Now there have been many posts in regards to gamer etiquette in regards to tourneys & such, but one thing that I don't recall seeing is anything in regards to your first time going to play @ a new (to you) game shop. We had two new players (apparently Freshmen @ the local university) show up to play this last weekend @ the FLGS and things got off to a slow start due to a lack of prep on their part (and lets face it, not too much is really required).
I moved here a eleven years ago, and before coming to play, I first scouted out the 'local' (assuming 20+ miles away is local) game shop to see when people played, what sized armies, what game was most common, etc., and then with that info in hand, I showed up the next week to play. Pretty simple really, could be why I haven't seen any posts on the subject. Presumably these two guys did that to some extent as they showed up @ game time, though they were kinda ill prepared.
First of all, try to be outgoing. We're all geeks here, no need to be totally introverted. True, around unfamiliar people I tend to clam up (something Murl has scolded at me for a time or two when new guys show up), and one of the two was fairly outgoing. However there are only so many awkward silences to be endured before I go back to talking to my buddies.
Second, don't talk yourself up too high. Chest thumping & bragging about past exploits is all part of the game, but going overboard isn't necessary, it strikes me as kindova defensive attitude when trying to break into a new group. The two on Saturday didn't do that, but about a year or so back a Necron player showed up and did. No matter what anyone said he'd done better (I started playing 40k about the time he was entering kindergarten), his (not present) army was painted better, etc., etc. The next week when he showed up to play, somebody phased his badly painted army out on turn three and we never saw him again. We presume from self inflicted embarrassment. Had he shown up & not tried to one up everyone one in the room he might still be around (indeed he was welcome to return, he just never did).
In another aspect of that, one of the new guys this weekend was taking pride in showing off his 'old' minis (like all gamers showing off their toys), but I think he was equating the mini's age with experience. Not so as the Tin Boy that is used for my profile avatar was acquired via ebay years after it was rendered obsolete in the rules. Indeed, Cyborg Trucker sold a Tin Boy via ebay just last week.
Third, whether or not you scouted out local gaming group, come prepared to play. Bring an army list that's both legible & ready to go. If you don't know what army size is played, then bring several. Make a 1k, 1250, 1500, 1750 & 2k lists, and odds are you're pretty safe to walk into any gameshop in the country & find a quick & ready pick up game.
This is what slowed things down last Saturday. They didn't have lists made, and the process of making them was arduous. Nor should new players ask for unreasonable alterations to their list when building them. For example, the guy I played:
'I don't have that many points of Necrons, unless you don't mind me using my Grey Knight Terminators.'
'Proxied as what?'
'No, not proxied, as an unholy alliance.'
'In the same list? Grey Knights side by side with C'tan? Umm....no. I can take things out of my list to match yours.'
Really? Does anybody allow that kind of thing? I can see Grey Knights fighting side-by-side with Necrons in a team game, but in the same army list?
Whereas the other guy played my buddy Screech, who had a 2k list.
'ok cool, I'll make a list (...30 minutes later...) That makes 735 points. How much did you say you had again?'
'Oh, umm, well let's see, I can use these other guys I guess.' (and turns to the guy I was about to play and asks) 'Can I use your landraider crusader? Looks like I'll need both of them.'
Wow, he already had one in the 735pt. list? Mind you he had almost a fully painted Ultramarine battle company with him.
Then of course comes the inevitable:
'Does anyone have any paper? Does anyone have a pen?'
...and eventually they have totally illegible lists written on scraps of paper. Rarely do we ever ask to see each other's lists, but it would be nice to be able to understand what the other player brought if we did ask. Columns of numbers with little to no info on it, tell me how does one know who has what wargear? Anyways, the Necron player made up a list and turns to me saying:
'I have 1308.'
If you're going to make a list, try to at least hit an even number (we have a few other players with low mini counts who fail/refuse to acknowledge this concept). Anyways, I just cut mine down to 1300pts, and all was pretty much fine from there.
So, after failing to not make this sound like a rant, all I can really ask of anyone reading this is to just take a little time & effort and you'll create a much better impression on your first time playing at a new game shop, rather than if you just half-ass it.
Also, so to save this from being a complete wall of text, here's my newly painted Rhino for The Purge.