Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 7: “Maneuvering” [1-2].

To all the newbie wargamers out there: at some point you’re going to have to commit are walk away.

Wargamers are usually a friendly lot. The best of us will gladly give up pushing their own miniatures so newbie can have a chance to play for the first time.

A few of us will allow a newbie to return to play time and again without his or her own army or warband.

Yet if you’ve been playing regularly with the same group of wargamers for about three to six months, and you haven’t begun collecting and painting your own figures, don’t expect the friendliness to continue.

Don’t expect your voice to be heard at the tabletop.

Don’t expect the veteran to let you use their miniatures.

And don’t dare give anybody advice on how to paint miniatures or collect an army. 

Nobody likes a mooch. But wargamers generally like newbies who are making a genuine effort.

Assembling that first warband or army can be downright intimidating. Don’t worry so much about painting it well, just get it done as fast as you can.

Painting that first army is a rite of passage for every wargamer.

Make the commitment.


Next on The Art of Wargaming: Wisdom Beyond the Rulebook.