Pimpcron pondering why we wargamers are the way we are.
Well, hi there kids! It’s “America’s Favorite 40k Blogger Named Pimpcron Who Posts On Fridays On BoLS”, Pimpcron here. I kind of cheated, it was a pretty short list of contestants for that title. But I learned way back in my pre-teen years, that even if you’re just beating yourself, you’re still winning.
I Have A Confession To Make
So for the last year, I’ve been developing and play testing my own skirmish game. I’m almost ready to release it to the public like a barrel of bubonic rats. It will be free rules and you use your own models, so the barrier to entry couldn’t possibly be any lower. It’s a skirmish game with RPG-lite elements to it and there’s a very simple template for creating your own stats and rules for whatever models you bring to the table. And the backstory makes sense why you might be fighting my custom Thundercats warband versus my Star Trek officers with my Native Americans and Smurfs watching. I know it sounds crazy but I have a blast with making my own warbands.
Totally not kidding… LOOK!
Anyway, I’ve slowly been adding people to the list of play testers in my local area. We were playing a 2 vs 2 playtest of my game at a friend’s house and I asked why my one friend Justin didn’t want to try it. (He reads my articles so I’m waiting for another call from him when he sees this.) He said that if he gets into a game, he wants to buy something. And being that my rules are free and I’m not selling miniatures, there’s nothing to buy. The idea really struck me at first. Why wouldn’t you want to just play a free game with no strings attached?
Are We Spoiled Consumers?
I started thinking about what he said, and he has a point. After so many years of “old” GW’s consumer abuse, we’ve grown to like having to buy stuff when we don’t have to. I mean, to play Age of Sigmar, I literally didn’t have to buy a thing due to the rules being free, warscrolls being free, and warscrollbuilder.com for the points. But guess what? I prefer to hold a book in my hands versus printed pages or a tablet with a pdf. So I ended up buying all of the Alliance books, and the General’s Handbook.
“Why did I buy books I could have printed for free?
Well, it’s because …. I have a problem, don’t I?”
I think everyone would agree that buying stuff is fun when it’s something you want to buy. For instance, purchasing house insurance is not exactly fun. Wasting money on a motorized, velvet-trimmed, monogrammed army transport with your chapter’s name bedazzled is totally fun!
There’s also the idea that if we like something, we want to support it financially. I get that side too, because you want to show that company that you like what they do, and want to keep them alive long enough to make more of it.
“Old School” Wargamers Were Cheapskates
I’m talking about the forefathers of all of us. The pioneers who settled this hobby and used sticks for miniatures, filed down teeth for dice, and dirt for greenstuff. They were some cheap mofos.
So you see, that larger rock to the south of the bridge is a DeffDread.
The group of pebbles to the north are my Hormagaunts.
It’s funny, because I played wargames back when I was a child and didn’t even know what wargames were. I was completely unaware that there was such a thing as wargaming, but I bought green army men, spray painted them different factions colors, and printed out D&D papercraft buildings for terrain. I made a whole game with points, and different wargear (machine gun, bazooka, grenade) and everything. So I was an old-school gamer and never knew it. That mentality of getting your hands dirty, making your own rules and forging your own path has always stuck with me. I have a great time searching for new models on 3rd party sites whenever inspiration strikes me for a new Warband. But a lot of people don’t seem to prefer that sort of freedom.
I remember having to spend a whopping $30 for all of the supplies to make my army man game. It bothered me because I was super cheap. What I call Old-School Wargamers are happy playing fringe games that aren’t Mantic, Wyrd, or GW. They aren’t used to spending money constantly with new models being released and new editions being put out. But now, after many years of playing Warhammer, I constantly feel the urge to buy something. That really bothers me, given where I started in this hobby. I balked at $30 for a whole game, and now I don’t bat an eye at spending $50 for five models.
All of this contemplating has me questioning how other people see wargaming compared to how I see it.
So here is where I ask you some questions, answer below!:
1: Do you feel that wargames need a printed rulebook to seem more official?
2: Do you want to be told which factions are “official factions” or do you like to make your own?
3: What is the first thing that will turn you off from a wargame? (Other than not liking the models)