Saturday, December 9, 2023

Group peacefully participates in combat

September 14, 2004
Telecommunication, information studies and media senior Andrew Morrow, measures the distance his figures are able to advance during one move. Morrow participates in a War-gaming Club, which is held every Friday night. —

Studio 40K's members set up tables and laugh at inside jokes as they prepare for battles in the basement of Owen Graduate Hall.

They're making space for the self-made Styrofoam battlegrounds painted to mimic mountainous terrain, complete with barbed wire and hilltops.

On a table nearby, rows of intricately hand-painted game pieces are secured proudly in multiple plastic cases, waiting in comfort for the players to place them into battle.

Model gaming may be a serious labor of wits and strategy for hard-core gamers, but for members of Studio 40K, it's a fun way to spend a Friday night with friends.

Studio 40K is a group of six to 10 students whose enthusiasm for war games brings them together each week at 7 p.m. to compete against one another in just-for-fun casual battles.

"We paint miniature models and then we play strategy games, and that's about it," said Studio 40K's President Joseph Leykam, a social work graduate student.

"There will be about three to five different games being played throughout the room in an average evening," Leykam said, who co-founded Studio 40K five years ago.

Although Studio 40K members play a variety of strategy games, the games most played are Warmachine, Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 - games simulating the intricacies of combat.

Members tend to make up their own rules to these games because of their reluctance to follow the ever-changing list of rules and restrictions made by the companies who own the rights of the games.

"They're infuriating!" said Eric Manschot, a geological science graduate student, about such gaming companies.

"They're constantly playing with our emotions and wasting our time," Manschot added.

"Little army men - this many rules," said Manschot as he holds an encyclopedia-sized book of rules.

Studio 40K is not only casual in its game play, but also relaxed in its approach to organizing club meetings.

"We're not real punctual," said philosophy graduate student Scott Skowronek.

Skowronek said members agree to be there at 7 p.m., but people don't arrive until about 9 p.m.

"We just sort of run our meetings ad-lib," said Andrew Morrow, a telecommunication, information studies and media senior.

"Most of the members take care of their own stuff, like bringing their own game pieces," Morrow said. "Other officers and I bring the terrain and playing boards. The size of the game boards requires a lot of table space and it's hard to find a place with enough room that's always available," Morrow said.

Studio 40K is focused on playing and less on formal organization and membership.

"Some people hear about the club from members or just word of mouth and just come into the meetings," Leykam said.

"If you love strategy games and a laid back atmosphere, this is the place for you."


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