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I started gaming at age 7, which gives me a solid many years of gaming experience
I have played Games Workshop’s Warhammer, Warhammer 40, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battles and War of the Ring, along with most of the specialist games like Battlefleet Gothic, Inquisitor, Mordhiem, Blood Bowl and Necromunda. Games Workshop was definitely the catalyst to this thing we call miniature gaming. Battlefleet Gothic is probably my favorite game of all time, and something I always enjoy visually. At heart I am a space sci-fi junkie. There is nothing more appealing than giant battleships in space blazing away at each other while fighters and bombers duke it out. I also think the rules are simple, yet they captivate the feel of space combat. The game I have probably played the most is Warhammer 40k. I have a love hate relationship with this game, as I have had lots of fun games, absolutely love the fluff, and feel some of the models are just incredible, but I have also had some games that have nearly made me quit the hobby. I have played since the end of 2nd edition and have seen some interesting changes in how the game is played. I do appreciate the core rules, but I have always felt the game forces players to be overly competitive, and some of the rules leave a lot to be desired. The Lord of the Rings is one of my other favorite games, but GW’s price hikes have really dampened my spirits, and the lack of an updated Rule Book (Warband’s is not a Rule Book update) for roughly 10 years or so is really irking me as there are certain rules I really want changed. That being said it is still a very very fun skirmish level game. The core mechanics could be used for a multitude of different settings.
Eventually I branched out, however I stuck with the Science Fiction theme. I read Starship Troopers as a kid, and while the movie was nothing like the book, I thought it was a really cool Bug Hunt movie. I was a pretty big fan of Mongoose Publishing’s Starship Troopers when it was alive. One of my favorite aspects of that game were the reactions to enemy units and differing dice sizes. Of course there were things left to be wanted, but overall it was a fun game to play. I was quite dissapointed when Mongoose decided to take a break from being a miniature game company and kill the system. I have also played their Babylon 5 A call to Arms system. I really like Babylon 5 (it’s the space thing), but this game left me a little cold. I found myself wanting to play Battlefleet Gothic every time I played B5.
My Dad and I have always been huge history buffs (eventually I will get my degree in history), and one of the clubs at a past game store was a historical group that mainly played Battlefronts: Flames of War. This game had instant appeal to me as I love WW2 and had quite a few members of my family fight (and die) in that war. Flames of War was pretty easy to learn (the base rules that is) as I feel it is a different version of Warhammer 40k. Very similar elements. For the most part I enjoy the game, however I find myself disliking certain elements, and the overall competitiveness some players bring to what is for the most part a Historical Game. I haven’t played any 3rd Edition games yet, but overall it looks very impressive. Seems to have fixed a lot of problems that 2nd Edition had. I feel with the right people, Flames of War can be a very enjoyable game. I have also played the original Battlefront game which I actually love. Probably has to do with the fact you roll D10s.
Our group also tried some WW2 Naval rules. We started with Mongoose Publishing’s Victory At Sea which uses the same base mechanics as their Babylon 5 game. I was pretty frustrated at Victory at Sea as Destroyer spam seemed to be how you won as they were impossible to hit, and they all seemed to have guided nuclear torpedoes that would one shot your battleship. As you can guess, I was pretty sour with this game. Eventually someone found a game called Naval Thunder and I pulled out my dusty Italian fleet and had a blast. The mechanics were so simple, yet it felt so historically accurate. Of course there are some flaws, but overall it is a very good Naval game.
I find myself trying out more and more games now a days just to get the feel for different rule mechanics. I have always been interested in Napoleonics and the venerable Sam Mustafa put out a rule set called La Salle. I was pretty gung ho about the game. However after playing just under a dozen games with counters, I realized how broken the victory mechanics were and the army lists. It was designed to be a pick up/tournament style game that really had no balance. I also didn’t feel it did a very good job of displaying the different tactics used by generals of the time. Our group was part of the play test group for Blucher (which was not the name he put forward to us), a Napoleonic rule set that was suppose to show off large scale armies in a campaign setting. That project however was scrapped and left me a little sour. I really haven’t given Napoleonics too much thought after that fiasco. The amount of figures needed for this period also gives me the chills. Suffice to say I melted down my British army and turned it into a 10mm Ancients army.
My favorite miniature company would probably have to be Privateer Press. The fact that they tell their customers what to expect 6 months out, and the fact that they had their 2nd edition in open beta testing for over a year is just phenomenal. They also put out some pretty cool miniatures with a damn good rule set to go with them. I will definitely say though that Warmachine is not for everyone. It is basically crack on chess… except my pieces do different things than yours. It is a game that makes you think, and one little mistake can cost you the game. You can also play a game with 3 figures, which makes it easy to get in a quick game. I own quite a few factions for this game, I just need to sit down and paint one fully.
I am attempting to get into Warmaster Ancients, which I have played a few games of and absolutely love the command and control system. I also like the look of a real army on the table. I have also played a decent amount of Pig Wars and Street Pigs, but I am not a fan of card driven games, I just like rolling dice.
I have also done my share of Role Playing with various systems like Deathwatch, DnD, Pathfinder and some home brew rules. I tend to end up being the GM/DM which is fun to an extent, but at times I just want to play. I really like characters that have lots of character to them. I get a lot of inspiration from R.A. Salvatorre and the Forgotten Realms Kingdom (I love the computer game Icewind Dale).
My current love and project however is Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games. I won’t bore you with the details here, instead here is a link to my first review of this system.
I would say I am a pretty well rounded gamer and I tend to teach others in our group rules as I pick up the rules pretty quick. There are bound to be other games I have tried, but just can’t remember at this moment.