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The 1809 Napoleonic expansion has been released!
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Author Topic: Current Climate of Wargaming?  (Read 23883 times)
Steve J
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« Reply #105 on: 02 March 2019, 05:59:00 PM »

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While modern houses seem  to be very small, I can see the use of smaller scales getting round this issue.

I think this is one reason for the recent rise in skirmish games on a 2' x 2' table or slightly larger. Alongside this is the fact that you need relatively few figures for theses sort of games, which is easy on the pocket and pretty quick in terms of painting.
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Orcs
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« Reply #106 on: 02 March 2019, 06:05:08 PM »

I think this is one reason for the recent rise in skirmish games on a 2' x 2' table or slightly larger. Alongside this is the fact that you need relatively few figures for theses sort of games, which is easy on the pocket and pretty quick in terms of painting.


Skirmish games like the one I played last night are great and have their place, but I like the look of a army of massed ranks that looks like an army.  Hence my preference for 10mm.




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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #107 on: 02 March 2019, 09:40:18 PM »


Skirmish games like the one I played last night are great and have their place, but I like the look of a army of massed ranks that looks like an army.  Hence my preference for 10mm.

Much like Dudley "Tarzan" Moore's right leg - I've nothing against skirmish games.

The best of them provide great entertainment, without the marathon runner's fatigue associated with some of the bigger battle games.
My original reference to Sturgeon's rule was intended to reflect that a bandwagon is currently running, and a lot of purveyors of small beer have jumped on board. (Good luck if you're google translating that).

In a completely different context, the Rock and Roll composer Chuck Berry once explained the attraction of his live shows.
"All my songs are around 2 and a half minutes long, if I play one you dislike, you can go to the bar (or the John), and when you get back I'll be playing a classic that you like."

Good skirmish games are like that, the occasional bout can be a dud if one player starts out with a few bad rolls.
But it's over in 30 minutes, so you can easily reset the table and play another.

A 6 hour big battle may look better, but a dud scenario will burn off a whole day.
The good ones are very good and the bad ones are awful.



I've enjoyed reading the recent responses, quite an antidote to my own gloomy outlook.
That's the spirit fellows, where there's lead there's hope!!
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FierceKitty
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« Reply #108 on: 03 March 2019, 01:26:37 AM »

No objections to skirmish games per se, and they're clearly the first choice for many genres - WWI dogfights, wild west gunfights, zombie hunting or dungeon crawling, including most so-called sci-fi, and gangster stuff would be absurd with large forces; in reality there would be no grand tactical intelligence trying to coordinate the action, and it would be silly to try to impose it.

Which said, as one who fell in love with ancients because of a ridiculous picture on the first page of the first Asterix book, showing a massed line of grotesquely anachronistic Romans (I was a pre-teen colonial, so judge me with mercy), I am very much committed to the big battle spectacle. For me, wargaming is about being Wellington, not Sharp; if I want the skirmisher experience, I'll play paintball. I am, therefore, a little worried that there could be a generation growing up who really think historical games involve a cuirassier, two hussars, a grenadier, two howitzers, and Marshal Ney. And I have seen GW-influenced games, put on by people who were experienced enough to know better, that went that way - I recall an alleged refight of Zama in 28mm with one testudo of Trajanic legionaries, four elements of Numidians, one block of Celts, and some proxied Mars-knows-whats. If you don't believe me, Google-check out the overwhelmingly skirmish treatment of Sengoku Japanese combat (the way it gets called "samurai", whereas the ashigaru were about 95% of Japanese armies, is symptomatic).

OK, I'm getting off my soapbox. Off to set up the afternoon's refight of Lepanto (using my Spanish Trafalgar fleet to proxy the Christian forces, and a mix of Jutland and Salamis forces for the Turks). It'll be a grand spectacle, with no fewer than four models a side (two unpainted, but who has time to paint these days?).
« Last Edit: 03 March 2019, 02:04:19 AM by FierceKitty » Logged

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Norm
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« Reply #109 on: 03 March 2019, 06:54:16 AM »

Hopefully wargaming will continue to be a thing that people can enjoy at the personal level, without that modern compulsion of having to conform to what the latest internet voice is telling you what to do / think etc.

I tend to come from the point of view that we are lucky to have so much wargaming choice today and I am grateful that all the brilliant computer graphics in the world etc, did not destroy this hobby by pushing it into commercial non-viability. Indeed even the 'greying' of the hobby scare-mongering of the past 15 - 20 years has not really come to pass. I am guessing that today, more money is being spent in this hobby than ever before and the wargame shows that I have attended over the last couple of years have shown a significant diversity in age range, with a lot of younger people people present ...... though these days, I am thinking everyone is looking younger .... you know, the old 'policemen are getting younger' sketch.

My local wargame store has a goodly number of young people. the oldies waltz in, buy a bottle of paint and a brush and go, but the younger ones are buying fizzy drinks and playing the games and 'hanging out there' and 'really' supporting the store. Boardgaming is really strong amongst this generation, though there is a greater crossover with boardgames that include figures.

The thing is though, they are not playing 2000 points ancients etc with massed armies of whatever scale and why should they, that's what I like, not what they like. They like the latest mega hit 'all in a box' game with a handful of figures that may or may not get painted - who cares, they are gamers, having fun and keeping a shop on the high street open, that I can still go into to buy my paints and brushes.

I have just browsed another part of the internet and someone new to a subject asked for some broad brushed advice. A kindly soul gave some, then the expert came along and of course put every one right! On another day, if expert opinion had been asked, then that would have been a great response, but in this situation ..... what a wargaming Bore!

I can look at a Bolt Action game and see a Katyusha fire its rocket load 300 metres to attack a truck of infantry or as exampled above, the Testudo taking their place in the battle line and thinking "that's not for me", but that just comes from insight into the subject and a desire to simulate. If you don't know or don't care about the capabilities of the Katyusha, but just want a really good game with your latest pride and joy that delivers 'x' for 'y' points and you are having that ton of fun with your mates ... well isn't that an OK thing?

I have just been browsing the Neil Thomas Napoleonic book and his scenarios are catering for something like a few French line infantry units, a cavalry unit and artillery unit - oh and course the Old Guard, all rubbing shoulders on a 4' x 4' table, producing something like the old teasers ....... but that is exactly the sort of game that brought me into the hobby with my Airfix figures as a teenager and that hobby button was hit just due to the absolute pleasure of the moment and of simplicities, it would only be later that I would need to know how many buttons were on a Hussar's jacket thingy and in truth, there is a big part of me that would be more than happy to go back to that earlier simple gaming.

Anyway, my point is that the hobby still seems like the perfect refuge to be able to enjoy the game that YOU like played in the WAY that YOU like, which rather makes judgement or opinion on the 'real way to play (and there is some) just so tedious and boring.  

In my younger years, we seemed to have 3 main areas of life, work, sleep and play. In 2019, we have work, sleep, play and now the internet ..... the biggest robbing time sink influence of personal creative / relationship time ever and probably the main contribution why we don't paint 300 - 500 figure armies anymore! :-)
« Last Edit: 03 March 2019, 08:04:30 AM by Norm » Logged

Steve J
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« Reply #110 on: 03 March 2019, 08:12:03 AM »

Quote
the hobby still seems like the perfect refuge to be able to enjoy the game that YOU like played in the WAY that YOU like

Wise words indeed Norm.

Quote
In my younger years, we seemed to have 3 main areas of life, work, sleep and play. In 2019, we have work, sleep, play and now the internet ..... the biggest robbing time sink influence of personal creative / relationship time ever and probably the main contribution why we don't paint 300 - 500 figure armies anymore! :-)

Some 15 odd years ago I might spend about 5 evenings a week painting one Mordheim figure because I enjoyed it and had the time. Now time seems a precious commodity and I can get an easy gaming fix by simply checks various fora (plural of forums?) and Blogs.

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« Reply #111 on: 03 March 2019, 08:14:54 AM »

This is a force seen the whole world over and in too many markets to mention.

The boons of technology make starting a business easier and that gives rise to lots of smaller businesses that move quickly. The technology is  eventually leveraged by larger slower businesses with greater efficiency and power that can devour the smaller companies.or replace them.

We were in a bloom a few years ago and we are seeing the natural contraction and consolidation. The landscape for board game publishers is also in a contraction with lots of smaller publishers dropping out or pooling together.

As for mass battles vs skirmish it has everything to do with upfront investment. I try to make the latest greatest mass appeal board and card games that get derided on BGG while also being a”favorite of the spouse and kids”.

These lighter games are gateway games. The hobby was nearly dead in America before wizkids’ mageknight / hero clix brought minis gaming into the realm of mere mortals. Those fans later picked up the brush and glue and now we have all kinds of great stuff coming from America. Matt Wilson of privateer press credits Wizkids for the renaissance of American minitures.

Also pricing too low is an extreme danger. Lots of small companies don’t charge enough and either can’t  survive a small problem or provide enough service to make their products worthwhile. High production values are extremely important and desirable. Good Christ the cover art and layout Of DBA likely set the hobby back.
« Last Edit: 03 March 2019, 08:18:55 AM by Paper » Logged
Raider4
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« Reply #112 on: 03 March 2019, 11:00:56 AM »

Now time seems a precious commodity and I can get an easy gaming fix by simply checks various fora (plural of forums?) and Blogs.

I know everyone grumbles (or worries . . .) about how much we spend on this hobby, but I reckon most people who are into minis and wargaming are more time-poor (or space-poor) than they are cash-poor.

And there are certainly much more expensive hobbies around. In my office there are at least three golfers, one (amateur) triathelete and someone who does scuba-diving. They can all spend more in a weekend than I spend in a year on this.
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Raider4
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« Reply #113 on: 03 March 2019, 11:05:10 AM »

. . . the cover art and layout Of DBA likely set the hobby back.

Oh, you're not wrong there! Truly terrible cover art, the inside doesn't get much better Smiley
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Raider4
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« Reply #114 on: 03 March 2019, 11:11:57 AM »

I recall an alleged refight of Zama in 28mm with one testudo of Trajanic legionaries, four elements of Numidians, one block of Celts, and some proxied Mars-knows-whats.

I recall seeing an alleged refight of Zama that comprised of about 20 guys with spears & shield ("The Barbarian Horde!") vs 8 chariots with guys & gals in golden armour and armed with repeating crossbows . . .
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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #115 on: 03 March 2019, 04:39:14 PM »

I recall seeing an alleged refight of Zama that comprised of about 20 guys with spears & shield ("The Barbarian Horde!") vs 8 chariots with guys & gals in golden armour and armed with repeating crossbows . . .


It sounds lie the one where Russell Crowe shouts "All stick together".
Which suggests that inaccurate refights have been with us almost as long as fights.

Confession time: I used to refight Waterloo using 4 boxes of Airfix soldiers.
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