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Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'

A good book which I'd recommend to anybody.

Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home, and that the model pushed by magazines and wargames companies can be off putting.

And it got me thinking. When you look at wargames magazines and rulebooks and see the 12 by 6 tables, the highly detailed terrain, the sweeping dioramas, expertly painted models, and the average game size being 10,000 points a side, it can be intimidating. Years ago, when I first started, it nearly was off putting. I suspect the average wargamer, in a small flat or house, who may not have access to a store or club, probably felt this as well. Especially when the first miniatures they paint fall way short of 'eavy metal levels.

So, are the magazines and companies pushing a justified promotional attempt i.e trying to present their stuff in the best light, or has this unrealistic culture of increased expectations spiralled out of control?

Having brought the latest Wargames Illustrated, i'm 50/50 on this. Some of the scenarios was real pie in the sky stuff for your average gamer.

Warlord games' Bolt Action supplement, Sea Lion, is a wonderful book, but some of the suggested force sizes for the scenarios are well...

What does dakka think?


"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in us
Powerful Pegasus Knight






Are fitness models pushing unrealistic expectations for the average gym goer? No it's more of an attainable ideal if you dedicate enough time, money, and desire to the end goal.


My current wargaming table is easily over $1000 which I've spent 300+ hours working on. I saw the table in the Dropzone Commander Rulebook and a few online blogs - and hated playing on the card terrain that comes with the starter. Now after Battlefoam cases, ordering resin bases, massive resin buildings, and multiple armies later.... it's a massive hobby investment for my enjoyment. I inspires me.


A good friend of mine competes in NPC Physique, another has his procard and competes in IFBB Pro. Thousands of hours in the gym, disgusting amounts of tubberware prepped meals, trays of baked chicken, and thousands spent on illegals.

My stepbrother has easily $20,000+ worth of bicycles and is still at an entry level of competition for Cat4/road cycling and has years of traveling to do. His brother just road across the US.

They invest into their hobby and those images from White Dwarf, Cycling Magazines, or Mens Fitness inspire them and give them ideas of what to work for.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/08 13:08:51




 
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

My current wargaming table is easily over $1000 which I've spent 300+ hours working on. Battlefoam cases, ordering resin bases, multiple armies. A massive hobby investment for my enjoyment. I inspires me to look at rulebooks/white dwarf/other games.


I'm not knocking it, and fair play to you . I'm looking at this from the average joe, working on a budget, or pushed for space, viewpoint.

I'm experienced enough to know that you can get a wargame out of two sticks and an empty box, if you put your imagination to it, but for the average kid, starting off for the first time, who is faced with the tabletop version of the Battle of Agincourt and being told this is the hobby, it can be off-putting.

GW used to be really bad at this.

"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in us
Powerful Pegasus Knight






It's more "How much do you want out of it" - it's more of a general consensus that the displays at Warhammer World or the Eavy Metal armies are the "Ideal" to immerse yourself better into the story and make everything more visualized.

GW used to be great at this with homemade orky terrain tutorials. With Historicals? Most younger players have a dad or a friend that ramps them into the systems because they own 20 years worth of collecting/hobby for an intro game.

Bolt Action is great, I've played using their ruleset with army men actually (the small micromachine sized ones) with a 7 year old. However if I should him a studio level table and models - I would have hooked him on the game much more. A great deal of drive for me personally in this hobby is inspiration. "I want a table/army/start this game because of that XYZ model I saw".



 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






I don't think so, no.

I began in late 1990, when White Dwarf had regular 'Eavy Metal articles featuring the work of Mike McVey, John Blanche and various other expert painters. All the "action shots" were on fully-detailed tabletops, and even the bases of the miniatures were obscured to add to the diaorama-like feel.

That was much more appealing than the later look, as exemplified by elements of the studio Ork, Blood Angels and Eldar armies - flat base colours, black-lining, no shading or highlights. Thankfully that soon passed and we had the heyday of 2nd edition battle reports, with the red-spined space cacti, the huge landing pad and the multi-part ruined space freighter.

Now, it's easier - say what you like about the prevalence of GW's plastic terrain kits, but now all you need to do is learn to paint them like the photos, not build them first.

You need the "glamour" shots to hook folk in. There's plenty of material explaining the basics after that.
   
Made in pl
Sneaky Striking Scorpion





What you ask for seems to be similiar to asking to ban photos of pro-designed, inspiring interiors and architecture because average person lives in an a small flat with Ikea furniture...

It is better to be intimidated by the hobby aspect of TT gaming BEFORE you commit to it, than realising you got into something you don't want to invest your time/effort/money anymore after spending any money on it. I would personally feel decieved if someone wound advertise say, "Kill team" as a "fully fledged 40K experience on a budget" because it's simply untrue. And if you are commited enough to have this life long hobby, then why setting up high standards is a bad thing?

But my main question to OP is different - so you think "grandeur" approach is intimidating and bad. Theny how should companies/magazines build interest in TT experience while not using inspiring dioramas and paintjobs? How would you personally set up magazine/company to get people to choose this hobby/your game over pro-edited war themed board games, which often have much more depth into their rules than some of TT wargames have, while giving enough immersion via graphics on boards/cards or in backstory of a game while being a lot cheaper and less time consuming? Or over highly visual computer games that are impressing straight out of the box and most straightforward to have fun with?
   
Made in gb
Most Glorious Grey Seer






This is an interesting question.

I'd like to employ my Rackham response.

Back when Rackham were a thing, they were famed for absolutely sumptuous paintjobs. Teenytiny filigree....painted on. Shades and texture....painted on. By the time I actually saw on of their models 'in the nudd', I was actually put off.

So much of the apparent detail seemed to be down to the paintjob. As a workman painter at best, I just didn't have the skills to suit their sculpts and not have my army look naff.

GW's bolder, larger scale (lots of lips and ridges on armour etc) suits my slapdash 'base, wash, drybrush' technique much better.

So yes, I think presentation, not just limited to magazines can be a double edged sword.

Fed up for Scalpers? Why not join us? 
   
Made in us
Whiteshield Conscript Trooper





I actually think this might be more of a problem with expected game size rather than the intricacy of advertised battles, which should by definition be impressive and inspiring. The artwork, battle reports, beautiful terrain and massed armies that I see in high-quality publications (GW, Warlord Games, FoW etc) get my own creative juices flowing. These companies absolutely should create these displays. They provide an end goal, and set the standard for their respective products.

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'
Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home.


This, of course, is 100% true. At the end of the day, all you really need is a rulebook, counters to serve as proxies and a flat surface to play on. That's one extreme that many people go to either out of price issues or convenience. Of course, it seems to me like the preferred solution would just be to play smaller scenarios until you build up (or not). Honestly, my most memorable games of 40k have been 500 points or less, or Kill Team when that was still around. I do think that Wargaming companies could do a better job of playing up the escalation aspect of the hobby, and if they are including historical scenarios or the like, picking ones of variable size to fit with many different collections.

Current Armies: Guard, Dark Eldar, Raven Guard, Bretonnians 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

What is worse to me is the average game size continueing to increase year after year.

The mags are supposed to provide spectacle, but their should be a balance. The internet/meta has also pushed the scale and level of what is "acceptable" for a game.

However, as wargamers we all know BIGGER IS BETTER!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

 Easy E wrote:
What is worse to me is the average game size continueing to increase year after year.

The mags are supposed to provide spectacle, but their should be a balance. The internet/meta has also pushed the scale and level of what is "acceptable" for a game.

However, as wargamers we all know BIGGER IS BETTER!


Bigger also takes ages. If you only have 1-2 hours to spare, that's where the skirmish games come in.

7th edition fantasy was pretty bad, with GW pushing the bigger is better line. I gave up trying to assemble a Skaven army, because the amount of models needed, even for a 1000 point game, was extreme.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Harbringerxv8 wrote:
I actually think this might be more of a problem with expected game size rather than the intricacy of advertised battles, which should by definition be impressive and inspiring. The artwork, battle reports, beautiful terrain and massed armies that I see in high-quality publications (GW, Warlord Games, FoW etc) get my own creative juices flowing. These companies absolutely should create these displays. They provide an end goal, and set the standard for their respective products.

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'
Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home.


This, of course, is 100% true. At the end of the day, all you really need is a rulebook, counters to serve as proxies and a flat surface to play on. That's one extreme that many people go to either out of price issues or convenience. Of course, it seems to me like the preferred solution would just be to play smaller scenarios until you build up (or not). Honestly, my most memorable games of 40k have been 500 points or less, or Kill Team when that was still around. I do think that Wargaming companies could do a better job of playing up the escalation aspect of the hobby, and if they are including historical scenarios or the like, picking ones of variable size to fit with many different collections.


I've nothing against GW or other companies showcasing their product in an attempt to maximise sales. They are a business at the end of the day.

But I think the bigger is better culture, which is the line they push, is not good for the hobby, especially for the novice.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
This is an interesting question.

I'd like to employ my Rackham response.

Back when Rackham were a thing, they were famed for absolutely sumptuous paintjobs. Teenytiny filigree....painted on. Shades and texture....painted on. By the time I actually saw on of their models 'in the nudd', I was actually put off.

So much of the apparent detail seemed to be down to the paintjob. As a workman painter at best, I just didn't have the skills to suit their sculpts and not have my army look naff.

GW's bolder, larger scale (lots of lips and ridges on armour etc) suits my slapdash 'base, wash, drybrush' technique much better.

So yes, I think presentation, not just limited to magazines can be a double edged sword.


I've criticised GW for a lot of things over the years, but recently, their approach to painting, with Duncan's videos, and their paint line (designed in mind for the new gamer) is spot on.

I wish their paint prices were cheaper, because the quality has never been in doubt.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/08/08 14:44:02


"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in us
Executing Exarch






I'd say not at all.

While some wargaming may be aimed at parents buying their 10-11 year old kids plastic toy soldiers, I think most teenagers are quickly able to accept that X, Y and Z are the end goal...and not the starting point. As someone who started in the early 90's and grew up with Hero Quest, Battlemasters and then got into GW (40K, Warhammer Quest, Necromunda, eventually Mordheim, some Epic etc.) the impossibly awesome tables and games/figures/armies were absolutely and inspiration. Sure my high school Eldar army was maybe 40 models strong, but I sure wanted to have a "White Dwarf" level table at some point.

Now in my thirties, I do, and the armies to go with it. I can now put together a gaming table to rival the awesome museum displays you'd seen in war museums etc. It all served as inspiration, not some impossible task or some overly daunting scare tactic. I think the portion of the community or culture who gets put off by awesome examples of things would be quite small.

 
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

nou wrote:
What you ask for seems to be similiar to asking to ban photos of pro-designed, inspiring interiors and architecture because average person lives in an a small flat with Ikea furniture...

It is better to be intimidated by the hobby aspect of TT gaming BEFORE you commit to it, than realising you got into something you don't want to invest your time/effort/money anymore after spending any money on it. I would personally feel decieved if someone wound advertise say, "Kill team" as a "fully fledged 40K experience on a budget" because it's simply untrue. And if you are commited enough to have this life long hobby, then why setting up high standards is a bad thing?

But my main question to OP is different - so you think "grandeur" approach is intimidating and bad. Theny how should companies/magazines build interest in TT experience while not using inspiring dioramas and paintjobs? How would you personally set up magazine/company to get people to choose this hobby/your game over pro-edited war themed board games, which often have much more depth into their rules than some of TT wargames have, while giving enough immersion via graphics on boards/cards or in backstory of a game while being a lot cheaper and less time consuming? Or over highly visual computer games that are impressing straight out of the box and most straightforward to have fun with?


I think a balance is needed. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with a giant table with enough models on it for the Battle of Waterloo, but they should remember that it is the average customer who is the backbone of their sales.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AndrewGPaul wrote:
I don't think so, no.

I began in late 1990, when White Dwarf had regular 'Eavy Metal articles featuring the work of Mike McVey, John Blanche and various other expert painters. All the "action shots" were on fully-detailed tabletops, and even the bases of the miniatures were obscured to add to the diaorama-like feel.

That was much more appealing than the later look, as exemplified by elements of the studio Ork, Blood Angels and Eldar armies - flat base colours, black-lining, no shading or highlights. Thankfully that soon passed and we had the heyday of 2nd edition battle reports, with the red-spined space cacti, the huge landing pad and the multi-part ruined space freighter.

Now, it's easier - say what you like about the prevalence of GW's plastic terrain kits, but now all you need to do is learn to paint them like the photos, not build them first.

You need the "glamour" shots to hook folk in. There's plenty of material explaining the basics after that.


I remember the 1990s as well: enamel paint, cheap brushes, and painting disasters. Those were tough times


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Elbows wrote:
I'd say not at all.

While some wargaming may be aimed at parents buying their 10-11 year old kids plastic toy soldiers, I think most teenagers are quickly able to accept that X, Y and Z are the end goal...and not the starting point. As someone who started in the early 90's and grew up with Hero Quest, Battlemasters and then got into GW (40K, Warhammer Quest, Necromunda, eventually Mordheim, some Epic etc.) the impossibly awesome tables and games/figures/armies were absolutely and inspiration. Sure my high school Eldar army was maybe 40 models strong, but I sure wanted to have a "White Dwarf" level table at some point.

Now in my thirties, I do, and the armies to go with it. I can now put together a gaming table to rival the awesome museum displays you'd seen in war museums etc. It all served as inspiration, not some impossible task or some overly daunting scare tactic. I think the portion of the community or culture who gets put off by awesome examples of things would be quite small.


To be fair, it's not just wargaming that's bad at this, but model railways seem to go over the top as well, with their displays.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/08/08 14:47:47


"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in us
Bloodthirsty Chaos Knight




Louisville KY

To me its something to aspire to.

I got into wargaming *because of* the spectacle.

Take that away with crappy coke can forests and cardboard chit "models" and the point of me playing has been ruined.

And the push to have 1 hour games is also offputting to me. I enjoyed the few hours that a game took. Now a days, getting someone to be able to devote 90 minutes to a game is a rarity for me.

http://narrativewargaming.com

Home of Grand Crusade and Azyr Empires
 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





I have not found the expectations set by something like White Dwarf to be unrealistic at all. I see the photos, I want to have what is in the photos, and to my immense joy and satisfaction, I can get what is in the photos. It's weird, but as elaborate as GW's pictures can get, you can achieve all of it through GW products and following GW tutorials. It's largely a question of money and time (and lots of both). The skills needed are not nearly as difficult to acquire as I expected and those photos give me something to aim for.

However, while I can have what's in the pictures, it turns out that most players don't want it, and the expectation that you'll be playing two fully painted armies on a well manicured table have proven to be unrealistic - but I can't blame the photos for that.
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
What is worse to me is the average game size continueing to increase year after year.

The mags are supposed to provide spectacle, but their should be a balance. The internet/meta has also pushed the scale and level of what is "acceptable" for a game.

However, as wargamers we all know BIGGER IS BETTER!


Bigger also takes ages. If you only have 1-2 hours to spare, that's where the skirmish games come in.

7th edition fantasy was pretty bad, with GW pushing the bigger is better line. I gave up trying to assemble a Skaven army, because the amount of models needed, even for a 1000 point game, was extreme.


In my haste, I forgot to add the to my comments.

I am not a fan of bigger is better, but that is the way the industry is going(possibly returning?) to.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/08 17:02:17


Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I'd say no, they're showing what's possible in the same way that car adverts (or magazines) never show cars stuck in traffic doing 1 mph in a slow crawl through a rush hour city centre

(after all if we really wanted them to be realistic, keep costs down etc we'd want them to show battles between bits of card with unit names written on them on an old blanket,

all these expensive miniatures are are bad enough let alone terrain!)

that said I am a bit put off by companies showing outstandingly well painted minis before they also show unpainted versions as that can be both depressing (i'll never manage than) and confusing (what's detail, what's painted on etc)

 
   
Made in hr
Regular Dakkanaut





Croatia

There are plenty of games, even by GW alone, that require very few models and can still provide hours of gameplay, such as blood bowl and shadow war. Hundred bucks is more than enough for a team, even if you buy all the possible options.

I do commissions: https://www.facebook.com/BoxyBrush/
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You can follow any projects I'm working on here: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/722207.page 
   
Made in ca
Posts with Authority




I'm from the future. The future of space

Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'

A good book which I'd recommend to anybody.

Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home, and that the model pushed by magazines and wargames companies can be off putting.


It's a truly excellent book. With the scenario section being among the best. It's not immediately obvious but when you actually play the rules in the book using the scenarios, it's truly an excellent gaming experience.

So, are the magazines and companies pushing a justified promotional attempt i.e trying to present their stuff in the best light, or has this unrealistic culture of increased expectations spiralled out of control?


I think it's a sign of where the money comes from. WSS and similar magazines are supported by people paying for subscriptions, but also by advertisers. Pen & Sword Publishing, on the other hand, only makes money by selling books, so Neil Thomas' titles can just stand on their own merit. They don't have to be about selling more and more miniatures with larger and larger games.

I think this trend is largely commercial in nature. GW wants to sell more miniatures. As do those who advertise in industry magazines.

A points system is a tool to create balance. Let's use it to intentionally seek out imbalance in order to win and then blame the game designer for it not working!  
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

Power Elephant wrote:
There are plenty of games, even by GW alone, that require very few models and can still provide hours of gameplay, such as blood bowl and shadow war. Hundred bucks is more than enough for a team, even if you buy all the possible options.


For sure, GW have done some great stand alone games over the years, Space Hulk and Dreadfleet being some of my favourites.

That being said, when the new Necromunda comes out, I can guarantee that GW will build a replica Hive City on a 12 x 6 board, or probably even bigger.

Nothing wrong with that, but like I say, it could be off-putting to the average gamer.

It's a double edged sword for me. Some people are inspired, some people are put off.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 frozenwastes wrote:
Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'

A good book which I'd recommend to anybody.

Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home, and that the model pushed by magazines and wargames companies can be off putting.


It's a truly excellent book. With the scenario section being among the best. It's not immediately obvious but when you actually play the rules in the book using the scenarios, it's truly an excellent gaming experience.

So, are the magazines and companies pushing a justified promotional attempt i.e trying to present their stuff in the best light, or has this unrealistic culture of increased expectations spiralled out of control?


I think it's a sign of where the money comes from. WSS and similar magazines are supported by people paying for subscriptions, but also by advertisers. Pen & Sword Publishing, on the other hand, only makes money by selling books, so Neil Thomas' titles can just stand on their own merit. They don't have to be about selling more and more miniatures with larger and larger games.

I think this trend is largely commercial in nature. GW wants to sell more miniatures. As do those who advertise in industry magazines.


As I type this, there is a magazine by my side: the latest issue of Wargames Illustrated. A lot of the scenarios in it require a 6x4 table, and a lot of miniatures.

In my last place, I could get a 6x4 table in, but these days, it's 3x3. Some creative thinking is needed if I wanted to play those particular scenarios.

And even in skirmish scenarios, they push the high model count. For example, I love Warlord Games, and their Bolt Action Sea Lion book is brilliant.

However, for patrol missions in Sea Lion, they recommend 500 point forces. Nothing wrong with that, and then you look at the individual costs of each unit.

And then you look at the price of those units from Warlord Games' webstore, and think twice about it...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 auticus wrote:
To me its something to aspire to.

I got into wargaming *because of* the spectacle.

Take that away with crappy coke can forests and cardboard chit "models" and the point of me playing has been ruined.

And the push to have 1 hour games is also offputting to me. I enjoyed the few hours that a game took. Now a days, getting someone to be able to devote 90 minutes to a game is a rarity for me.


Nothing wrong with a day's wargaming, but you look at some of those tables in WD, and it would probably take 2-3 days to set up and play that game.

If you work 6 days a week like what I used to do, it's hard to find the time. I imagine a lot of people will also struggle for time.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Sqorgar wrote:
I have not found the expectations set by something like White Dwarf to be unrealistic at all. I see the photos, I want to have what is in the photos, and to my immense joy and satisfaction, I can get what is in the photos. It's weird, but as elaborate as GW's pictures can get, you can achieve all of it through GW products and following GW tutorials. It's largely a question of money and time (and lots of both). The skills needed are not nearly as difficult to acquire as I expected and those photos give me something to aim for.

However, while I can have what's in the pictures, it turns out that most players don't want it, and the expectation that you'll be playing two fully painted armies on a well manicured table have proven to be unrealistic - but I can't blame the photos for that.


We all remember Nigel Stillman's terrain tutorials

and back in the day, GW used to feature his home made terrain in WD. I used to look at that and think, I can do that too, and I;m sure a lot of people felt the same.

That was inspiring. If you can get that balance between the professional terrain maker, and the average joe getting a look in from time to time, like what it used to be, that would be a good thing.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2017/08/08 19:50:06


"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in gb
Most Glorious Grey Seer






Stuff that's clearly a display is fine with me. It's showing off a different aspect of the Hobby.

For those who've been, I doubt you'll find anyone who feels GW's own museum (before or after the major revamp) is anything less than sheer inspiration.

That they build so much of it from commercially available kits only adds to that - if I could get the money together, there's relatively little stopping me having a go at one of my own.

But, when showing the game off, either in-store or at Expos, I think it does help to keep things simple. Any board and terrain should largely be set-dressing, rather than an integral part of the game - unless like Shadow War it comes with the boxed game.

That's because at that point, you're wanting people to buy in. A massive, multi level board may look impressive (and it would!), but may give the false impression such a set up is necessary for the game. And from there, suggest the boxed set isn't enough.

All about building it up bit by bit. Nice and easy.

Fed up for Scalpers? Why not join us? 
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

 OrlandotheTechnicoloured wrote:
I'd say no, they're showing what's possible in the same way that car adverts (or magazines) never show cars stuck in traffic doing 1 mph in a slow crawl through a rush hour city centre

(after all if we really wanted them to be realistic, keep costs down etc we'd want them to show battles between bits of card with unit names written on them on an old blanket,

all these expensive miniatures are are bad enough let alone terrain!)

that said I am a bit put off by companies showing outstandingly well painted minis before they also show unpainted versions as that can be both depressing (i'll never manage than) and confusing (what's detail, what's painted on etc)


I wouldn't go as far as bits of paper being pushed around the board, and yeah, you don't twant o show traffic jams, but on the other hand, not everybody can drive at Silverstone in a F1 car

Staying with the car analogy, a middle of the road approach is needed.

In a way they have done that, because their terrain kits are very good, and even average painters like me can do a decent paint job on them, but they're not cheap, and when you see a whole WD battle report stuffed with them, it's easy to tell the message they're pushing.

"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in ca
Ancient Venerable Black Templar Dreadnought





Canada

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
I've just finished reading Pen and Sword's 'One Hour Wargames.'
A good book which I'd recommend to anybody.
Now, the premise of this book is that wargaming can be done cheaply, quickly, and be available to all, regardless of how much space you have in your home, and that the model pushed by magazines and wargames companies can be off putting.
And it got me thinking. When you look at wargames magazines and rulebooks and see the 12 by 6 tables, the highly detailed terrain, the sweeping dioramas, expertly painted models, and the average game size being 10,000 points a side, it can be intimidating. Years ago, when I first started, it nearly was off putting. I suspect the average wargamer, in a small flat or house, who may not have access to a store or club, probably felt this as well. Especially when the first miniatures they paint fall way short of 'eavy metal levels.
So, are the magazines and companies pushing a justified promotional attempt i.e trying to present their stuff in the best light, or has this unrealistic culture of increased expectations spiralled out of control?
Having brought the latest Wargames Illustrated, i'm 50/50 on this. Some of the scenarios was real pie in the sky stuff for your average gamer.
Warlord games' Bolt Action supplement, Sea Lion, is a wonderful book, but some of the suggested force sizes for the scenarios are well...
What does dakka think?
I would say that cheaply done and looking good IS possible.
I hate to say that it is that double sided coin of time vs money.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Easy for me to say, I have been building models for (yikes!) 37 years and there seems to be tons more for me to learn and no sign of it ever ending.
Unfortunately some research is the only means to get good results if making custom bits and pieces rather than buy from "out of the box" kits which equal much money.

For a table:
Do-it yourself 4'x4" table tops out of "cheap" build material can cost ~$50 each never mind the table you may set them on.
I think Mini-wargaming had a fast and dirty guide.
It can only go up from there.
Stabilizing them with gluing on blue or pink insulation helps and you can cut out or add terrain to make it look good (remember to coat with white glue or something prior to spray painting or the solvents will eat it).
Cut with foam steak-knife, electric turkey carver, hot wire... it is all out there.
This "starter table" is ideal for the "limited space" play on the kitchen table, I would recommend adding the stick-on felt pads to protect the table.

For miniatures:
My friend bought I swear every old, badly assembled, badly painted models of space marines out there on eBay and kajiji and took them apart into their component parts.
Ways to remove paint (Simply green, Zep, Superclean...) and pop the plastic bits apart, again things readily searched and well documented.
He assembled an entire mechanized company of Marines.
He waited until getting a 50% off coupon at Michaels (hobby/art store) for coloured Liquitex paint in rattle-cans for that quick chapter main colour.
He has proceeded to do the same thing with Orks.
People sell their old kits all the time.
Good deals are to be had if you search by mis-spelling the unit's name: nothing like someone not knowing the models (hence spelling incorrectly) to save money.

For terrain:
Hedges can be made out of scouring pads, card and flock.
Rubble can be chewed up in a meat grinder or preferably a garbage food processor.
Custom buildings can be made out of bits of Polystyrene and foam-core.
I believe Terra-Genisis is a fine go-to. (http://www.terragenesis.com/)

I would say the main roadblock is getting the skill up for assembly and paint.
BUT there is SO much material out now that every single thing you may want to try, someone made a video for.
Heck, the various washes or dips out there have drastically improved "newbie" efforts to show off detail with little effort.

Airbrush is even somewhat "affordable" again, depending on your circumstance (this is toward where time is more limited, this is the tool to beat).

I would say that finding some "old" dude at the hobby shop that did models "forever" is more than happy to teach you everything he knows because he likes what he does and wants people not to "suffer" but to enjoy just like them.
I was lucky enough to find a "mentor" a couple years back and learned a lot.
PLUS our fine support group of nice folks here are happy to have any topic opened up with a question and give more advice than you asked for!

For a hobby that some effort is expected where it is more than just playing a "boardgame" it is not a massive investment.

I just painted up some heroes for the original Zombicide for my sister-in-law and cannot wait to give them to her.
She was impressed with what she saw of my models and I feel a bit like a drug pusher by giving "free samples" for something I can charge a commission on but there is a hope to get her further interested.
It is my down-time hobby, I enjoy it too much charge money for and so that pretty much defines where I am at this time.

Also, I am "just learning" and expect things will remain that way well into retirement.

A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.
Napoleon Bonaparte

 
   
Made in pl
Sneaky Striking Scorpion





 auticus wrote:
To me its something to aspire to.

I got into wargaming *because of* the spectacle.

Take that away with crappy coke can forests and cardboard chit "models" and the point of me playing has been ruined.

And the push to have 1 hour games is also offputting to me. I enjoyed the few hours that a game took. Now a days, getting someone to be able to devote 90 minutes to a game is a rarity for me.


My first experience with actually playing 40K with my models was a large, all night long 5vs5 game of 2nd ed. I had just three humble squads, but that was very engaging experience. And that philosophy lasted with me to this day - I very much prefer dedicating entire weekend to a large game lasting long hours and celebrate such retreat, than play a quick game of Kill Team or 8th ed and forget about it as quckly. I would have a very hard time justifying all that time and money I put into minis for experience so bland and passing...

But that is just an old school RPG/early turn-based computer games geek in me talking, I get that different people have different expectations. Just sharing my POV.
   
Made in us
Whiteshield Conscript Trooper





 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:

For sure, GW have done some great stand alone games over the years, Space Hulk and Dreadfleet being some of my favourites.

That being said, when the new Necromunda comes out, I can guarantee that GW will build a replica Hive City on a 12 x 6 board, or probably even bigger.

Nothing wrong with that, but like I say, it could be off-putting to the average gamer.

It's a double edged sword for me. Some people are inspired, some people are put off.


I guess the question is related to how many people are inspired and how many are put off, no? This is something that we can only analyze anecdotally at the moment, but what percentage of the potential gaming population looks at these displays and becomes discouraged? Is it 5%? 15%? 50%? Is it a significant enough portion that these companies need to reevaluate their approach? Or are people drawn to wargaming more inclined to enjoy these particular spectacles rather than be intimidated by them? GW, for its part, has been bringing back Specialist Games, which is a very good move imo, while Warlord's Bolt Action scales down very well.

Of course, there is also the "image" that the company is trying to portray. GW has, for about ten years or so, touted itself as a luxury product of elite quality, especially during the Kirby years. Regardless of your opinion of the accuracy of that statement, it is a strategy that requires a certain presentation standard. No, not everyone can buy a Porsche, but then, they aren't selling the product to everyone either. In that sense, a "discount model" has the potential to devalue the brand, especially if done at the expense of the grander displays.

Current Armies: Guard, Dark Eldar, Raven Guard, Bretonnians 
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

@ Talizvar

A very good post.

But I'm afraid you're preaching to the converted.

I go down to the local beach for sand (why pay for GW's sand when you can get it for free ) and I'm probably an expert at taking rocks from the garden and converting them into terrain pices.

As for trees, some PVA glue, some kitchen paper, and some wire, and you're laughing.

It took me years to get to this stage, and it was probably the same for you. But from the perspective of a kid getting into the hobby, who doesn't have our knowledge or skills, that person might see the giant display boards in WD and could possibly be overwhelmed by what they see.

That's the point I'm getting at.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Harbringerxv8 wrote:
 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:

For sure, GW have done some great stand alone games over the years, Space Hulk and Dreadfleet being some of my favourites.

That being said, when the new Necromunda comes out, I can guarantee that GW will build a replica Hive City on a 12 x 6 board, or probably even bigger.

Nothing wrong with that, but like I say, it could be off-putting to the average gamer.

It's a double edged sword for me. Some people are inspired, some people are put off.


I guess the question is related to how many people are inspired and how many are put off, no? This is something that we can only analyze anecdotally at the moment, but what percentage of the potential gaming population looks at these displays and becomes discouraged? Is it 5%? 15%? 50%? Is it a significant enough portion that these companies need to reevaluate their approach? Or are people drawn to wargaming more inclined to enjoy these particular spectacles rather than be intimidated by them? GW, for its part, has been bringing back Specialist Games, which is a very good move imo, while Warlord's Bolt Action scales down very well.

Of course, there is also the "image" that the company is trying to portray. GW has, for about ten years or so, touted itself as a luxury product of elite quality, especially during the Kirby years. Regardless of your opinion of the accuracy of that statement, it is a strategy that requires a certain presentation standard. No, not everyone can buy a Porsche, but then, they aren't selling the product to everyone either. In that sense, a "discount model" has the potential to devalue the brand, especially if done at the expense of the grander displays.


Good points.

I will say that Blood Bowl is an exceptional game for two reasons:

1) It's a very good game.

2. Even without building a replica stadium, the playing mat i.e the pitch does a very good job of giving you the 'feel' of being in the stadium. Guild Ball is the same with their playing mats.

Putting those playing mats on an average kitchen table works very well. I wish more games would work with the gaming mats for people like me.

Yeah I get your point about GW pushing the luxury approach, but a lot of people are in it for the gaming side and I feel more should be done to reflect this.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Stuff that's clearly a display is fine with me. It's showing off a different aspect of the Hobby.

For those who've been, I doubt you'll find anyone who feels GW's own museum (before or after the major revamp) is anything less than sheer inspiration.

That they build so much of it from commercially available kits only adds to that - if I could get the money together, there's relatively little stopping me having a go at one of my own.

But, when showing the game off, either in-store or at Expos, I think it does help to keep things simple. Any board and terrain should largely be set-dressing, rather than an integral part of the game - unless like Shadow War it comes with the boxed game.

That's because at that point, you're wanting people to buy in. A massive, multi level board may look impressive (and it would!), but may give the false impression such a set up is necessary for the game. And from there, suggest the boxed set isn't enough.

All about building it up bit by bit. Nice and easy.


I'm not 100% sure on this, but is it the infinity starter starter sets? Operation Icestorm or something that included some first class card terrain with them.

I'm sure I watched the youtube unboxing video months ago, and I was impressed with what I saw.

That is the way forward for the average game. Everything you need in a box, and most importantly, only a small area needed.

And yeah, you're right about the Expos. I watched Salute coverage on youtube, and some companies pulled out all the stops in that regard.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/08/08 20:39:38


"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




I fundamentally disagree. I'm also sure that you're partially right - somewhere, right now, some kid is looking at a display piece, thinking "Nah, can't be beothered" and going back to GTA V.

However, my first wargaming was with a box each of Airfix WW2 1/72 soldiers. My friend had the germans, and I had the commandos, set up in the garden (jungle) about 4-6 feet apart. We threw stones to knock them over. Machine guns got 3 stones. it was a lot of fun, and, 40 years on, we're both still gaming.

The big diorama games inspire. Wow! Maybe I could do that one day... and now I can.

Some WILL always be put off - too expensive - not enough space - the cat would eat them - whatever. But that's not down to the games company's marketing strategy. Bigger inspires me - keep doing it!

The "small" choices are great too. I'm 10 games in to a 26 game space hulk campaign, using the contents of one box.
   
Made in gb
Captain on a Pegasus




-

stroller wrote:
I fundamentally disagree. I'm also sure that you're partially right - somewhere, right now, some kid is looking at a display piece, thinking "Nah, can't be beothered" and going back to GTA V.

However, my first wargaming was with a box each of Airfix WW2 1/72 soldiers. My friend had the germans, and I had the commandos, set up in the garden (jungle) about 4-6 feet apart. We threw stones to knock them over. Machine guns got 3 stones. it was a lot of fun, and, 40 years on, we're both still gaming.

The big diorama games inspire. Wow! Maybe I could do that one day... and now I can.

Some WILL always be put off - too expensive - not enough space - the cat would eat them - whatever. But that's not down to the games company's marketing strategy. Bigger inspires me - keep doing it!

The "small" choices are great too. I'm 10 games in to a 26 game space hulk campaign, using the contents of one box.


I would respectfully disagree with this. I think companies like GW have been pushing the bigger is better mantra for years. Have they stopped it now? I'm not sure, as I'm not into GW these days.

But in the past, IMO, they were guilty. Here's an example: Skaven and 7th edition.

I saw a few GW Skaven displays back then, and they were wonderful, but the mantra for 7th was more models on the table for bigger battles.

I tried my best to collect a Skaven force, but the number of Skaven models needed, even for a 1000 point game, was so large as to be prohibitive, because the cost points per Skaven model were so low. It was 3 points per Skaven or something.

Imagine 100 Skaven models, with 4 parts per model, and each part needing to be filed and glued.

It just sucked the joy out of the hobby for me. Because the time needed just to build 4-5 regiments for the tabletop was just too much.

But that was a deliberate move by GW: the giant display, the you need more models mantra, and WD pushing it at every opportunity.

IMO, GW were guilty of creating unrealistic expectations back then.

"Our crops will wither, our children will die piteous
deaths and the sun will be swept from the sky. But is it true?" - Tom Kirby, CEO, Games Workshop Ltd 
   
Made in pl
Sneaky Striking Scorpion





 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
stroller wrote:
I fundamentally disagree. I'm also sure that you're partially right - somewhere, right now, some kid is looking at a display piece, thinking "Nah, can't be beothered" and going back to GTA V.

However, my first wargaming was with a box each of Airfix WW2 1/72 soldiers. My friend had the germans, and I had the commandos, set up in the garden (jungle) about 4-6 feet apart. We threw stones to knock them over. Machine guns got 3 stones. it was a lot of fun, and, 40 years on, we're both still gaming.

The big diorama games inspire. Wow! Maybe I could do that one day... and now I can.

Some WILL always be put off - too expensive - not enough space - the cat would eat them - whatever. But that's not down to the games company's marketing strategy. Bigger inspires me - keep doing it!

The "small" choices are great too. I'm 10 games in to a 26 game space hulk campaign, using the contents of one box.


I would respectfully disagree with this. I think companies like GW have been pushing the bigger is better mantra for years. Have they stopped it now? I'm not sure, as I'm not into GW these days.

But in the past, IMO, they were guilty. Here's an example: Skaven and 7th edition.

I saw a few GW Skaven displays back then, and they were wonderful, but the mantra for 7th was more models on the table for bigger battles.

I tried my best to collect a Skaven force, but the number of Skaven models needed, even for a 1000 point game, was so large as to be prohibitive, because the cost points per Skaven model were so low. It was 3 points per Skaven or something.

Imagine 100 Skaven models, with 4 parts per model, and each part needing to be filed and glued.

It just sucked the joy out of the hobby for me. Because the time needed just to build 4-5 regiments for the tabletop was just too much.

But that was a deliberate move by GW: the giant display, the you need more models mantra, and WD pushing it at every opportunity.

IMO, GW were guilty of creating unrealistic expectations back then.


Nowadays GW has all sorts of scales for their promotional photos/dioramas. Each 7th ed 40K formation entry had one mini-diorama to show off units in such formations. Every unit entry has a picture in a diorama context, which could be reproduced with quite small "overinvestment" in few GW terrain kits, small mat/board and a bit of painting. Even when having small room you can quite easily fit a 2x2 display board for your collection of minis. And you can play Shadow War: Armageddon on tables as small as 3x3. Of course standard table size for full size force is 6x4, but they actively encourage any size of games. The "end goal" is to have complete collections and mind-blowing display/game boards, but you can find any scale materials in every Codex or White Dwarf.

I realy think that you are exaggerating this "being put off by grandeur" problem a bit.

And yes, assembling of 100 gaunts from Tyranid Swarm box is tedious, but you could choose small elite army if you don't like to file and glue numerous hordes.
   
Made in us
Ancient Ultramarine Venerable Dreadnought





Southern California, USA

Well, if all the pictures they showed in the magazine looked like your average wargamer's table, why would anyone bother buying them when we have the internet?

Thought for the day: Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
13th Legion: 3000
Bolt Action Soviets: ~2000 pts
The Empire : ~60-70 models.
WMH CoC: 40 points (30 fully painted!)
1500 pts
: My Salamanders painting blog 10 done so far!  
   
Made in au
Basecoated Black






I've been playing nearly 30 years and still have some of my first models. I like that I can see that as I've gotten older I've got better at painting and have put together some okay table tops in my time. Personal satisfaction tops drooling at pro paintjobs imho
   
 
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