It's been a busy last few weeks, as such I have not had the chance, nor the want to focus on my wargaming. Interesting thing about wargaming however is that I am always thinking about it, forming new themed forces, or rereading the rule book.
The hobby is certainly fun for me, but it is so hard to get people into it, that it has become an uphill battle to try and teach folks that wargaming isn't just a different form of Chess, but a whole different entity all together. The one thing that certainly hurts folks wanting to try out any type of wargame, be it Warhammer, Warmachine, or Anima Tactics is the price. It is hard to make people justify spending a large quantity of money on something they may or may not like. The reverse is also the same for me, I can't afford multiple armies that I use only to teach people to play.
So how does one deal with a lack of people wanting to get into wargaming? It's a hard question to answer fully. Do you have a local hobby store to play at? Do you have a gaming club? Is your spouse interested? Alot of variables can be worked into the actual effort of finding a place and people to play at. For me I know Sundays, which just so happens to be the day that most of the stores in this area do their wargaming, is bad since I work. Thankfully I do my have wife that plays, and we certainly are on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of what we like to play, so battles tend to be interesting indeed.
Of course the above statements can be put to almost any non-mainstream hobby. I also fly RC Helicopters, not the airhog things you see on TV, but heli's worth $1.5K+ that are about 1/2 my height. The heli's are another hobby that suffer from having to find a good place to fly, good people willing to teach you to fly, and good folks you can fly with. Heli's vary in one very important aspect compared to the wargame hobbies, and that is that helis can be VERY dangerous if used incorrectly, whereas you might cut your fingers, or step on a spearmen in wargaming, you can easily put a centimeter deep gash into someones head, arms, or legs, or take out a window with a large heli.
Anyhow, ignoring that tangent I just went on... Back to the basic concept of my post. I would like to see companies support the use of proxy models for training purposes. Downloadable proxies for certain units, and the basic rules that go alone with those units. This would allow people to get an idea of how they play, which army they want, and more importantly, make it easier to get others into the genre as well. Of course this will be much easier with some companies then others. Privateer Press seems a bit more laid back and willing to give rules at more freely (you can download the basic rules for all the starting forces and be playing relatively quick straight off their website), then you have the polar extreme of Games-Workshop that protects their IP with almost rabid ferociousness (No rules to be posted on outside websites, no unit prices to be displayed, ect).
In the end, all companies are placing the fact of their products in the hands of the players, and the companies don't seem to be putting forth enough effort to really make it easy to recruit others to the hobby. Some are better then others there is no doubt about that, but even then it isn't enough until all companies state to understand people like to test drive before they can buy, and most people don't fancy the idea of buying $100 box sets just to test drive something, while many more would be far more accepting of 8 page print out of rules and proxy miniatures.