The game is what YOU make it.

27 Jan

With the announcement about the major changes to White dwarf recently there has been a lot of noise on the ‘net about why folk won’t play, or why they gave up playing when x version came out etc.

Now, one of the themes that has pushed some of my buttons has been “Why don’t they do xyz with 40k/fantasy/boxed game”.

These and my general observations, suggest to me that there is a lot of the noise out there seem to miss an entire point of gaming, whether it be historical, fantasy, post apocalypse or some sort of niche “hunting war bunnies with rocket launchers” setting.

Once you have brought the game rules then you can do what you want with them. You can house rule them to your heart’s content to play how you want. You can play the scale of games you want, whether it’s small skirmish level scenarios, or monstrous weekend killer grinding attrition nightmares, or even xxx points This list is for xyz tournament and I need to practice with it snore fest[1].

So, the question isn’t “Why doesn’t publisher X do xyz with product Y?” but “Why haven’t you done it with product Y if that’s how you want to play?”

Common comments I hear along those lines are:

“It’s too expensive”

Play smaller games. Play skirmish sized games. Play the dirty dozen, or Rourkes drift type games where small numbers of normal folk have to overcome outstanding odds.

Play something other than a “Tournament Standard” sized force and “Tournament standard” type game.

EBay or similar – I’ve got a few great deals on there.

Open your eyes to the wider world. In the case of the plastics, just take a look at plastic and resin kits of the same detail level, scope, adaptability and availability in the modelling world (Airfix etc). They’re just as expensive when it comes down to it.

Personally, I know gaming from any manufacturer can get expensive, but then I’m actively building 5 armies, plus multiple sets of scenery for 4 settings. Would it suddenly dropping to the same prices I paid when I started collecting and playing mean I brought more? No, because there’s only so much I can paint/store/use at any time and I’ve found that starting small and building up while playing various scenarios along the way gives you a better feel for the army capabilities.

“I haven’t got time to paint all the models”

Don’t. No-one says you have too [2] I haven’t fielded a 100% painted force in years, but there all getting there. At the end of the day, they’re essentially nothing more than fancy counters. I find painting relaxing, so that’s as much a hobby as gaming with the things is. As is immersing myself in the background fluff. I know if I didn’t buy any more models for 12 months I’d still be painting away with what I’ve got. In fact, there has been period when money has been incredibly tight, that I haven’t brought models for over12 months.

Gang/Warband games like Mordheim/Necromunda/Malifaux are cheaper as you only need a few models for a warband/gang/crew.

Yeah, if you want to play on an open board. Overall this scale and type of gaming can end up more expensive as you need a lot more terrain to make it a decent game, as Al found out the last time he persuaded Heather to play Malifaux[3]

The older games were better/more playable.

I’ve played 90% of GW’s back catalogue. Some are good, and have a lot of replay ability (Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, Adeptus Titanicus/Space Marine/Epic), but others… Nah, certainly not for me. Dark Future was boring after a while, Man O’War was bland, and the games like Space fleet where the box lid was used as a dice tray to determine if the attack hit or not, depending where the dice landed… Most definitely not a great idea.

It’s aimed at kids nowadays.

Really? I mean, REALLY? This is one of my favourites; it (and a few others) seems to demonstrate the person on the soap box [4] seems to be out of touch. Years ago (2nd ed 40k, 4th ed Fantasy) I’d have agreed. Nowadays? No. Just plain no. Every time I’ve been to Warhammer world, it’s been full of 20-30 something folk, with a mix of both genders. Yes there are some younger folk playing, but overall? Nope.

Personally, I think the main cause behind all of the above, is a shift in society to want everything immediately. This seems to be backed up by the fact that anyone searching on the net gets a somewhat biased view that the tournament method of playing is all that there is out there.

[1] Yeah I know, I’m biased against tournaments

[2] Unless you’re at a tournament

[3] He set up the board using the Streets of Malifaux set with a snazzy multi-level building. This meant that the rest of the board was fairly sparse. Heather hunkered down in the little cover there and shot the bejeezus out of his crew as they ran across the open spaces. Wasn’t that much fun to watch, let alone play.

[4] Yes, I know I’m on a soap box as well. Shut up.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Homebrew, Mordheim, Painting, Review, Soap Box, warhammer, Warhammer 40k


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One response to “The game is what YOU make it.

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