Now I have many younger relatives. Two of them are the progeny of my elder Brother Erny (http://ernysplace.blogspot.co.uk/) and there is no need to subvert their interests to gaming as he has already begun their education, even though they are only 5 and 3 (I hope, feel free to correct me on the respective ages should I be wrong Erny).
My fear is for the eldest of my Nephews/Niece that does not posses such a willing parental influence. The poor boy in question is in his first year of his teens and has fallen in love with Peter Jackson's Tolkien films yet his Mother is exceedingly reluctant to allow him to follow in his Uncle's footsteps. This means that the poor boy has never felt the thrill of rolling dice to crush all his enemies underfoot. Can I allow this terrible situation to continue? Dare I risk the wrath of the Overlord? Well, I'm often asked to look after him due to a cruel twist of fate that has already struck in his young life having lost his Father. He looks to me as an Uncle but also as a male role model and as I need a) ways to connect with him (not that I struggle with this, we both love fantasy stuff, comics and Star Wars) and b) fun things to do when he stays over at Uncle Snickit's house beyond going to the cinema. Whilst I love our cinema trips it does feel like it's not quality time, kind of similar to dumping your kids in front of the telly. I also feel I have a certain duty to help him find a route for escapism as I found at a similar age when I found myself in a similar situation. Am I right or am I confusing my own desire to teach the lad with the duty of care I feel towards him? It's a "teach or not" doozy that would have caused even the greatest teachers of all time some concern.
I don't know, but if I were to go down this potentially dangerous path (my Sister may kill me if she gets a whiff of what I'm doing before it takes root in his imagination) I need to decide upon an introduction that will teach the mechanics of Warhammer (I'm going Fantasy to begin with) whatever version you should wish to play, after all, movement, shooting and hand-to-hand all work in much the same way whichever vintage you choose.
For a short while I had a bad habit of buying two boxes of each version of Warhammer/40k that was released and I happen to own two boxes of the most recent "Island of Blood" Warhammer boxed set. This gives the basis for a High Elf army twice over, so I could paint one set and keep another set back and I've added in a few extra plastic Seaguard from the usual online auction site. This means I've selected High Elves as an "in" for him. Is it right I've pre-seleted an army? Not sure, people's thoughts on this would be appreciated.
I'm going to find a simple paint scheme for the set I'm going to paint,
one that won't be hard to emulate. I'll then paint up 15 Seaguard
including a Champion and Standard Bearer. This makes 200pts in present
Next I'm going to finally get painted up two units of 20 Goblins with spears, they'll have Champions and Standard Bearers too, each weighing at 100pts per unit so an even points spread per side. I've chosen Goblins as they're a good enemy to begin against. I know I own shed loads of Skaven that would also make adequate adversaries but Goblins just feels right to me.
The battlefield will be a 4ft by 4ft board with the High Elf deployment zone in the north, the Goblins deployment zone in the south. A river will run east to west with a single central bridge. In the High Elf deployment zone there will be a large hill topped with a High Elf tower. The Seaguard's job will be to prevent the Goblins gaining access to the tower. The Goblin's deployment zone will have a few bits of cover for them to use but generally allow the Seaguard decent firing opportunities. The Goblin's chances of winning are small, that's intentional, I'm gambling that a win will spark a desire to play another game some time. When the next game is played I'll maybe add in some Reavers or Swordmasters for the Elves, Wolf Riders and/or Stikkas for the Gobbos, and maybe remove the river. Each game will add an extra element and become harder for the Elves to win.
Having the second set will mean I can also allow him to paint some minis (but leave at my house to begin with) to re-create the little army and grow it until he has a nice little army which I can, in time, pass to him as his own.
What does anyone think? Am I making it too simple or is it about right for starters? Should I even be thinking of doing it? The gamer in me says yes of course but part of me thinks he should want to do it before I thrust him into this world. The problem is I fear his Mother is actually suppressing his desire to do it, he asked me for some LOTR's miniatures to paint a year or so ago but my Sister ruled I wasn't allowed to. If I go down this route I am openly defying her and will inevitably incur her wrath, it's possible I'll chicken out and not do it at all, I guess the real question is not so much "To Impart or not to Impart?" and more "How brave am I?".