So take it slow.

Ideally you’ve got your entire lives to spend together so enjoy playing 2-3 times a month at most and relish the fact that your partner now understands why it’s important that you get that new tank for your birthday… After all they need to know whether it can save the world or not.

If you follow these simple steps you should find it pretty easy to get someone to play the game with you.

If they’ve already decided they’re not into the hobby try it out on some younger members of the extended family first. Cousins etc. When they see how much fun you’re having as a family it becomes much easier to get them involved.

WHQ silver Tower HeroesFinal bonus tip.

If you’re really struggling to get them to play the core games, try some of the standalone like Silver Tower, it might just be the gateway drug you’re looking for. (And they never need to know it’s GW until after they collect their first piece of the amulet!)

Let us know if these tips work for you in the comments below, and I’m curious have you managed to get your partner to play? What happened? Tell us in the comments!

Spikey Bits Latest

Latest Long War Podcast - Listen NOW!

About the Author:

Adam Lyons is the founder of the Nights at the Game Table. He is an avid fan and a gamer of miniature based RPG's or Wargames. When not playing, he's a consultant for companies or individuals who wants to grow their business or improve their networking. You can get up to date with his latest gaming videos right here: http://www.youtube.com/c/NightsattheGameTable