Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Breaking Into a New Gaming System

Yesterday, I wrote in an article about how I don't like change.  It is daunting to me.  Thus, I generally stick with the stuff I like and am comfortable with.  However, I have had a growing desire to try something new in regards to the hobby and gaming.  That's where my new found interest in Warmachine has come from.  Since I hate change and am making a big one in regards to my hobby time (7+ years of exclusively playing GW games), I thought it would be interesting to share some ideas on how to make the switch without the terror that comes from being an incredibly small fish in a big pond again.  Let's dive in.

1) Do the research.  When I began to think about this change, I decided to do a bit of research.  The first stop was to Privateer Press' website.  Always start with the source, the manufacturer's site. From there I visited their forums and got information about the game and the faction that I had models for.  It's always encouraging to see a company that has a vibrant community attached to its primary website.  Getting the opinions of honest players and not just reading the writing on the package makes for a more balanced decision making process.

2) Check out the products. In my case, I got really excited about the minis PP makes.  They are beautiful.  The poses are dynamic.  The figures are epic.  The models themselves are quite nice and easy to put together/work with for painting.

3) Check out the fluff.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with #2, but honestly most people simply don't do things they aren't interested in.  For that same reason, I stick to fantasy/sci-fi based gaming over historical.  I game for the fantasy element, not the tabletop.  Flames of War doesn't interest me because of its realistic nature.  Warmachine does. Checking out the fluff will also help you to identify with a faction or army as each one generally has its own personality and overall strategy.  Players will find that they identify strongly with at least one faction or army. 

4) Check out the rules. Get your hands on the core rules set and really go over them.  Try to envision the game and how it works.  If you like everything else about the game, you will more than likely make a strong effort at learning how it works.  Learning the core mechanics of the game will also help you make informed decisions on which models to buy.  Along with this, try to get in a learner's game with someone who can teach you a thing or two about the system.  Lucky for most gamers, you can now test a lot of games online via systems like Vassal. This allows you to try things out before making any kind of significant monetary commitment. 

5) Plan your purchases.  As is true across all gaming systems, understand how you want your army to work based on the rules.  Then, collect the models that will help you accomplish your goal.  Will-nilly collecting of models without a plan isn't something I would recommend.  Chances are that you will end up with a lot of models that you won't ever use and that. is. frustrating. 

6) Paint and play.  Get to it!  This is the fun part where you begin to paint your army up to look awesome and then go and beat face with it!  Actually, I'm sure in reality you will have quite a few knockdowns before you become uber-competitive, but nonetheless, this is the aim of gaming.  Get here and let the good times roll. 

Starting a new gaming system can be daunting, especially if you are like me and a professed diehard for a single system/company for many years.  However, if you babystep your way into a new game with careful thought, you generally don't have to pay out too much and can make the switch fairly pain free. 

Other Articles of Interest:
What's Your Coolest Unit
G-dubbin' it Throwback Style

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