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Author Topic: Motivation - History, figures or rules  (Read 585 times)
Leman
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« on: 09 November 2018, 10:04:00 AM »

There have been a few threads recently about influences and motivations that started people’s interest in wargaming, so I thought I would stick my oar in this particular pond. The overwhelming influence for me was a love of history. For the first fifteen years or so history drove me to collect ACW figures and then 15mm Ancients. I simply made do with whatever rules were available, even when some of them were quite tedious. This never stopped me painting or collecting. Over the last thirty years or so my motivation to play a particular period has changed. It roughly goes as follows:

History - pretty much has motivated all my wargaming, so the real dichotomy for me is figures and rules.

Figures - ACW owing to the plentiful supply of Airfix when I started in the 60s
             FPW - I was drawn too the colour of this period and started with Peter Laing figures (15mm), then heroics and Ros 6mm, then Wargames
             south and Pendraken 10mm, then Freikorps 15
             Italian Wars - Mike’s Models 15mm got me into this. I have also been drawn to a lot of the 28mm manufacturers for this period,
             particularly the Assault Group and Steel Fist
Rules:
This has been my main motivation for developing my wargaming probably since the late 80s.
They Died for Glory, 1870 and Bloody Big Battles all reinvigorated my interest in the FPW and caused me to switch back to Pendraken and 10mm.
Neil Thomas’ C19th rules encouraged me to try out the FAW, APW, First Schleswig War and Crimea.
Altar of Freedom, BBB, Longstreet and Field of Battle 2 all got me back into the ACW.
To the Strongest and Age of Hannibal have encouraged me to look at the Ancient period again.
Dux Bellorum dragged me into the Post- Roman era in Britain.
For King and Parliament has reawakened my long dormant interest in the ECW.
Square Bashing and 1914 fired me up for WWI [this is a particularly rules driven period for me as it was a period I had previously always avoided].
Minden Rose, Black Powder and finally Honours of War got me hooked on the SYW
Et Sans Résultat has actually caused me to start collecting Napoleonics, despite the fact that there have been hundreds of excellent figures available for decades.
Impetus, and more recently Impetus 2, also caused me to develop my Ancient and early Renaissance gaming.

Clearly what keeps me wargaming these days is rules that have been well thought out to produce a straightforward yet exciting game in a reasonable amount of time (2 to 4 hours) in a feasible space.
« Last Edit: 09 November 2018, 10:08:40 AM by Leman » Logged

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FierceKitty
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« Reply #1 on: 09 November 2018, 10:31:11 AM »

History, first and last. Available figures have of course restricted this too often. Rules - always time to write or improve a set (possible exception being wild west; never did get them right). Rules have therefore never pulled my chariot.
« Last Edit: 09 November 2018, 10:34:08 AM by FierceKitty » Logged

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Ithoriel
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« Reply #2 on: 09 November 2018, 10:43:20 AM »

History, figures, rule sets, books (fiction and non-fiction), feature films, documentaries, board games, the passions of fellow gamers ... so many things  trigger a new period for me.
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fsn
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« Reply #3 on: 09 November 2018, 11:18:56 AM »

History first - usually.

Unless Pendraken produce a new range. Then figures. Having said that, the period needs to float my boat before the figures are anything of a hook. For example, the Indian Mutiny range look very pretty but I am immune to Colonial - and Aztecs. I will never buy Aztecs. Oh, and the American Rebellion won't happen on my table, but Pendraken release the badgers and I've got a WWI East African campaign on my hands. 

History first then. What seems to happen is that something piques my interest - this could be a book, film, or even an odd snippet. It was hearing about Hearst and Pulitzer whipping up public outrage that got me interested in the Spanish-American War.

Rules - never. I'd much rather write my own.
 
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Lord Oik of Runcorn
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Leman
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« Reply #4 on: 09 November 2018, 01:20:41 PM »

I do not have the particular skill, interest or time to write a set of rules - there are many more out there much more skilled than I in this area. As a consequence well-written rules are vital to my wargaming, otherwise I would just become a diorama builder. I do believe that in the last twenty years especially, rules writers are giving much more thought to producing clear and, very importantly, enjoyable rules that no longer require a First Class Honours Degree in Maths and Law to play them.
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Nick the Lemming
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« Reply #5 on: 09 November 2018, 02:04:17 PM »

It varies a lot for me. I have a PhD in medieval history, so of course the history element is important for me, and means I tend to do quite a bit of research into a period that I'm gaming, and some periods I've always been interested in anyway (Ancients, ECW, Napoleonics). For others, it's hard to say what compelled me though. Reading up on certain conflicts has led me to want to play them (Austria 1809, SCW, RCW, Mahdist revolt, and others), while rules have been the impetus in other cases (BBB for Crimea, FPW, APW, etc, Age of Hannibal for Punic Wars (though I was already interested, those rules have made me want to do a campaign), Bluecher, Maurice for SYW / Imagi-nations and others), while figures have caused me to look at others, most recently Pendraken's LoA range.
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Chad
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« Reply #6 on: 09 November 2018, 02:40:36 PM »

History first to see if I find the period interesting enough to game.
Rules second to see if the period is represented and the game scale
Finally figures if available in scale I can afford.

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Westmarcher
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« Reply #7 on: 09 November 2018, 02:48:59 PM »

Succinctly put!   Thumbs up  .... unlike the following ramble ....

Primarily military history was (and still is) my motivation with actual wargaming, painting & collecting being secondary.

Regarding figures, I do love 28mm. Some great figures are out there, painted by wonderful artists and a favourite of most rule writers and at many war-games clubs.  But I judged it to be too expensive and space consuming (I hadn’t converted the garage to a a dining room when I re-started collecting) plus I also had grave doubts about my painting skills and production speed.
So, although the mass effect you get is great in the smaller scales, space, finances, time and my poor painting skills are what motivated me to collect 10 and 15mm.

Nowadays, I’m motivated by rules that are relatively easy to pick up, are reasonably fast to play and can give a reasonable level of period feel. 
 
After Featherstone’s ACW rules, I did what many of us did and embarked on that elusive quest to find the perfect set of rules. Rules had to be period specific and the more sophisticated and detailed, the more impressed I was. Some of these were pretty good but most were slow and clunky.

However, by the time I found a regular opponent, my attitude changed. With limited leisure time, I didn’t have time to read detailed and period specific rules. I just wanted the chance to get the toys quickly on the table and have easily memorised rules to play with, with as little stress and fuss as possible. So, it was then that I started to warm to 'wider era’ and faster play rules like Field of Battle and Black Powder. After all, "a man’s a man for aw that”* regardless of the era he lived and fought in. Thankfully, the modern trend in rules tends to be for simpler, more elegant and innovative mechanisms and faster to play.

* Robert Burns.
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Westmarcher
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« Reply #8 on: 09 November 2018, 02:53:40 PM »


Rules - never. I'd much rather write my own.
 

Do you incorporate ideas from other rules?
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Steve J
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« Reply #9 on: 09 November 2018, 03:22:59 PM »

Military history first and foremost. Then add in a nice figure range, such as the 1st Schleswig-Holstein War range, and I'm away Smiley. Finally the icing on the cake could be a new ruleset, such as Bloody Big Battles, that just ticks all the boxes for me. So all of the aforementioned then kick off an interest in European conflicts circa 1848 - 1870.
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fsn
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« Reply #10 on: 09 November 2018, 04:02:52 PM »

Do you incorporate ideas from other rules?
I do buy other rule sets to read, and may have added a few ideas into my own.

I'm still developing a set of air war rules. I've read a couple of other sets, but my set isn't quite right yet. It's probably because I'm trying to set it at the flight rather than individual aircraft level. 
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Lord Oik of Runcorn
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Subedai
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« Reply #11 on: 09 November 2018, 04:32:29 PM »

History, every time; reading a book(s), watching a film, documentary, docudrama or the work of others all do it for me. Usually one of them will spark my interest enough to make me think 'I haven't done that period/sub-period yet, I'll give it a go.) Then I will look around for figures and then either find a set of rules to fit my criteria or write my own. That saying, I have any number of sets of rules going back to 1973 so I can always bring them out of retirement and maybe tweak them a little. 
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paulr
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« Reply #12 on: 09 November 2018, 06:46:37 PM »

For me the motivation is history with figures and rules being limitations or enablers

One of the other challenges our group faces is the number of periods and rule sets we use. We currently use 15 different rule sets / period combinations and this leads to two different challenges.

Remembering the rules

Getting round to playing all the different periods, so far this year we haven't played any naval games Shocked (We did do the Solomons campaign last year so played a lot of WWII naval plus some pre-Dreadnought naval as well)

So for us it takes a major impetus to introduce a new set of rules the two 'recent' examples are:
  • WWI - If the Lord Spares Us - the centenary of WWI and the manoeuvre of 1914 and Palestine
  • English Civil War - For King and Parliament - long held interest in the period, a major period of warfare not covered at all, a great set of rules that captures the period and gives a great game

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Chris Pringle
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« Reply #13 on: 09 November 2018, 07:29:15 PM »

For me (as no doubt for many of you too) the sequence reversed over time.

As a boy, figures came first (playing with toy soldiers); a friend introduced me to the idea of wargame rules using dice rather than marbles; and from there I got into reading the history behind the figures.

Then in later years, after reading a lot more history (and tried a lot of rules), I wanted to fight the historical battles; dissatisfaction with existing rules led me to write my own; and then of course I had to acquire the armies of figures to use with them to recreate the history.

I do occasionally play an ahistorical game - either a generic scenario rather than a historical one, or something non-historical like zombies - but however fun the game it always feels vaguely unsatisfying, like fast food instead of a proper meal. For me history comes first.

But of course we want it to be fun! I don't want to lecture my players. If they want that, they can read a book. Rules and figures are there to make it fun, and the games are to educate by entertaining: "learning by doing".

Chris

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Terry37
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« Reply #14 on: 09 November 2018, 08:00:44 PM »

I guess growing up a military brat I have always been interested in military history and that would have ot be the base inspiration. But the thing that gets me the most is unique and colorful uniforms that I can translate into painted figures. When I decide to start an army, I always see them in my mind of how I think they should look, and after that I start pursuing just the right figures! I feel I have a nice library, not huge but some really good references, and I'd say easily 50% is books on uniforms.

Rules have never been a big attraction to me, which I guess my being quite satisfied with HOTT and DBN proves it.

Terry
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