Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sunday Sermon: The games that define us.

My hero!!!

I was thinking the other day while reading about famous American Presidents and the many horrid and brutally difficult choices they've had to make from their oddly shaped office, that in everyone's life there come moments that define us. Often we aren't aware of what they are until they've long since passed. Standing up to a school bully, standing up to a CEO bully, and calling out to a friend you've not seen for a few days at totally the wrong moment... things that define us and those around us. Some might seem inconsequential at the time, while others... well you feel their impact right away. So life has a way of turning these moments into life affirming, or devastating situations, while we blithely go about our business.

It's very rare that we get the opportunity that many of the great Presidents I've read about have, of knowing that our decisions are of monumental importance to ourselves and the lives of others. Nor that I would necessarily want to know, as I'm not so sure I could bear such a burden. We bumble along doing the best we can, making what we think are the best calls at the time. How easy it is to get things wrong and to wander about the path not taken then? Well very easy for some people, while others just accept the decision as taken and get on with it. But what of our hobby careers? What individual games have defined us? What games have defined who I am and how I approach the hobby nowadays? What games missed have defined us, and what game systems not played still haunt you?

Well as is the case with me when I get to thinking I normally end up in trouble. Could I define the wargamer I am today, by the games I've played and indeed the games I didn't play? Could I pick out ten examples and show where it all went so horribly wrong... or depending on your viewpoint, so gloriously right? Well it was a challenge, so I was bound to take it on now wasn't I? I'm a bit like Marty McFly, call me chicken and I'd jump out of a space shuttle with no parachute! These aren't necessarily the game I fondly remeber either, or indeed the games I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat over, asking what the hell went wrong and why did I roll so many 1's!!! As I say many of these games sort of passed me by at the time, their significance lost on me, it's only now after looking back that I'm aware of the influence on me as a gamer. So here goes, the ten games that defined me:

Game 1
Battlecars - With my dad (1985)

Honestly it's not a surprise I've come back to this game yet again on my Blog. I wrote an article about it originally for the HoP Idol competition that I bowed out of. It's not really a wargame in the purest sense as it was actually a board game, but I'm going to skip over that for now because it involved painting miniatures. If you read the original article on the game I played you'll understand why it was so important to the formation of little Frontline Gamer. I'd been hankering after playing with toy soldiers for quite a bit, and hell as a young boy I quite liked toy cars too. So when I saw my fathers Battlecars game I was totally sold on the idea. It just seemed even better that it had dice and stuff.

My dad was less sold at first I remember. But eventually he relented. I don't really remember the game, I just have a vague impression of it happening. Thankfully my father didn't really go into too much detail and kept it lighthearted, as he might have scared me away for ever! I remember thinking 'so this is what toy cars are for!' genuinely I remember than thought very, very clearly. I remember thinking that many of the toys that I had been given before seemed a little lame and without purpose... but these cars had an actually game to play, and that was exciting. But, to totally seal the deal my father had another surprise up his sleeve for me. He gave me my first ever miniature, my first ever Battlecar... and the rest as they say is history.

Game 2
Warhammer Fantasy - With my dad (1993)

The 8 year gap might seem a little odd to many of you, but I assure you this game was the next one I could think of as being really important to me personally. Sure there had been games in the intervening years. My father had introduced FASA's BattleTech to the household and I'd shown a slight interest... mainly because it involved giant fricking robots, but I'd not actually taken to it. There had also been abortive attempts by my father to ween me off of my fantasy (with a small 'F') obsession and into historical wargaming, and sure that all probably shaped me as well. But, importantly nothing like this game of fourth Edition Fantasy.

Up until this point I remember very clearly playing second fiddle to my father in wargames, and many of the boardgames he'd bring home to humiliate me and my siblings with. Sure like any father he went easy on me at times, but he firmly believed the only way to bring me up was to constantly kick my ass at things... sometimes quite literally, so I'd get better. Any victories I may have gained prior to this game were probably handed to me on a plate, sure my dad tried hiding it well, but I knew. This fateful game though with my High Elves and his Dwarfs was different, very different.

Not only did I out think him, I outplayed him, I out fought him and totally annihilated him and his puny beardy Dwarfs. I deliberately tempted him with a charge I knew he could make, but he had to give a go... and ran some Silver Helms in behind his immaculately arrayed battle-lines. It was mayhem and carnage... for the Dwarfs! I remember for the first time genuinely seeing stress on his face and concern. He genuinely threw everything he had at me, and I still kicked his ass. Score 1 for children everywhere... I enjoyed winning on my merits and it instilled in me the beginnings of a very competitive streak.

Game 3
Man o' War - With my best friend (1993)

Man o War is what many believe is Dreadfleets spiritual predecessor... that by the way total is bollocks, because I actually enjoyed playing Man o' War! Now the reason this particular game of Man o' War was so important to me is because it made me think about a game in a very different way than I'd thought about them before. It set what was already an inquisitive and analytical mind a flurry with questions. Many similarly one-sided games had gone before it, and many more would come to pass with my High Elf fleet easily dispatching my friends hapless Orc fleet. This game wasn't out of the ordinary and that's what made it extraordinary for me. I could have simple smiled and decided to bask in my own glory, safe in the knowledge that I was awesome... but I didn't.

My friend wasn't a bad gamer, he'd kicked my ass in other games and quite frankly you didn't want to venture into any dungeons without him at your side. He was a good gamer, and to the best of my knowledge via the grapevine, he still is. I could've been smug and just decided I was better than him at Man o' War and rubbed yet another emphatic victory in his face. However, the fact that it was such an emphatic victory led me to start questioning whether the games we had been playing up until this point had been fair at all. It didn't 'feel' right and I said so. We asked our local Games Workshop staff members what we wee doing wrong, we went through everything we could think of, and we'd played the game right. I was about to tell my friend one of us needed a new fleet when I was asked what our table looked like.

Now I've covered what happened in following games in an article on game balance, so I won't go over old ground again and bore you all. However, it's fair to say that this is the game that got me understanding that the guys who write these games aren't perfect, and neither are they or the rule systems they create infallible, and in many cases you have to work these things out for yourself. It was also the game that taught me many rulebooks actually omit much of what is required to play the game, and that games designers make far too many assumptions. They still bloody do, and it infuriates me, but after this game I was at least aware of these issues and was open to experimenting a bit more, and I've never taken any subsequent rulebook at face value... I'd become a cynic!

Game 4
Warhammer 40k - With my best friend (1994)

You know what? I hadn't really thought about it before starting to write this article, but it was arguably this game of second Edition 40k that turned me off the game pretty much for good. I'll be honest, I've never been a massive fan of the whole Fantasy in space thing firstly. I deal with it because I like Elves, and so Eldar just about placate me. Rogue Trader had a 2000 AD feel to it and as a child of a nerd I understood parts of what it was referencing due to comic books lying around the house, but that wasn't necessarily the case with second Edition 40k, much of the 'fluff' began to change here. As such I never actually brought the boxed set myself. Instead I had 3 friends who brought the game and gave me the Orks and Gretchin contained within... I'm doing my unhappy face now.

So yes I ended up with quite the collection of static Goff Orcs with axes raised stoically, and single pose Gretchin with painfully pointy hats! My opponents were always Space Marines even back then, so perhaps people should lay off of that particular grumble about the current state of 40k... although to be fair they weren't all shiny silver! I played lots and lots of games with my Orcs and enjoyed precisely none of them. Nothing much seemed to happen except wasting lots of time and thing generally bogging down. I really, really struggle to remember if I ever finished a game of second edition, or whether we just called them. I'd decided I wanted to quit and give somebody my painted Orcs. However, my friends convinced me to try a different army... so true to form I got an Eldar army... with Warp Spiders of course!

I enjoyed painting the models, and I was really looking forward to playing the game round my friends house because his dad was a model rail enthusiast who made awesome scenery. We set up the table and away we went. After what seemed like 5 weeks later, OK I might be exaggerating for dramatic effect, but it felt like, we were still playing the sodding game with no conclusion in sight. I was so bored that halfway through a game I was clearly winning I extended my hand across the table and said I concede. My opponent said "but you're winning" or words to that effect, my response though I can remember perfectly clearly, "no I'm just losing time". I enjoyed my games of second edition 40k when it was two squads and a commander, and I didn't have to Block schedule a week in my diary to play a game.

I guess this is why I always preferred games of Necromunda to 40k, and also why I've never really ever devoted much of my gaming time to the worlds biggest wargaming franchise. Don't get me wrong I've painted armies and played every edition of the game, and I've actually grown quite fond of the fluff, but it's never been 'my game' and it never will be. I can trace all that back to this game I think, which not only bored me to death, but also confirmed I wasn't so keen on the whole fantasy in space feel of the game. I have also always had an issue with the scale of the game and where Games Workshop are taking it... the tanks look silly on the table next to 28mm soldiers, sorry they just do.

Game 5
Titan Legions (2nd Edition Epic) - (1994)

I'm going to say the game I played was called Titan Legions, but I actually know there were two versions of second edition Epic that were released... but I remember my friend taking a huge Emperor titan, or whatever it was called. This game was important for me because all my friends loved the 40k universe, I didn't mind the game, but I didn't love it like they did. I liked fantasy and elves, hell if my parents had let me I'd have saved my pocket money up to get plastic surgery to give me pointy ears, if Dr Brainiac wouldn't frown at me it'd still be a life goal. As you can tell from seminal game number 4, me and 40k weren't the bestest of friends, so something had to give.

I convinced a few people I knew that we should try out Epic because the scale was better for massed future warfare with tanks and stuff. Plus it had giant big robots, and giant big robots are cool right? Honestly I was surprised my none too subtle ruse worked... but they all loved Epic and this first game I played without any titans (my pocket money didn't stretch that far) was great even though my friends HUGE Titian (he was clearly compensating for something) totally obliterated everything in my bloody army. Put just simply, it worked, and worked well. The game flowed, there was too and fro and a natural ebb to the battle, although I was actually mainly floundering... but it was fun.

The next week I went and brought a couple of Eldar titans and we were sorted to go. The fact it was so easy to collect and paint the armies, and represent such huge scale battles in a reasonable amount of time, with lots of different layers and tactics meant that for at least 12 months Epic became our game of choice. Thankfully it saved my gaming hobby, at the time I didn't realise it. Because before Epic my friends were all going to be playing nothing but 40k and I detested the game, Epic was at least a good halfway house for us all, and that meant I was still rolling dice with my friends who I'd got into the hobby in the first place and not on the outside looking in.

Game 6
BattleTech - With my dad (1995)

Feeding on from Epic and how awesome titans looked, my dad had been playing a game with some of his friends called BattleTech for a good many years. I'd admired the miniatures from afar, but had never played the game or indeed tried to understand the rules. Why? Well because when watching games of BattleTech while I was younger my eyes began to glaze over with the terminology used, and how complex it all sounded. But, my dad had left what I think was a 3055 supplement of some kind on the kitchen table along with some other rulebooks, and I was going on a school trip somewhere exceedingly boring to pretend to learn something or other, and the coach trip was going to be long so... I decided I needed some reading material.

By the time I'd got back home I'd worked out an army list and had made plans with two of my friends to sell my 40k Eldar army and my old Undead Fantasy army, all in the name of financing my new project, BattleTech. My dad was pleased! Two months later I was ready to have my ass handed to me on a plate by my father, which he duly obliged with by wiping the floor with me. But I learned loads of interesting stuff, and actually enjoyed playing a game with him again. BattleTech didn't become my 'go to game' at this point simply because my friends were into other games and I had to go where the crowd went...

But slowly and surely I was able to convert a few people over to the game one at a time. The appearance of an American kid in our circle of friends at school also aided me in this pursuit, as he was a geek who had brought much FASA product with him. I think it is fair to say that with both Epic and BattleTech the Games Pimp monicker was well on the way to being born! I worked hard to convince my friends there were other shows in town, and this part of my gaming character, this demoing games and evangelising about product still remains strong to this day, all thanks to the exploits I was able to achieve with BattleTech.

Game 7
Confrontation - With a good friend, and erstwhile mortal enemy (2001)

This was an interesting game for me, it might actually have been 2002 or 2003 when I actually played the game as all these years seem to merge into one homogenised mess, in terms of games played. However, my first game of Confrontation actually did have a big influence on me, but not in the way many of you might think. I enjoyed it immensely, the friend was a French-Algerian and as such was keen for me to try French games, and I have to admit I did ever so love the miniatures Rackham produced for Confrontation. So I was willing to be 'converted' to its specific Gallic charms.

So why was the game important? Because it didn't actually convince me to stump up my cash and buy into the game. At the time I'd been slightly burned with wargaming having parted with my BattleTech collection, a mistake I still regret to this day, and I wasn't so sure it wasn't just another flash in the pan game. A game that nobody would play and that would stagnate like so many before it before the all conquering hegemony that was Games Workshop. So I made the mistake of passing it by, not because I didn't like the game, but because I didn't think it would be possible to get games in with gamers in the West Midlands. Trying to convince others to drop Warhammer and 40k at the time just wouldn't have happened I told myself, although years later I found out there had been a thriving community. Bugger!

I've regretted my choice ever since, because obviously Rackham eventually went the way of the dodo and took Confrontation with them. I feel like I've missed out on some awesome gaming and that's the most galling thing about it, that I'm a gamer who likes good games and I knew Confrontation was a damn good game. The whole Confrontation situation is what has convinced me to always give games a go, and to not let games pass me by. Sure I might not love them all but I'm certainly willing to give them all a fair crack of the whip now because I don't want to end up missing out on something truly awesome... of course Confrontation is rising 'Phoenix' like from the ashes, and it won't pass me by a second time!

Game 8
Warmachine - With a work colleague and sometime friend / mortal enemy (2004)

This was my French-Algerian friend yet again. He was a terrible influence on me at this time during my wargaming 'career'. I'd been keen to try Warmachine out as I'd seen a few of the minaitures and I quite like the look of the Warjacks, and I was beginning to feel like Games Workshop just weren't doing enough to keep me engaged in the hobby. So when I traveled down to Milton Keynes of all places to visit my 'terrible influence' to play some games of Warhammer I was very surprised to see some Warjacks on his painting table.

It was all part of a cunning ploy... because it just so happened he had a second force called Cygnar to hand, and would I like to give the game a go? Why yes I would! I left Milton Keynes with his starter army of Cygnar stuff and my wallet ever so slightly lighter. Was it the best game I've ever played? No it wasn't, but it showed promise and above all else it had been fun trying something a bit different. As they say a change is as good as a holiday, obviously they don't work at a travel agents. The mechanics were a little bit different to Games Workshop rules, but familiar enough for me to know bringing others into the game wouldn't be too hard... or so I thought.

Once again my gaming was heading a little bit further away from the good ship Workshop. I never really got massively into MKI Warmachine and Hordes, because it was never really massively popular round these parts. But, that initial game I had played (and won convincingly I might add) started me on the road to completely leaving Games Workshop behind me. I could now see that other companies were able to produce products that were at the very least a match for Games Workshop offerings, and that others would buy into. Warmachine was important to me as a hobbyist and gamer because it kept the passion alive long enough for something else to stoke its flames completely, for that reason alone it was a vitally important game I played that day.

Game 9
Infinity the Game - With a secret agent sent to bankrupt me!!! (2008)

Again the terrible French-Algerian influence on me is to blame for this one as well. We all know the French are terrible flirts and I should have known better, but... I'd played bits and pieces of Infinity a year before I think, and while I thought the miniatures were good and some of the rules showed promise it wasn't the finished product for me. On another trip south to the utilitarian delights of Milton Keynes I was convinced that maybe, just maybe Infinity might actually have legs after all. We were meant to just give it a quick blast and move on to playing Warmachine or Warhammer or something, I forget what now... my warjacks or Dwarfs never came out of their case that day!

So to call it one game is probably not quite right. We probably played about five or six games in total as I recall it and never once did we not want to take a break and play something different. The first game however was the one that grabbed me, it was exciting, it was dramatic, it was highly tactical and more importantly it was just really good fun. Plus I kept rolling criticals, something that till this day I'm still blessed with. It was this game that sold me on Infinity as a product, and as a game it still remains my own personal focus within the hobby. So am I glad I gave Infinity another blast? Yes I am, I'd have missed out on so many critical hits over the years it doesn't bear thinking about.

Game 10
Warhammer Fantasy - In Birmingham Games Workshop (2010)

The game that killed a 20 year plus, on off love affair. So what happened? I won, resoundingly so. I kicked ass, I abused the new system that was not 5 days old after launch of eighth iteration. I left my opponent clueless as to how I'd masterminded such a cunning victory... the secret is that it wasn't really all that cunning. It involved lots of big blocks of Dwarfs with guns and crossbows, 'clever' use of pre-measuring and a feck load of dispel runes etc... so why did this game I won as a resounding victory with my Dwarfs, against the (not so) massed ranks of Skaven turn me off the game, that for so long had been my bestest wargaming buddy? Simply put it was as boring as hell to play!!!

It didn't challenge me, it didn't engage me, and I spent half the game wanting to pack up go home and eBay all my miniatures. It was as dull as ditch water, and probably tasted twice as foul. It was predictable and I could tell that my abuse of some of the early loopholes that were being exploited by others had led to a horribly stale game... and I could only see the field getting worse as others learned the tricks that were so blatantly obvious even a lobotomised gibbon could work them out! I was done. I'd had more than enough. Sure I played a few more games here and there, but mainly just to confirm my initial thoughts, eighth edition wasn't for me. It might be for you, but for me it's like watching paint dry. Oh and no, rolling lots of dice at spells isn't my idea of tactics either. Horrid game, and those responsible should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.


So there they are, the ten games that defined me as a gamer. Could you guys do the same? Go back through your gaming history and pick out the games that made your the grizzled veteran that you are today! If you feel so inclined write an article about it and post a link here in the comments section, it'd be interesting to see what has shaped many of you as gamers. Surprisingly after sitting down to tackle the challenge of picking them myself, they really sprang to mind quite quickly. That wasn't what I was expecting. I thought some of the competitive games that I'd had, especially while I was at university, and kicking ass with various games might have snuck in, but while it was almost certainly an important period of my gaming career there wasn't any one game that sprang to mind. My BattleTech games sort of merged into one, and my Blood Bowl games just became one big long list of victories. This is the list of games sticks out for me, because they honestly caused me to stop and think about what I was doing within the hobby, and where I wanted to go with it. these are the games that shaped me. Peace out!


  1. Sheesh, 10?
    I dunno 'bout 10, but I'll just count 'em off.

    -Axis & Allies
    -Quake 2/Tribes (my first competitive FPS's)
    -Steel Panthers (PC strategy)
    -Warhammer 40k (I don't wanna talk about it)
    -Battlefield:Bad Company 2 on XBox (my first console competitive shooter. Close to 1000 hours now. I still play it, cuz there's still people on the servers to shoot)
    -Flames of War

    That's where I'm at right now, but Infinity is coming.

    1. Cheers SinSynn. It would be interesting to see if you could narrow it down to the actually specific game played like I have. It's not just the game I was playing that was important for me, but the specific individual battle against a specific opponent on a specific day.

  2. Replies
    1. I look forward to reading it Martin.

    2. Again like Ant a good little article worth the read. :)

      Honestly though much of our gaming experience is so similar it's positively spooky.

  3. I was a late bloomer. Only discovered gaming when I was around 21. Started with 40k 4th ed. Played for a couple of years. Hated that if you werent playing one of 3-4 net decked lists you got tabled. Found it boring and unbalanced, despite a fantastic theme.

    Moved on to Confrontation and had a blast until they turned a skirmish game into a army game, and brought out everything in prepainted plastic. This wasnt what I signed up for, so I was found wandering the gaming halls lost and desolate. No one could talk me back to the 40k table, and then one day I stumbled upon a freshly released Dire Troll Mauler. The rest is history and now I am now a psuedo PG for Warmachine 6 years later. Great game, and havent looked back since. Trying to resist Infinity - such pretty models...

    1. Infinity is very hard to resist once the shinies have got their hooks in you I'm afraid. I've known so many people who say "I don't want to play another game so Infinity isn't for me... pretty models though". Once gamers accept they like the shinies they're doomed!!!

  4. Really I can only think of three games that meant much to me.

    The first is the game of 40k where I realised that "metagame" is a thing, and if I bring a shooty Blood Angels army to the table then people won't expect it.

    The second was my first game of Blood Bowl which made me realise that sometimes the dice hate you, and that just makes the game better.

    The third was my first game of Battletech. This one is possibly the most important. It taught me that sometimes, no matter how long you've wanted to play a game, the company just isn't worth the hassle. Also how to spot someone who REALLY should have stopped smoking, but that's more of a life lesson.

    1. The third game sounds like it might have been an amusing story.

    2. It sounds that way, but it wasn't. It was just the employees and regulars of a particular independant shop sitting around getting stoned all day, and being the only stockist of Battletech in the country they were happy to badly explain the game to a 15 year old kid. Having grown up and found a local group of Battletech players, it turns out that place is somewhat famous for dodgy behaviour.

    3. Ah well, yeah the bizarre LGS is a joy to behold. I was once told in my LGS that a certain game was still been made 100% and that they'd not heard anything about it's production being stopped. They told me they were still ordering stuff in and that it was thriving. The game? AT-43 two years after Rackham went under... honestly I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

  5. Champions 3rd Edition. Advanced Squad Leader. Blue Max. Dark Conspiracy. Vampire. Dream Park. Magic. Feng Shui. Any Shane Lacy Helmsley game. Warmachine. (Want more? I've got 'em...)

    1. Cheers for sharing Lo, I'll have to go look some of those games up though!!! :P

  6. I would say my most influential game would be Axis & Allies. My grandfather bought me the Milton Bradley edition when I was 11. My friends and I set it up in a room off of the middle school library and play for a bit during "flex' time (a sort of independent time where students could study or read a book etc.). That was the game that really drew me into gaming.

    Oddly enough, my first miniatures game was one of my own devising, using 1/72 scale infantry I had started collecting. I'd seen some guys playing Warhammer at the local game store when I was buying Magic boosters (I got hooked on that for a time as a kid, but after a short while mostly lost interest) and had watched in fascination as the players measured off ranges and movement, and rolled dice to work out combat. I tried doing something similar, though none of my friends wanted to try it, so I played by myself. I found the figures too small to work with, so i would set them up in rough ranks on index cards and just move the cards around, moving the dead troops off the card onto the floor or kitchen table. I never bothered with morale rules, and everything pretty much hit on a 4+, so games were pretty deadly. Also, now that I think on it, I think I may have weighted things in favor of my favorite troops. I recall my Romans thumping Second World War Germans on a regular basis. Hey, I was 12, what do you want from me?

    After that I remember starting ASL early in high school, playing with a friend of the family and his son. Now when i look at that game I can't imagine playing it again. Spending all day just to resolve a fifteen minute-long firefight is a bit ridiculous. It's all about the feel for me. i have no problem playing Axis & Allies for eight hours, since you're fighting the entirety o World War II, but I want a skirmish game (skirmish in my eyes being anything under a company on each side give or take)to move reasonably fast. Anything over two or three hours is unacceptable, as it stops feeling like a short, sharp, engagement, and more like a major day-long battle. It's just a short clash of platoons, not flippin' Borodino.

    This is getting a bit long-winded, so I'll just shorten it up.

    My first proper minis game was 2nd edition 40K. Well, technically it was a friend's copy of Space Hulk, but I consider that more of a boardgame really. I had the opposite reaction you did it would seem, as I absolutely loved the game. I loved the universe, and I thought the minis were awesome. I suppose coming off of ASL I didn't really notice the clunkyness. I was 16 at the time, and that was my primary game for the next two years. Eventually I did notice things that seemed out of whack to me, but with third edition coming out my senior year I figured most of the issues I had would be resolved. They were, as were a bunch of issues I didn't even have! I stopped playing the game shorty after that and traded my Genestealer Cult and Space Marines for another guy's Battletech stuff (though I kept all of my 2nd edition rules and codexes [codices?], "just in case") and played with 'mechs for a while.

    In the years since I actively played only Warhammer Fantasy for minis games. Unfortunately the guy I played with had a girlfriend, who wanted to play Bretonnians, the faction I liked most. So I played Goblins. Nothing but Goblins. This was a very poor choice, since I was never the most enthusiastic painter, and quickly found myself burned out. It didn't help that I never really liked the system. I hated that my poor little gobbos could effectively swarm and kill some of the heroes. Especially stupid Orian in 7th edition. Stupid Orian. *grumble grumble* I've never been big on heroes you see. It's always been the rank and file troops I identify with.

    And I suppose those are the systems I played that had the most impact on me. I've owned models for many more, and the rules for even more, but didn't get to lay them, so didn't include them.

    1. Sorry for the length of that post. My shortening up didn't work at all. My humblest apologies, and a tuna fish sandwich.

    2. No worries I don't mind at all. I asked for info and you've given it. :)

  7. D&D, Battletech, Shadowrun, Blood Bowl, Dark Future, MtG, Dark Sun, Chainmail, 40K, D&D Adventure Series.

    1. Hey, good to see you commenting again eriochrome. That's a pretty good list of games you have there. An awful lot of which I've personally played myself.

    2. Almost had to put Pokemon down since that is the game I have played the most this year but put in Adventure Series since that is the other game I play with my daughter in something close to the real rules.

    3. Are we talking Pokémon the card game? If so it used to be a pretty guilty pleasure of mine too. It's actually a pretty good game.

    4. Yes, my 5 year old and some of her friends are into the cards but it seemed like the girls unlike the boys were much less likely to play the game. Now I am not going to buy cards if she is not going to play the game so I have been working on teaching her the game after buying a couple of theme decks (since we did not have enough energy to build a deck out of her random packs). The game seems to be pretty complex for people who cannot read what the cards say but I guess that is their plan to broaden the appeal. Get them younger with "cute" creatures and cartoons then hold onto them with the games.

    5. Yep, I think you're right... those evil cunning businessmen types at WotC!!! How dare they provide a damn fine game wrapped in a sugary sweet coating aimed at kids. Oldest trick in the toy book isn't it? It works well too. Must be tough being a parent around all this stuff, what do you say yes to and what do you say no to?

  8. Excellent list, some real classics on there...ok here's mime (seeing as everyone else is doing it)

    D&D (Red Box) - Life changing, without a doubt. I’ll remember my first ‘kill’ (a Carrion Crawler from the in box scenario) for the rest of my life.
    Risk/Diplomacy - Played both of these obsessively for 6 months while I was in 6th Form Collage… and flunked most of my exams as a result! It was a life lesson though and I bucked my ideas up when I got to University.
    Warhamer Fantasy Roleplay - A Brief but enjoyable alternative to D&D. made some good friends at this time and still play with them occasionally now.
    Warhammer Fantasy Battle - A natural progression and my first go at wargames. This was also when my painting really took off.
    WH40k - A brief foray into Sci-Fi in 28mm which lead to…
    Epic - My group of friends played this for years. I always fielded a fully painted army, and nearly always lost to unpainted figures! Darn-it!!
    Blood Bowl - Space and money were limited and Blood Bowl filled the gap. I wish I had kept my original box.
    D&D 3rd Edition - Got me back into RPG's after a long break. For me, still the best version of the game.
    Flames of War - My first venture into WWII Wargaming and 15mm. Ignited a long dormant passion for 2nd World War history and helped forge a lasting friendship with my Brother-in-law.
    Fire & Fury - Civil War rules and a period I love to play. The first game I played with my current wargaming group – Posties Rejects.

    Maybe not to everyone's taste but these are the ten games that stand out for me.

    1. I don't think it matters whether they're to anyone elses tastes Lee, if these are the games that shaped you that's all that matters. Thanks for taking the time to put the list up. :)

  9. Hrmm, interesting:

    Heroquest: - My first real foray into gaming, I suppose.
    Space Hulk: - countless hours invested in this as a child, literally clueless as to how I should be playing it at first, but learning quickly.
    40k: - The main game of my life really, always in the background even when I didn't play for a while in 4th. I hope 6th doesn't end this link. :(
    WFB: - I tried to start it as an 8 year old at the same time as starting 40k, but obviously I had Mick Hucknall Syndrome, and funds didn't help me out. Fell in love with the setting though, particularly Skaven and Dark Elves. Evil Elves are amazingly cool.
    Epic/Man O War: - games I always ASPIRED to play, but couldn't at the time I desired too most. They helped now with my determination to try things if I feel like it half as much.
    Gorkamorka: - Sustained me during a leaner period of 40k, and started my first forays into a better understanding of game design and previous homebrew attempts had been, for want of a better term, cartoony.
    Dystopian Wars: - The first real non-GW models game I've branched out into playing. I still haven't invested in a force of my own, but I'm getting there.

    That's only 8, but the glue on this turret is long dried, and it's back to modelling...

    1. That is a really interesting list TKE and I'd assume it's how an awful lot of gamers in our generation would talk about their hobby. Others might throw in Blood Bowl, Mordheim or Necromunda, but all in very similar lists. The other interesting thing would be how Games Workshop centric it is.

      I get the feeling if I were to ask this question in 10 years time of the current teenagers in the hobby I'd get a far more mixed response. Games Workshop really have opened the market place up to competitors by not supporting their specialist games. They created a customer base and a demand then pulled the rug from under them. They've allowed the Spartan Games and Corvus Belli's of this world a chink of light to exploit.

    2. Certainly, I think that' true. As true, in fact, as if you asked people ten years older than me, and got the last of the ones from the previous generation of games, those for whom Rogue Trader was ever a new release. Perhaps that symmetry is fitting. Also, Blood Bowl belongs on the list, I simply forgot it... :(

    3. Yeah I think you're right to an extent. But when I ask my dads friends and gamers of that generation they all spookily say the same games. Not too much variance, right now there's so much stuff going on, I wander whether or not in the future if you were to ask 10 people for 10 lists that there would be two matching lists. That's actually quite exciting you know.

  10. I reckon this is a rough timeline of my near 30 year gaming experience:

    Barbarian Prince - Solo game, everything you need in one box, finally gave me a use for those Citadel miniatures I had started to collect.

    Chainsaw Warrior – Another solo game, this time from GW.

    Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks – I think these were the first gaming related items that I can remember my non-geek friends showing any interest in, hence the first 3 entries on this list being solo affairs.

    Escape from Colditz – Board game, absolute classic, still one of the best ways to spend an afternoon with friends.

    Shadowrun – My first real foray into RPG’s, I loved the fact that Shadowrun managed to incorporate both Fantasy & Sci-Fi elements into one big Cyberpunk setting – I mean who couldn’t get excited about dragons running mega-corporations and psychopathic elf serial-killers…

    Talisman – Another classic board game, but one that my friends and I enjoyed for a long time as it made for a diversion from our weekly games of…

    Statis Pro Football – One for the devoted American Football fans out there, but in the pre-computer/console games world, this was the best sports simulation going. Fondly remembered for one glaring statistical aberration that meant once a quarter you could run Rod Bernstine of the San Diego Chargers and be guaranteed at least 10 yards.

    40K/WFB – Played these relentlessly through every edition with almost every army going at one time or another until 5th Ed 40K and 8th Ed WFB – can’t stand either ruleset now and, although GW still churn out some stunning minis, my only regular involvement with both universes now is via the Black Library.

    Flames of War – Probably my first step away from GW a few years ago, and although I do enjoy the game, painting 15mm infantry is not the most enjoyable past-time in the world – unfortunately tanks, especially bloody tin can Shermans, are not much use on their own against the usual German suspects (Panthers, Tigers, etc.).

    Malifaux – Current game of the moment, it continues to draw in new converts at our club on a regular basis. The background is frankly mental, but that just means there’s something for everyone in the game, and the card mechanics are genius – there’s so much depth in the game that I reckon I still learn something new almost every time I play.

    Honourable mentions to D&D, Warrior Knights, Car Wars, Infinity, Dystopian Wars, HoMachine, Cosmic Encounters, and many, many others.

    PS – Brilliant article, brought back many fond memories.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the article. What's interesting to me about that list is how none GW ecentric it actually is. Plus actually how little cross over there is with my own gaming experience. I've played a bit of Shadowrun, possibly the only RPG gaming experience that I actually brought into. My friends and I used to play a hell of a lot of Talisman as well, so that's another cross over. Obviously WFB and 40k are in my list... but there's a fair degree of difference.

    2. Funnily enough, the same thing occurred to me when I was doing the list, and to be fair I forgot about Battlefleet Gothic, which I love, but many of GW's other games have failed to make a lasting impression on me, despite being a complete fanboy for the GW universe and fluff. Go figure...

    3. Well I love the fluff and the background... then I put the mini's on the board and I end up shaking my head and asking "what the hell is this?"

      It's a GW thing I guess. It's easier to spin a yarn than build a decent representation of that yarn using tape measures, dice and toy soldiers. Their games are struggling now.

  11. What an interesting idea! I may well expand this on my blog sometime but I reckon it goes something like:

    Space Hulk - my first miniature based game
    Warhammer/Warhammer 40k - is it cheating to list both as one entry?
    (Advanced) Heroquest - (sorta) roleplay!
    Chaos Marauders - random fun
    Epic - truly epic
    Rifts and associated RPGs - mind blowing art and info, less so the rules
    Risk - the grudges survive 10 years and longer...
    Magic the Gathering - for a while I thought this was the end of miniatures
    Settlers of Catan - wonderfully simple yet deep
    Malifaux - no dice? Bonkers figures and background. Love it.

    1. Again a pretty interesting list of games. I'm seeing Malifaux more than I expected actually. I knew Wyrd had got the game out there and being played by a lot of people, I just wasn't so sure it had made the impact it clearly has. Many of the gamers I know have grave reservations about the game right now. I agree that it has all the ingredients you might want from a game, but I feel it needs a full on revamp and a second edition reboot already to streamline the rules.

  12. Divine Right
    This started it all for me. My father had a copy of the game and I spent hours pouring over the map and looking at the counters. I couldn't understand the rules, in fact I hadn't learned to read yet. But it sparked my interest in gaming and all things fantasy.

    I picked the game up at a toy store and loved it. Looking for more Heroquest related material lead me to a proper gaming store and I never looked back.

    Dungeons and Dragons / Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
    Although I haven't played since collage this was my game of choice throughout my adolescence and it served both as my lens to and my connection with the wider gaming world.

    Warhammer 3rd Edition
    Pick this up with buying RPG sup0lements. I liked the grim yet tongue and cheek style of GW at the time (particularly compared with the sanitized and self-serious mood of contemporary TSR). I never played a game, but I read the rules, bought the figures (for use with AD&D) and it started my watching GW.

    Warhammer 4th-5th
    These ones I played and as my interest in AD&D faded WHFB started to gain ascendancy in my gaming life. These additions marked my transition from Role-playing gamer to war gamer.

    All those White Wolf RPGs
    My friends started playing these and before long I was conscripted to play them too. Few dice; no tactics; a focus on story and emotions; no high adventure; and more than half the people at the table were plump Goth chicks who loved anime. These games did wonders for my sex life while convincing me that the world of RPGs had moved on and left me behind. My follow gamers wanted to act, I wanted to kill things and take their stuff. So I gave up RPGs and went to war gaming full time, so to speak.

    Warhammer 6th
    This was the high water mark of my GW gaming career. At the beginning 6th was awesome: the armies were balanced and all the list where in one place, the rules were clear, the local GW was frequented by a pair of cutie-pie sisters who played High Elves. Life was good. I played 6th edition at least three nights a week for a year or more (though I missed the cards). Everything was going well, until...

    Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts / Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen
    These where the books that killed Warhammer for me. Games became very predictable. Vampires beat every low toughness and/or low leadership army every time. Yet low to every high toughness/immune to psychology army every time. Lizardmen just beat the snot out of everyone. My interest began to fade and I started looking for something else.

    Fire and Fury / General de Brigade / DBA
    What I found was historical gaming, which got me off fantasy and sci-fi games. I've always loved history and I enjoy the research required by historical wargames. Plus, I like my tactics unmuddled by magic and monsters. I do keep an eye on GW and other companies (Infinity is very tempting and not just for the anime babes), I'm very much in a historical phase at the moment.

    Not quite ten, but those are the games that defined my life as a gamer up to this point, and shaped me into the gamer I am today.

    1. Really interesting route into wargaming spiffy. It's also really interesting that it was your father who sparked the interest in the hobby. I've not seen many other acknowledge a parents influence in all this. Makes me wander what our generation will be like with our offspring. Will we breed more wargaming geeks?

    2. I believe that the number one barrier to the spread of wargaming today is lack of exposure. Vast swathes of humanity don't know what a wargame is, and even among those that are aware they exist many don't understand what's involved. So, having a parent who is a gamer greatly increases the offspring's chances of becoming interested in gaming.

      My father is primarily interested in scale models and gamed only tangentially, but that still exposed me to a lot of things that related to the hobby. I'd watch my father put together model tanks and ships and paint crewmen figures, so when I walked into a game store and saw a Rhino kit I understood what it was and how to go about putting it together. Someone without that prior exposure what have to start at "what on Earth is this?" and go from there.

      So, long store short, yes, our generation will breed an increased number (per capita) of wargaming geeks.

    3. Yeah, I think wargaming is a great hobby, and certainly at my last two jobs when people asked me what I was carrying around and they saw my Infinity and Warmachine models there were a fair few people interested. I even converted 3 of them!!! Oh yeah, still got that pimping magic.

      I already feel sorry for my imaginery offspring, I mean the poss sods first words are likely to be dice, critical hits and shiny! That is of course if I can convince Dr Brainiac to have kids with me, she's still convinced I'm just a big kid!

  13. Good article, here's my go:

    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - a game with no board, how does that work! My local library also had a good selection of modules to sign out. I'd pour over every inch of them whenever I had the chance. My first step down a slippery slope.

    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st edition) - blew my mind after the hack and slash of AD&D. Opened me up to some great fantasy "Brit lit".

    Rogue Trader - again this blew my Americanized (well Canadian) mind. I don't think we ever played more than 2-3 games (and never started Warhammer 40K) but the background was so totally different than I had previously experienced it left a lasting impression.

    Battletech - my first contact with the bigger nerdy community. Played at university causing many all-nighters when we should have really been studying.

    Necromunda - nothing but good memories of Sunday afternoons and 4-5 of my friends playing long into the evening, three games going at once.

    Warhammer Quest - hard to resist 'just one more try', even with my friend playing the Dwarf Trollslayer who could never flee.

    Warhammer Fantasy (6th) - after a long gaming hiatus, I happened to ask a friend I hadn't seen in a while if he still had his army...

    Hordes (MKII) - with Warhammer 8th out, infantry block fatigue set in. The FLGS started a Journeyman league, and I thought I would check it out. Not the greatest game but a breath of fresh air after pushing around so many Warhammer models. Plus I love me some Warpwolves.

    Infinity - games continue to educate me as Infinity taught me about transhumanism. The miniatures are fantastic, the game is great and the background is compelling. This game also brought The Frontline Gamer blog to my attention, win-win.

    1. Again really interesting to see how the list differs from those of Europeans.It's clear our North American cousins are far more likely to be influenced by RPGs, and come into the hobby that way. As a part time anthropologist that is fascinating! Truly it is.

      I've personally never been a huge RPG gamer. I played a fairly serious game of Shadowrun for a while, but ultimately I got bored as nobody wanted to move on and try new characters. They'd become far too attached to stuff. I also played s bit of Vampire because some goth girls wanted me to... and who was I to tun down goth chicks? Ultimately though I found it repetitive and tedious, plus being a guitarist in a band meant I got all the goth chicks I wanted. AD&D was something I dabbled with a while back, I want to say in the Forgotten Realms setting, but I also remember a Dark Sun campaign. Ultimately I'm not so sure RPGs were ever for me.

      Your wargaming list though... well yep all of those games have had a big part to play in the gamer I am today. I couldn't remember any specific games of Necromunda or Warhammer Quest but both played a big part in my gaming at one time or another. As to Infinity, yeah it's a pretty darn big game for me too, and I'm glad the game brought my Blog to your attention. :)

      Cheers for sharing and those goes for evryone else too.

    2. Here in North America RPG books are frequently stocked by mainstream bookstores and even electronic game stores while wargaming stuff is strictly the realm of specialty shops. So, a lot of people get hooked on D&D go to their FLGS looking for more RPG goodness and only then discover the wider world of wargaming.

    3. That's interesting, that's certainly not the case here in the UK. I'd go as far to say that a lot of the people I know who are into their RPGs actually ended up doing things the other way round. They stumbled across RPGs when they went looking for toy soldiers outside of the GW cocoon. Interesting... I might need to research this phenomenon more!!!

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  15. Heres my list

    About 50/50 with games in terms of RPGs and tabletop games. RPGs helped form the type of fluff I enjoy, while the tabletop games formed the style of combat.

    1. Hmm, my own hobby time has probably been more along the lines of 60% wargames, 30% boardgames and at best 10% RPGs. It's funny how different various peoples experience of gaming is. It's been really interesting to read all this feedback.

  16. 1)Risk
    3)Crossbows & Catapults
    4)Torpedo Ally
    5)Rouge Trader
    6)Twilight 2000
    7)Up Front
    8)Tyranid Attack
    10)Battleground WWII

    That's my list. 1-4 was mainly with my brothers which grew my competition and skill in taunting. 5 got me into the hobby with epic battles with friends where 6 built my interest in detailed What If that is not to far outta the box. 7 was the start of WWII and 8 was just fun and fast where 9 made it more about the story and need to see my crew through and not just make them cannon fodder. 10 honed my real world tactics upon the tabletop battlefield and that every mini can bring down the biggest and baddest opponent with just a bit of ingenuity and tactical sense. In fact, I use Battleground WWII's rules within all the different genera I play because I find it the most real and versatile system I have ever gamed. All the above have made me the sneaky bastard that I am today on the tabletop battlefield.


    1. Brian I guess I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned chess.

  17. Hmmm, Lets think.

    1: Space Hulk was my first venture into the realms of wargaming, though this was mainley due to the mart Aliens influence of the game. Still play 1st ed Space Hulk now.

    2: Hero Quest introduced me to the Dungeon Crawler (still my fave type of game)Played a great few games of HQ a couple of weeks ago.

    3: Warhammer 40k, though I never played it at the time I loved all the cool mini's and collected them. Made up rules for them in Space Hulk.

    4: Epic, though it was called Space Marine and Adeptus Titanicus back then. I still have an Epic Army now.

    5: Warhammer 40k for real this time, LOL. Space Marines all the way. No longer own any 40k Mini's except the ones we use in Space Hulk.

    6: Talisman 2nd edition. Still one of my Fave Games. Actually played it this evening. LOL. Love it and probably always will.

    7: Space Hulk 2nd ed taught me just how easily a great game can be ruined.

    8: Warhammer Fantasy, I loved the Skaven models but never had a use for them. Baught the latest ed of Warhammer, no longer own any Warhammer.

    9: Super Dungeon Explore. I adore this game. I know its broken in places but this is one of my Fave games. I love the mini's, the cards, the box. Fantastic fun if your in the mood for it.

    10: A whole world of games. It's only been recentley that I have ventured away from GW, as you can see from my list its pretty much all I've played. However over the past year I've been looking into other games that are out there. Infinity, Destopian Wars, Avatars of War Arena Deathmatch. I have the rulebooks and a few mini's for each. But I've still not found THAT game yet. So I'm still looking for number 10

    Not the most interesting list in the world. But growing up in a small town (Milton Keynes... sigh) we've never had an independant stockest here. And I dont like buying stuff off the web unless I've had a chance to look at them in the flesh first. So everything I venture into I tend to Tippy Toe. Except SDE... cuz I think its Awesome, dispite its faults.



    1. Unoriginal maybe, but that in itself is interesting Voidsign. It appears a lot of people flowed into the hobby along similar lines. Surely that's a trend no? As a researcher I find trends interesting, and never dull. So the games you played are very similar to the games we've all probably played, that tells us something about how the industry is now surely?

      Also I know it's not Milton Keynes, but just down the road in Northampton is the Wargames Workshop:

    2. I frequent Wargames Workshop whenever I can. Since they moved from Cranfield I do tend to find their stock a little... well, lacking. And there are trains involved.

      The guy that owns it was the first Manager of GW Milton Keynes so I have known him for years, though his name excapes me. The fact that ther right accross the road from GW Northampton always tickles me, especially since they sell GW stuff cheaper then the GW store.

      I tend to head down there to get all my fixes, Close Encounters is a few doors up from WGW so I can get my Manga fix while I'm there.


      I think that Hero Quest and Space Crusade were joining points for a hell of a lot of people, as we've discussed before. And with GW being in every town almost its hard to escape it in some respects.

      I feel that moving away from GW is our way of Maturing in the hobby that we love. Once you delve deaper there is a lot more out there and most of it is better priced and a better quality of game. GW tends to draw people in, then after a while they seek greener fields to munch on, but you still get the Hardcore GW Fanatics (with ball and chain). Out of our gaming group only one person now frequents the store, he even baught Dreadfleat.... The almost all the games he plays are GW related, which I feel is a real shame.

      Though he does enjoy Super Dungeon Explore, which I picked up from Wargames Workshop for £50.00 BTW ^.^


    3. I guess I'm sort of unique with regards to most gamers I know. Very few were actually indoctrinated by parents like I was. I was playing lots of different things as a kid, and I know my dad was very sad to see me end up dedicating a lot of my gaming time as a teenager to GW. Still don't get the blind loyalty thing that some people have to brands and products. Good to see he likes at least one game outside the GW bubble.

    4. He's still quite the purest and was quite pissed at me when my Skaven Army went the way of the Ebay. He keeps trying to get us to play Dreadfleat and still the rest of us deny him that simple plesure.

      I personally can't even stand going into GW for just a gander now a days. You go into to by some Glue and they try to add on sale you the latest Necron crap. It use to be a laugh but now it's all buy buy buy... if your just looking they don't seem to have time for you. Even if the stores empty.

      Still, I'm currently looking into Mercs
      Looks pretty, and from what I've read of the rules. Plays well.


    5. I looked into Mercs a while back. I decided against it on a number of grounds. There's also the fact that a lot of the people who have played the game tell me very mixed things about it as a product. For me Infinity is just a way better skirmish game and I know people who play that. I'm not dismissing Mercs, but I do wander whether the card movement mechanic is a bit too gimicky for me.

      As to walking into a GW... *sigh*... yeah I'm not so keen on the hard sell. But I actually have very little cause to go and buy stuff from them anymore. I can get better choice of superglue from the shop at the end of my road or the hardware store 10 minutes walk away from my house... it's cheaper too. Plus I know a few store managers and the pressure they're now under to ship product out the door just seems a little bit insane to me.

  18. 1: Star wars CCG
    2: Star wars Miniature Battles
    3: Battletech
    4: 40k
    5: Starship Troopers
    6: Confrontation/Urban War
    7: Battletech (rnd 2)
    8: Heavy Gear blitz
    9: Infinity
    Well looking back at my list the most important games to me are number 2-4. The card game ended up being just a segway into the world of miniature games. The first true miniature game that I loved was the Star wars miniature battles. In my opinion (that of a 13 year old I believe) this game had everything. Realistic moral, hidden deployment customizable characters who stats you could adjust more than just their equipment. I have to confess that this is still my GOLD standard I compare everything else to. But alas my first miniature game was already OOP when I bought the box set so all I could do is play it with the miniatures it came with but we had some battles. My next love was Battletech. The main part I enjoyed about this game was how in the early years 3025 every part of the meck was hard to find and that it had such great campaign ability built into the system. I still have over a Battalion painted along with a trinary of Jade Falcons. I never really like the story line after meck started to become common place 3055 in game or so and the fiction started to really fall off in the late 90s. So when FASA closed its doors I moved on. 40k well what can I say, I played it I still have a marine army somewhere but I was never really that thrilled with it. I was an older teen when I started to play and it never really had that "flair" I saw in my previous games. Personally I felt that the game was too simplistic. The stats were always set no way to customize anything except your leader kit. It just never sat well with me. The star wars game gave almost a role playing experience with character creation and squad formation. While Battletech did have the roleplaying aspect I really looked to it for the campaign style play. 40k basically became time filler for me and when I look back I cannot believe how much time and money I spent on something that I only marginally enjoyed. Looking back the only bright spot I see is the Space Wolf novels which I still read today on occasion.

    I started Battletech again after the growing pains had subsided from the FASA closing and Catalase Games got their feet under them. This go around I was older more mature and realized that the game designers left the game open how they did so that I could enjoy the game the way I liked it. So this time I have not bought anything newer than the Clan Invasion and still rely on my old books for the themes for my battles. I still got disenfranchised again with this game mainly from how bad FASA had let it slide before their demise but generally I found that when I decided to stop the game in the era I enjoyed I found it to be very enjoyable. Heavy Gear was and is my new giant robot game. I really enjoy that it is technologically more advanced than Battletech and that it plays very fast comparably. I really like how the game allows you to integrate your army into the wider scope of the faction and not have to suspend your unit fluff. Here is an example If I take just marines to fill a force organization chart you are talking about apox. what almost a full company of Marines on the field. If you read the fluff that should is enough to conquer a planet not fight a skirmish. On the other hand I can create a whole force of gears which when compared to the fluff they fit right in with the fluff. Infinity I haven’t got to actually play (wont play with unpainted minis just me) yet but from what I see it is head and shoulder above everything else out there right now I would love to see it with the roleplaying style of hero creation but with how balance it is currently it might through the whole system out of whack. The only glaring fought I see with this game currently is that there are no scenarios yet (can’t wait for the new book)

    1. Heya Wade, thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts and experience down so thoroughly. I did read it all. =P

      I have similar feelings and experiences to you with regards to 40k. I obviously never played Battletech pre-3055, well I did, but with my dads stuff and I never really 'got it' at the time. I too can't wait for the Infinity campaign / scenarios expansion book... Hurry up Corvus Belli!!!

  19. Sorry for the wall of text. I just worked an oddball third and spent all night in the OR checking medical equipment. This particular peice has a 26 page procedure to follow and had all night to sit and gather my thoughts. Then decided this morning after the third phone call on our land line to put my thoughts down. I tend to ramble when I am tired

    By the way do you know of any games currently that combines the roleplaying style character creation with a miniature game?

    1. Honestly don't worry about. I asked for people to let me know, and you have. Genuinely I don't mind walls of text. It lets me know what you guys are up to and what your experiences are. I'm genuinely interested, it's one of the reasons I started this Blog. As to a game that couples RPG like character creation and is a tabletop game... hmm I'm not too sure. Let me think about it and I'll get back to you.

  20. Too many details- click my name for the full version:

    10. D&D Red Box edition. Got killed by 4 giant frogs in my first adventure because I didn't know spells were once per day in that system. I knew only video games prior to this so I figured at worst I could use Magic Missile two or three times, right? Left a bad taste in my mouth, but it also left a mark.

    9. AD&D 1st Edition. Our group treated 2nd Ed (new at the time) as good for fluff, good for letting elves have unlimited wizard levels and dwarves unlimited fighter levels, crap for the rest. "Assassin's a class, not a profession!" still sticks out in my mind. The first game that got me into writing fluff in the form of character backgrounds.

    8. Ral Partha Miniatures. Not a game technically, but a milestone nonetheless. I noticed miniatures for the first time in a local geek-of-all-trades store that is sadly long gone. Got a pack of Partha minis, then more, started painting with the intent to use them with D&D of some kind.

    7. Blood Bowl. This is the insidious bastard that hooked me. Saw BB minis in my first issue of White Dwarf, saved up and bought 2nd Edition (and cheated with rerolls on occasion, to my sister's annoyance). Even my parents liked the fluff: Dad for the football references, Mom for the sheer slapstick.

    This game is the reason I shake my head at all of the Jervis-haters out there- Blood Bowl is still an awesome game (even more so now) and he's the reason we have it, and why I'm not just a role-player.

    6. Heroquest. I still have my copy, and I even have the rare-in-the-US Barbarian Quest Pack. I didn't get to play it all that much, but I did enjoy it and man oh man, so much cool stuff in the box! I'm adding Dark World since I got it a few months later- while the game was mediocre, the components were quite good and they used a click-dial health system at least a decade before Wizkids.

    5. Necromunda. This is the game that made me a GW believer. The rules weren't perfect (stinkin' Van Saar and their stupid tech-abuse!) but the campaign was a blast. I was a terrible player yet by campaign's end in college everyone had a pretty solid gang and each gang had a resident badass. Good times, lots of fun stories told. This is the game that made me realize I am the type who plays to watch amazing and ridiculous stories unfold on the table.

    4. Multiple CCGs. On the Edge, L5R, Overpower, WWF Raw Deal (don’t laugh- it was easy to learn with an elegant damage mechanic and counter system…to begin with), Heresy (Awesome fluff and production values, gameplay 95% Magic clone). All in all, good times, but even tabletop seems less expensive.

    3. Warzone 1st Edition. Other than the minis (ranged from solid to awful), they took 2nd Edition 40k and made it better in every way. D20 based system with much cleaner combat rules, a wide variety of units and wargear, and fluff that felt like 40k's but "grown up" with humans behaving like humans. First fanfic I ever wrote was in the Warzone universe (sadly, the stories are lost).

    2. 40k 3rd and 5th Editions. First real play of 40k was 3rd edition- I lost my first game narrowly, tabled my foe second game, drew my third, then lost interest. Fast forward to last year and my first game of 40k 5th- I actually think 5th works fine at 1000-1500 points, but larger than that and I start to hate it. It's just not my style- I'd need something more abstract (Kings of War) or smaller in size (Epic) to play games like this. 40k at typical point totals induces a near-claustrophobic effect in me.

    1. Malifaux. This game brought back my love of the hobby. Got Rasputina's starter on a lark with a small order of 40k stuff. Got the Rules Manual. Proxied everything else thanks to most of the Book 1 stat cards being free for download. The game's whacked-out fluff, distinct play style, and unique mechanics got me more interested in gaming again.

    1. Dustcrusher, I'm sorry my good man, but I seem to have missed your replay somehow. Not quite sure how, but sorry nevertheless.

      That's a pretty solid list of games actually. The only things I never came into contact with personally is some of the CCG's you mention (how was that Panda conservation game for you :P ) and Warzone? It's interesting to see the route into the hobby people take ad the games that seem to crop up again and again as seminal moments, no matter where you are from, Necromunda, Blood Bowl, D&D Red Box, HeroQuest etc.

      Cheers for sharing and sorry I didn't pick up on it sooner.

  21. I have, finally gotten around to responding to this. It's posted on my blog, here:

    To give you the short answer here. I seem to fit the pattern with more RPG's early on, leading to minis later.

    1. Well I went and had a look and left a comment. I do think what I've started has tripped over into meme territory now!!!


  22. And following in line from AHunt, I have posted a list on my blog as well. Although I had to go to twelve. I break the North American pattern by only a narrow margin, probably because I'm a bit older.
    My first was AH's Gettysburg

    1. Thanks for giving it a go. I'll try to pop along at some point today and take a look.


    2. And although its not in nearly the same detail I started a thread on TMP about it. You can see their responses here:

      Its hard to get an idea of what portion of the world those responses come from. I pointed them back here as the starting point.

    3. Thanks I'll give it a read later on.

  23. I put together my own list of games. It was really interesting looking back and made me quite nostalgic.

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