For the last year and a half, I’ve really thrown myself into the wargamming hobby. It started with my buying a box of Warhammer Skeleton models to use in a D&D. In a short 18 months, I’ve built and painted more plastic and metal than you could shake a rulebook at. In this brief period, I’ve run a local league for a year, brought several new players to the hobby and learned nearly ten rules sets. Today, I want to go though a few of the reasons this hobby has taken such grip on me.
1) Genuine scarcity. One of the big problems RPGs and similar games have had to face in the last decade is digital piracy. The ease of getting any RPG book ever published is almost frightening. While publishing game books has never been a great big moneymaker, it’s likely next to impossible to make a profit now.
Wargames, while they do suffer this problem with their rule books, do not yet have to worry about wide-scale piracy of their models. Not only that, since there is such a wide variety of models, it can sometimes be difficult to get exactly what you want. This is actually a plus for me. When I buy a kit, I know that I’m getting something that only a few people will actually own. I can show off my collection and be confident that someone can’t just download and print out the same thing. Add in the ability to customize and paint models, and you are guaranteed to bring a completely unique creation to the table.
2) Toys! What’s more fun than being a grown man and playing with toys? Even better, toys that I built!
3) The challenge of tactics. I have the tactical foresight of a goldfish. I rarely think more than a half a move ahead. Wargaming gives me a great, if sometimes painful, opportunity to stretch this atrophied part of my brain.
4) Bliss of painting. LOVE IT. I may not be the greatest painter, but I adore being able to bliss out while I slowly add layer upon layer of paint to a model. I may not get to spend all the time I want at the painting bench, but the time I do spend is quality.