Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Slow Evolution in Gaming

People change over time, I think a lot of folks will agree with that statement. Be it the way you act, dress, or in my case the games I find myself playing. Change of course has some good and bad, worse thing one can do is go full tilt into something new, that almost always end up terrible.

When I started this blog, I was heavily into 'true' wargaming. Warhammer, WarmaHordes, ect all took center stage for me as I enjoyed those games above all else. I enjoyed the terrain, the tactics and strategy required for those types of games above all else. The last couple years though has seen this hobby explode onto the scene with some very entertaining, and casual games. There are more and more board games coming out like Super Dungeon Explore and Dwarf Kings Hold to scratch the dungeon romp itch. Deadzone is stupidly fun for taking up less than a table worth of space (Although the building and dissembling of the terrain is rather tedious).

I took a look back at the games I have funded on Kickstarter and saw an interesting trend. Kings of War was really my only wargame I have funding in the last couple years. After that I supported mostly board game style games that pit players against each other in some fashion. Sedition Wars, Dungeon Heroes Advanced, Dungeon Roll, Deadzone, and most recently Grand Tactics. Each had something that interested me, and almost every one of them can be played in under an hour from set-up to tear down. I have even gotten in a ton more Magic the Gathering games in the last three weeks than I have wargames in the last few YEARS. Sedition Wars being the exception, can't explain why but I just haven't brought myself to putting that set together and playing it.

I still have my Kings of War Minis, Heavy Gear Blitz minis (Although the new edition is going to be a complete overhaul for me), even my WarmaHordes minis. I still have them all, but the last time I played a wargame of that type has been nearly a year now. I think as I have aged, I have gotten... for a lack of a better word, impatient with the set-up times required to play tabletop wargames. A game of Drakon can be set-up and put away in thirty seconds for example. I will give that Deadzone does take longer to set-up if you make use of the build up and break down terrain, but I am very quickly coming to that point of just gluing together my building designs I like best in order to set it down and be ready to go, although traveling with the set becomes nearly impossible then.

Grand Tactics drew my interest for one reason. I saw Final Fantasy Tactics all over the core design, and FFT is one of the few video games I loved every aspect of. It still looks to be a fast set-up and break down, still has a miniature aspect to it, but again... does not take up a whole table to play. It may or may not make its funding requirement, but the idea of the game is still sound to me. Same reason I backed the other games. Dungeon Roll is a very addictive quick play game, as is Cthulhu Roll.

At the end of the day I find the games that get the most attention from others are games that have a low buy in cost, can be learned and played quickly, and not a huge loss if you stop playing. Nearly every game I have listed thus far fits those limitations. Everyone can agree that Warhammer is stupidly expensive to get into, more so if you pick a swarm force. Even Heavy Gear Blitz has a fairly hefty price tag to a first time buyer. If you told someone they could play Warhammer and only need to spend $400-500+ dollars to get into the game, versus getting into Deadzone and only having to spend $35, which game do you think will attract more overall attention in the end?

We are certainly living in an interesting time in regards to tabletop games. There are a ton of options out there for every player, and a variety of levels of games in order to draw new players into those games. It is perfectly fine to shift gears away from the more intimidating tabletop games to the more casual variants if that helps bring in new blood to your gaming circle.
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