Generosity among Wargamers
by midwestwargaming · Published · Updated
I think the Wargaming community is way better than most other hobby communities. Sure, we have our problems too, but in the last month I’ve had so many positive encounters with different wargamers and companies that I think you’ll agree we are pretty awesome.
If you follow our Facebook then you’ve probably seen me promoting Muse on Minis Wargaming convention. I ran the X-Wing events throughout the weekend and this was my first time volunteering for a convention. In order to guarantee a positive experience for the attendees I reached out to multiple companies and asked if they would be willing to send any prize support. I’ve never asked someone for handouts before so I honestly didn’t expect any replies but to my surprise, fellow wargamers came to my assistance.
- The folks at Wyrmwood Gaming sent a dice tray, dice vault and hero vault which retails over $300 for the complete set.
- Brandom Timper from QC Custom Wood Works sent two sets of gorgeous X-Wing Templates.
- Fantasy Flight Games sent me a tournament kit.
And these are just the companies that I reached out to. In total there was well over $5,000 of wargaming product DONATED FOR FREE to help ensure our little first year convention was a success. I had a great time and walked away feeling lucky that I was apart of a community that was kind.
After MoM Con I went back to my normal schedule of wargaming three to four days a week. My newest wargaming addiction is Guild Ball and the folks running the company have some of the best customer service in the business. Flynn, a contributor for MidwestWargaming, wrote an article about Steamforged customer service a while ago and I am happy to echo his positive opinion because I got to witness it with my own eyes. My brother purchased a model that was missing an arm. He contacted them about his product and within a week he a new arm. Neat right? Did I mention their headquarters is overseas and the postage they paid for shipping was 6 British pountds ($8.70). The entire model only cost $15 and they spent close to $9 just to fix a mistake. This is another example of how awesome our community is.
All of these acts of good will have been great so far but they pale in comparison to what occurred next. I was looking for a Guild Ball mat and noticed some hype around a company called Inked Gaming. They were having a sale on custom mats so lots of Guild Ball players were placing orders. Unlike other custom mat companies, Inked Gaming didn’t supply the image, customers needed to provide that themselves. This sucked because I really wanted to buy a Guild Ball mat because none of my local stores were able to get their hands on the official mats at least for another month. And now that I found a company that can get me a mat, I didn’t have an image of a pitch to send them. The only image I could find online was an image of the official Steamforged mat, but that didn’t seem moral or legal to copy and paste a company’s intellectual property to create a counterfeit mat. Well, someone contacted SteamForged Games and they stated they didn’t mind people altering their mat design so long as the official Guild Ball logo was not included (these guys are awesome). This was good news however I still lacked the skill required skill it would take to remove the logo from the official mat. Also, time was running out because the Inked Gaming sale was ending in four hours.
Stuck in the mud without a paddle, I sent an SOS out on the Facebook group to see if anyone knew where I could find a custom pitch. Almost immediately, Sabrina Ferguson, the master brush behind ItsaCoyoteWorkshop heard my plea and came to my rescue. But rather than just share with me a custom pitch design, Sabrina offered to create a custom pitch design just for me! I was confused, dumbfounded and delighted all at once. Why was a stranger offering to do all this for me? Not wanting to think too long and risk her changing her mind, I told her I would like a pitch with just the name of my blog, Midwest Wargaming. She asked if I wanted it formatted in any particular fashion and I told her don’t worry about it, just the text. She delivered. Oh, and because why the hell not, she also made a custom pitch for my brother who wanted a double cheeseburger.
After I submitted my mat design and paid for my custom pitch I contacted Sabrina. I was still in a little disbelief that she spent over an hour designing two guildball mats, for free, for two complete strangers. I know they weren’t super detailed designs but it was still free labor and this left a positive impression on me. I sent her a message and asked if she’d be interested in designing a new logo for my blog. I made sure to point out that I was happy to pay this time. Sabrina agreed to the commission but declined my offer to pay. She stated she just likes helping out the hobby community…
Within a week she had sent me an image of cow and some dice that really captured the Midwest Wargaming theme I was going for. I thanked her emphatically but she informed me this was just the preliminary sketch and she was going to keep working on something better..
At this point I was kind of freaking out. She could have just slapped together the most basic of designs and I would have been satisfied; I did not expect multiple days of work. But instead of doing the bare minimum, Sabrina went all out and provided me with some awesome options:
This was too cool! I told Sabrina that I would like the banner on the lower right because I felt it would fit on Facebook the best (FB blocks the lower left corner of banners with a little overlay box for icons). Now that I chose my design, I expected she would send me a file with the banner image and we would part ways. Instead, she decided she would play around with it some more by adding color and adjusting the banner to fit Facebook perfectly.
In another day or so she sent me the updates banners
and she also included a little logo to throw in the overlay icon box that Facebook includes:
Words could not express how happy I was. I had wanted a customer banner and logo for months but had to settle for something basic because it was just too expensive. Even when I thought I found a cheaper option with Fiverr.com, I was disappointed to learn that the site was just a bait & switch scam. But now, for no money, I have a logo and a banner!
Unlike Fiverr.com, there were no strings attached at the end of our transaction (if you can call it that). Sabrina was genuinely happy that she was able to help me. Unbelievable. She saw one random Facebook SOS and decided to create a Guildball mat for myself, my brother and then spent a week’s worth of time to create a logo and icon for me.
When she’s not being an internet superhero and killing strangers with kindness Sabrina Ferguson is the woman behind the paintbrush at ItsaCoyoteWorkshop .
Sabrina’s been painting commissions since 2012 and clearly it shows. The details in these models demonstrate skill, patience and further demonstrates that she puts an insane amount of work into any project she touches. And, unlike most commission painters, Sabrina actually has some hardware to her name:
The Atlanta Model Figure Show is not some rinky-dink wargaming convention that hands out medals. This a decade old convention where painters from all spectrums of our hobby travel to receive critiques and advice from grandmaser painters. If you are skeptical of the talent, take a look at just one of their guest speakers, Matt Springer’s work.
Hopefully these examples of kindness have convinced you that our wargaming community is amazing. The best thing we can do to keep our community like this it to not take anything for granted and remember to pay it forward. I’m not a graphic artist or an amazing painter but I can write articles and promote those who have helped others so I want to end this feel-good-rant with a plug for ItsaCoyoteWorkshop. If you are looking for some commission work from a solid painter and all-around-awesome person then I encourage you to stop by ItsaCoyoteWorkshop‘s Facebook page and send her a message. If she is going to put in a week of work for someone who hasn’t paid her a dime, imagine how much work she’ll put into a commission for you? I guarantee your mind will be blown.
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