Monday, January 26, 2015

Finding The "It" That Attracts Us To Gaming

Burning River Battalion
As of the writing of this, I have just finished prepping a new forge world miniature that arrived in the mail today. As a matter of fact I acquired a number of new forge world goodies but one in particular got me thinking. To be honest the miniature that inspired me to write this article is surprising because it wasn't the one I was most excited to get. The miniature I have been eagerly awaiting is the hq unit for my work in progress Mechanicum army. The Magos Dominus miniature as seen here is the one I'm specifically talking about.

As with any army in 40k you need a leader and this is the only option for me as of now. So while he is a necessity I do enjoy the aesthetic of him as well.  He was the first miniature that I started preparing for paint because of my excitement. I thought it would be similar to that feeling of Christmas morning, and it was but I didn't gain any insight or personal inspiration just from having him in my hands. The thought provoking model was Ferrus Manus Primarch of the iron hands.

Now this miniature has been out for at least 6 months. Obviously being that he is a Primarch model and thus pivotal in the lore of 40k, I was excited to see him, but I wasn't inspired just seeing a picture of him. I ordered him because I have this grand delusion that some day I will have a couple thousand points of all the legions and thus I would want all the Primarchs to lead each of them. Yes I know I have a horrible drug addition. In any event he was more of an after thought. One of those things that I will get around to painting when I am done doing all of my priority projects. Yet as I was clipping, cutting, and filing all the parts down for him I started becoming more and more impressed. It makes me really want to paint him and to start on an iron hands group right now. Again the iron hands have never been particularly interesting to me, but this one miniature is now really making me want to get to work on that whole army.

This sudden inspiration got me thinking was that "It" factor is in any game that any of us find so alluring. I imagine most gamer's have several interests but I also think that more than likely each gamer has that one game that really keeps them coming back. Maybe its the fluff for you, maybe its the design of the miniatures, or maybe its the actual game play and you couldn't care less if you used cotton balls to represent the pieces. For me its about 2 things. The first one being the aesthetic of the game. If you have bad looking minis, or artwork in the event of any non miniature games, I will immediately have no interest in it. The second part is the fluff, the back ground, the story that I can't get enough of. This is why 40k has me so hooked. I've never tried heroin but I imagine 40k to be heroin for me. I know that it has some huge flaws in the game design, I know that games workshop is literally only in it for how much blood....err money they can get from me, but I don't care. Warhammer 40,000 has that "It" factor for me.

I had a really good conversation today with someone that plays Malifaux. Evidently he is one of the guys that play tests stuff and goes around introducing new people to the game. I could tell that for him everything was about the rules. Malifaux, version 1 anyway from what he told me, had really tight rules that he needs for a game. To hear him talk about it I could really feel his passion for the game. I actually felt bad that I had no interest in Malifaux because to see that kind of passion and not be able to share in it is kind of a let down. Malifaux as a game doesn't have enough models that have an aesthetic appeal to me and thus I have no interest in even looking into the fluff of it.

I know several people very well that play Warmachine/Hordes and they really love it. Warmachine has the aesthetic part down for me, but the fluff is where it falls short. Consequently, I am really dragging my feet getting into the game. Menoth is the faction I really like but the fluff is so predictable that I don't feel the motivation to jump in all the way. The game doesn't have the "It" factor for me. I will eventually play it and I'm sure I will really enjoy it, but getting to the point where I devote a significant portion of my time to it is going to be a long time coming.

So this begs the question what game does it for you? What's the one thing you always find yourself coming back to? I've bought and sold probably half a dozen armies over the years. I've gotten into and out of Battletech, Babylon 5 wars, magic the gathering, full thrust (not a porn movie I swear), and probably others I can't think of off the top of my head. The one constant for me has been 40k. That's the one game that I might have to come up with a ton of cash quickly so I sell my stuff, yet I'm going to work on getting it all back. I had 300+ mechs for Battletech at one point. I sold every single one and haven't gotten 1 since. I would play a game of Battletech with someone but I would not really get back into it. The aesthetic and fluff was awesome to me, they changed the fluff and well my tastes changed towards the look of a lot of the mechs. I think that's why I haven't lost my passion for 40k because they keep updating and changing things. I know people will argue that's a bad thing, that it forces them to spend more money. Yet for me I find that it helps to keep things fresh and not stagnant.

Feel free to share your games that have the "It" factor for you. Explain why you love whatever game you love, even if its some silly reason.

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