Tuesday 5 August 2014

The growth of Sydney’s gaming community.

The past 12 months has seen some changes to our local gaming scene, and they are fantastic. Every gaming system seems to be showing a growing attendance, and even though there has been some backlash against 40k since 7th edition, it is starting to come back. Clarence Street in Sydney city is home to both the GW Battle Bunker and Good Games Town Hall - both of which have gaming space for every gaming system imaginable, providing the city with a hub of wide ranged gaming opportunities.

I think the initial backlash from 7th edition 40k is slowly being forgotten. Sure, we may now not have the same amount of time to play 40k (Thanks to X-Wing!), but it is still an important part of our gaming scene. Most people still hold onto their 40k armies, even if they only get a chance to game with them once or twice every few months. The biggest growth however, has been in X-Wing. Infinity and Warmachine both have a strong following at Good Games, and there are often 6-8 players regularly turning up to their dedicated gaming nights. Flames of War is also popular at other locations around the city and Firestorm Armada seems to be creeping onto the scene as well. X-Wing is gaining an insane amount of momentum right now, with many gaming clubs turning to it as a “beer gaming” system. SPAWN (Sydney Painting and Wargaming Network – meets every fortnight at 99 York Street), the gaming club we regularly attend is pretty much responsible for our entire group getting into X-Wing (Stephen......I blame you!). They themselves are X-Wing crazy and an overwhelming amount of players are turning up to play it. The growth of these systems is great, and I hope to see them expand even further in the future.

Now, this begs the question about tournaments. Many Independently hosted tournaments have been struggling to find the “big” numbers for 40k and fantasy. These types of events usually are mini gaming conventions in their own right, with different systems being played. Some had to be cancelled due to struggling numbers, however I think there will be an upswing in the near future as T.O’s begin to put 40k and Fantasy on the back burner and just do the marketing powerhouse on other gaming systems. Many of the much more “independent” gaming systems have an organised community that just has to be recruited. For example, The Hobbit community can pull in 10-16 players to a one day tournament without much contribution from the T.O. All they need is some table space. Same goes for a lot of the other gaming systems. 

I think, overall, there has definitely been a shift in the gaming scene away from GW. The closure of their bunkers, the move to one man stores isn’t working for them. Plus, being able to start up X-Wing for less than $100 (and have a tournament competitive squadron) is a HUUUUUUGE winner for most players. I can understand people’s reluctance to start other gaming systems, I was one of them myself. However, I seriously urge anyone to give one of the alternate ones a go. Infinity is about to release a two player “learn to play” kit, so maybe you could jump on that. Otherwise come on over to X-Wing. The rules are free to download from the Fantasy Flight Games Website.

Anyway, have fun!

1 comment:

  1. X-Wing is the first tabletop game I've ever actually got involved with. I could never muster the kind of funds and time 40k required (not to mention artistic skills). If I could get Infinity pre-painted I'd play that too :)


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