- The game can't be all special characters. Anima Tactics failed here badly since I just can't stand having all pre-named, pre-created characters on the field. WarmaHordes also faltered here for me personally, with Warhammer starting to lean pretty far that direction. I actually like creating my own characters, and I enjoy letting that character evolve on my own terms.
- The game also can't be just nameless grunts I have no attachment to. Firestorm Armada is a great example for this since I simply didn't get any real association formed with my force making me want to play it. I don't want an army of red shirts to put it bluntly.
- The game, and the company behind it, can't take it too seriously. These are games, meant for gamers to play with. A company shouldn't get uptight simply because someone decided to make a parody of their game. A Youtube video isn't going to suddenly break a bank. Games-Workshop is absolutely terrible about this and well known for taking down parody fan made videos on Youtube for 'copyright infringement'. As strange as it is, if a company that is supposed to be making a game for fun can't handle itself being a target of entertainment, they obviously aren't really looking to make fun games.
- On the flip side, a company does need some standards. It is more then annoying to me when I try to get something ordered and always find an issue with the product I received, be it parts missing, broken, or simply not shipped. having great customer service is grand, but if I have to contact customer service each time I make an order because I am missing an arm, a card, a blister, ect then I will get fed up. I understand every company having a few hick ups here and there, but it shouldn't be commonplace. With my ordering history Privateer press really fits the bill here.
- Most importantly, above all the rest, is the fact my wife needs to enjoy the game. My wife is my every day opponent, and if she isn't having fun I certainly am not going to force her to keep playing. She didn't like the regimented movement of Warhammer Fantasy or the aggressive combo gameplay of WarmaHordes, and as such we moved on.
So with everything said and done, I have to have a lot of points being met for me to start/remain with a game. This isn't to say I won't play something, as anyone who has read this blog knows I certainly try any tabletop game at least once. Right now I am playing Heavy Gear Blitz which I am pretty happy with since it meets the above criteria as well as my wife actually enjoying herself as well. Should the game or the company ever start faltering in a way I don't like, I will certainly move onto another game, as there are still many I have never tried.
While I move away from games, I don't worry about armies I have or books I own. Games of the past are simply that to me, the past. Without taking a risk in a company and their products, you never really learn what you enjoy. Yes, it sucks after spending hundreds of dollars on an army only to find out you don't like it enough to stay, but it is better then never trying the game and missing out on something great. Once you are finished or tired with a game, go out quietly. Don't miss your previous games, learn from what about them you didn't care for so you can avoid it in the future.