Monday, March 05, 2012

The year of rules

This is the year of rules.  I'm laying down the law...  No, not that kind of rules, I kid.  I realized that I had made a decision which will affect my wargaming this year, and therefore my blogging, but that I had not shared it with you.  This seems a little perverse, and not in a fun way, so I'm aiming to rectify that.

For years I have played GW games.  This was driven by several factors.  Availability, good IP, model quality, opponents, rules standardization.  I came into the hobby through Warhammer.  I picked up LotR when an enthusiast moved to town.  I never got into 40k.

 Now let's be clear, I've always wargamed, from when I was itsy bitsy.  I remember the fall of Saigon.  I was three years old, sitting on my parent's floor.  The helo's were pulling people off of the roof of the embassy and I was playing with my father's Civil War game.  I had the little dudes lined up and the artillery was taking great chunks out of them, as represented by my chubby little fingers.  So, one of the iconic events of our age and I don't know if I remember it because of the images on the TV or the little plastic playing pieces.

I am not saying these are the same figures, though they look this good in my memory.

I digress, but it is appropriate to the story.  I've always been willing to play a game by myself and to make a game out of almost anything.  GW has driven me away by their pricing and their enmity towards their customers.  I used to spend a certain amount every month on GW stuff.  My Warhammer collection is a testament to that.  As they kept increasing prices I spent less and less.  I haven't bought anything for Warhammer since 8th came out (rule books), unless it was a one off model that I wanted or terrain.  That will change soon, briefly, if the rumors about a new edition of Empire are true.  I'll buy the book and some models.  I don't know how much I'll be playing though.

During this time I kept expanding my LotR collections.  The armies are pretty cheap and you don't need a ton of models but you have lots of options.  They started increasing the prices of those as well, putting a brake on my spending.  Now, with the latest repackaging of their boxes resulting in an approximate 33% price increase, I've stopped.  I'll fill out the armies I have, but I'm done adding to the collection.

This is not a rant about GW pricing.  It is what it is.  This is just a retrospective of my thought processes.  My lack of enthusiasm was born, largely, out of feeling victimized.  GW was leaving me feeling like I was getting taken advantage of.  I can afford to pay their prices.  I don't like feeling dirty when I do.

This is a good thing.  It has forced me to do something I've been batting around in my head for years.  (Yes, sometimes I can avoid doing what the voices tell me, for awhile).  This year I'm exploring new rule sets, (finally I get to the point).  I've already bought Hail Caesar, and I like what I see.  That will lead to me buying Black Powder at some point.  I'm also going to pick up Saga from Gripping Beast and TooFatLardies are working on, what looks like, a fun rules set for dark age gaming.

Not my fleet, but nicely painted.
 Beyond that, Mantic has some free rules out, which I'll try.  I want to give Tomorrow's War a go, since I'm looking for a Sci/Fi set that doesn't make me want to punch someone.  Force on force might be entertaining, though modern warfare isn't quite as interesting to me since I've lived it.  It feels disloyal for some reason.  I'll play some games and see how it feels.  There's an active Dystopian Wars/Firestorm Armada group at the local shop, and I have an FA fleet, so I should probably attempt to play that as well.

So, this year I'll be trying out a bunch of different rules.  I'll buy a few miniatures for the systems and see how it goes.  I'm excited to, finally, be branching out into new realms.  Thanks, GW, for kicking the crutch out from under me.  The school yard bully has set me free.


  1. Just to let you know Aaron, all of those rule sets that you mentioned are things that I am interested in. I might not have the time to sit down and paint armies for them, but I would play none the less. I really like Ancients and Medieval Warfare.

    Also, in regards to Tomorrow's War and Force on Force, both games use relatively the same mechanics. You can use just about any minis for Tomorrow's War that you want. I know the rules pretty well and would be willing to help teach you. As far as the Modern thing goes, I completely understand. I don't expect people that have participated in Modern Warfare to play. Some people don't mind playing, some people dislike the thought immensely. However, if you do feel like playing at one point or another, I will be more than happy to cater to your needs.

  2. Nick, Jonathan just got his HC book in and is looking at collecting Carthaginians. I have Romans and Celts on the way, so will have a second army, eventually. I appreciate the offer for you to teach me. I'd be willing to play FOF as long as it's not your Afghanistan stuff. We'll have to talk more next time we're both in the store.


  3. Does Cold War "What if..." type of stuff intrigue you at all? I passed on buying a Hail Caesar book back in the day, I am not sure why. It was probably the "I will never get around to it" feeling. I love the rules that I have read about. From what I understand, Hail Caesar is basically an advanced form of Warmaster Ancients, which in my opinion is a very fun rule set. Does Hail Caesar have anything about Vikings? I can't remember the full time frame of the armies that it discusses. I do already own a few Vikings...

  4. Cold war "what if.." would be good. I really like HC, from reading the rules. The basic mechanics are simple, logical and fun. The special rules are where you can really bring flavor to different armies. With Jonathan and I both having a set we'll figure it out and get you some games. I always like to play before I buy, when I can. HC can cover everything from cavemen with sticks up to Renaissance. You really just have to pick the right "useful rules" to give your army its flavor. They have come out with an army list book with points et al. The original rules were written without because Rick Priestly wanted them played as scenarios. That's great for a group of friends but not so useful for club nights.


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