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Children and the Hobby 
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Black Guard

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 285
Location: Italy
Hi fellow Druchii!
I'm father of a 3 yrs old child, who once watched me play whfb with a friend of mine.
Now my son asks me to take part in the game, rolling dice, moving minis, etc...

I think he's too young to join the hobby; even if I'd be glad if he would share this passion when he's a boy.

I ask for your help and wisdom, and I hope you don't mind to share your own experiences with the hobby as father or son, or both, or simply express your opinion on the matter.

My biggest concern is violence.
I am an enthusiast wargamer since i was 16 (now I'm 40), and I think wargaming is a peaceful hobby, exactly as sports and chess are.
When you are grown up you can't miss to notice that whfb is full of virtual violence (the clash of two armies, casualties, blood, et cetera), and devoid of any actual violence. It's just a fun game to share with friends.

I'm not sure how a 3 yrs old child may react to the idea of war, and to the concept of destroying your enemies with weapons, instead of settling any controversy peacefully.

I know the subject is big and sensitive, but I'd like to hear your two cents.

... and Justice for all!!!

.... and enthusiast member of the league of extraordinary druchii gentlemen

Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:21 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8713
Location: Hag Graef
My testimony:
I was a role player in the 80's, before I married, but quitted in the mid 90's with a collection of minis that puzzeled my sons later.
In 2003 my second son started WH40K with a friend, so we started to play, my 3 sons and myself (seems to be mostly a male occupation). They were 14, 12 and 9 at the time. They took space marines and eldar, so I became the bad guy with dark eldar.
In 2005 I introduced them to Fantasy world with Blood Bowl. Then they started WHB in 2006. Two of them are still playing sporadically, 10 years after discovering WH40k.

There are several issues to adress.

1. Tiny bits and chemical paints to manipulate are not meant for too young kids.
Before 10, they probably will be happy to play with daddy's tiny toys like they would play with Playmobils.
It seems fine to play with them playmobil-like, telling tales with your dragons and knights.
Don't worry about playing war, all boys do that.
Be sure that he plays with daddy's toys only when daddy's there, cause your toys are fragile.
Definitively too young to paint/collect/play the real rules before 7, preferably 10.

2. Collecting an army costs a lot, even adults struggle.
Reasonably, it is not that expensive compared to some sports, but for most kids, they will never be able to buy all the units they wish.
That is a good lesson for life, but a tough one.
The very good point is that you know what to offer to your kids for Xmas, birthday, exams...
Also, all the money which goes on WH is not spent on cigarettes or worse.
Here, the question is when the kid will get enough of his own money to be able to expand his army at a reasonable pace?
As a side note, it takes some storage space which may not easily be available for those who live in city centres.
Most kids I know don't earn much before 7 to 13 (they are wealthier if parents are divorced).

3. Collecting an army requires patience and dedication.
Too many people rush and buy faster than they can paint. I know, I'm there too.
That is also a good lesson for life. Here, I'd say that people are never too young to learn patience.

4. WH is a complex wargame.
Too young kids are not keen to play too complex games.
Before 10, the classmates don't play that games. Introducing the game too young will not provide topics to chat with other kids, that would be counterproductive.
Note that WH40k is easier for kids before teens, WHFB is more subtile and for that reason, probably better apreciated by late teens & adults.
This is probably the better incentive to wait a little bit, until the kid explains that everybody but him plays WH in his class (that will not be true, but that will be a sign). When this happens, it will be high time to start.

5. In the future (or fantasy), there is only war. How gloomy.
Well, that's not diverse from what they see on TV everyday. The good thing is that both WHFB and WH40k are sufficiently diverse from real world for most kids to make a clear difference.
Better, they spend much less time at WH than at most videogames.
Finally, it is a game of interaction with real persons. Much better than video games.
Overall, I'm not very concerned by this aspect, since WHFB or WH40k are very distinct from RL.

Don't miss an opportunity to spend great times with your son.
Introduce him to WH hobby when he is 10.

Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}

Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:16 pm
Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:28 am
Posts: 1734
Location: California
From what I can tell, here is what I can say.

1. Biggest issue is the fact super and plastic glue, and hobby knives/X-acto knives/utility knives are a little dangerous for very young children so wait until you can trust them with a pocket knife, or anything sharper than a lego brick.

2. While most of the actual violence is with one's imagination, it is still a war game so violence happens (even if it's in the imagination). So if they are old enough to watch Harry Potter, or the Lord of the Rings they can handle most of the pieces in this game.

Occasionally you run across one with a bit of gore (one empire captain cleaning his sword with a severed head at his feet; current Plauge Daemons of Nurgle), or severed heads and skulls as trophies (several orc and gobblin banners, dark elf banners, witch elf champion, warriors of chaos champions and characters, Malus Dark Blade, ect.). Pluse what ever kit bashing we and other players have done.

3. Lastly nudity. Like most other fantasy art in the game books, it doesn't stay too far from the chainmail bikini standard, especially when it comes to dark elves. One infantry supreme sorceress is nude with well placed whirlwinds blocking the naughty bits; harpies are completely naked; and morathi might as well be, and then there are daemons of slannesh. If they can handle that, then you may get into the game.

4. This part applies to extended fluff, and I am sure many of you have read more then me, but most of them are for a reader in their high school years and older. Yeah, its a typical reading level for a book so probably between a 7th grade to 10th grade level, as most literature, but they enough blood and gore to count. WHile the occasional love scene that while largely passed over, there are the after moments, and at least, and in Elf slayer, well, lets just say there are a few funny moments that need not spoiled.

I say, if it's just the violence you are worried about, wait until they are old enough to understand it better, say maybe 10 or 12.

If it's the blades and glues, old enough to not do something incredibly foolish.

If its the other, well, maybe when you have the TALK.

Who needs sanity? I have a Hydra

Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:20 am
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