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Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut

My thoughts on the subject: https://therenaissancetroll.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/is-wargaming-getting-too-easy.html
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander


Actually, when I'm playing a game I like how I can get right on with enjoying it these days instead of having to put in hours of prep work. It's one of the reasons I'm very much into board-games, as they're typically ready to go out of the box.

Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider

Short answer No

Slightly longer answer, hell no, every step away from far too clunky myopic game is a good one, many older, especially historical, games got far too bogged down in largely irrelevant minutiae to an attempt to replicate real life at the cost of fluidity and fun (heck 40k still has a touch of this with power swords, axes, spears,fists, mauls etc when they essentially are the same energised pokey stick). I'd also add that rules need to tailor to the expected game size, unique rules are fine till about platoon size but anything bigger just becomes book keeping faff

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Moustache-twirling Princeps

We'll find out soon enough eh.

The answer to you question is a simple one: post your thoughts on the discussion forum you want to discuss them on, rather than trying to drive clicks to your blog.

I need to acquire plastic Skavenslaves, can you help?
I have a blog now, evidently. Featuring the Alternative Mordheim Model Megalist.

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"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut

If I am in violation of forum rules, I apologize.
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Haughty Harad Serpent Rider

Richmond, VA

Disagree. My buds and I had the fortune of reading aloud the Valley Forge awi rules by TSR ~1976 and were laughing and laughing at how bad the rules were, despite the forward to the ruleset claiming the opposite due to the expertise of those involved.

Rulesets have gotten better, miniatures have gotten better, tools and paints have gotten better - everything has been designed to increase the positivity of the user experience.

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Legendary Master of the Chapter

Aint clicking that. also eh.

were wargames actually all that hard to begin with?

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

Made in us
Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult

"Too easy" implies you're asking the wrong questions. The best games are easy to learn and difficult to win; i.e. there are a wide variety of choices, it's easy to understand the mechanism by which you can evaluate the choices and determine which one is better in a given context, but it's difficult/impossible to pick out a 'best' choice that's going to reliably lead to victory.

Making a game easier to play (via making the rules cleaner or clearer, making the models better/cheaper, the game more functional at small model counts, etc.) is a good thing. Making the game easier to win (via making it run more on dice than on play decisions (as in Age of Sigmar), skewing game balance to make some things vastly better than others, etc.) is a bad thing.

So as to your question ("is wargaming getting to easy?") instead of giving you blog hits I'm going to speculate that you're grumbling about the wrong things.

Victoria est autem vita.

Stories at https://knightofthegrey.wordpress.com/
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Powerful Pegasus Knight

Quoted for those who are on mobile and don't have Blogspot

Over the weekend, I came across this interesting article on The Times website. In a nut-shell, it talks about how 'convenience' is shaping our world, our lives, and potentially stripping us of something important. Near the end of the article, it talks about how we've had to turn to our hobbies to find challenge and express our individuality.

I started to think about this in terms of my own hobby of wargaming. Are we not seeing 'convenience' take over here as well? Now, I am not advocating a return to the days where everyone had to cast their own miniatures in lead, but think about this. Twenty years ago, if you were into wargaming, you had to:

- Read and decipher the rules yourself (or find someone to teach you).
- Paint your own miniatures.
- Construct your own terrain.
- Write out all of the important information about your army/warband on a piece of paper.
- Create your own scenarios.
- Roll dice, refer to charts, and occasionally perform simple feats of mathematics.

Now, many of us who wargame still do many, perhaps even all of these things, but you don't have to. Just for the sake of example, let's look at the mega-popular X-Wing game from Fantasy Flight. If you bought the game today, you could watch numerous 'how-to-play' videos online to learn the rules. The figures come painted (much better than most of us can paint) so you don't have to worry about that. The game doesn't need any terrain, but if you want there are a few ready made things you can buy, like asteroids. All of the information you need about ships is on handy cards (and more cards, and more cards). Even the 'characters' of the game, are right their for you on the cards. The game has plenty of scenarios you can play, but usually people just go for a straight shoot-'em-up. You still have to roll dice, although they are special made-for-the-game dice which means you don't need any math beyond simple counting and their are no charts to refer to.

This is not to berate X-Wing. I think there are a lot of positives to be said about the game. And, it is not even the 'worst' in these terms. A lot of wargames these days are taking convenience to an even greater extreme and becoming board games, so that you get everything you could ever need in one box (well, until the next expansion box makes parts of it obsolescent).

Again, I am not advocating a return to the 'good old days' of lumpy figures and children's blocks for terrain (although, I suspect there is just as much fun to be had that way). I am advocating that we keep some of the difficulty in the hobby.

I've been painting minis for around 30 years. I've gotten pretty good at it, and now it is one of the great, meditative pleasures of my life; but would I have ever started if I could have bought really nice looking pre-paints? I used to make a lot of scenery. I was pretty good at it, but for the last 10 years I have bought most of my scenery pre-made. I love using paper and pencil during wargames. Seriously, I take real joy in using a sharp pencil to make notes, and have developed good handwriting partially because of this. It's probably one reason I wrote a wargame where every figure has lots of Health that is slowly degraded through a game (a very un-modern wargaming element) - more excuse to use my pencil.

I know, for some people, all they want to do is play the game, and the rest is just an annoying distraction. It's your hobby, do what you want. However, if you don't try some of these things, if you don't invest the time it takes to work on them and develop the skills, you will never know if there might be more enjoyment to be gleaned.

Start small. Buy a few figs. Paint them. Come up with their story. Design a scenario that is specific to your figures. Write it all down. Build a small piece of terrain that features in that story. Then play the game. Afterwards, write about it. Blog about it. Decide what happens next in the story and see if you need new figures or new terrain. Let it spiral upwards and onwards out of control. To me, that is the joy of the hobby. But even for me, it is often easy to forget all of this...for the sake of convenience.

As a final point, I am not saying we must all enjoy or even participate in all aspects of the hobby. If you don't like painting, that's fine. What I am saying is that we should take our time to find the parts we love, and when we do, invest in them. I believe today's market place makes it easy to forget this.

Note to self: make some terrain.

Dropzone Commander and Infinity are both great..... if you spend a hundred hours and a few hundred dollars crafting a beautiful table and painting everything to a great standard. X Wing? That's the same catergory as Hero Clix or Mageknight. It's prepaints. The game is a quick fun ready to play tactical game that rewards smart play and list building.

I find that some games are extremely hard ... but convenient. Warmachine doesn't require painting or terrain. Most Warmachine games I play have printed out or cut out paper flat terrain. Warmachine played at a tournament level with death clocks beats me up. It's a weekend of stress and forgetting spells for each casters and what list to counter with - and will you have enough time to combo up an assassination two turns later with the clock.

I agree with terrain. Newer games are severely lacking with the need for beautiful tables and terrain. I moderate our little terrain board on reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/TerrainBuilding/ - tons of fun projects for all types of games.

OP should look into Battletech to find what he or she is looking for.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/02/26 17:58:48

Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser


Well, an inteeresting take and yes "Convenience" is the watch word and is a by product of what gets $$$ for you now a days. You are always essentially trading your money for time.

Regarding Wargaming, to some extent you are right. The makers are constantly try to make it easier since their are 5 reasons people buy things, and one of them is Convenience and another is to Save Time. (For those kleeping score at home, the other three are to save money, Security, and to Build Status). Therefore, it would be foolish for a maker to not target those needs.

However, I also take joy in the craft of wargaming, even though I am terrible at it. I don't want everything handed to me. I want ot have to work at is a bit. if I don;t it is simply disposable with little or no reward.

That is part of the reason I have turned to be a DIY gamer. it isn't money or time. I don't have much of either. However, I find it much more rewarding. When I make a unit, I actually "made" a unit. That said, building all the skills you need to DIY even half way decent is a difficult, difficult task. Not for the feint of heart.

I guess I agree with the OP, but I don't think it is bad per se. It just isn't what I am looking for in Wargaming.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/26 18:06:24

Do you like Free Wargames?
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Decrepit Dakkanaut

 Yodhrin wrote:
The answer to you question is a simple one: post your thoughts on the discussion forum you want to discuss them on, rather than trying to drive clicks to your blog.


Also no. I can't believe you're seriously making the argument that having to do a bunch of writing lists with a pencil and paper is somehow a good thing, because it makes you practice your handwriting. I want to play a game, not write a novel.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
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Unhealthy Competition With Other Legions

Philadelphia PA

"Too easy" implies you're asking the wrong questions. The best games are easy to learn and difficult to win; i.e. there are a wide variety of choices, it's easy to understand the mechanism by which you can evaluate the choices and determine which one is better in a given context, but it's difficult/impossible to pick out a 'best' choice that's going to reliably lead to victory.

I think this sums things up perfectly. It's why I liked X-wing when I got into it - the rules are easy, but the optimal move is sometimes hard to figure out. Which I contrasted to something like 40k where I shoot my plasma guns at the MEQs, shoot my lascannon at the tanks and walk up the board with my bolter squads/glorified wound counters. There's not as much choice, or at least the choices are much more predictable.

I also think this clickbait is an interesting non-argument because "it's too easy to get into gaming" is usually followed by "I know this because [insert group i don't like here] is now in the hobby". Part 2 of the blog maybe?

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/02/26 20:16:15

Made in gb
Dakka Veteran

Wargaming is complex as it ever is.

Just remember that things like Warhammer 40k, and X-wing, are not Wargames. They're marketed as such, but they are in fact, not Wargames or ever particularly tried to be. They're games about War, yes. But so's Risk, and that's not a Wargame either.

And yes, I throughly object to a thinly concealed attempt to drive clicks to another website. At the very least, copy your blogpost into the OP.
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Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor

Wargaming has evolved into cleaner rulesets. I played Star Fleet Battles with its 300 page rulebook, Battletech with its massive array of dice tables. The horribly complicated mess that was 80s historical wargames. They were clunky, often unbalanced, and were designed to reward people for obscure knowledge and a willingness to rulebreak.

Modern wargames get down to the real business of enjoying the game while providing flavor in the right places. Your articles seems to rail against prepainted minis, but even XWing has an active repainting community. Being prepatined doesn't mean to aren't allowed to do your own mini painting.

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Fixture of Dakka

West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Wargame rules are never really 'hard', they are usually more of an issue of being either 'clunky' or 'streamlined'. Wargaming rules do not need to resemble an encyclopedia to be fun.

Some of the most fun I have had is with rules-light rulesets.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/27 01:44:36

"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
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Norn Queen

I'd argue that it's getting more accessible, which is only a good thing.
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Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos

My issue with "wargames" today is not really that they are getting "easier" but that they are getting more and more abstract and don't reflect the stories or movies that some of them set out to try and emulate.

They are becoming too board gamey.

GW points don't bring balance. They exist purely for structure. You can get more balance from no points than you do from GW points. You however can get no structure in your game without points. 
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Grizzled MkII Monster Veteran


I feel more of what the OP is railing against is the apparent lost of the handcrafted nature of modeling games. Nowadays with KickStarter, 3D printers, computers and a host of other companies and tools, it is extremely easy to pick up terrain and models that are pre-assembled, pre-painted and ready to drop into a game as soon as the package is open.

At the same time forgetting that most wargames in the 60's and 70's more often than not used cardboard chits and hex boards, with nary a model in sight.

The OP also, I think, mistakenly conflates this handcrafted nature to obtuse rules - that somehow those old newspaper print rules are better than any slicked-paper ruleset put out in the modern era. I certainly don't agree - while a gorgeous layout doesn't automatically mean the ruleset is worth a damn, a lot of those old games were just bad. We tend to remember the ones that held up - and there are a few that have survived despite their primitive appearance, but for every single title that is held up as a triumph there's ten to possibly a hundred similar games whose horrid ruleset has been expunged from memory.

TL;DR - No, things weren't better, take off the rose-tinted glasses and smell the roses that are in front of you now.

It never ends well 
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Painting Within the Lines

Seattle, WA USA

 auticus wrote:
My issue with "wargames" today is not really that they are getting "easier" but that they are getting more and more abstract and don't reflect the stories or movies that some of them set out to try and emulate.

They are becoming too board gamey.
I think I mostly agree with that, and we are seeing more and more "miniature boardgames" coming out, especially on Kickstarter.

To me, a "classic miniature wargame" includes such elements as free movement measured by a tape measure or the like (no grids/hexes/spaces), 3d terrain (not just flat printed templates), and well, obviously nifty miniatures. I don't think pre-painted vs. DIY is quite as big an issue as those elements, though I strongly prefer the DIY side myself. I have zero issue with leaner rules that actually get you playing, at least not on their own. If it's not got any real tactical depth and interesting decisions and is just essentially Checkers + Yahtzee, then I'm not very interested in it.

At the same time, I've always been a fan of Star Fleet Battles (which isn't a miniature game, at least by default), which definitely has one of the more complex rulesets out there. I still like to play that occasionally, though it's very difficult to get new folks into that.

I think there's often two categories of things: simulations and games. Sometimes, I am more interested in a simulation, which I expect to have a lot more detailed rules. Sometimes, I'm more interested in games and I'm fine with more abstraction (within reason; like Auticus, too much abstraction is kind of a "why bother" for me).
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut

Back in the day (mid to late 60s and onwards) you COULD buy Britain's pre painted (then lead) soldiers. Prepainted scenery, was also available, as were books by, among others, Donald Featherstone.

Convenience was available, if you had the cash. It was harder to find the variety (internet slams that one) but it's always been there.
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut


Is posting to discussion forums getting too easy?

My thoughts on the subject: http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

Seriously though, copy and paste is your friend. Then include a link to your blog at the bottom incase people like what they read.

By only linking you are circumventing the point of forums, which is to create a central place for discussion. Also, by posting a question you are inviting the reader to give their answers, they might not be as interested in you telling them 'the answer'.

Good luck in your continuing forum/blog career .

As it stands, I am new to the current edition of 40k, only having got in a single day of gaming. The basics have been much easier to grasp than previous editions (even though they were far more disparate). Personally I am enjoying the options, and there seems to be many different missions to try out, which I look forward to exploring.

Easy or not, I cannot say, certainly the availability of models and tools is much better now, and the rules are much more approachable. I suppose this makes wargaming more easy, and certainly more enjoyable!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/27 09:45:00

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Huge Hierodule

Bristol, England

It was much harder back in the day. I was a kid, got meagre pocket money, spent loads of time at school, couldn't drive to the games store, friends houses or the hardware store, was worse at reading, writing, arithmetic, was worse at painting, didn't have computer access 24/7, didn't have any tools or space to use them etc

The standards were far lower and quite achievable with a bit of effort.
I got better at all of these things over time, thus making wargaming easier.

Take a look at the struggles that any youngster from your flgs, club, gw is having getting into wargaming.
They're still playing with dice borrowed from every game in the house, rules hand copied off websites, mum's sewing tape, an all to small kitchen table or a section of carpet with some books on it, clipping out models with nail clippers or kitchen knives, using awful cheap brushes and a tiny selection of paints, packing models into icecream containers, sharing rulebooks between a group etc

Just because the convenience exists doesn't mean that we can all afford or want to use it.

This message was edited 7 times. Last update was at 2018/02/27 10:58:58

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Ancient Chaos Terminator

Eye of Terror

I get where the OP is coming from. Wargaming started for me back in the late 80s, and it was a very different experience. There were a lot of problems with rules, availability of product, the need to scratchbuild a lot of stuff, creating a narrative, etc. Wargaming and roleplaying were very much interconnected, along with other creative pursuits - starting a band, writing for a zine, etc.

While I appreciate the craftsmanship that went into things around that time, I'm not sure I would want to return to it. There were downsides, not the least of which was the amount of time spent playing relative to preparing.

I remember spending two months getting ready for a big cityfight game with my Genestealer Cult army versus some Space Marines. We built a dozen buildings out of foamcore along with a lot of blocking terrain for the avenues. I bought small lights from Radio Shack and installed them into the buildings so we could play in the dark. When the day finally came, the game was over in a couple hours - we had so much terrain it was impossible for the Space Marine player to shoot, and my Genestealers kept consolidating from combat to combat. We never used the terrain again, everyone was off to college and parents needed to take back the room in the garage for their cars.

There's nothing that would stop me from doing this all over again. The fact there are cheap alternatives available doesn't really affect me, I would rather build them than buy them. It just feels like I've been there and would rather spend my time playing then preparing. No one is really going to appreciate the time and effort I take putting up the perfect scenery, but they are going to remember when I table them.

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Fixture of Dakka

West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Yeah, I make just as much terrain as in years before, only slowed by the fact that I was so prolific in years past and still have all that terrain!

"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
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Norn Queen

The thing is, people like different things about the hobby. Some people hate painting, some hate building miniatures, some hate building terrain, some hate painting terrain.

The reason so much has sprung up is people have noticed little niches in the industry where they can make money.

Terrain is a big one. A sizeable portion of people in the hobby don't like making it. This isn't new, before the terrain industry really spring up you'd often hear people say they'd 'rather work on their army than terrain'. So a cottage industry sprung up around terrain, which has gradually grown to the point where there's some well established terrain makers. There's even a niche within this niche, with some companies offering prepainted terrain for those who don't like making or painting terrain.

Another is bases. People love scenic bases, or anything that's more than sand glued to a base and painted. So first companies started packaging bits and bobs you can find in your garden as base decorating kits, then grass tufts, and now all the way to resin, metal, MDF and plastic scenic bases.

This doesn't impact you if you like yo make stuff yourself. By all means go for it - the end result of well made DIY projects is often far better than what you can buy premade. Terrain kits get samey after you've seen them a few times, while DIY terrain is all up to the makers imagination. Prepainted tends to be rather basic, and never covers the edges of the material, so while it looks fine, up close it's not as impressive.

But for those that don't have the time, drive or the ability for DIY projects, everything that has sprung up means they can still have nice tables, bases, etc if they're willing to pay for it. It doesn't diminish the efforts of those that want to/can make it themselves, but it does offer those who don't/can't an alternative. It's all about accessibility.
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Seven Year War Afficianado


Nope, not too easy at all. Pre-painted games are around, but companies aren't abandoning painted miniatures games. Observe that in the past 2 years the company at the forefront of pre-painte games has brought out two well supported games with traidional-paintable-miniatures in Star Wars Legion and Runewars.

As for complexity and depth of rules such games are widely avaialble and still being produced. You want clunky bubble-filling rules, Battletech and it's ilk are still around, Fast-playing skirmish more your thing, Frostgrave, Malifaux, and Song of Blades and similar games are widely available. Want a big game that will swallow up your budget, mental energy and playing time, 40k and such are there to serve.

As for the visual aspect, I won't re-voice the details of my distain for unpainted miniatures and terain here, but suffice to say, the massive number of options for prepainted mniniatures and terrain means that even those with little or no "hobbying" interest or time can put together good-looking games.

We are in the golden age of all manner of wargaming.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/08 16:24:13

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My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.

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Member of the Malleus

I'm not an huge fan of blog links with no additional content myself.

I also don't think the OP is eager for a return to the bad old days (he did write Frostgrave after all).

As for the posted question, I'd say no. it is getting more and more accessible, not too easy. And that is a very good thing.

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Winged Kroot Vulture

Since you can't take the effort to make a proper post, neither will I.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/08 19:22:59

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Nasty Nob


Kids these days, actually getting to play and enjoy games of a variety of types, without diminishing either.

Get off my lawn!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/08 19:30:09

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Long-Range Land Speeder Pilot

San Jose, CA

 Vertrucio wrote:
Kids these days, actually getting to play and enjoy games of a variety of types, without diminishing either.

Get off my lawn!

stop whacking it in my shed
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