Thursday, August 21, 2014

More history of gaming..........for those of you too young to remember.

  Hi folks,

  Just got some odds and ends on my mind and thought I would share some more highly unpopular opinions.

  But first, some store news. I am going to try and make some more tanks. They might be red, since I got that with nitro already. Seems like no one bought any for a long time, and now people seem to want them.

  Also, here are some pics of some bases I painted with the bits on them.

  They are 30 and 50mm in size.  I actually did not really paint the top one. It is grey plastic with some watered down black paint over it. I am waiting on some new paints. I purchased them last November in a kick starter and they are scheduled to ship this December.  To put that in perspective, if I had gotten my wife pregnant at the same time I paid for those paints the baby would be crawling before the paints arrived.

   I also made some slotta bases.

  So that is the latest. I made some new figures, but they are too small again. I am going to try to increase the size by  10% and run them again.  If I can keep the gremlins in check.

  And now I want to tell a story, which might not be safe for work.

  I want to talk about my friend "Dan". He passed away some years ago but I need to tell people a little about him.  This is not done to disrespect him, but it is some funny moments I remember him by. I could use a good laugh sometimes and miss his antics.
  Dan was the first person to begin complaining about what he called "miniature specific" games. Years ago you could pretty much throw a couple of Chips Ahoy cookies on the table and use them as mud golems in a battle if you wanted to. As time went by rules writers learned to create specific rules for specific minis. A unit of archers were no longer just archers, they were some sort of Fern Guardians. And now your regular wood elf minis were useless, because you had to buy Fern Guardians to enjoy the perks that came along with owning these specific minis.

    Dan quickly rejected this. He was a master story teller and wanted to name his own bloody troops. His Empire troops for WFB were Gubenheimers. Had his own color schemes and all.  When I say that Dan was a master story teller, I mean that. He spun tall tales with a vengeance. And no matter how absurd, he always had an out so he could avoid ever admitting he was fabricating the entire thing. This out was usually proceeded by the word "luckily".  For example, he was in an elevator when the cable broke. "Luckily" he was on the ground floor. 

   Dan's greatest tale occurred one night while I was changing the water pump in his Pinto.  I lived near a large sports field complex at that time and cars were driving in and out as I struggled with the cramped Pinto engine compartment in the heat. Dan told me that this was a popular make out spot for teens. In fact, he had frequented it an many occasions. I kept my mouth shut and worked on the Pinto. Then Dan tells me that he had such an active sex life that he had developed gangrene of the testicles, which he claims is common among guys with his level of activity. The condition was so bad he had to have one removed.

  In an instant I knew he had screwed up and told a story I could disprove beyond any doubt, although it was going to be more than  a bit awkward. 

   It took only a second for Dan to extricate himself from the situation. "Luckily, I was born with three." He then went to great lengths to bemoan all the bad things he had to endure as someone with such an affliction. Having a full beard at age 12, being so muscle bound he could walk across the bottom of the deep end of the pool, and having a body fat percentage so low he lacked the fat needed to lubricate his joints and developed arthritis.

  The story lasted for hours. By the time I had topped off the radiator in the Pinto I was feeling sorry for the guy. I was just happy he had managed to handily overcome his buoyancy and arthritic conditions.

  The point to all of this, is  Dan and I got started back in the old days. You got a piece of graph paper and you decided what was what. Nothing was standardized.  Then some one started writing modules, and the modules started telling you what to say when the players enter the room. It as just to save time, or whatever. And things got more and more standardized. There was no longer a need for someone like Dan to use that unique and endearing imagination to bring life to a square on a piece of graph paper. Or to name the units in his army, or his champion, or general or whatever. He glued foam to the heads of his ogres and made them look like they had a perm or an afro. Now that took imagination.  I loved finding out what he had concocted next.

  I went to a tournament one time and used an entirely proxied army of chaos warriors. It was simply awesome and a sure thing to win the theme award. I had chaos chariots pulled by saber tooths and crewed by topless female savages. And that was just for starters.  But I was wrong and it was just glanced over, as everyone only had eyes for GW models.  Kind of strange to me. I was expecting people to see imagination and uniqueness, but all they saw was "unofficial".

  As I look at the flood of miniatures specific games, I wish Dan was still around to find out what he thinks of all of this. Do people no longer WANT to create their own description of the room contents, and prefer reading from a box?  Maybe, but do they know what they are missing when someone like Dan decides to really go all out to spin a story?  Corporate imagination is not always better than individual imagination. Try it sometime, it kind of feels good. 

  Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy your gaming buddies while you can. They may drive you crazy at times but you will miss them when they are not around.



  1. If it restores your faith in gamers a little, my club is currently holding a mini WFB tournament, and several of the players are using unofficial army lists, alternative miniatures, or both, and everyone has been enthusiastic about them.

  2. I actually really like gamers because they are interesting and creative. I am not too keen on conformity and commercialization. Thanks for the link.

  3. Thanks for telling us about Dan. I think we often forget the value of speaking about those we love after they're gone.

    As for the "gaming box", it's a feeling I definitely agree with. Though I'm miniature'phile who would definitely turn up my nose at a cookie on some graph paper, I resonate strongly with gamers making up their own settings and using the miniatures they want. I'm not even against WYSIWYG requirements (within reason) but "unofficial" is usually just a way of saying "you haven't paid us enough to game with us".

    Games at the club are a riot of mixed brands of miniatures with no company connection connection to the rules and usually in a setting of our own invention.
    We wouldn't have it any other way.

  4. I use my own chapter (40K) and use anything i find that i deem cool and use it for my army, just use my fluff to justify it, here is some of mystuff