Home Forums General General Appeal / Seduction of 'other' Genres

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    Don Glewwe

    What would/does it take to get you interested in a new genre?

    Cost seems a no-brainer, but weighing that against the gain (of fun, which is difficult if not impossible to digitize) seems to me to be a dead end.


    What is it about a new game that gets you excited enough to justify the statement that ‘wine and internet shopping lead to nothing good’ ?


    Mr. Average

    A big one for me, not always but frequently, is the potential number of other players in my club. I recently became interested in Dropzone Commander, but held off on buying a small army until I had some confidence that someone other than myself would be playing the game. Solo games are fine and have their place, but I solo game in 3mm scale, where the cost is more reasonable.

    Cost as a barrier to entry is another thing. The more scalable the game is, the better. Again, with Dropzone Commander as an example, the game is completely playable and very enjoyable with just a starter set, yet can scale up very well, too.

    And of course, engaging and interesting material in the game, good production values as it were, are of great importance to me. Gaming is an aesthetic experience and an out-and-out ugly game, however good the mechanics or the mathematics of it, will not appeal to my sensibilities.

    Not Connard Sage

    First, define ‘other genres’. Just so we know. ūüėČ

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    Don Glewwe

    First, define ‚Äėother genres‚Äô. Just so we know. ūüėČ

    Okay, but nothing kinky…though I really want to…NO!

    Something that you have no minis for*. ¬†So: avoiding ‘Sharp Practice’ even though you have an embarrassingly large amount of Napoleonic figs lying about wouldn’t count.

    *or at least would involve rebasing


    More importantly: Something for which you’ve never much considered gaming (much less heard of in more than a ‘man-on-the-street’ fashion).


    Otto Schmidt

    Post Apocalyptic Games- But not the post apocalyptic ones you’re thinking of.

    I mean post apocalyptic in the sense of games about being in heaven.

    Where you get “points” toward winning for doing nice things for the other gamers. No shooting, killing, combat, pain, suffering or nastiness.

    Northern Monkey

    As you say cost is the main one for me,¬† then space – will I need to set aside a small room¬†to store the stuff I would need to game whatever it is, properly. Next would be painting requirements, taking on 100’s or 1000’s of new mini’s all requiring intricate paint jobs rules out a lot genre’s for me. Terrain is another factor although it could be considered under space/storage too, but anything requiring overly specific terrain is slightly off-putting, my intended Judge Dredd game fell apart for this reason.

    So, if a new genre/game came along, reasonably priced, no requirement to own 100-1000’s of intricately painted mini’s that uses fairly generic terrain in the main, would potentially interest me.

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    Don Glewwe

    “…no requirement to own 100-1000‚Äôs of intricately painted mini‚Äôs that uses fairly generic terrain…”

    Full disclosure (which should normally be done first, but then I’m fervently against doing what should be done): I’m looking at aircombat.

    IMO, that would involve dozens of minis and the most generic terrain imaginable: a blank (or hex) tabletop.



    Norm S

    I think there are two types of things on the new genre list. Firstly those things that you would care about but haven’t managed to get there yet, so for me it would be American War of Independence. Because I really fancy that, I would buy into it properly and care about rules and painting etc.

    Then there are the things that I might quite like a dabble in. Air war comes under the second category and so for me it could be totally satisfied by a couple of models (Spitfire and Messerschmitt come to mind) and the most basic of rules (read fun). Because it is a secondary area of interest to me, my own lack of knowledge would allow basic rules to be used as I don’t know right from wrong – so hitting on sixes with a +1 for an Ace pilot would be fine.




    It has been a while since I got into a totally new set of rules. I generally base so that several rules can be played.  The reasons I got into a new set of rules were:

    1. Relatively few minis were needed, [platoon-level SCW] compared to Napoleonics and 19th Century brigade level games.  15mm were cheap compared to 28mm.
    2. The rules were intriguing and unlike the more common Hollywood History sets of rules.
    3. The scale was outside my normal gaming: Individuals represented by a single figure.  15mm figures were actual scale to the table!
    4. It was a totally new period for me [20th century versus 19th century]
    5. I’d been to Spain during Franco’s reign and knew something of the history.
    6. The conflict itself had a large variety of troops and lesser known armored vehicles

    I don’t think any one or two of the above would have gotten me to jump, as were other rules to cover the SCW, but Chain of Command tipped the balance. ¬†Saying that, until the very complete SCW addition for CoC came out, I wasn’t going to get into WWII, so the period definitely influenced me.


    Alvin Molethrottler

    What would/does it take to get you interested in a new genre?

    A good book on the matter is what usually elicits my interest, be it a tome of military history or a sci fi/fantasy novel. And then after that I have to agree with Mr Average regarding potential players.

    Sane Max

    I won’t buy stuff I can’t get a game with.

    after that, i tend to avoid anything I don’t have suitable terrain for. I have too much terrain already.

    But a cracking book will indeed send me scurrying online credit card in hand regardless.



    As above, I need to be inspired by something – usually a ¬†book, sometimes a film. All practical considerations are secondary, cost, storage, compatible terrain etc. These are problems which can be dealt, ¬†but if I’m not inspired, what is the point?

    I am very rarely inspired by a ‘game’ per se, rules come and go but figures last forever. It is more particular periods, theatres or actions.







    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke


    If I’m going into the period/genre completely cold, it’s got to satisfy three conditions:

    1). How much do I have to buy before I can start playing? I’m not a fast painter and I don’t even care to become one. So painting up a new force will take me 1-12 months to complete with the trend being at the higher end of the scale. I’d rather get into something where I can start small and gradually grow my forces.

    2). Is anyone else playing it and will they continue? Coupled with condition 1 above, I don’t want to put in a huge amount of effort to only see my force sit on the shelf. And I’m leery of the latest craze that everyone in the club jumps on because I frequently see interest begin to fizzle within 3 months, just after I’ve paid for all those new figures.

    3). Is it something that can be played with multiple rule sets? There’s nothing worse than buying all those figures that are specific only to one rule set, then following that rule set’s unique basing system, only to find out the rules are a dud. I’d much rather hedge my bet by creating a force that I can use with multiple rule sets, just in case.

    Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline

    William Jones

    What would/does it take to get you interested in a new genre? Cost seems a no-brainer, but weighing that against the gain (of fun, which is difficult if not impossible to digitize) seems to me to be a dead end. What is it about a new game that gets you excited enough to justify the statement that ‚Äėwine and internet shopping lead to nothing good‚Äô ?

    That is an excellent question.¬† I’ve had to chew it over a couple of days before attempting to answer it.¬† It is a pointed question too, as every genre we’ve committed to was once outside our box of toys, and only a notion.

    The first efforts at an answer failed, as they were check lists attempting a technical answer; almost a mathematical approach.  There are so many exceptions and subjective factors at work though, that for me the answer is closer to alchemy than science.  Here are factors that matter, in an imperfect and shifting order of importance.

    1.  Something somewhere has to look good.  Not just good, but gob smackingly gorgeous.  It can be the minis, the terrain, banners, vehicles, uniforms or whatever, but there MUST be strong visual appeal.  If it is all ugly, there is no sale, and the project fails.  Now, my ideas of beauty are outliers, and there are some things that are so damned ugly that they are beautiful.  Woolly mammoths.  Musk oxen.  The A-10 Warthog.  Stukas.  KV1 tanks.  You get the picture.  Visual appeal is a must.
    2. Rules.  A practical, engaging, accessible set of rules is critical.  The rules must capture some essence of the period.
    3. Augmenting the rules is whether the period offers varied tactical and operational challenges.  The more depth in tactical variations, difficulties and solutions, the better.
    4. Figures and models.¬† A full range of what is needed must be in place.¬† I’ve done all the desperate conversions that I ever will.¬† No more.¬† Ever.¬† The only exception to this is 6mm proxies that can be modified with paint.
    5. There should be some compelling point or points to the conflict.¬† A religion, an ideology, crop failure, ravening steppe nomads at one’s heels, divine rights of kings or the pure flame of revolution.¬† Now, the real reason for the historical war may well be some slick chicanery to prop up bogus currency, lay down a pipeline or deny access to a pipeline, that a collateral line of succession is less inbred or insane than the direct line or some other bit of banal envy or covetousness, but it should have the color of some Great Cause, or great propaganda point to it to make the conflict interesting.
    6. Someone in the narrative should have some charisma, genius, or other ‘it’ factor.¬† Face it.¬† There is a kind of celebrity factor to military history, and some people had it while others did not.¬† Jeanne d’Arc, Henry V, Genghis Khan, Rommel, Montgomery, Patton, Zhukov, Boudicca, Caesar and even hapless George Armstrong Custer had ‘it’.¬† Douglas Haig, Grigory Kulik, Ambrose Burnside and innumerable forgotten commanders did not.¬† The first ones provide more inspiration as a rule.¬† There can be some entertaining use of dullards and poltroons, however.
    7. Inspirational fluff.¬† I’m easy to please on this.¬† Movies, books, poems, art, anything.¬† Something that is both ephemeral and poignant will get me every time.
    8.  Available opponents help.
    9.  Being able to field one faction for about $100 helps.
    10.  Tournament or convention play helps.

    Now, all of the points above are factors, but the relative importance of them individually and in combination is flexible.¬† Only number 1 is a deal killer.¬† If a game is not visually appealing, I won’t replicate it in miniature.

    Figuring out what I will commit to is more difficult.¬† WWII hits on all the points above, and doesn’t make the grade because it doesn’t hit those points strongly enough.¬† On the other hand,¬† the Korean War is a must do, long term, big scale project that shall be done and will probably be done in two different scales even though it is lacking some of the points¬† for WWII covers.¬† However, because KW hits so strongly on those fewer points, it persuades me to do commit to it.¬† I am buying ACW again, solely because of the quality of the miniatures from Plank Road.¬† AK47 Wars is still on my do list, because the RPG aspect of leaders, objectives and background are so well done that the fictitious nature of the game is actually a bonus.¬† The rules set, Final Argument of Kings will probably have me doing 6mm SYW, even though I much prefer the WSS as a period, but the rules have always and without fail produced an exciting, convincing game which could have gone either way and which left me wrung out at the end.¬† The rules set trumps the history and visuals in that case.

    So, this is alchemy more than science.¬† Those are the objective things I look for, but some elusive subjective factors make mayhem of that list.¬† It is like an old map with empty areas, warning of¬† ‘here be dragons’, and marks where there might be treasure.¬† Making the journey will always hold some surprises.

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