The mighty Section 8 Club Logo
As much as I loved (and still love) the models of games workshop, I wanted to try something new, something I have had a fondness of since I was young; historical models. History is my main passion, an obsessive love I have always carried since I was a child. In august of 2016 I bought a box of Perry Miniatures’ American Civil War cavalry. Now while they were not my finest work, I still enjoyed this great little experiment. When I was at the store where I bought these models, I noticed a flyer for an event- Border Reiver. I was intrigued by this event so a few weeks later in September I went to it along with my Father and a friend. There I met Daveco, whom I'd met before at our local GW. He told me of this great place, a club named “Section 8” that he helped run. Meanwhile at my college course, one of my lecturers told me about a great game called Bolt Action. A game set in WWII, which interested me a lot, so taking the plunge, I got the Russian 500pts army deal that Warlord offered on their site and got to work building and painting a brand new army.
Ordering my SS to stage an ambush behind the farmhouse
It was my experiences at section 8 I credit with making me a more socially aware person and helped me improve my skills at painting. I shall now list the advantages of this club has well as give some of my own personal insight The advantages The hobby side-This is probably one of the more obvious advantages of going to a club like Section 8. When I first went to the club I was decent at painting sure, but compared to many at the club I wasn’t very good. So how did I improve? Well that was thanks to Stonedrose who is also a very skilled painter. I have started to use Vallejo paints as well as Citadel’s range to diversify my colours. I also became better at painting skin, adding shadow effects to lines within the face. It helped me steady my hand, which is great for any painter to learn (while my hand does still shake, I know better ways to control it). While I could go on all day about the techniques I've learnt I shall list just one more, and that is basing. I never really used to bother with putting sand, paint and grass (among other things) on my bases but now, I do, putting a lot of work into making them look good (even if they can be overly tedious at times).
The social aspect
So what makes a good club? Well honestly I would say that the answer would be the community built around said club. Autistic people like myself are often stereotyped as being socially unaware and being bad around their peers. While this stereotype does not always apply to everyone who is autistic, it almost certainly applied to pre-club me. I was often scared off by adult conversations due to my own strongly held values. And yet thanks to the club my tolerance levels for things I once saw as “annoying” or “uncivilized” have increased drastically. While of course the therapy I have received helped with this but what really helped was the club. I love the people at the club for while they can sometimes act the fool they do it in a comedic context and well getting used to such humour is an important part of growing up. Heck, I feel that it has helped me get ready to eventually enter the world of work once my college studies are over. Wargames including myself can be eccentric at times but they are like a second family for me, and they are all good people.
One of the problem the North East has is money. In our current society, money, an artificial price that has no basis in nature, faith or evolution, dictates how we live our lives. Yeah it is pretty sad but why does it matter to the club? Well that is because with membership a whole afternoon and most of an evening of fun could be yours for just £2.50. What more could you want? After all the cinema is £10 for 2-3 hours...
What is the advantage of playing at a club compared to say doing something at home or going to a local store? Well at home you may not have all of the things you need to make a convincing battle (after all there’s not a lot of buildings that are shaped like coke cans!) while at a store, well you might end up spending money that you previously had no intention of buying, for that is a major peril hobbyists must deal with. Meanwhile at Section 8 we have a ton of terrain you can use; whole boxes in fact! Everything from 40k ruins to Northern European homesteads as well as the general stuff like hills and trenches. All fully based and painted with matching gaming mats.
We play a lot of things at the club including games such as Horus Heresy, 40k, Bolt Action, Blitzkrieg Commander, Warmachine and so much more. The game I currently play at the club is Bolt Action, for which I have a large and ever expanding collection of soldiers from the Soviet Red Army and the German Waffen SS, with a whole number of ideas for secondary armies to eventually get my hands on. One great advantage of playing here is the lack of “powergamers”. While there is one or two people who swing that way, most here build armies that are more about exploring historical/loreful events or just to have fun. And if these games do not tickle your fancy? Well we have plenty of board games you can try your hand at to, games that I think my peers are likely to share with you in other articles on this great blog.
This is a contributory article from a Section 8 member, pseudonym TBA