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    When well promoted games come onto the market, the ones that are shiny and by the companies with some proper money, do you buy them?
    Games come out all the time, but few get big traction.
    Examples would be say X-wing, Frostgrave, Hail Caesar, Gaslands, etc.

    I was chatting to someone who quite likes ‘indie’ type games but they feel that they are much more likely to be actually able to play something with other people if they buy a big name mainstream game, as there are likely to be more players.
    Plus with there being more players, there is a more of a community around that game.
    There can be a greater sense of belonging when there are more players.

    Your thoughts?


    When well promoted games come onto the market, the ones that are shiny and by the companies with some proper money, do you buy them?  Your thoughts?

    In short, no.  My range of gaming interests are well established and probably fairly narrow compared to many people.  My main area of interest is WWII and I’m still using Rapid Fire (with some house rules) for that.  I did buy Blucher and Stonewall from Sam Mustafa, but only because a friend did so first.  I don’t own any Battlefront or Warlord products and likely never will.  If I invest in a new product these days it will probably be a board game, and then only after reading some detailed and positive reviews of it.  The last three games I bought that were new to me (though maybe not new to the market) were all board games, Zombicide, Warfighter and Onslaught.  The only ones I’m currently considering are board games too.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen


    No. I learned my lesson early in my miniatures career. I bought Tactica, which was the gold standard for its day, but I never played it. A couple of years later I picked up DBA, a slim volume without pictures and a flimsy cover. I played it to death.

    And given that I am a solo gamer, I don’t have to worry about finding opponents.


    I fall between both camps…………I have recently picked up several Warlord games as simple pick up n play games with my kids but I have an inbuilt resistance to big shiny rules that come with countless add on volumes to necessitate play……not to say that I haven’t succumbed to ‘ooh shiny’ in the past however! I’m just more circumspect in checking out a rules set now, looking for reviews and how to play videos etc whereas before it was more hands on experience, a game of two at the club or with mates and then being hooked!



    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"


    I generally buy what interests me and then bemoan the lack of opponents interested in same. I’m really not fussed about big shiny rules by companies with big budgets to promote them, unless the theme enthuses me and the approach seems like it would work for me. These days I am more interested in painting and playing what I have already anyway, so new rules are not a high priority. It’s not like I don’t have enough stashed away round the house that my executors will be shovelling out unpainted lead for weeks after my passing anyway!

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


    Phil Dutré

    It really depends on the dynamics in your gaming group.

    When I buy a new set of rules, it might take a year or longer before I get to play a game. So I’m not too worried about the constant stream of ‘supporting material’. If soemthing is good, it will still be good 1 or 5 years from now.

    I still have to play my first Frostgrave game, perhaps 2020 will be the year!

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/


    If a game has good reviews, and I like what I see then I’ll buy it.


    If it has a fancy cover and pretty pictures even better (although I’ll probably have to pay more for fancy stuff).


    Nope. I’ve more than enough rules for the periods I’m interested in. If I fancy a change of uniforms I’ll just use something from a Neil Thomas book.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/


    I’m the one Mike was chatting with about this. Really, it’s the sense of community and belonging (within the modest context of this hobby) that’s the main thing for me. Finding other players more easily (especially out here in the frontier colonies of non-GW gaming) is a bonus, but for the most part I’m pursuing solo gaming these days. Even when I pursue non-solo gaming, I’m still the “collect both sides” sort, so my opponents don’t need to invest anything more than the time to show up and play the game and – maybe – learn the rules beforehand. So… it’s not that much a question of local gaming groups to me, but rather of being part of a “bigger” culture.

    Here’s the background: As of a few years back I’ve gotten big into watching gaming-related videos and livestreams on YouTube and Twitch. It was only video gaming content for a start (funnily this was at first for the sake of absorbing inspiration for my hobby projects, before I rediscovered my dormant appreciation for video gaming for its own sake), but lately I’ve been partially pivoting to tabletop gaming content. Watching channels like Dicebreaker (to name one that I keep returning to particularly often), I immediately get a sense that they represent “my” subculture, “my” world, “my” identity. They’ve become a cozy, comforting part of my daily life. Could they perhaps be termed “influencers”? Maybe, yes… though I tend to associate that word more with social media subcultures that are completely different to my own (e.g. the various fashion & cosmetics communities). Anyway, this section of the tabletop gaming community tends to focus on games that are easily accessible and relatable to people in the main furrow of our subculture. There are downsides to this. But also upsides. In any case it would be unreasonable to expect them to cover homebrew-style gaming and minor manufacturers/publishers that don’t project a “glossy” image. But as for the games they do choose to feature on their channels…. these they approach with a happy, easy-going enthusiasm which, to me, is infectious.

    Another thing in relation to this topic, is that I’ve very recently relaxed my opposition to Facebook enough to actually get an account on that platform. I still dislike it, and wish the partial migration of the hobby community onto FB would immediately begin reversing itself, but I’ve accepted that I’m hurting myself more than FB by staying away from it, considering how much inspirational hobby content is being posted there. However, the hobby community on FB strikes me as a case of “the tyranny of the majority”, in that already-popular games and companies become further amplified, and lesser-known ones further suppressed, by the social dynamics that are intrinsic to the FB ecosystem. In my search for inspirational hobby photos, I’ve started joining every sizeable miniatures gaming group I can find. By “sizeable” I mean groups that tend to have 1000+ members, though I make some exceptions for groups in the 500-1000 range and even smaller. This means I’m mainly joining groups that are to do with the couple-dozen “big” games at the top of the food chain. For better or worse, the enthusiasm and vitality in those groups is rubbing off on me. For instance, I’ve discovered that the Necromunda community on FB is particularly vigorous, and now I’m looking at buying a couple of Necromunda gangs of my own.

    For all this, I don’t see myself ever giving up on “indie” miniatures gaming. Some of my projects are as homebrew as homebrew can be, short of sculpting/commissioning my own figures (and the only reason I don’t commission figures is that I don’t have the budget for it). There are also aspects to “mainstream” miniatures gaming that I will never, ever be happy with, such as the accelerating pivot away from “full 3D” to “2.5D” (i.e. using 3D figures with partly or wholly 2D terrain, all the while the figures themselves keep becoming more and more elaborate to the point of redundancy). BUT, for the reasons I’ve described above, I see myself redistributing at least a fraction of the hobby-space I’ve previously given to indie/homebrew gaming, to mainstream gaming instead. I have some mainstream-ish projects going on since before, including Antares, Frostgrave and Gaslands. These will now probably be joined by a few more, including Necromunda and perhaps (gasp!) Age of Sigmar.

    Thorsten Frank

    Simply put, no. I´m a bit too eccentric to fit into the mainstream market in general. Most of the “great names” are either heavily rules laden so the well-liked rules argument will start even before the game. Then was the Gasland case (I´ve talked about my disapointment more than once here) which is in it´s scope a bit too narrow for me.* Having said that, still Battletech, DBA and especially the GZG rules (do those count as defined by you, Mike?) are high on my list. Same goes for the board game discussion a few days back.
    What I like with indie products that they are often really “niche-niche”: unconventional rules (in both directions, complex and/or easy), lore that doesn´t describe every detail, not limited to one manufacturer of minis (and which change from version to version. You know in what direction I´m looking now…) and so on.

    BTW, and @all, regarding Facebook, I´m always happy to get some new friends there. I can be found there with my (<—-) name and have a, well, eccentric profile pic.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda


    I like reading rules, so I’ll buy things which interest me so I can borrow any useful ideas. I usually go be recommendations and word of mouth rather than glossy marketing. I stopped reading all the Wargames mags years ago as they filled up with glossy rubbish.

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

    Alan Hamilton

    Our little group uses rules that the “veteran” members wrote many years ago and that have been added to and amended occasionally.  So none of us need shiny and expensive rules.  I have some of the card covered sets from the 70s and 80s that get used occasionally. Some free sets downloaded from the internet get used as well – particularly Akula’s Zombie Rules which get an outing nearly every time the grandchildren come round for a “Grandad Day”.

    The new games I have bought are really board games with figures bought in various sales – Zombicide Black Plague (half price), a couple of sets of Project Z (second hand bought for the figures and extra bit – rules used once), two sets of Mars Attacks in a Black Friday offer etc.

    The only one bought at full price was “The Hobbit – Escape from Goblin Town” because grandsons loved it!  It is still played.

    Tim Snoddy

    This drives me bonkers.  I am not a regular attender at any wargames club but do occasionally attend one and I follow what it is doing online.   The churn factor is unbelievable as people chase the latest shiniest release.  Games are lucky to see the table twice before attention moves on to something else.  Usually games are of an introduction nature or the first scenario and struggles are made to understand the rules.  In other words games rarely get explored in any depth.

    Do I personally buy big releases.  Yes and no.  No not on release for the intended purpose.  But yes I have bought a lot of second hand Age of Sigmar, Star Wars Legion and Bolt Action figures for use with other rule sets.  You can pick these figures up for a steal 6-12 months after release.  I did buy into Mantic’s Warpath expecting it to take off like their fantasy game Kings of War but it didn’t in my local area.  No wonder it is a terrible game IMHO.

    For me the game is everything and I plough a lonely furrow trying to interest people in indy rule sets.  My conclusion is it is nigh on impossible.  People just don’t seem to care that a different rule set may give a better gaming experience.  I bought Bolt Action figures to use with Nordic Weasel’s excellent Hammer of Democracy rules knowing that a lot of local gamers had Bolt Action armies they now rarely use but I can’t convince anyone to take a serious interest even though they have perfect figure collections sitting gathering dust.  I now print out QRS sheets on A4 photo paper as it seems to give a game more kudos.

    I was playing a game of Star Wars Squad Hammer using a legion figures at the club.  I noticed someone taking an interest and started chatting.   They loved the figures, thought the game play was excellent from what they had seen.   But as soon as I said I was played Squad Hammer and not Legion they lost all interest.  I really can’t understand that attitude.


    Mostly no.

    Although I will certainly be getting the new Muskets and Tomahawks edition.  I also bought all the Mersey Rampant stuff but even then some 5 years after the release of the first one.

    I mainly like Piquet style games and also Barry Hilton’s stuff.  The player base for both are low key but interactive.



    “Have you played with all the toys you already have?”

    “No Ma, I haven’t.”

    “Then why do you need to buy more toys?”

    There’s enough stuff already in my basement to keep me amused for several lifetimes. When I play with my friends, I supply all rules, terrain and troops for the game, or one of them does. It’s unusual for more than one of us to contribute to any project.

    So no, I hardly ever buy a new release, unless it’s right in the sweet spot of one of my existing interests. Um, like Flint & Feather was, or the new 303 Squadron Kickstarter. (“I’m GONNA play with that, Ma. Really, I’m GONNA. Soon.”)

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!


    No, I just kind of do my own thing.  I follow my passion for my hobby, and am not too concerned with belonging or community much of the time.


    Phil Dutré

    I’m not too focused on rules, since for me, miniature wargaming is foremost about the miniatures. Rules come and go, but your miniatures built up over many years, will stay with you for a much longer time than any ruleset will. The heart and soul of miniature gaming are the toys, not the rules.

    I’ve often said this before, but if I’m still gaming 25 years from now, chances are I will use miniatures already in my collection today, but I will most likely be using rules that do not exist yet, with mechanisms yet to be invented. So, I’m pretty much relaxed about rules.

    When I look at my own 30 past years of miniature gaming, I don’t really associate any particular time period with specific rulesets we were playing (*), but mostly with an interest in a specific period, or a specific project such as getting a game ready for a con.

    (*) One exception: WFB 3rd edition during the late 80s/early 90s.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

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