And of course he's playing unpainted Space Marines.
Don't even talk to me, pleb. Either you have 300 Ork Boyz, painted, no vehicles, or you aren't playing the game. Get off my carpet.
Former Games Workshop retail employee here (2002). This exact thing happened in store every Tuesday. Triple during summer break.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, really. I've got geek stories you wouldn't even believe. Lonely dudes looking for a captive audience, screaming children, in store karate fights, legendary body odor, close talkers with awful breath, fixed painting competitions, wiccans, mall goths, pathological liars, narcissists, nerds on power trips, toxic management, constant firings, grand theft, the pedophile living in an RV in the mall parking lot because his wealthy family disowned him, a 30 year old man dating a 16 year old girl, the fucking ridiculous training sessions, and the worst of the bunch...
"I've got geek stories you wouldn't even believe."
I wanna believe! Preach the good word, share your stories with the congregation.
Two Jar Slave
All these body odors will fade in time, like tears in rain...
Off topic for the video, but important to the geek life. Let’s start with the “lonely guys”.
GW retail isn’t very lucrative. This means that as an employee, you often worked the counter alone for several hours before your part-timer’s shift started. You couldn’t take a bathroom break until 4pm most days. This lull in shop activity gave these “lonely guys” a place to hang out and 6 hours of your time.
I don’t believe that it is controversial to state that a large portion of the table top gaming community falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. I can also assert, without evidence that a sizeable chunk of these folks tend to skew a little older as well. Sadly, older geeks often have difficulties making meaningful connections with the “neurotypicals” in their age group. As such, the Games Workshop offered a safe haven for these people to be themselves, away from harsh judgments.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy. That hyper-focus.
I’ve spent many, MANY hours listening to near academic dissections of the competitive aspects of the game and fluff of the Warhammer universe. It was maddening at times. When the 40k conversation grew tiresome (rarely) conversation often floated into some poorly understood scientific subject with no real world application. Fun for a guy in sales to listen to, day in day out.
Overall, pretty tame stuff so far. With a little patience, you make it through the day without harming yourself. Keep in mind, you’re attempting to run a business. You aren’t trying to sell customers things that will guarantee a win, you’re literally selling them cool ass pieces of plastic and pewter.
You can forget about doing any of that with the lonely guy in the store.
“Don’t listen to Ghoul. He’s a fantasy player and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Land Raiders are worthless. Just easy targets for your opponent. In fact, all transports and tanks are pretty shitty. You want to load up on core troops to maximize your firepower”
“You like Chaos space marines? I think they looks stupid. They are pretty terrible rules wise too. Don’t buy that Battle Box and rulebook. I can sell you the models from my starter box instead for 15 bucks and you can download the rules for free online.”
Annoying, and you can’t ask these guys to leave either because they may eventually buy something on their way out. All sales matter when your store makes less than a grand a day on average.
However, these weren’t EVEN the really terrible nerds. If I have time, I’ll explain the guy I will refer to as, “JERRY”.
Jerry. Jerry was the worst.
While most of the lonely guys coming to GW had difficulties finding and keeping work, Jerry was a full time manager of a Burger King. This meant that he was able to eat for free most days, and had more money to spend on his favorite hobby. Membership has its benefits I suppose.
However, if the body is a temple, fast food is the shittiest of bricks with which to build it.
Jerry was a troll of a man. 5’7” and built like a marshmallow. Chubby. No muscle. His pale white skin was often slicked in a thin layer of sweat from having to propel himself through the mall parking lot in the summer heat. His greasy, thin black hair was short, wavy and unkempt. His beady eyes magnified behind non-descript silver rimmed glasses. Now wrap that stunning figure in a Burger King uniform.
You can bet that working by a fryer all day didn’t do a lot for his body odor. Worse still, his breath. They say that smell is closely linked with memory. 15 years later, and my eyes water just thinking about it. His breath was so bad, it could induce a headache. Breathing through your mouth didn’t help at all, AS YOU WOULD JUST END UP TASTING HIS BREATH INSTEAD.
Then again maybe it wasn’t his breath, so much as his awful voice and behavior. Jerry spoke with the nasally, high pitched tone of an alpha sperglord. His know it all attitude combined with his tendency to over enunciate every made up term found in the Warhammer universe, you often found yourself battling an intense stress headache while dealing with him.
He wanted nothing more than to stand around and talk AT YOU for a few hours. If no one else was in the store, and you were sitting down painting display models he’d help himself to the seat across from you at the tiny painting table. This put that garbage dump of a mouth approximately 3.5 feet away from your nostrils. Ugh.
Games Workshop has some pretty strict hygiene and grooming standards for their employees. While attempting to legitimize your hobby, you wouldn’t want to scare off the “normal” folk entering the store to check things out. As such, we kept a tin of Altoids around to prevent bad breath on the sales floor.
As Jerry explained the latest updates to his Dwarf army’s firing line to me, I realized I needed to do SOMETHING about his breath as it was becoming difficult to focus. I needed to be covert. I wouldn’t want to offend customer after all. Every dollar counts here. I did a quick breath check, then reached into the Altoid tin and popped one into my mouth. I offered Jerry two.
“You want some?”
“Oh, no thank you. I shouldn’t.”
“Not a big deal Jerry. Just take them.”
“Nope. I don’t need the extra calories.”
Now that we've Jerry's origin has been covered, we can delve into sad story of Hermione Granger vs Jerry, King of Burgers either later today or early tomorrow morning. I don't want to overdo it. POETV posters can be fickle.
Born in the RSR
I need this shit on fav.
Someone pour Ghoul another mug of ale and get him a chair by the hearth.
Oh, now I'm curious.
Is Jerry the 30 year old with the 16 year old "girlfriend"?
Will he ever take a mint?
Does he suffer a heart attack crossing the parking lot wasteland?
Exactly what where the updates to his dwarf firing line?
Does Jerry need to be a tag?
Q. Is Jerry the 30 year old with the 16 year old "girlfriend"?
A. That was a fellow employee I will call, "Sir Justin". Sir Justin was a Ren Fest Knight until a shattered lance tore through his shoulder, ending his career. Surprisingly cool and often charitable for a guy of questionable moral character. Well known for his extreme caffeine and pain killer addictions.
Q. Will he ever take a mint?
A. ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Q. Does he suffer a heart attack crossing the parking lot wasteland?
A. He stopped showing up to the store about half way through my first year with GW. So, maybe?
Q. Exactly what where the updates to his dwarf firing line?
A. He decided to forego the few fluffier choices that made his 2,500pt list "fair", and add more war machines. I'll go into this in greater detail in "Hermione Granger vs Jerry, King of Burgers".
Q. Does Jerry need to be a tag?
A. I think so.
Hermione Granger vs Jerry, King of Burgers
While most of our lonely guys kept to a Rain Man tight schedule, Jerry’s visitations were in flux. The irregularity of his visits compounded with his awful nature meant that Jerry was able to turn one of your better days on its head out of nowhere. However, there was ONE day that you could be absolutely sure he’d be in the store.
We had Warhammer Fantasy open play every Thursday, and you could guarantee that he would be there. Thankfully, there would be additional folks in the shop for gaming and you could spread his awfulness around a little bit. This helped soften the blow.
While 40k nights brought in around 40 people, Warhammer Fantasy was far less popular. We’d have anywhere between 8-12 players in the shop on Thursdays. While the 40K crowd tended to skew a little older, Fantasy night brought in a lot of kids. Jerry, an adult with a fully developed brain (allegedly), just loved to show up and steamroll these kids with his finely tuned Dwarf army list. If by chance things weren’t going his way, he’d bust out a rule book, ruler or laser pointer and attempt to bully his way out of a misplay.
“Hermonie Granger” was one of those fantasy night kids. She matched the description of the titular character near perfectly. A nerdy little girl with large front teeth. Maybe 8-10 years old. Clever beyond her years. Bushy red hair. Adorable and well behaved. Her father was tall, skinny and bald. He was one of the more caring parents. While most parents would drop their kids off and leave for a few hours, he often accompanied her in the store and hung around while she played a game or two.
When you have a little kid like this showing an interest in the hobby, the elders of the community often band together to offer this new blood the best possible gaming experience. Unfortunately, Hermonie drew the short stick and was going to be playing against Jerry this week. As I said earlier, the Thursday night group was small. We usually avoided pairing players like this, but Jerry and Hermonie were the only two unpaired and there was a table available.
The game went about as well as you’d expect. Hermonie had a neatly painted, yet poorly planned Empire army. She had no hand gunners. She had no war machines. Hermonie fielded state troops, knights, and a few wizards loaded with magic items in order to hit the point cap. These were things she enjoyed painting. Jerry’s list was poorly painted and tuned for high level competitive play.
Think what you will, but Jerry was a pro. He set up a firing line across the far end of his deployment zone. Dwarves weren’t great at moving, and neither was Jerry. His plan was to remain stationary and open fire when Hermonie’s troops got into range. Hermonie was forced to move A LOT of models, and funnel them all through two tight choke points across middle of the battlefield in order to get them within charge range of the Dwarven line.
Her strategy bore no fruit. The beating began on turn 1 when Jerry landed not one, but two cannon shots and a catapult stone right in the center of her battle line. The damage was catastrophic. A few panic checks later, and a full 25% of her army had fled in terror from the barrage.
Of course, Jerry offered continuous commentary throughout the game. His words came off as cutting, though I’m not certain that was his intention. It is difficult to gauge a sperglord’s tone. I tried my best to keep him in check.
Mercifully, the game was over by the end of turn 3. Hermonie’s army never crossed the center of the table. Jerry lost a single model over the course of the game. Hermonie was a shaken by the crushing defeat, but held it together. She packed her things, held her head high and let Dad know that she was ready to go home. I don’t believe she ever came back.
Afterwards, I confronted Jerry and asked him if he could’ve taken it a little easier on her.
“I could have, but you guys would’ve made fun of me if I lost.”
The store staff were making fun of him in secret anyway, but now we could be a little more overt. If he’d have given a little ground to help the girl learn, he could’ve redeemed himself. Instead, its been about 15 years since this happened and I’m still telling this asshole’s story.
Supposedly this is the same thing Chris-Chan did during Pokemon league nights, except he would lose to schoolchildren and rage at them, whereupon they'd turn up the mockery on him, and he'd eventually start huffing and crying.
This is why, if you really must play these types of games, use a fucking mat. I briefly played some Mage Knight with a group of people and right off the bat we made the rule that the whole thing was going to played with standardized mats and, viola, no arguments no bullshit no assholes trying to create logarithmic calculations out of their ass to justify weird shit...
someone who knows what they are talking about can correct me, but I think that in Warhammer 40k that isn't possible.It's because it involves measuring in 3 dimensions to account for blast radii/large units/units on raised platforms etc.
Yeah, with Warhammer it takes a bit of tweaking. Basically you just take all the measurements and turn them into something standard (round up/down etc.), but it can be done. It limits some aspects of the game, admittedly.
I worked on two books for White Wolf. The game philosophies of the different developers are the product of decades of fanbase neurosis behavior, monetized by the incentive to move expansions and supplements. Games Workshop wants to sell models, so their rules are designed to reward exploitation of expensive troop lists. WOTC relies on increasingly expensive supplements to maintain move product. White Wolf at the time was making a large chunk of profit off the fan club global games, so they mandated strict adherence to an internal bible which focused on deliberate OOC gameplay preferences of key demographics. It was maddening.
I love building and painting Warhammer figures but I have zero interest in the game.
I played 40k for a short while before realizing the two keys to winning were having more money for prime miniatures and being a rules lawyer asshole.
I liked Warhammer's large scale inquisitor game because it afforded better paining opportunities, but I had no desire to play any of their games after a few months.
The secret to winning 40k is building whatever force drops the most pieplate templates in whatever edition you are playing. The "leafblower" build.
I always wondered what table top RPGers would be like if you got them wasted before/mid-game.
I guess now I sorta know.
I started doing LSD about the same time I stopped playing RPGs.
I recall the night we attempted to combine these two life stages... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I think it was...
The only thing separating some spazz nerds from being the archetypal bully is gross incompetence. Imagine if this guy happened to be born a Roman Emperor.
alex jones's by-blow
I actually hear a pretty good Chris Farley in the opening seconds.
saving my "1 star for warhammer" schtick until ghoul gets done telling funny stories
Just drop that bomb.
Awww, does that mean we won't hear about this "Jerry"?
I promise, the Jerry story will be told. I just need time to type it up. The comment boxes here make it difficult to tell a coherent story. I'm an awful speller, and my grammar is even worse so I need to edit quite a bit.
|El Zapatista |
My son acts exactly like this when he plays with my little spacemen. Of course, he's only seven years old.
I, too, want to hear about Jerry.
|Miss Henson's 6th grade class |
JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!
I read enough about Warhammer series to know I don't want to get anywhere near that hobby. This is a pretty good addition to that choice.
Yeah, Warhammer has a really fun dystopian backstory for its various factions, and the rules themselves seem to create a really fun game. It got me interested.
Then I thought through how the game might play out in the real world, and who my opponents were likely to be, and then I shuddered as the reality dawned on me. I have never played a game of Warhammer, but every story I've heard supports my initial realization.
Thanks for pointing this out as it was the game's deep story that had me interested but the time, expense that playgroups that sponsored it around here just completely turned me away.
Two Jar Slave
I think the Total War series has switched from swords and sandals to the Warhammer setting, if you guys still carry a torch for space orcs but don't want to be assaulted by Jerry's breath.
I love the fluff for 40k (its wonderfully goofy in a straighfaced way) but I've refused to play any edition past 4th. GWs primary method of addressing the balance issues seems to be to add more rules, rather than fine-tune the existing ones. I know this is just part of their business model to sell more miniatures and paint, but it still drove me away.
That and marriage, marriage and miniatures wargaming are not terribly compatible.
i come for the videos i stay for the stories.
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