Christian recently wrote an excellent article entitled “The joy of gaming.” I agree with him wholeheartedly, but also want to share the reasons why I love wargaming, and perhaps find a common ground between the homogamers and the herterogamers (using those terms non-sexually of course).
I love wargaming. I have since the age of 4 when I had my lego guys fight my plastic green army men. There is something about the thrill of a perfectly executed battle plan that rings in my heart, and growing up I emulated Alexander, Julius, Hannibal, Napoleon, etc. as many do.
Now, I am all for variety (Christian showed me a game called Dust that seems really cool, and Mark waxed philosophical for quite some time (as he is wont to do) about a game called “secrets of the third Reich” which sounds intriguing. And both these games, along with many others are great addition to our group.
But one of the most rewarding things for me, and the real reason I love the hobby is the conception and realization of an army.
Yes, I love to paint (it is my therapy), I love to play, and there is an intense joy I get when I see my painted army fighting another painted army across a beautifully modeled battlefield, but the vast majority of my hobby time is spent thinking about what I want in my army, theorizing about possible strategies, and agonizing over tweaks to that army. I am on an extremely tight budget, and when I want I new force, I sell an old one. I sold my IG army to collect war-machine, which I have been very happy with, but I must plan each purchase very carefully beforehand. My Eldar 40k force has been changed literally hundreds of times. It is no longer recognizable as the 1000 point force I first fielded 5 years ago. I will often, in the middle of a college lecture on Japanese deflation begin to decide whether to take one caster over another in my Retribution Warmachine list.
There is something extremely satisfying about mastering a game system, learning its nuances and understanding its strategies. That is a point that I think I am at with 40k, and hope to achieve with Fantasy, and especially warmachines/hordes (a game with a bevy of strategic nuance). So, while new games have their place in our group, the mainstay ones do as well, and I look forward to playing plenty of both in the weeks to come.