I want to cover the aspect of having close friends, battle brothers, clicks, whatever you want to call it. Whether it be playing at your local hobby shop on a weekly basis, or at a friends house on their own table, having close friends can be one of the best ways to raise your level of play.
In our group, what we joke around as "The Forgotten Chapter", we have 5 guys that usually play around 2-3 times a week. I am sometimes more towards 3-4 times a week because the table is at my place. We are all very competitive players and all have very solid lists. The good thing is that we all share our ideas with eachother. Whether is be rumors about upcoming armies, rules that are buried in the rule book (that to still this day we uncover new ones), different tactics. Anything. I have to admit that none of us would be on the level we are if we didn't have this so-called brotherhood we have. It allows you to raise the bar for everyone else around you, making everyone better.
I can't count the number of hours that we have spent chillin around the game board, talkin' tactics, painting tips, whatever comes to mind. Having a number of friends can help brainstorm some sick ideas for a new army someone just picked up. Your friends know you, know your play style, and what would strike you as interesting. 5 brains are better than 1......lol