Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Miniatures Gaming

As I'm sure you've noticed, I enjoy a wide variety of games, and I write about a fair number of them.

But I don't write very much about miniatures gaming. It's not because I don't like minis games - I do. Very much. I just don't play them very often, because of the time investment involved.

There are several elements of minis games that make them harder for me to play regularly:

The first element is the assembly time. Most miniatures games have pieces which are supplied unassembled. It may be as minor a thing as gluing one arm onto a figure - but when your army has numerous figures, the assembly time adds up.

The second element is the painting time. I love painting minis, but the amount of detail we're starting to see on them is astounding. And my skills ... well ... aren't. So it takes me a LONG time to paint figures.

The third element is finding someone else to play. With the number of minis games on the market, it can be difficult to find people who want to play the same games you do. Unless you play Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, or Games Workshop's flavor of the week.

The fourth element is the "Tournament Level" factor - "Official tournaments for our game will range between X and Y Points." Most starter boxes are less than half of X, so you need to do your research to learn what combinations will work. You'll often find that very few tournament armies include units from the starter box, increasing the cost of building the army.

There's a real movement in miniatures gaming right now to make the games more accessible by bypassing one or more of the above steps.

I'll be spending several posts over the next few weeks talking about some of the games which are out there right now, and my impressions of them.

1 comment:

  1. The tournament level factor seems to be the most intractable, and to me is the most frustrating. There's too little interest in small games. I played in a 40K tournament a few years back where we were packed onto four-foot tables, but we still played 1,700 points. That would have been a fine 1,000-point tournament, but nobody ever does that. Warmachine was oscillating between 500 and 750 until the epic casters came out and it went to all 750.

    Variety, people! Switch things up!