Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The "Bandwagon" Syndrome

With the release of the new Necron codex and figures, you had to of known this article was coming, right?

After having bought a codex myself this past Saturday, I started looking through it. My first thought was "Ooooh, Shiny!". No seriously, it was. I've already admitted to having that particular Syndrome, so lets not be too surprised over that either. Luckily I got out of my local shop with only having bought the codex.

My second thought though was, "Oh dear Lord, I wonder how many Necron players we're going to see at Adepticon this next year"

Enter, the "Bandwagon" Syndrome.

This particular syndrome is not to be confused with the "Ooooh, Shiny!" Syndrome, though it may appear similar in it's symptoms. Both share a love of a new army book or codex, and many times will also include the purchasing of new models. However, while the "Ooooh, Shiny!" Syndrome does this for pure lack of willpower and attention span, of which I am guilty of, the "Bandwagon" Syndrome purchases these new books and models for one primary purpose.

Everybody else is buying it, so to remain in the mainstream of the meta, I must therefore purchase it.

Let me follow that up by saying I'm not saying this is something horrible to do. I'm merely stating an observation I've seen, just the same as my own hobby addiction that I'm a victim of!

I can't even say that this particular Syndrome hinges on the competitive gamer in order for it to flourish either. Why? Because with the prolific nature of the interwebz, so many theory- and math-hammered lists are out there, that someone who isn't truly all that competitive in playstyle or by nature will purchase exactly what they need to make "Internet List X", just because they think they should to stay up to date with the game. Sure, a competitive player will happily tear apart and dissect every page of a new codex, but they do it with the intention of seeing if it's indeed better than what they currently are winning with. If it's not, they don't buy it. A player with the "Bandwagon" Syndrome typically doesn't apply that much logic to it, they just go with what the masses say works the best and buys exactly that.

I can honestly say I've never been a victim of this particular Syndrome, and am Happier for it. Yes, I've been accused of being a victim of the "Bandwagon" Syndrome with my current Grey Knights. I argue against that for the simple fact that I wanted to bring a new army to Adepticon 2012, but it had to be a small army so that I could also concentrate on my competitive painting entries for the year. If I hadn't done that, my wife would have had the "Kill the Gamer Husband" Syndrome, and I wouldn't be writing this right now. That, and the Grey Knight plastics caught my attention and were, indeed, Shiny.

So is there a good side to the "Bandwagon" Syndrome? I think so, as ultimately it keeps the game alive. Without people who fall victim to both the "Ooooh, Shiny!" and "Bandwagon" Syndromes, our local game stores and companies who put out the games themselves would lose a good deal of revenue.

Now be honest… Have you ever fallen prey to the "Bandwagon" Syndrome yourself?

- Tim


  1. The interesting comments come from the guys who are claiming to have been Necron players for years and finally are getting their noodles. In all of my travels, I have met two guys I would consider Necron players. Fritz, though he is just a dabbler and it is well documented, and Brad Park who I met at Mechanicon and got taken apart by his necrons.

    I think the number of guys who can claim to be "necron veterans" is very small indeed. I admit though, I will build a Necron army. Why? Bandwagon jumping for sure, but mostly because it is different and I like painting the models. I tried DE but hated painting them. :)

  2. I'm jealous of people who have the time and money to hop from codex to codex every 6 months or so! Though I differ from your opinion regarding the new Grey Knights plastics (sorry, not a fan), the Dark Eldar are a beautiful line of miniatures, and the Necrons are shaping up to be another great looking addition to the game.

    Honestly, it's pretty hard to be loyal to one particular army these days.

  3. Jawa - YES! Exactly... "But I've always played this/wanted to play this" Sure you have. I salute the folks who have loved the Necrons from the beginning and believe that Christmas came early for them this year! I also salute you for admitting the bandwagon-jumping, and can appreciate your reasoning for it :) At least we can rest in the knowledge that you will do the models justice instead of most folks out there that will take a metallic spray to them, and then dip them!

    Jonathan - I'm not jealous of them in the least, mainly cause even if I did have the money, my wife would kill me! And hey, everyone has their own opinion on each model every company puts out there. I'm ecstatic because back in 3rd ed. when I first started Grey Knights, I got out of them because I didn't want an all-metal army. That, and I personally LOVE the crusader-style helmets :)

    It is very hard to be loyal to one army. That's why the next in the "Syndrome" articles will be the "Collectors" Syndrome. One that I, unfortunately, have never been able to contact :P

  4. It will be interesting to see what happens with all of the Grey Knight players in a few weeks / months. There are already plenty of people trying to sell their GK armies on eBay and other sites.

    I myself am just NOW toying with the idea of committing heresy and using my Dark Angel models in a codex Space Marine list.

  5. See.. I knew I should have added on another sympome of the "Bandwagon" Syndrome... The eBay contingent. Geez, people.

    Crap... that was a very nice, subtle way of reminding me for that Cantor conversion idea for your Dark Angels, my friend. I'll be contacting you on that.

  6. Its pretty obvious why bandwagonning happens. GW refreshes one list at a time and markets it the to the moon. The stores and internet fans stir the hype up and people in a consumerist society want the latest thing.

    If GW used a staggered release business model (Akin to PP with WM and Hordes) this probably wouldn't happen.

    That being said, as GW marketing is all about new gamers aged 8-16 pushing the latest shiny thing is probably the best business strategy for them.

    Me, I fell to this once. My friends convinced me to play warhammer fantasy and I picked the new army solely because it was new. I ended up hating it and giving the army away

  7. I can sympathize with people who say "But I always wanted to play Necrons..." in the face of this new release. Because I've long liked the *idea* of Necrons, but until the new releases I was just...bored by the miniatures. They lacked variety, and the HQ models were just so very meh. I never bought into Necrons just because I didn't see them as offering much for creative painting. You have your troops and your monoliths and that's it. Now with the new releases they look like you can actually have some fun painting them.

    So I'll jump on that bandwagon. Eventually. I'm always late to the party - I'm just getting started on my Dark Eldar army!