So I am not the only person at our FLGS trying to learn either a new army or 5th Edition rules.
My buddy FunDave has been an Eldar player for as long as I've known him. He loves his space cows (inside joke) and I was really surprised to hear him not only TALKING about another army, but building a list for one. Even stranger (to me) was that it was a Marine army. FunDave's been pretty vehement that he doesn't "DO" Marines, and to see him pushing dudes with backpacks around seems very odd to me.
However, he wanted to try something different, and so he broke out Space Wolves the other night. He borrowed the guys to make up his list from another regular, and tried his hand at Puppies. I'm absolutely astounded to say that he won, despite being blown almost entirely off the board by his opponent. He seemed to have a good time, but I heard a lot of "what does that do, again?" over the chatter in the room. I guess starting something new wasn't so hard to someone that's actively been playing a lot for several years now. I'm glad to see FunDave doing something new. It means a shift in the balance of the meta at our store, and maybe will make him deploy differently. (He loves the all-reserve approach.)
Another friend was looking to get back into Eldar after at very long break. He wrote and brought a list based on old assumptions and discovered the units he used previously just weren't as good anymore. I think (but could be wrong) the drastic differences in effectiveness and editions really threw him off. He is trying again- looking at what he has and seeing how to use it (perhaps proxies or changing parts to be something else) so that he can join us. I'd love to see him play with us- he's really fun and I think our group is sufficiently without extra cheese that he'd have a good time.
Doing something new or different can be pretty scary. I know I waffled on playing again for a lot of reasons, but I am really glad I'm back in the game. I'm making friends, learning something, painting again (I FINALLY found a scheme I like after about 5 or 6 test runs) and enjoying the company. I'm playing like a total idiot, but I'm having fun (for the most part).
The store has renewed and/or fresh blood; new eyes and new perspectives, and I like that a lot. Our playing will be enhanced and our friendships will be enriched. It's pretty nice to see.