Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts on Miniature Wargaming

   So my first Miniature based wargame was Battletech, I used to love that game. Then I came across other wargames, Car Wars being my next, now I still love Car Wars, though I'm not sure I like the newest version put out by Steve Jackson Games as much as I enjoyed the old version. It seems to be suffering the Beer & Pretzel mentality as well. I remember reading the various convention reports from the cons when they built these massive  arenas and used Matchbox scale cars. I would soon move away from "tick" based games, as I considered them archaic, it's one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Rifts, once you get to the mecha, you're dealing with like 700 ticks on the main body of lots of big mecha.

   I started playing Warhammer 40k in 1992 or 93, back when there were Vehicle Data Cards, and the wargear cards, when you could customize like crazy. I had a Howling Banshee exarch on a jetbike with a holofield...beautifully modeled. I also got into Warhammer as I moved down to Fresno in 1994. We also got into EPIC while I was there. That still is one of my favorite games I never play these days. We played Necromunda, and Mordheim when they came out. Back in those days I had time to devote to painting minis, since I didn't have kids. After I got out of the Navy, I got into Warzone. I absolutely loved Warzone, with my Cybertronic army, we even played a big campaign down at Game Empire back in 1998. The system was great, while the miniatures were decent.

   Now as far as the newer games, Warmachine and Hordes by Privateer Press has a big presence, especially after people started becoming disenfranchised by Games Workshop's price increases, and the increase in edition publication. Though their miniatures are starting to creep up in price as well. Mantic is providing both Fantasy and Sci-Fi miniature games Kings of War and Warpath.  The boxes of minis are nicely priced 20 miniatures for around $30, this makes for lots of minis for a nice price.

   However now that the boys are of an age where playing Battletech might be fun, let them get into the design aspect of the game, which was also one of the really fun things about Car Wars as well. With the Battletech 25th Anniversary seeing the Intro Box being released with 26 minis for $59.99 by Catalyst Games, it might well be worth a visit to the past. I bet the boys would love to make new mechs, and as always, it would be a great math exercise.

   For those who like to wargame on the cheap, there's always Savage World's Showdown rules, which can be used to play with stand-up paper minis. (this is where I'm headed.) I have always preferred to play more than paint. Also WarLands, by Aberrant,  is fairly cheap as a post-apocalyptic skirmish game, set in 15mm.

EDIT!:  I almost forgot one of my favorite wargames that I recently played...Dystopian Wars. I totally can't wait to be able to afford a couple armies for that game, it's really fun, nothing like a few frigates getting a lucky shot on a capitol ship, then having it's magazine explode. It's a brilliant system. I also wouldn't mind trying out Spartan Games other systems as well.