Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Joy of Collecting

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.


  1. (can I lol? Oh, okay...)

    SOTR 1949 is a TTWG, not a board game. DUST looked awesome, and I plan to call Christian out the next chance I get.

    It's funny, but I totally agree with both of your posts! Mr. Black, what's been going on in the board game realm as of late is an attempt by some companies to merge the two forms of gaming, where you have elements of both TTWG and board gaming. The first I can remember of this was Battle Masters (although I'm positive this wasn't the first), Mutant Chronicles, Heroquest, etc.

    Wait...what was my point? Oh...that's right: love!

  2. Man, Heroquest was so freakin' cool. I was really hoping for GW's secret November release to be that... but NOOOOOOO I guess Space Hulk sold SO WELL that they didn't want to do it again? Granted, they DID "find" thousands of the $100 a pop boxes in a warehouse and decided they would "melt them down" to save the plastic instead of continuing to sell them... God, GW really needs to get it's head out of it's ass.

  3. Yes...yes it does. I wonder why the company is running off the worst possible business plan? No, really...I often sit for MINUTES on end...and just wonder...

  4. Heroquest was fantastic.

    I loved that game. And, Mark, I am glad you agree with both of us, because I do too :)

  5. I find that, especially with a hobby that's as money and time-intensive as miniature wargaming, it's tough to multi-task. As it is right now, I'm building three Fantasy armies, which are all part of the same game system and even quite similar in a number of capacities, and I still feel stretched thin in terms of my ability to make progress and get these projects completed.

    I can only imagine how difficult it would be to work across different games, game systems, etc. However, I know my own personality is pretty focused, so I tend to get absorbed in one hobby and pursue it as avidly as possible. I can't even balance 40k and Fantasy at the same time. My focus on one tends to be absolute, ruling out the other.

    I would like to check out new game types and get a stronger sense for what's out there, but I find that focusing on other projects is usually detrimental since I generally end up honing back in on one in particular.