Other 35 years of Wargaming: a gamers retrospective - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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  1. #1
    Don't tread on me! BDJV's Avatar
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    35 years of Wargaming: a gamers retrospective

    Well itís my 40th Birthday today and I am looking back at all the fun Iíve had in our wonderful little hobby; boy have I seen some sweeping changes. Over the next few days Iíll be covering the changes I have seen come and go in the hobby of Miniature Wargaming.



    My Pops, Big Jim SR was and is a Wargamer, so I have literally been rolliní them bones for thirty-five years. My first ever game was against my Pop, I was five and just basically rollin the dice. It was Ancient Egyptians verses Ancient Assyrians. I actually beat my Dad and he did not let me win because my Mother still loves to tell the story to rib him on occasion. So for the next few years I was basically a dice monkey for my Pops, going with him to play and getting to hang out with the adults.

    I started to really Ďget ití about the time I was eight, I understood the rules and started to understand the strategy involved in a game. This was also the time I started to paint models that werenít a mishmash of colors. This was also about the time my Pop moved from 25mm minis to 15ís, how unfair was that on a new painter!

    My Dad sold all of his 25ís to help make ends meet and fund his 15ís. I cried when he sold the Assyrians and Egyptians; I know itís sappy but I was eight and they were always our go to armies for a game. Now at this time miniatures were pretty basic with very little fine detail, but there was this company called Mikes Models. They were putting better detail in their 15ís than most companies were putting in their 15ís.



    Terrain in the late 70ís and early 80ís left a lot to be desired. As sometimes tables were just a huge piece of Butcher Paper with terrain features drawn on. A Cadillac gaming table used broken up corkboard for hills and Lichen on felt for woods. I gotta say we still had fun even though the terrain was bad.

    Nineteen eighty-three was a break out year for us. There was a brand new model railroad shop that opened right next to the grocery store that we shopped at, and after one trip in my Pop had big plans. He had been working through his ĎNamí issues through wargaming the conflict. He wanted to educate the local gaming community about the war. So he undertook the task with the help of my little brother and I of building a fully 3-D gaming table to help showcase the game. It was something that we had never seen done before.

    When we were bring in into the Games Caucus (now Kublacon) the Organizer stopped us. She was so impressed she moved our event from one of the gaming rooms to the middle of the Dealers room. She then asked if my Pop could run the game during the day on all three days of the con; which he did.






    That same weekend I won my first ever-painting competition with the original Harry the Hammer mini from a young Citadel Miniatures!



    This was also the year my Pop brought Warhammer FB back from a business trip to England. I have been playing ever since. We played for many years amassing large armies and really having a good time! Then came the divide in gaming between my Pops and I where I really came into my own, as he was getting back into ancients. In Nineteen eighty-seven Warhammer 40000 Rogue Trader was released. My high school buddies and I were hooked! It was the OMG moment for Wargaming, Plastic multi-part miniatures. Thatís right history was made with the epic release of RTB-001 plastic Space Marines!



    Thatís enough rambling for now, next time Iíll bring it up through the 90ís to today. Then Iíll cover miniatures and painting over the last 30+ years.

    Cheers,

    Jim


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  3. #2
    BANANA! Hive Fleet Ruina's Avatar
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    Interesting to read. I'm hooked!
    Quote of the Week (Number 3) - "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." - William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941)
    Ruina's Hive - My personal Blog

  4. #3
    Senior Member alvenom's Avatar
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    Me too, love reading about wargaming before I got into it.

  5. #4
    Consumate professional Sir Theobold the Lame's Avatar
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    Happy birthday.

    great post, will read the next installments with interest! That Vietnam game looks great, and the RTB-001 brought back all sorts of memories from when I started, I've even incorporated a few of them into my current SM army- even though they are significantly smaller!
    PLAN CLAN MAN!!

    He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man- S. Johnson

  6. #5
    King of the Burning Sands Backdraft005's Avatar
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    Weird, I was sure I posted here before.

    Anyways, I love this. Retrospection story are always cool to hear, even better if it is about the hobby that you enjoy so much.

  7. #6
    Don't tread on me! BDJV's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'm glad y'all like the write up.

    The nineties brought sweeping changes to my gaming scene, with my first career. I struggled for a couple of years getting in more than a game or two a month. One thing I didn’t struggle with was keeping current on my miniatures purchases and painting!

    I didn’t get my gaming groove back until just before the release of second ed 40k. While second ed was a train wreck in some ways it was brilliant in others. I had moved to Tuscon Arizona and did not know many people there, but that all changed when I found Games Unlimited one of the local game shops. It became my home away from home, if I wasn’t working I was there playing games. This was the most gaming I had ever done; I was getting in 1-2 games 6-7 days a week. I was in full on geek mode and I was getting my game on!

    Then it happened the first ever codex release Space Wolves; my beloved Grey Marines from my early days of Rogue Trader got dipped in the background Awesome-sauce and got the first ever codex!



    I had always liked Jess Goodwins sculpts since I got my first Ogres in the mid eighties, but after getting my hands on the new SW models he climbed to the title of favorite Sculptor; he remains there to this very day!




    Gaming terrain started to make broad sweeps in the 90’s, with GW and many other companies releasing full color card buildings. GW took it a step further after the release of Necromunda, a great game BTW! They release full color card and plastic bunkers and out posts using the bulkheads created for Necromunda.



    It was a great time to be gaming, in the late 90’s GW released 3rd ed 40K. At first it felt bland and oversimplified, but once we dug into it found it to be much more elegant than we initially thought.

    Now I just want to clarify, although I have not mentioned much about WFB, I have consistently played it as I struggled through every incarnation until now. My passion has waned for WFB a bit, as the last two editions became a battle of what feels like nothing but (SCR) Static Combat Resolution. My Dwarfs have faired very well through all the editions but My Chaos has been hit pretty hard. You see the problem is that I like Chaos Warriors and they just aren’t what they used to be in the world of SCR.

    Since the turn of the Century the thought of using terrain that we used in the 70’s and early 80’s is just plain hateful. Wargaming as become much more visual that it once was, most games have also become much more streamlined.

    While GW still struggles with the proper balance of rules and streamlining they are capable of doing it properly as shown by War of the Ring. I have to give credit to Battlefront Miniatures for being the best example in my eyes of streamlined game balance with Flames of War. It has to a large extent replaced WFB as my second go to wargame.


    Currently if it isn’t already apparent I am hugely into 40k and play at least twice a week.

    The thing I find most interesting over the years is the change in tables and rules systems. With tables becoming more elaborate and rules becoming simpler and streamlined. Funny how the times change.

    Next time I’ll look at the Changes in miniatures and Painting over the last 35 years.

  8. #7
    Senior Member omegoku's Avatar
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    Interesting Stuff, keep it up.

    You have reached my start point now, 3rd Edition.
    I use that Space Wolf as my Librarian still.
    I would love to have got my hands on some of that terrain,
    but as I was playing outside for 99% of my Gaming career, only hard terrain that could survive harsh Irish weather.

    I look forward to part 3, jealous of the amount of games you get in!
    Arch Overfiend & Grand Despot
    I currently play:
    Doom Eagle Space Marines
    Hive Fleet Omega Tyranids
    Goff Ork Boyz(dead)
    Tau of O'me
    Inquisitorial Xeno Hunters

    and my attempted foray into fantasy
    'Dark Angel Green' Dark Elves in need of fluff

  9. #8
    King of the Burning Sands Backdraft005's Avatar
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    Great stuff! Changes in miniatures, can't wait.

  10. #9
    Member GinsuMoose's Avatar
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    Wonderful story, I really appreciate you writing this stuff, keep it coming.

  11. #10
    Cheeeese Tyfus's Avatar
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    A little late but: Happy birthday.

    And a great thread.
    Good too see one of the "old" folks rambling through their GW-history. Did you stay clear of the EPIC ?


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