Collecting - time and space!
Wargaming is a niche hobby, but even within that niche, there are many aspects that make what we do a ‘best fit’ to our own personal interests and circumstances.
Whether our limits concern budget, free time, playing / storage space, whether we solo game or group game and what periods and level within those periods (i.e. skirmish) take our fancy, we in essence self define the hobby to meet our individual situations, which may likely change over time.
The following is my gaming perspective in 2019 and the sentiments go some way to explain the character of this ‘Commanders’ site and the ‘Battlefield and Warriors’ Google Blog.
Getting to this point
Suddenly finding myself with over four Decades of wargaming behind me, I can see some things having gone full circle and other things that have evolved. I could rightly be described as the Airfix and Squad Leader generation, which still has me somewhat excited and full of anticipation when pulling plastic sprues from a new box of figures and has ensured that I have had an unfailing and ongoing passion for tactical WWII wargaming.
What has changed is that I no longer feel inclined to explore every new release, to read a ton of different rulesets, to stand for long hours over a wargames table or to be using overly complicated rulesets, that require constant playing or re-reading to remain usable and fun.
There is so much choice
The product range these days is diverse enough that the gamer can pick and choose the bits of the wargame spectrum that interest them most and that best fit with their life style.
The three main influences over my current gaming are; Wanting lower complexity in most of my gaming, restrictions of activity due to a persistent bad back and collecting within the limits of my gaming and storage space.
It is probably the convergence of these three things, more than anything else, that set the tone and pace of the Commanders / Battlefield and Warriors sites.
Many of the topics covered can conveniently be described as belonging to ‘kitchen table’ type gaming.
I have spent two years selling and buying to get my boardgame collection to cover three specific areas of need and this is still an ongoing process..
Firstly - I am preferring series games in which a common rule book services the system, so that additional modules can be bought and played pretty much straight away, with a good familiarisation of the rules and appreciation of the nuances already learned. Repeat playing with a reduced number of rule systems can off-set any perceived complexity or initial learning curve and so some of the richer systems actually become easier to get into.
Secondly - There are obviously one off titles that still interest me, Red Typhoon by Revolution Games being a typical example. I have endeavoured to keep the number of such titles limited, so that each does get a chance of repeated play, so gaining some familiarity in similar fashion to the series games mentioned above.
Thirdly - Some fast play and entertaining games. These have their place for a quick mid-week throw down game, but importantly it helps service my regular face-to-face sessions with Mike, so that we can be fairly sure that we can reach a proper gaming conclusion by the end of the evening. These are games that are typically coming in at under two hours.
So really, anything in the collection now has to meet at least one of these goals and I am forever on the look out for further weeding out as new titles inevitably take my fancy.
These days, I am much much less inclined to make a speculative purchase, doing little more than just looking at it. Rather, everything has to earn a place to justify storage and my investment in rules learning.