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  • #176800
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    Over on Twitter, Henry Hyde was asking about how people play and so on.

    But I was wondering why do you play?
    Social aspect, escapism, love of the period/setting, fulfil some collectors itch, other?

    #176801
    Avatar photoDon Glewwe
    Participant

    I’m a model builder.  For 60 years I’ve been rearranging bits of stuff so that it looks like something else.  Some of that rearranged stuff has ended up on a table (or floor, or yard, or…?) and used to act like something else.  Broadly speaking: The figures and terrain used in gaming model the things, while the game itself models the actions.

    So, for myself, the play is chiefly an extension/expression of the foundational desire to model stuff.  On that basis, the background/history/storytelling aspect that Henry mentions is an essential part of the process since it answers the “What is being modeled?” question.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #176802
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    I don’t actually know.

    When asked, either in person, or in online fora like this (and I suspect once or twice in the days of magazines) I’ve previously said all sorts of things – it’s like a dinner party with like minded people, I have a fascination with history, because my Dad bought me toy soldiers, metal and plastic, because a large proportion of my relatives had served in the armed forces.

    All of which are true but don’t really tell anyone, including me, ‘why’ I do it.

    At this remove I suspect it is something I do because it is something I do.

    I’ve played recognisable ‘grown up’ wargames since 1972 and I’m not proposing stopping. I’d played with toy soldiers since about 1960ish prior to that.

    What prompted me, if I’m honest, I have no idea now. I can rationalise all sorts of answers which would fit my background and the era but honestly they are post hoc constructions.

    It has been suggested that it is an attempt to create a world where I am in charge (they haven’t seen me throw dice!) to compensate for feelings of loss of control in reality.

    Possibly, but I just like it.

    #176803
    Avatar photoOB
    Participant

    It has been suggested that it is an attempt to create a world where I am in charge (they haven’t seen me throw dice!) to compensate for feelings of loss of control in reality.

    A line promoted by Michael Moorcock in one of his short stories.  Maybe it caught on.

    Anyhoo, That’s not why I game.  I like toy soldiers and history so wargaming does the trick.  I’d hazard it is the same for most of us.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #176804
    Avatar photowillz
    Participant

    Like Don, Guy and OB all of the reasons above, mainly because I enjoy it and I get to make things.

    #176809
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    Because I aspire to be creative and painting, converting and terrain building give me an outlet for that.

    Because my model making is better than my poetry.

    Because I’m a compulsive collector and it’s cheaper than stamps, coins or fine art and less likely to be consumed than a collection of fine wines.

    Because it’s cheaper than keeping a pony and less addictive than heroin (probably!).

    Because I am fascinated by history, especially military history, and it leads me to explore cultures and conflicts I would otherwise never have heard of.

    Because I’m an old fogey and I’m suffering from the delusion that I am keeping my mind active and that that is a good thing.

    Because it’s an excuse to get together with like minded friends.

    Because one needs something to fill the howling void between birth and death? 🙂

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #176810
    Avatar photoGeof Downton
    Participant

    Almost entirely because I enjoy building models, and I’m interested in ancient rather than post-industrial history, else I’d be a railway modeller. I quite enjoy playing, either for the intellectual challenge or the social aspect, but don’t really care one way or t’other.

    I also enjoy the research, the main reason I settled on Biblical as my primary interest – many people know the stories, but significantly fewer know the history behind the stories.

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #176811
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    I could talk about my love of history, but I think I wargame because it’s because it’s what I do. Faced with issues in real life I find myself mentally running through scenarios, ‘wargaming them’ mentally.

    Also I think that wargaming is comparatively safe. God alone knows that would have happened if I’d got interested in politics instead 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176813
    Avatar photoPaint it Pink
    Participant

    I play because playing is fun. I build models because because building models is fun.

    Why is playing fun? Current psychology research suggests that play is how we learn (as children), but finding something fun that we did as a child is probably learnt behaviour (classical and operant conditioning).

    For me, creating or experiencing new things is play, and wargaming is one modality of many possible ways of experiencing the world.

    One is good, more is better
    http://panther6actual.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://ashleyrpollard.blogspot.co.uk/

    #176821
    Avatar photoChris Pringle
    Participant

    What else could possibly match that Monday night dopamine rush … ? 😉

    One of my ‘Reflections on Wargaming‘ addressed the different things we get from different types of game: ‘Wargames: how much “war”, how much “game”?‘ Another looked at what makes a good game: ‘The Quest for the “High Quality Gaming Experience”‘.

    At the ‘meta-level’ where Henry and Mike pose the question, a big one for me is puzzle-solving. Consider sport as the context for a moment rather than wargaming: some folks like the big occasion, the drama of red vs blue, being swept up in the emotional highs and lows. Me, I am more interested in the cold tactical analysis. Consequently I like my sports complex – cricket, rugby union, American football – and I’d rather be on the sofa getting replays and intelligent commentary than wedged into Twickenham or Lords.

    A wargame lets me apply that kind of competitive intellectual analysis myself and see how and why my plans or those of my fellow players do or don’t work.

    My interest in particular historical conflicts, periods, regions etc provides interesting context in which to apply that analysis – more interesting than sterile abstract puzzles like sudoku.

    The aesthetics, the craft, the social dimension, the drama – all these play their part as well – but flexing my brain on what are for me interesting historical problems comes first.

     

     

    #176822
    Avatar photoirishserb
    Participant

    I know why I continue to game; it allows me to pull together various interests, leading to a single goal or objective.  The research and learning about history and humanity, a cronic need to build and create, problem solving, the immersive experience of playing a or many roles and experiencing the adventure of the game, etc, etc, ending with what I learn from it all.

    But at the root of the question, why have I always been attracted to war as an element of play (I know it started before age three), I don’t really know, the concept goes utterly aganst everything I believe in.

    Paint it Pink probably understands my reason for playing/gaming better than I do, as her post above seems to hit on some of the most important things that I derive from playing.

    #176824
    Avatar photokyoteblue
    Participant

    The miniature pagantry, love of history, and model building/painting.

    #176829
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    Pretty much what Guy wrote.

     

    Doesn’t do any good to over-analyse it.

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

    #176838
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    I’ve never grown up and out of playing with toy soldiers. When I was younger I never knew it was called ‘Wargaming’. But alas I am older and that’s what is is called. So that’s what I do. It’s fun and I love it for all different reasons. It expanded from playing simple games to a whole hobby. Building models, painting models, collecting models….

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #176841
    Avatar photoOh no….
    Participant

    Plain and simply “cos I like it..”, plus all the associated research, picking figures, painting and basing them. Terrain is important, I like to have a great looking table, as lifelike as I can get it and is practical!

    The thing that kicked it all off was an older lad down the road giving me a lead knight in armour out of the coal pile in his coal shed when I was about 6?? Then plastic Airfix 1/72 until we found 1:300 micro armour. 25mm metal started with figures form City Models on Dale St., in Liverpool and Games had recently opened on the corner of Manchester St.. After that mail order from ads in Mil Mod and Battle. Things have changed a bit since then……….

    #176861
    Avatar photoMishima
    Participant

    Pretty much like others have said. A combination of I just never stopped playing toy soldiers. Just introduced rules.
    Plus I love the social and “hobby” side, ie modelling and painting (painting less), and it scratches that collector itch.

    If i didn’t game, I’d probably do model railways or similar.

    EDIT: having thought on it a while, I also love researching and history side. Why else would I be chasing obscure books. I just ticks a lot of boxes.

    Modelling, painting, research, history, social, having a few beers over a game.

     

    Tim from Gomi Designs. 15mm Vietnam riverine. www.gomidesigns.co.uk

    #176863
    Avatar photodeephorse
    Participant

    I like playing games.  It can be almost any type of indoor game, but not an outdoor sport kind of game.  I’m interested in history, especially military history, and the machines of war.  So a combination of game and war is the logical outcome.  I have no answer as to why I like this hobby other than that my brain gets pleasure from it and makes me do it!

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #176870
    Avatar photoThe Red Hobbit
    Participant

    Henry Hyde has an interesting observation but I don’t think its limited to just historicals.  I’ve certainly met plenty of Sci-Fi players who are happy to get to the game and skip over the lore and the background.  Different strokes for different folks.

    At first I thought love for the setting would be most important for me but as I mulled it over I realized I’ve always enjoyed the social aspect the most.  I started wargaming in the early 2000s when my friend group decided to get into 40k 3rd ed, it was always a blast to get a game in on a weekend and spend just as much time laughing as you do playing.  I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to find a playgroup that is similar at every location I’ve been stationed at.

     

    #176899
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Yes, all the above.

    Being sick as a kid, it also gave interest to those days between the sunny ones. If I played soccer in Winter, I always got wet, then sick…

    d

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #176902
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    I’m interested in history, simulation and operations research, I like building models and painting toys and I like playing games.

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

    #176903
    Avatar photoPhil Dutré
    Participant

    It’s not always easy to say ‘why’ I wargame. It’s a hobby I rolled into through various things I came across when a kid and youngster. I probably could have ended up in slightly related hobbies, or perhaps something else entirely. Who knows.

    So I can explain how I got into wargaming, but it’s a bit harder to say why I wargame. However, I can say why I like it – any of the usual reasons: a blend of military history, modelling, gaming, playing with toy soldiers, along the meta reasons such as hanging out with friends.

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

    #176916
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    Like Don Glewwe, I came over from scale models. I wanted to get a little more use out of them than putting them together and leave them on display. It started with naval gaming and got out of hand from there, not that I do much gaming but I also use the hobby to focus my obsession with history and military hardware. Getting to move them around and making shooting noises is a bonus.

    Another obsession is the wilderness and my continual attempts to replicate it on a smaller scale.

    Tired is enough.

    #176931
    Avatar photoMcKinstry
    Participant

    I’m not very good at introspection but since I’ve been doing this since 1975, I’d have to guess a combination of satisfying creative urges, enjoying some excellent companionship and a love of history. Mixed together with a certain intellectual challenge of competition I find it keeps me enthralled even after all this time.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #176955
    Avatar photoAlex
    Participant

    I don’t even know anymore – some days I want to throw it all away.

     

    ask me tomorrow and the response will likely be different however!

    Alex (Does Hobby Stuff)
    practising hobby eclecticism

    #176956
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    I don’t even know anymore – some days I want to throw it all away. ask me tomorrow and the response will likely be different however!

    Alex, we’ve all been there. It’s a dark place but there is always something new and shiny around the corner.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #176960
    Avatar photoPaint it Pink
    Participant

    I don’t even know anymore – some days I want to throw it all away. ask me tomorrow and the response will likely be different however!

    Alex, we’ve all been there. It’s a dark place but there is always something new and shiny around the corner.

    Been there too. Gave all my stuff away. Some of it came back, and now I have more.

    All I can say is don’t predict, be optimistic, and know that you have friends even if you don’t know who they are.

    One is good, more is better
    http://panther6actual.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://ashleyrpollard.blogspot.co.uk/

    #176962
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    Why Do You Wargame?

    Because I like to. 😉

    But then it may not be easily understandable for other people.

    Three years ago at Japan Vannes Matsuri (an event about all Japanese culture in Vannes, Brittany) we were displaying a Sengoku game on a very large table with miniature Japanese castles and villages etc. It was not a gaming event so at first many visitors did not understand it was a game, at first sight they could believe it was a large miniature model, then they saw us playing, rolling dice, talking and negociating etc…

    …A lady, when she understood we were playing a game with toy soldiers, was very surprised and said aloud “vous avez vu leur âge ?” (have you seen their age?)

    …Perhaps that’s one of these things I like when wargaming in public events in France, where many people are still not accustomed to see grown up people playing with toy soldiers… how do you call it in English?  “showing off” or “coming out”… or both… 😉 😉

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

    #176963

    I wargame because it has proven to be as effective as eating oysters. Or was that snails!?!

    Mick

    #176968
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    I wargame because it has proven to be as effective as eating oysters. Or was that snails!?!

    I wouldn’t have felt concerned if you had only mentioned eating snails, or frogs (which I don’t eat but I love watching the Sharpe series when Sean Bean says this word with his splendid Yorkshire accent).

    Oysters, and mussels, yes I eat them sometimes 🙂

    I never thought about comparing wargaming and eating oysters, I must think about it. Do you eat bread covered with salted butter and drink white wine while wargaming? 😉

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

    #176969
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    Do you eat bread covered with salted butter and drink white wine while wargaming? 😉

    I have done on several occasions, along with olives and assorted nuts.

    No proper wargames table is complete without drinks and snacks manoeuvring around the corners!

     

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #176971
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    >>I never thought about comparing wargaming and eating oysters, I must think about it. Do you eat bread covered with salted butter and drink white wine while wargaming?

    We have (or rather had…) an abundant coast line all around our little islands covered in all kinds of shellfish. Personally from a young age I found them utterly revolting! Very happy to walk, swim, collect etc. but unlike my parents, never eat. The best seafood I found has been greek or chinese style squid, plain and smoked salmon.

    My what a thread drift. Yes we too made our non-club meets ‘social’ and gracious with half time beers for some; mediterranean diet snacks and humus, brown/ grain breads and savoury biscuits and cheeses.

    Naturally we have no Chablis nor Sauternes present (unless saluting someone), but an abundance of New Zealand wines and varietals to match the best!

    Santé !

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #176972
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Wargaming is fun! That’s mostly why I do it. Minis are fun to research and buy. Minis are fun to paint. Terrain is fun to experiment with and create. Rules are interesting to read and to try out plus on occassion are so good that they join the stable of regularly played rule sets. Gaming with other good-natured wargamers is a lovely social facet of the hobby as are the post-game pack-up banter and the beer and pretzel debriefings at the local tavern/brasserie. Chatting about military history and history/archeology/prehistory in general with other well-informed peers is also delightful. Watching the successes and failures play out on the table is both suspenseful and when the dice will it, hilarious.

    However, there is one more motivation, chasing the rare magic moment which happens occasionally in the hobby. It is very rare but truly magical. That is when I crouch down to table-top level and if the terrain and light are both just right, then reality slips away for just an instant and I am transported to the battlefield which fleetingly comes alive for a quick and passing moment. That transcendent transubstantiation is a marvel which I have on occassion enjoyed over the past 55 years of miniature wargaming. It and fun are why I am still in the hobby today, chasing mysteries and miniature enjoyment.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson..

     

    #176973
    Avatar photoThe Red Hobbit
    Participant

    Do you eat bread covered with salted butter and drink white wine while wargaming? 😉

    I have done on several occasions, along with olives and assorted nuts. No proper wargames table is complete without drinks and snacks manoeuvring around the corners!

    I’ve usually been a beer and pretzels gamer, with bottles and cans becoming bonus terrain as the game went on “suddenly the fog clears and a mountain is visible!”.  That said white wine, bread salted butter, olives and almonds sounds pretty terrific.  I’ll have to try serving that next time we have friends over.

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