June 11, 2012

Why Are Miniatures Games So Big?

If you've been watching my blog for the past month or so you've seen that I've spent a fair amount of time on miniature gaming over my traditional card and board game focus.  Miniatures aren't a new realm for me, but on the grand scale they've generally not taken a huge portion of my gaming time.  I've spent a lot of money on Warhammer 40k, and a decent amount on Hordes, but the amount of actual playing time with either of those games is decidedly small.

Then comes along Strange Aeons and totally messes up my life.

Besides rekindling my interest in miniature games in general, that simple demo of the game has had some much farther-reaching effects.  Here's a brief run-down:

Copious New Miniatures Purchased
In addition to all the official Strange Aeons figures I've picked up from UMW (Uncle Mike's Worldwide), I've also bought a lot of items from RAFM's Call of Cthulhu and Modern Heroes lines.  I also picked up 8 packs of figures from Bob Murch's Pulp Figures line.  I'm not sure of a total count, but it's easily over 100 new miniatures that now live at my house.

Miniatures Have Actually Been Painted
Yes that's right, I've actually painted some of these miniatures.  In fact, I've painted over a dozen of them!  Working through some of the Lurker and Threshold character profiles inspired me to paint all three packs of UMW's cultists, as well as four of the UMW Threshold Agents.

Horrorclix Figures Will Finally See Use
Not only did I convert several of my cool-but-generally-useless Horrorclix figures (because that game sucked) for use in Strange Aeons but I also found a use for some others.  I upgraded my copy of Panic Station to include 8 re-based Alien figures.  In the process I also created small card text upgrades for that game so that players could actually tell what the cards in their hand did without having to constantly pass the rule book around the table.  Several more of the Horrorclix figures I have can and will be converted for use in other games now.

My Copy of Zombie Plague Looks Awesome
Following from the conversion of Horrorclix for Strange Aeons, all of my Horrorclix zombies now have a new home in my copy of the print-and-play game Zombie Plague.  I re-based them all on the extra 1"-diameter cardboard tokens that came with the Terraclips sets I recently bought.  With my player standees made from the victim tokens, card stock boards and full-color cards, this game looks great.  Oh and it's actually fun too.  Just ask Webber.

WorldWorks Games Now Takes My Money
Before playing Strange Aeons, I had never heard of WorldWorks Games.  They make papercraft table top terrain for miniature games, which I now own a few pieces of.  I've never made terrain out of paper before, but this stuff looks a lot better than you'd think!  More impressively though, I've been exposed to their new TerraClips products which are fucking awesome. I don't know what the hell I'm going to use them for, but I now have a set of each of their first three releases: Streets, Sewers and Buidlings of Malifaux. And they're previewing the next three sets, which I'll probably end up buying too.  Damn it!

Handmade Table Top Terrain Now Lives At My House
I bought some little kits of stuff long ago, but had never used it.  I finally cracked it all open and made a bunch of cast rocks, which ended up in my making styrofoam terrain, which was followed by being painted and flocked and adorned with miniature trees and basically taking up a lot of my time to make a bunch of mountains and grassy little hills.  They look great though, and I made them...so yay me!

I'll Finally Have Game Boards To Play Miniature Games On
In the quest for an answer to the "what the hell will I play these games on?" question I was introduced to Zuzzy Mats by Sebastien and ended up ordering 4 of their 6'x4' mats for my birthday.  Can't wait til they arrive, but that'll just mean that I have to paint almost 100 square feet of gaming mat.  Oh man...what the fuck was I thinking?  I don't even really have anyone to PLAY these games with except Sebastien, and that's maybe on a one-game-per-year basis.

My F-ing Money Just Keeps on Disappearing
I wonder if that's a hidden rule in all these damn miniature game rule books?!  Apparently not satisfied with the time and fiscal drain that Strange Aeons was having on me, I've recently invested in not one, not two, but three more of these stupid @$$ games.  On Sunday I ordered a massive batch of crap from WestWind Productions for their similar-but-different-from-Strange-Aeons game called Empire of the Dead.  It's got some great looking models, has a campaign system and uses D10 rules instead of D6.  Looks great and I can't wait to try it out, but wtf?!  When am I going to have time to build, paint and play THIS game?

I also invested in a set of rules for a super-hero miniature skirmish game called SuperSystem.  I was able to find the rule book online for about $13, which really isn't much of an investment.  Since I have hundreds of Heroclix figures living in the other room of my place, they might as well get some use.  I lost interest in Heroclix years ago, shortly after they started introducing the special powers concept.  I still buy figures once in a while because I'm apparently addicted to plastic, but I don't play.  Another set of rules to learn, character profiles to figure out, and...probably no one to play with.  Fucking awesome. Can you smell the sarcasm yet?

Even still, more shit arises.  I hear about a game today called Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster, currently in Kickstarter mode.  A sci-fi survival horror game with MORE unpainted miniatures and some extremely shiny looking stretch goal rewards...damn it there goes more of my money. Oh well, hopefully the game will be as fun as it looks, going by how awesome the models alone look.  At least it isn't slated to actually arrive until sometime late November.  It won't feel so painful when it lands on my doorstep because it'll have been paid for long before that.

"Miniature" games?  Yeah right, more like colossal.  Or I'm just a sucker.  Ah well, at least I think I'm enjoying myself.


styx said...

It is all about the enjoyment. To me it is sometimes the collecting more than the gaming that is the exciting part.

Oddly when it comes to Strange Aeons I am both very motivated as I am with my Old West Figures...I have piles and piles of 40k and Fantasy just laying about and even pirates, WW2 Germans and Gladiators...

I bought several of the Historical GW games Legends of the High Seas and Old West along with Gladiator. Along comes Strange Aeons into the mix now...heh, then I find Black Gultch rules for the Old West and just got into 28mm WW2 with Iron Ivan, which is amazing stuff, detail but simple rules with variety all over and the books are priced right. Plus you can play a platoon game or a small skirmish squad game between Disposable Heroes and Point Blank.

Obsidian3D said...

With my VS System group increasingly losing interest in playing I think it's a natural evolution for me to start moving to other things. My ever-growing collection of board games is evidence of that.

For miniatures, I originally started with 40k even though I hardly ever paint and even less frequently play. Funnily enough I actually put together a squad of Necrons yesterday rather than working on Strange Aeons stuff though! Took longer than I remember to do, but they look pretty nice getting added to the rest of them. Shame the new codex isn't that good...even though I never played Necrons with the OLD one. I just love those models.

And that Sedition Wars stuff, god those minis look good.

Paul of the Man Cave said...

You aren't by yourself - not by a longshot! I too have a range of figures and periods and even scales. I used to do a lot of massed gaming but now my son is my main playing buddy so we do a lot more skirmish gaming in 25/28mm.

Strange Aeons is indeed one of those games - sure you might have a hundred or so figs at the moment, but look at the variety of scenarios you can do with those. 100 figs barely gets you a single army in anything else.

But yes, gaming is addictive and yes you can spend wads of cash on it. But at least it isnt booze, horse racing or cheap women and it gets you time with friends - at least thats how I justify it to my wife!

But whatever you do - its all about having fun buddy!

Anonymous said...

Bwahahhahaha... I take full responsibility for inducting you into the cult of tabletop gaming.

Paul of the Man Cave said...

Well done that man!

Anonymous said...

I think it's strange that my name comes up as kitchenwarehelmet sometimes and 10x28mm others? Blogger is funky...