He was obviously completely unused to the idea of not buying ‘Big Spoon Wargames’ box set, the boxes of figures that ‘Big Spoon Wargames’ make and playing other ‘Big Spoon’ Players at games.
What really perplexes me is the way this attitude has expanded to concern terrain and scenery in some parts of the hobby community. Scratch-building your own trees, or even buying them from a model railroad shop, is unheard of in those circles. It has to be the GW hard plastic tree kits, or else the battle must be fought on a treeless plain. Ditto buildings. Some GW gamers seem to consider it right and proper that whatever venue you go to for a pick-up or tournament game, the same fortification with the same, well-known dimensions will be there. Almost like it’s become part of the metagaming.
With figures, my only reason for sometimes sticking with the official ones is that a lot of the games that have their own “proprietary” miniature ranges are very high-concept in regard to aesthetics and background setting. This makes suitable figures from third-party manufacturers something of a moot point on account of being non-existent. Obviously this doesn’t apply to 40K which has plenty of look-alike options from other manufacturers, but there are many other games where this isn’t the case. If I was playing Malifaux, for instance, I doubt I could find any non-Wyrd figures that could blend in with the official Wyrd ones. Sure, I could just toss some historical Old West gunslingers and Victorian adventurers in there, but they would still clash aesthetically, at least to my perfectionist eye. Another option is to shun high-concept game systems altogether in favour of more generic, “low-concept” ones, but I enjoy having a variety of projects, both low-concept and high-concept.