Expanding Communities: China

Is there anything more rewarding than seeing the results of your hard work when building a local community from scratch? In this Insider, WARMACHINE player Jeff Torrance chronicles his journey of building a gaming club in a foreign land.

After many years of playing in Australia, I moved to China in the pursuit of that most mercenary of all things: more coin. When I landed here, there was not much of a scene in wargames. Since then, I have found a few like-minded individuals, and we travel for some larger tournaments to Beijing and Shanghai.

My school has an after-school program that encourages various interests, like sports, robotics, Lego, cooking, and more. After a few students showed interest in the models I was painting in my downtime, I decided to offer it as an after-school activity. Our club this year was eight strong; we meet once a week after school and during the week for lunch play.

For a couple of weeks, we started with battle boxes and learned the rules. It made sense to follow the journeyman league rules in building the army, but the limited time meant we only built up to 30 points. For the end of the after-school program finale and last hurrah, I ran a tournament that Sunday.

After two hard-fought battles, the Legion of Everblight came out victorious over the Protectorate of Menoth forces. Khador scraped out a third-place finish over Skorne (after a draw on victory points and army points was decided by an important rock-paper-scissors challenge).

The kids had a great time, and we gave out a few small prizes in the form of custom school dice, a medal, and a special feat token coin. Overall, a great time was had by all, and we learned a few things about sportsmanship and painting—and, of course, how to put too much glue on a model and then glue your hands together.

 Building a community around WARMACHINE and HORDES can require an incredible amount of time and effort, but thanks to dedicated players like Jeff, we’re able to introduce a whole new group of young players to the game we love.

 Who knows: maybe one day we’ll see one of these new players at the Iron Gauntlet Finals table!