Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Gaming (Redux) --

Just over a year ago, I wrote a bit of a summary about my table top gaming interests over the years. After re-reading it today, I felt that it was worthy of another post . . . primarily because of my comments as to why I prefer 18th century Imagi-Nations (posted in blue below).

By the way, the photo to the left is from early action in the Battle of Wollmitz from last year. It was a refight of Mollwitz using my own house rules. Ross Macfarlane was visiting and he and his friend whupped Murdock and myself rather soundly. (As usual, click on the photo for a larger version.)


I was thinking today about how my wargaming interests have changed over the decades.

My introduction to tabletop gaming was with WRG's 7th Edition Ancients. For years, even with changes of rule systems, all that I played was Ancients. Even when our club briefly diverted to periods, we always came back to Ancients.

But I tired of them and my many Ancient armies (in both 15mm and 25mm) have languished in boxes for many years. The truth is that I really tired of the constant search by others for the "killer army".

Have you noticed that most of the "armies" that win tournaments nowadays are ones that never made much of a mark historically? Far too many Ancients players play the rules and not the history.

So, I'm sure that you're thinking, "Am I playing the history when I use an Imagi-Nation?".

Well I feel that I am. I'm not re-creating the exact 18th century history. No, I'm playing at being a minor monarch in the spirit of the period. Furthermore there isn't a search for a "killer army" since we all have access to the same troop types . . . so the
spirit of our battles is different.

So, yes, the Eighteenth Century is my primary period for gaming . . . but it isn't my only one. I'm also interested in the "Colonial" conflicts of the last third of the 19th Century.

The Northwest Frontier (okay, I'll admit to reading a lot of Kipling in my youth), the Sudan and to a lesser extent, South Africa. And the American "Wild West".

The major difference that all of the above share is a focus on smaller conflicts. Essentially these are primarily "skirmish" periods. The style of the games are different -- and more cinematic. In addition, they're lots of fun.

Are there other periods that interest me? Of course. Among them is the English Civil War for which I've been collecting books and rules. It is a period which I really don't know all that much about . . . so research is the first and most important step. It may be a few years before I feel that I'm ready to start painting troops.

And getting back to the 18th century for a moment. I plan on building a number of "historic" (as opposed to imaginary) units in 15mm . . . but again more research is needed first.

Finally, damnit, I am increasingly drawn to those 28mm "Big Battalion" battles. And I have copies of "Charge", "The War Game" and "BAR" on my shelf . . . and I know that "The War Game Companion" is under the tree . . . so THAT is another temptation.

I think that all of those Ancients armies will just have to wait a lot longer before they regain the table top.

-- Jeff


Frankfurter said...

Alas, I know what those poor ancients feel like ... you get old and everybody goes on to something new!
PS: There oodles of skirmish type games in ancients too ... and the guys who play them tend to like imagi-nations. Also, WRG 6 lends itself wonderfully to solo gaming ...

Ross Mac said...

AHH Wollmitz, an enjoyable game & company to be sure. Hard to believe a year & 1/2 has gone by already! Hopefully I'll make it back for a rematch in '10. What's 6,000km for a good game?

Now about those ancients, nothing against the bors in Tricornes but the ancient lads need their due! Forget competetion games and killer armies, some of my favorite fictional campaigns and table top teasers have been fought with ancients, not to mention some memorable historical refights. See Charles Grant's Ancient Wargaming for an old school approach even using WRG 3rd or check out Warhammer Ancients. See this TTeaser report for Ancients with imagination:

I mean, as long as you have the troops already.......:)


Ross Mac said...

Oops that was supposed to be BOYS in Tricorne, not bors, he was one of the knights of the round table and never wore a tricorne and definitely not a freudian slip!

Fitz-Badger said...

I suppose you can do "ImagiNations" and fun games in any period/genre. But for various reasons some periods, genres, or rules seem to draw more of the competitive "serious" gamers who "game" the system, try to build The Killer Army, etc. Not that there's anything wrong with that if that's what they find fun. But it's not for me.

My interests in gaming come as much from fiction (fatnasy, Hollywood, etc.) as from history. And as a solo gamer the story is the thing. Not much point in trying to outdo oneself in building a killer army! lol

Gallia said...

I know what you mean Jeff.
We've done oodles of time-periods locally from Ancients to WWII. The only one that has been consistent since about 1966 is the SYW.
In the past year we've done:
SYW, NW Frontier/Gen. Pettygree, WWII N. Africa and Normandy and I am very surprised to see we've actually done Napoleonics eight times. Der Alte is hosting a 1:10 Nappy game on the 26th instant.
Best of luck. Please consider hopping on an airplane and coming to throw some dice with us in the Milwaukee-Chicago region. Early October will be the next BIG Bn. game - the biggee biggeeeee, that is.
Best wishes,

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Hi there Jeff,

Love the look of the above battle. Classic!

Merry Christmas,



Thank you for your Christmas card, which came about two weeks ago. We have it on our mantle with all the others. Look for one from us if it has not arrived already. ;-)