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  • #27067
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I think when veteran gamers are discussing on how to get youngsters into the hobby, they are having the wrong discussion, because it is not them who will lure a 15yr old into miniature wargaming.

    Teenagers are drawn into the hobby by slightly older teenagers. No teenager will think a hobby played by his granddad is cool. There are exceptions, but hobbies are chosen based on what a peer group is doing, not what someone 2 generations removed is doing. And when I look at the local cons, there are PLENTY of youngsters playing. Of course, they don’t care about the tactics of Frederick the Great, but they do care about their fantasy and scifi armies. As I once did. I started with fantasy gaming when I was 16 in 1982, and only made the jump to historicals 10 years later.

    What I think you can do as a veteran gamer in your local club or FLGS is setting up the logistics in providing a good atmosphere, because young people fail miserably at those ;-), but leave the proselytizing to the young people.  And you definitely should talk to gamers in their 20s, who are slowly making the decision to be in the hobby for life, in showing them what historicals are all about, because most of them will have been drawn in through fantasy and scifi.

    As for the observation above that researching military history is a lot of work, and that is is barring a low-level entry, well … studying military history is exactly what the hobby is all about, right? If you are not willing to read up on your military history, then what are you doing in historicals in the first place? Just as a fantasy player should read up the background stories shaping the fantasy universe, a historical player should be willing to study the period. Now, you might argue about the required depth of the study, but there’s always a few cheap Osprey’s you can read – nothing wrong with that.

    The counterargument is that it’s only about the game and the toys, and screw history! But that would be a different hobby!

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

    #27069
    repiqueone
    Participant

    Average Gamer: Wargamers have always self-segregated, and self-selected the people they game with.

    Believe me they do not do this because of any great stigma, but because their hobby interest is uncommon and seeking out other gamers has always been a challenge.  There is nothing particularly cerebral about the hobby either.  It’s a step up from Monopoly, but not by much.

    One may be impressed by the craft skills, the painting artistry, or the engagement of players in the game play, but a stroll around any convention I’ve been to(and I’ve been to plenty) will never be confused with a observing a meeting of Nobel Laureates. Many historical wargamers get all of their history from other wargame rules, not from reading history.

    Wargamers are no more stigmatized or intelligent than the general run of white, male, middle class citizens of most countries.  In fact, they are pretty much average folks, that play with toy soldiers instead of trains, golf balls, model airplanes, or cars.  They run the gamut from extremely smart to challenged by summing two d6s, but are, on the average–average.

    Groups within the hobby DO self-select on the same bases as any social group:  common interests, politics, age,and, often, socio-economic simularities.  It is very common for groups that gather to play to be long standing, and very compatible, on a variety of issues.

    The hobby is also very limited in any growth potential.  Historical wargaming is a small fraction of present day wargamers.  One can observe this by just observing the number of games, rules, and figures being offered, and the number of firms devoted to historical gaming as opposed to fantasy.  Go to any general US convention and the bulk of the games are various forms of fantasy. Eliminate WWII and the disparity is even larger.

    But even the dominant fantasy/ SciFi gaming is a small, small, industry compared to most hobbies as evidenced by the number of dedicated businesses, which are comparatively few, and the mom and pop nature of many of them.

    None of this matters to those who engage in what I believe is a fun hobby that allows a person to play with history and imagination, but a realistic appreciation of it is wise.

    Nothing anyone does regarding cost, size of game, simplicity of rules, pre-painting, etc. is likely to greatly expand the percentage of people that play wargames, or increase the number of suppliers that serve the hobby, which has always had great churn and turn-over of companies, and active gamers as well.  It is the definition of a niche hobby.  It has always been so, and other than the internet better connecting the scattered members of the hobby around the globe, will remain so.  Efforts at evangelizing will not change this fact.  Those that join in the future will do so regardless of barriers and with or without easing their way.

    Most people that enter the hobby are gone in a few years if they do not invest time, study, and money into the hobby.  The mix may vary but without commitment of some of the above the person simply does not stay with the hobby.

    It is true that suppliers can up their internal share of the relatively fixed market by serving customers what most want in the figures and rules they produce.  Small units, small scale, fantasy, very accessible rules, and low cost all meet these demands at the present time.  If you are a vendor, your path is clear.

    Starting small, btw, is not, generally speaking, scalable.  The figures used, the scales of the figures, the periods chosen, the rules used, and even the terrain, are often not interchangeable, but require repurchasing, relearning, and a reinvestment of effort, not a simple scaling up.  The only sure method of scaling up is starting with a plan and building within a agreed upon system that allows a wide range of forces, or simply committing to building a suitable collection but doing it within a group, or deferring gaming until you get to a certain useable size of force.  A self-generated plan is a good thing.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by repiqueone.
    #27074
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    And yes, copying for your own use is perfectly legal.

    Myth.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27080
    Bandit
    Participant

    The counterargument is that it’s only about the game and the toys, and screw history! But that would be a different hobby!

    There is nothing particularly cerebral about the hobby either.  It’s a step up from Monopoly, but not by much.

    And there we have it.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #27082
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    Many historical wargamers get all of their history from other wargame rules, not from reading history.

    I don’t think you can stack that one up, Bob. Most wargames rules in my experience do not contain any history for their period. For example, how much about the Napoleonic Wars did the original Piquet: Les Grognards contain? 😉 You have to read history books to get an understanding of a period because it can’t be obtained from rules alone.

    There is, I admit, a tendency in some modern, glossy rulesets to include some history, but it’s not terribly well researched.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27083
    Patrice
    Participant

    I don’t think that the “cost of entry” (whether money or difficulty) is really a problem when people want to get involved in the hobby. I’ve seen many guys spending big money on GW miniatures and learning all WH and WH40K Codexes by heart (although the same guys said that history books were boring). I’ve also seen guys coming to our 28mm historical games with HAT miniatures because they really wanted to play …we were all frowning but we accepted them anyway.

    Many companies now feel obliged to write rules to sell their miniatures, and/or to have miniatures made to sell their rules; I’m not sure it really lowers the cost of entry…

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #27084
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I should have been clearer that I’m making pronouncements about nobody but myself and my own experiences as a gamer who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s in the Eastern United States, so I apologize if I came off as piling on a certain aspect of the thread.

    I, personally, have always felt that a given game that I will enjoy will have many levels on which it can be appreciated and have in my experience found new players gravitate towards that aspect. That is to say, approachability in a game relates to a breadth of experience and a welcoming atmosphere from the game and those playing it.

    If everyone is having a good time for their own reasons, that seems to be the key to attracting new people, which in turn lowers the barrier to entry because there are lots of ways and reasons to like or “get into” the hobby. I expressly disclaim any deeper knowledge or insight than that.

    #27085

    And yes, copying for your own use is perfectly legal.

    Myth.

    Not in Brazil it ain’t Ian. Particularly if you use the copied components to make a new piece of artwork. But if Campbell’s Soup wants to try to sue the Warhol estate for trademark infringement, they can go right ahead.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #27089
    Sparker
    Participant

    Sparker, I was actually surprised not to hear / see / read you trumpet Black Powder as an example of “start simple, become more involved”. As you know, I don’t like the game – but you do and from the way you describe it, it seems a very good example. I didn’t know what ‘FLGS’ were and had to look them up. They are pretty sparse in the US at this point, I’m lucky that there is one near by and that wargaming is very healthy in the general vicinity I live and work in. I think we’ve got maybe 4-5 historical groups that meet regularly with around 100 participants among them? It is a little hard to know because the sad thing is we are all self-segragated but no one seems to know why….. Cheers, The Bandit

    Lol! Seriously though, Black Powder is not lowering the cost of entry because of its simplicity and elegance – to any 12 year old new potential entrant any rule system is complicated. The reason BP has been such a suceesful bridge is because it has adapted its basic mechanisms from juvenile type wargames – 40K or Warhammer, I’m not sure which but one of these – attack throw followed by a saving throw. So straight away those interested in stepping into historicals from those games have something they can latch onto, and feel reassured.

    Given a scarcity of FLGS, maybe the same technique could be used in any suitable public venue that might have some interest in allowing you space – local museum, shopping mall outside a model or book shop, defence force base, etc. Be sure to get the local media involved, and hope its a slow news day!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #27090
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Yes, the current fad for using the criminal law system to protect people’s right to make money from their intellectual property is really a rich white country thing.  10 minutes on a Latin American Universities intranet will explain why university text books are not a gold mine here.

    John’s example of luring kids into the hobby with big brightly painted figures is exactly what I am talking about.  If you guys had said NO! to “can we roll the dice?” GW would be putting out a bigger dividend.

    In my yoof we did air wargaming with modified Paragon WWI rules (pretty heavily modified for supersonic jets) and it was our policy to hand anyone who showed interest a stand, a plane and a playsheet with the injunction “Stick to my tail like glue”.  Our biggest games had 32 people in them.  There are still wargamers at that club who were lured into  those games who now have enough figures to fight Leipzig on a tennis court.

    #27091
    repiqueone
    Participant

    Ian:  Hi there!   I don’t mean to be understood to argue against reading history, nor do many (any?) rules have an obligation to teach the history of the period, though one might wish that the designer had done his homework.

    I can only remark that if you are honest about wargame groups, in many cases the rules are written or chosen by a single player and everyone else is mainly trying to succeed within the rules as written, and, particularly within a less traveled period, are willing to accept the rules effects as generally accurate representations of history.  They may never read a book, other than an Osprey, to learn more about the history of that period.

    This is fine until they use that game experience as their basis for critiqueing other rules, or making pronouncements about history.   This is where artillery bounce sticks, emergency squares, to and fro pushing matches between cavalry units, opportunity fire, and a lot of other artifacts of game systems become “history”.

    An example of rule simplicity would be the Rand Corporation study of armored warfare in Cold War Europe which concluded the most accurate way to resolve Tank vrs. Tank warfare was to simply flip a coin!  A long way from Tractics!

    In fact, the best games I have seen are when the gamers are well read in history and not looking to drop some obscure rule on an opponent, or keeping a rolling recitation of historical footnotes on every rule or movement.

    History is best used prior to a game, and in the bar after the game is completed, not during the gameplay. That alone would encourage newcomers.

    Best to you, it’s been many a year!

     

    #27092

    Yes, the current fad for using the criminal law system to protect people’s right to make money from their intellectual property is really a rich white country thing. 10 minutes on a Latin American Universities intranet will explain why university text books are not a gold mine here.

    Without illegal copying of textbooks, education in Brazil would grind to a halt. It has been happening for… Lessee… Forty some years now and the Apocalypse has still not come.

    You can fulminate all you want about it, but good luck telling a kid who lives on 300 USD a month and who is completely stoked that he managed to get into school in the first place that he now needs to fork over 20 bucks a pop for 60 some textbooks, when digitalized or xerox versions are sitting right there.

    Ain’t gonna happen. When the means of production allow copying to be done quickly, cheaply and en masse, all the laws in the world, combined with all the stern lectures, aren’t going to stop it. And I speak as a Latin American educator whose own books and articles are routinely copied. Do I care? No. Do you SERIOUSLY think we get paid to produce that stuff or, on the rare occasions that we are paid, get a meaningful cut of sales?

    Last I looked, I get a fifty cent royalty on each book sold. I can just about pay lunch for my wife and mother-in-law on what I make from that.

    Like so many other things, the real cost here comes from the middle men who have insinuated themselves into the process in the pre-digital era and now believe they are entitled to continue making profit, even though no one needs them anymore and they rarely add value to the product. I really don’t feel sorry for them. I would be quite happy to sell copies of my work for one dollar a shot. That is double the profit I get now and one twentieth of the costs to the kids, who’d probably go for something like that on convenience alone. I will shed no tears for the publishing house in the middle.

    When it comes to home-casting bits for personal use in kitbashes, if it is hard to get a hold of, expensive, needed en masse and, over all, a very small portion of the production, I feel completely, ethically covered by the concept of fair use. I am not particularly concerned over the legal aspects, because I doubt anyone would come after me and, if they did, it would end up costing them much more than it was worth.

    I wouldn’t cast anything I can buy in a reasonable amount. For example, let’s say I wanted ten of Michael’s spiffy 6mm hovels. I can buy ten of them. They exist and are being sold and are easy to find. Furthermore, I don’t have to buy 120 other, uninteresting pieces to get them. Furthermore, in terms of time and costs, it would be CHEAPER to buy from Michael, anyhow.

    The pack I just bought contains two hab domes and some sixty other pieces. I need twelve hab domes. I don’t need 360 other pieces. I sent the company an email,asking if the hab domes could be bought separately. No response. Then I noticed that the pack itself was no longer even in their catalog.

    So, to make a long story short, I am copying 1/32nd of an out of print kit for my own use in kitbashed terrain pieces.

    Like I said, I feel well covered by the fair use doctrine, ethically speaking.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #27095
    Bandit
    Participant

    Blood still does not come from stones… sure, accurate observation.

    cheers,

    The Bandit

    #27096
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    I’ll sidestep the copyright stuffs and raise one defence of the “must use our mini’s with our rules” (even though I never play such games):

    You can show up to a game of Warhammer 40K with your army and be able to play.

    “You play WW2 games? Great, we play every weekend, you should join us”
    “Awesome, I have individually based 20mm figures”
    “Oh, that’s no good, we only play 6mm and based on 20mm square bases”.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #27097
    Bandit
    Participant

    I live this joke and have often retold it about Napoleonic wargaming instead of religion… something along the lines of ending with, “Do you play Empire III or Empire V?”

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #27099
    Norm S
    Participant

    GW takes a knocking from some, but in the UK, they are in each town and from the point of view of bringing young people to a wargame table / environment, their importance to the future supply of wargamers seems self evident.

    I have also noticed a few posts talking about a new wargame shop opening by them and now I find that one is planned nearby to me. The new shops seem to have a big focus on having plenty of game space for people to come in and play. Having got used to the continuing decline of the high street – it is so refreshing to see new hobby shops actually springing up.

    Having a highly visible wargaming outlet on a high street that has gaming tables, support and an enthusiastic user base, may be the biggest help  in getting an ‘accessible point of entry’ into this hobby that you can get. Playing with someone else’s army on someone else’s terrain is a pretty good starting point.

     

    #27104
    paintpig
    Participant

    I dont feel like painting today and as I have been reading this debate with interest I would thought I shall add my two cents worth….. or should that be ten cents?

    I for one feel that entry is becoming too expensive, and for context our household would be above average income. I think it would be safe to say that the vast majority of people first become engaged with a hobby in their early teens with adult entry more often than not being a rediscovering after dropping out of  a particular scene, a working adult probably wouldn’t balk at  the expense of getting back into war gaming. If we take the view that entry is by people in their early teens then yes it is expensive and a section of the hobby should be skewed towards making the point that entry is accessible and affordable. Of course a counter argument would be that GW directly targets this market, their products are probably the most expensive and yet they are successful, go figure. I know my parents wouldn’t have forked out that sort of pocket money (comparatively) when I was a kid. So repeating my observation above, maybe the industry doesn’t do a good enough job at selling the fact that you can get started in war gaming at a modest cost, it has skewed expectation. I might start a separate thread on a few thoughts I have on this subject which aren’t necessarily appropriate in this discussion.

    I have to say from the outset I found Repiques first reply a little inflammatory (I assume not deliberately) and certain to provoke a response, however he expressed his opinion and view of the hobby and who would want it any other way. Of course this leads to some defensiveness but we are passionate hobbyists with varying view points and the fact we can be adult about the subject rather underlines what TWW is about. Lets continue to leave our superiority complexes at the door.

    I’ve rambled long enough, hopefully it made some sense…. I had a knock on the head last night.

     

    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel
    Slowly Over A Low Flame

    #27105
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Every hobby ‘self-selects’–who do you play golf with?, which RC club do you fly with?–and participants’ involvement is determined by costs, the territory, the population and a good many other things. In every hobby, most folks stay on the fringes, casually participate and can drop out after a few years. Nothing new or unique in those hobby behaviors. .

    Most all hobbies are far bigger than the wargame hobby and it shows.  What and where one would ‘enter’ RC modeling,  Card-making, golf, or playing Bridge is pretty clear, pretty quickly.  Every RC modeler knows the progression from ready-made planes to elaborate True Scale.  It is never the other way around and they can tell you why.

    But the entry-point for our hobby–where to start–isn’t all that clear to an outsider–or the insider.  Is Blucher an entry-point game? How about a table-top version of BattleCry or the Command & Colors games by Richard Borg. Entry-level? Are they equal in some way to Blucher or Black Powder as beginner games?  Do newbie players see themselves ‘graduating’ to something else from there?  How many gamers have ‘entered’ the hobby with DBM or Fire & Fury or even Empire?  Which is a better idea, worse, or does it matter? Which gamers would be annoyed if their favorite game was considered a ‘beginner’s game’?

    As a hobby, we really don’t have a recognized entry point.  If I ask any RC model plane enthusiast or model RRer where a newbie should enter the hobby and why, they can tell you–all giving the same basic answer. So can any plastic model builder, racquet ball player or stamper.  Unlike other hobbies, we haven’t categorized our game experiences that way, in a hierarchy of involvement and what it demands of a gamer.  That in itself is a barrier to entry. Any door [game rules etc.] is as good as another and all arrows point to someplace different.

    As others have mentioned, looking at the amount of money teenagers and newbies spend on computer games, GW, role-playing and Sci/Fi games, let alone historical board games, with their complexities and such, [Not counting other expensive, but popular hobbies], I’m not sure that cost and space are necessarily serious barriers to historical wargaming compared to any other hobby.

     

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by McLaddie.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by McLaddie.
    #27109
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    And yes, copying for your own use is perfectly legal.

    Myth.

    Not in Brazil it ain’t Ian. Particularly if you use the copied components to make a new piece of artwork. But if Campbell’s Soup wants to try to sue the Warhol estate for trademark infringement, they can go right ahead.

    Brazil is actually a signatory to a number of international copyright conventions. Copyright infringement, not trademark infringement, so poor example.

    The exemption of copying for your own use applies to digital media, and it’s a comparatively recent change. To make a blanket statement that copying for your own use is perfectly legal, when it certainly isn’t, is irresponsible.

    Whatever you choose to believe, you’re a self-confessed crook in my book. And I suddenly think far less of you.  I don’t care whose stuff you’ve copied, the fact that you’ve done it makes you a crook. Where exactly do you plan on drawing the line on deciding whether a company is big enough for you to rip off their products? Why should anyone in the wargames business send you product if there’s a chance you’ll decide it’s too expensive to buy more genuine product and just make copies?

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27110
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    Like I said, I feel well covered by the fair use doctrine, ethically speaking.

    And you are morally repugnant.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27111
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    I can only remark that if you are honest about wargame groups, in many cases the rules are written or chosen by a single player and everyone else is mainly trying to succeed within the rules as written, and, particularly within a less traveled period, are willing to accept the rules effects as generally accurate representations of history. They may never read a book, other than an Osprey, to learn more about the history of that period.

    They could do worse: they could read Waterloo New Perspectives: The Great Battle Reappraised. 😉

    The worst thing about writing rules is having someone asking where is the historical justification for an effect when, if you’re like me, you’ve read a vast stack of books and come away with an impression of the effects you are trying to create. (As you’re aware, perhaps because of a certain person’s influence, I’m an effect-minded soul, not a procedurally minded one.) Trying to pin down the one source requires some memory, and alas that is going a bit fuzzy! I think that’s why rules need bibliographies to show what the author has looked, and so it’s possible to answer “look, I’ve read all these: go away and read them too”.

    I’ve been very glad to see you on TWW. It has indeed been some time. You’ll doubtless be amused that I recently introduced pure Piquet with no heresies to my group. 🙂

    Back to the original subject: it’s still possible to start wargaming with cheap Airfix or Airfix-like figures in 1/72nd scale, often using unpainted figures, and like I and I’m sure many others did add random metals without a care for difference in size and only later move towards consistency in that area. The real investment – or barrier – is time in painting an army, and that’s where the trend for boutique games using six to 10 figures a side makes entry easier (if not particularly cheap). But for myself, I find all the boutique games rather samey and I’m waiting for the world to tire of them.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27121
    Patrice
    Participant

    GW takes a knocking from some, but in the UK, they are in each town and from the point of view of bringing young people to a wargame table / environment, their importance to the future supply of wargamers seems self evident.

    Oh yes, I accept this.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #27122
    Mike
    Keymaster

    So…
    Here is a link to UK copyright law.

    https://www.gov.uk/topic/intellectual-property/copyright

    I think we are all clear on where Ian Marsh and Thaddeus Blanchette stand on the issue.
    I don’t see anything positive coming from from two people locking horns and going back and forth about who is right and who is wrong, legally or morally.
    As long as people remain civil this topic will remain open.

    GW takes a knocking from some, but in the UK, they are in each town and from the point of view of bringing young people to a wargame table / environment, their importance to the future supply of wargamers seems self evident.

    Yep, when I try to explain what I do to other people, they normally end up saying, Oh like GW/Warhammer?

    #27132
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    So… Here is a link to UK copyright law. https://www.gov.uk/topic/intellectual-property/copyright I think we are all clear on where Ian Marsh and Thaddeus Blanchette stand on the issue. I don’t see anything positive coming from from two people locking horns and going back and forth about who is right and who is wrong, legally or morally. As long as people remain civil this topic will remain open.

    Noted. Shutting up now. 🙂

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #27133
    Rhoderic
    Participant

     None of us had ever stopped to consider that a game with brightly-coloured toy soldiers and attractively-modelld scenery might appeal to small children.

     The reason BP has been such a suceesful bridge is because it has adapted its basic mechanisms from juvenile type wargames – 40K or Warhammer, I’m not sure which but one of these –

    Isn’t it Warmaster? (Far superior ruleset to Warhammer or 40K, IMO.)

    As for the observation above that researching military history is a lot of work, and that is is barring a low-level entry, well … studying military history is exactly what the hobby is all about, right?

    I don’t quite agree with this statement. Studying military history is exactly what the hobby of studying military history is all about. Studying it and actively playing with it and intermingling it with one’s creative side through modelling and painting is what the historical wargaming hobby is about. If one has to do a lot of the first of those three things before getting to do any of the latter two, then that can feel like an entry barrier to those who want to partake of all aspects in equal measure from the start.

    This goes to highlight a point I made much earlier in the thread: To be a historical wargamer, must one have started out as a military history buff and then segued into wargaming? Where does that leave people who come at it from the other direction – people who start out as fantasy/sci-fi wargamers and gradually notice more and more of the “historical wargaming hobby” that’s butting right up against “their” hobby? The natural instinct is to jump the fence, not to go the long way around by initiating oneself into another, prerequisite-knowledge hobby (studying military history for its own sake) before getting to graduate to miniatures. The natural hope would be that one can pick up the military history as one goes – preferably starting with someone walking up to them just as they’ve jumped the fence and going “OK, here’s what you absolutely need to know from the get-go if you want to start gaming the Austro-Prussian War” (or whatever the case may be). I’m speaking figuratively, of course; that “person walking up” might also be an introductory article on the subject, or a collection of text blurbs in a ruleset, or something such – basically anything that’s at an even more introductory level than the Ospreys. One can then move on from that to the Ospreys, just as one might eventually move on from the Ospreys to the “deeper” books. It’s all about keeping the slope gentle as it climbs.

    Let me also just quickly say that it is with some reluctance I speak of “the historical wargaming hobby” as something separate to fantasy/sci-fi wargaming. That’s not how I actually view it – it’s all one hobby to me – but using that distinction feels somewhat necessary for the sake of this discussion.

    Just as a fantasy player should read up the background stories shaping the fantasy universe, a historical player should be willing to study the period.

    One of the games I play is Heavy Gear Blitz (or some homebrew version of a Heavy Gear miniatures game, anyway – I’ve stopped using the official rules as they’re tailored for the competitive tournament scene of the North American Heavy Gear community whereas I’m an isolated European “collect both sides” narrative scenario gamer who primarily cares about the story, not the competition). The Heavy Gear world is actually a very deep, complex and detailed one as it was originally crafted for an RPG. There’s dozens of sourcebooks about the setting. When I got into Heavy Gear miniatures gaming, I just read the background facts that had been distilled into the the old Heavy Gear Blitz rulebook (HGB being the miniatures game for the Heavy Gear world, in contrast to the HG RPG) and at that point I was just happy acquiring some Northern and Southern Gears for a tiny United Mercantile Federation Army force and an equally tiny Mekong Dominion Peacekeepers force that I could pit against each other, simple as that. Only some time afterwards did I get more curious and read the RPG sourcebooks on the United Mercantile Federation and the Mekong Dominion. Then I moved on to the other sourcebooks, one by one. Now I have big plans for the Heavy Gear world (purely as a miniatures gamer, I don’t do RPGs): I want to game the Free Emirates Rebellion with only Southern Gears/vehicles on both sides; I want to game the Downing front of the War for Terra Nova with tank-heavy forces, and the Mekong front with its jungle fighting and urban meat grinders; I want to game the adventures of the Black Talons on Caprice, with enough Caprician units (in different colour schemes) that I can divide them into separate forces of Corporate allies for the Colonial Expeditionary Force and Liberati allies for the Talons. All of it together is a mammoth project in my mind.

    Not all of this will translate perfectly to historical wargaming (I don’t expect it to), but my point is that it may illuminate for historical wargamers the mentality and attitude of a gamer jumping the fence from fantasy and sci-fi. The world we’re used to. The things we’re attuned to see and to look for. The patterns in which we move. The historical wargaming community should not bend over backwards to accommodate this. But what I’m personally hoping (not “demanding”) will happen is that historical wargamers, especially on the industry side of the community, become more sensitive to this perspective and, when possible, find creative ways of connecting with it.

    The counterargument is that it’s only about the game and the toys, and screw history!

    Hmm… I don’t think that’s what the counterargument is, personally. My counterargument is that it’s about the game, the toys and the history in equal measure 

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #27136
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    By the way, it might be an idea to distinguish between entry points to the hobby as a whole and entry points to a particular period or ruleset. If I know myself, I could read 10 books each on Biblical warfare, the Hundred Years War and World War 1, and still feel eternally grateful for a beginner’s introduction to the English Civil War.

    That might be partly because I obviously can’t game everything (hell, sometimes I wonder if I can game anything  ), but I’d like to have some sort of self-consolidated beginner’s understanding of how to game everything. Maybe I’ll never have the time or courage to take up Napoleonics, but I still want an “infodump” about the period, even at a sub-Osprey level.

    #27140

    Here is my last bit on the copyright stuff. I think this is important to point out as Brazil is a large potential market for games. Devir proved that, if nothing else. Gaming companies might want to think this over before doing business there.

    Ian, there has not been a legal case in all of Brazilian jurisprudence, that I am aware of, where someone copying a piece of art for their own amusement has been found to be a crook.

    And that is what this stuff currently is under Brazilian law: pieces of art. To be “toys”, they’d need an ABRINQ registry. They’d need several other stamps to be registered as “industrial products” or “games” and be covered under those international treaties you mention.

    Were someone to go around copying and selling this stuff, absent registration of the products in Brazil, the best way to tackle it would be through art forgery laws.

    Sorry, man: but those international treaties, while signed, just don’t get interpreted everywhere the same way when they interface with local jurisprudence.

    We used to make this point to foreign game companies all the time at Devir: if you want copyright protection in Brazil, you need to have people registering and selling your stuff locally.

    Companies would say, “Oh, we don’t want to sell to Brazil because of piracy.”

    We’d respond “You already are selling to Brazil through third-party dealers and don’t know it. Your stuff is already HERE. If people want to pirate it, they can and will. If you want protection, you need to sell direct to Brazil and register your products here. We would be happy to do that for you.”

    This is EXACTLY why Games Workshop went through great expense and effort to actually SUBSIDIZE the sale of their products in Brazil a few years back. That small shipment of GW stuff got registered, stamped, sealed, and commercialized and now they have a very good legal case against any eventual pirates. I still doubt that even they would be able to do much against a guy homecasting for himself, however. They might even have the law in their side there, but it would be very hard to find a judge willing to do more than order a cease and desist, absent commercialization.

    Not to dis your knowledge of international copyright treaties, Ian, but I worked for ten years importing games into Brazil and got to see first hand how the law treats them. Some changes have occurred since then, granted, but nowhere near enough to make homecasting part of a minis kit for your own use in a kitbash a crime.

    Right now, as it stands, this stuff is art. And I am certainly protected if I copy 1/32nd of a piece of art for my own personnel use.

    As a side note, a Brazilian I know took his pirated GW army over to a show in England a few years back and played in a bunch of GW-sponsored tournaments. No one spotted it out.

    GW does have cause to worry about pirating down here. No one else, as far as I can see. OK, maybe Fantasy Flight.

    As for me pirating figs… I don’t even want to imagine the nightmare trying to pull a gravity mold off of 1/300 or 1/600 scale figures. Especially given the fact that I can get them through the mails at 4 dollars a pack. Life is far too short for that kind of thing.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #27144

    With regards to entry costs….

    Frankly, I think it’s easier to get in than ever before. 100 pounds will buy you decent, easy to use rules and two armies in 3mm or 6mm. I reckon that’s cheaper than ever before. It will even get you two 28mm skirmish forces: 25 pounds for Saga and 66 pounds for three boxes of Gripping Beast Plastics. That’s 120 figures!

    Hell, I was playing decent games with four boxes of Airfix Romans and Gauls when I was a kid and they didn’t even SELL those anywhere near where I grew up! I put my whole gaming kit together with Airfix and Atlantics over a period of several years. I got 2.50 USD a week for allowance and, IIRC, Airfix boxes were five bucks. So my basic kit would have amounted to some 100 figures that would have taken me two months to buy, presuming I could find them.

    I don’t know about what it is like in England today, but 66 pounds sounds to me like something a reasonably enterprising kid could scare up in two months time.

    For 28mm figures. 120 of them.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #27196
    Sparker
    Participant

    @ Rodheric – Yes, thank you,  I’m sure you’re right, Warmaster it may be that Rick Priestly imported the mechanisms from for Black Powder, Hail Caesar etc. That actually makes more sense as I actually really enjoyed Warmaster Ancients back in the day. Anyhow, the important thing is the kids and teenagers take seconds few to grasp the mechanics, as they’ve been exposed to them before.

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #27200
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I don’t quite agree with this statement. Studying military history is exactly what the hobby of studying military history is all about. Studying it and actively playing with it and intermingling it with one’s creative side through modelling and painting is what the historical wargaming hobby is about.

    Ok, that’s what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.

    But, the point still remains that you should at least an interest in military history. And that means you should be willing to read something about it, or watch documentaries, or whatever. And that takes time.

    I cannot imagine someone playing a Napoleonics game without knowing squat about the Napoleonic period or Napoleonic campaigns. Perhaps you only have a passing knowledge, and that’s perfectly fine when starting out. But as you continue playing that period, people will look up more knowledge, no?

    But about entry points: It’s perfectly acceptable for a teenager to get interested in WW2 because he saw a single movie. Even though the movie is factually incorrect, that will not stop him from entering wargaming. And in practice, no wargamer will stop him. So I see entry points as very accessible. It’s only when you start to care about different types of troops, tanks, equipment, at a later stadium, that people will naturally start to read more.

    I do think it’s a myth that the “historical wargaming community” (whoever that is) requires in-depth knowledge from people when starting out. You might bump into a few grumpy grognards that give you a bad experience, but that’s a social relations problem, it’s not a hobby problem.

    BTW, I play historicals as well as fantasy. I even started in fantasy and scifi. I see no large divide in attitudes or approaches to the hobby. I do see a divide between gamers of different generations, but that’s something else.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Phil Dutré.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
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    #27202
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I have locked this topic.
    TWW does not condone theft, in any form, recasting, IP theft, or anything.
    I asked that both Ian and Thaddeus drop the subject as nothing would be gained by continuing.
    Only Ian has done this.

    Spartan Games are a UK company and protected by UK law.
    Re-casting is an infringement of their copyright.
    To encourage people to re-cast and thus break the law is damaging to the companies that give us the hobby we all enjoy.
    Any further condoning of illegal activity will result in locking of accounts.

    I have no issue with people talking about IP law and so on.
    But please start a new topic about it, keep to facts and please do not encourage people to infringe on a companies copyright.

Viewing 31 posts - 41 through 71 (of 71 total)
  • The topic ‘Lowering the cost of entry’ is closed to new replies.