Home Forums General General Why Wargaming?

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    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    What about the hobby makes you do it?

    I think for me it was a natural progression from making Airfix/Revell kits as a child.
    I loved making WWII tanks and would often push them around and pretend they were doing battle.

    When I discovered Games Workshop back in the 80’s and realised I could paint and make and build and then do something with them, I was hooked.

    I don’t game much, more of a maker these days, but knowing they could be used in a game and would be awesome is what motivates me.

    For me the hobby is about the making and the painting, as much as the playing.
    I have my own rules and my own range of figures and terrain.
    I made and painted them all myself.
    It is the creative aspect of gaming that I like more than the actual playing.

    I think anyway.

    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    I largely agree with you Michael. For me I think it it roughly a 50/50 split between painting/making and wargaming. The harsh reality is that time is limited for gaming these days so much more time is spent planning, dreaming and making etc.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I just loved playing with army men as a kid and never out grew it.

    Avatar photoShandy

    I consider myself foremost a gamer, although making stuff is very important for me and I certainly spend more time painting and building than gaming. Interestingly, I was never much of a modeler as a kid (I started a couple of kits but I can’t remember finishing one ) and I enjoy painting and building more now than I did as a teenager – it’s provides a good compensation to my job. I enjoy the social and narrative aspect of the game, when playing the game generates an exciting story. Figures and terrain help me to get immersed into the story, that’s why I prefer miniature wargames to boardgames.

    But most of all, I enjoy the immense creative potential of wargaming and the immense creativity of war gamers – just look at all the cool projects, terrain, rules and scenarios made up by people! It seems that wargaming is about letting the imagination run free and then translate it into material objects, and those material objects in turn spark the imagination anew – and there’s no limit to it, you can go on experimenting and gaming and building and trying new stuff… don’t like the rules? Make up your own! Don’t like the scenarios? Create your own! Etc. It’s this openness I like most.

    Avatar photoPaul

    Also prefer the research and modeling aspects of the hobby to the actual gaming. Enjoy digging up obscure facts, planning and daydreaming about the current project, painting miniatures, building terrain. I find it very satisfying putting in effort and getting a result: whether its a single miniature, a warband, an entire army, a piece of terrain or whatever, I get a feeling of accomplishment that you just don’t get with other forms of gaming (card games, video games, etc). The fact that you can play an enjoyable, stimulating game with the results of your work is a bonus.
    If I wasn’t a war gamer, I would probably be a model railroader as a creative outlet: it just so happens that I prefer military matters to trains 🙂

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    Like Kyote,I have always played with toy soldiers.


    Why not wargaming?


    Oh, and the ulimited sex, enormous money and endless groupies tearing the clothes off me wherever I go.

    Avatar photowillz

    Started building and playing with Airfix kits and soldiers, a friend in Ipswich (Kim Watts) introduced me to war-gaming at school.  It sort of stuck with me, I remember seeing Military Modeling in a model shop and my Dad getting me a subscription to it.  In the early 1970’s there used to be model shops with tons of wonderful items for sale, well as seen through the awe struck eyes of a 13 year old boy.  I enjoy the ideas, the history, the art, the planning, the building, the painting, the people I meet both in person or via this inter web thingy and gaming.   On the whole the people you meet through this hobby are polite, friendly and helpful.  This hobby inspires me and I take great pride that I can look at an every day object that most people would consign to the rubbish bin and I can make something useful out of it.

    This hobby is simple, enjoyable, relaxing and fun.

    Avatar photoPaul

    Grizzlymc, based on your comment I think I must have been doing this wargaming thing wrong all along 🙂

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Why wargame?  I love games and history; I am really interested in military affairs and I like toy soldiers and doing modelling things – wargaming combines all of these.

    Avatar photoirishserb

    Okay, this is going to sound kind of goofy.  Simplistically, it is simply part of a progression of going from various forms of toy soldiers as a kid to toy soldiers as a bigger kid.  But toy soldiers has always been more than just toy soldiers.  It has always allowed me to meet a need to create;  building, painting, sculpting, etc.  Over time, it allowed me to consciously incorporate many, seemingly unrelated  interests ranging from paleobotany to astrophysics.  I think to varying degrees this is really true of a lot of us.

    The thing that  I don’t understand is why this all comes together under a simulation or model of battle or war.  I mean for example, I could have done the same thing with model railroading, creating my own fantastical world of artistic expression  on tracks.  I’m not a very competitive person, and tend to avoid violence, despite my silly sense of humor maybe sometimes suggesting otherwise.  I suspect that it is some primitive element that manifests in this way, but at the root, I don’t really know why I game.  All I know, is that if I don’t do it, I really miss it, and nothing can replace it.

    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage

    Started building and playing with Airfix kits and soldiers, a friend in Ipswich (Kim Watts) introduced me to war-gaming at school. It sort of stuck with me, I remember seeing Military Modeling in a model shop and my Dad getting me a subscription to it. In the early 1970’s there used to be model shops with tons of wonderful items for sale, well as seen through the awe struck eyes of a 13 year old boy. 


    This, pretty much.


    I’m still waiting on the sex-crazed groupies though…

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

    Avatar photoTony

    As others have said I liked building military models playing with toy soldiers, and reading the history of battles. I also liked maps, especially maps of battles as well as model train terrain (though not the trains themselves). Before I found wargaming I played Risk, Battleship, and Tank Battle. When I came across a copy of Wargamers Digest in Sept of 1979 and I found I could combine all of the above I was hooked.
    I rarely get to play, but I love collecting wargame rules, miniatures, and boardgames and my favorite thing is creating or tinkering with rule sets.

    Avatar photoCerdic

    Similar to what others have said.

    Kid in the 70s. Played with Airfix soldiers and built Airfix kits like most other kids of the time. Always loads of old war films on telly to re-enact!

    Went with a couple of mates to a big demo game put on by the local club in a church hall in the town. Saw rules! And dice!

    These days I enjoy the collecting aspect just as much as actually playing.


    My usual answer to this kind of question is:  When I was a kid I liked playing with toy cars and toy soldiers. Now I am grown up I play with real cars, but playing with real soldiers is not quite the same thing!


    Oh. And Grizzly? I’m first in line for your next game, mate…….

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    More than welcome Cerdic, but the airfare can be a bit pricy.

    Avatar photoMcLaddie

    Do I have to pick only a few?   Apart from the sex-crazed participants [groupies? Unfortunately no, just weekend flings on the table  ]  I’ve enjoyed the painting, building terrain and models as well as playing lots of different kinds of  games. The  history is what makes this hobby unique among conflict game genres… and don’t forget game design tinkering too.  Time is the only restricting factor for doing one over the other.  I would hate to think of doing this hobby without one or more of those activities.


    I’m really a painter-collector as I find hobby time (painting\creating) is a great relaxation  from a stressful life\job. I play solo when the mood suits me as I like creating the back story to game and seeing how it ends up on the table.


    Why do I wargame?

    Like a lot of others here, I built a lot of model kits in the 70’s/80’s (The Airfix kit of HMS Victory being an achievement, but still brings nightmares!) and seemed to grow from there.

    I only started gaming in 1997 when I found a local club and before that I had a strong interest on Military History, so the research of a new period I still find enjoyable.

    We, currently, have a healthy club that meets regularly on a Thursday night, with additional gaming at a friends house on a Monday night (Yes, I have a very understanding significant other!), so the social aspect of gaming rates very highly on my radar as well.

    As for the unlimited sex….well that is something that comes with the territory and I have to put up with it! Ha Ha!

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Why wargaming?

    I suppose a superficially glib answer with hidden depths is ‘Why not? Why model trains or golf or macramé.

    But superficially more helpfully but with hidden shallows – Airfix 1/72 figs, plastic kits, Swoppets, father in the Navy, lots of war films in the cinema and television, Zulu with Stanley Baker (never wargamed a Zulu War action in my life). Callan wargaming on TV and finding a copy of Charge! in a local bookshop in 1972.

    But I had a model railway, a grandfather who was a coachbuilder for the LMS and a great uncle who was a traindriver with LMS and BR. Everybody played a musical instrument. I played rugby (badly) until I was 39. I read all sorts – Cereal packets to Tolstoy (More Rice Crispies than War and Peace it has to be said).

    So why wargaming?

    I don’t really know.

    History? yes, games playing? yes but I talk about it a lot more than doing it, painting? Have you seen my painting? Collecting? I’ve sold more than I’ve kept. Intellectual engagement (I can just about spell it). So why?

    At best it’s like a great dinner party – good like minded company gathered together with a central occupation that allows, even encourages tangents to develop and be pursued. But without the indigestion (you hope).

    At worst of course its sitting there staring at a bunch of infantry you’ve just finished painting and a reference book you’ve just turned the page on and realising that colour facing was only ever used by one battalion for 3 months during a winter and never saw action.

    So why wargaming? I’ll get back to you.

    Avatar photoEarther

    I’m in it for the chicks.


    Plus, I loved my snitchy soldiers (1/72 Airfix) and my Star Wars toys and Action Force. I’ve always drawn soldiers and battles, aliens and spacemen. Still do. Sometimes for monies.

    GW’s 40k and Space Hulk plus lots of D&D and Traveller were my gateway drugs.

    But I never grew up really. F**k yeah, space soldiers!

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