Miniature wargaming is one of the greatest things a geek can do. I personally play a few games, Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy, Malifaux, and X-Wing specifically, and I would just like to speculate for a minute as to why people like miniature war gaming so much, and why more people should be less hesitant to try it.
Initially I was terrified of these games because of the cost. That being said, I start into my miniature war gaming hobby with Warhammer 40k. Big mistake if you are worried about cost. Warhammer models are very very expensive. The game is fun no matter which army you play, but they are expensive. The biggest thing to help with this game is that you don’t need to buy everything all at once. You can just buy one box every once in a while. However, there are much cheaper games to play.
Malifaux for example only requires you to have 5-7 models to play. It is a skirmish based game rather than a war game. It works on a basis of factions fighting against each other in a fantasy/steampunk realm where dreams can become reality. I personally play the ice queen herself, Rasputina, of the Arcanists faction. You fight with what is refered to as your “Crew” and each crew (usually 5 models) comes in a box for around $30.00. You can also buy individual models of each faction to modify and/or add to your crew, or buy mercenaries which can be used with any crew. The factions are: Arcanists, Neverborn, Resurrectinists, Guild and Outcasts.
Now to my point; why do some people find miniatures games so appealing or appaling as the case may be? I have also looked at a lot of miniature war games that did not appeal to me for various reasons. Mercs, because of the movement system; Infinity, because I have yet to see any models that I like to look at; Hordes and Warmachine, because there are only a few models I like. Malifaux has an entire faction of models that I love looking at (Arcanists). I think what turns people off of this style of game initially is the cost and time required to put in to playing it. The problem is that Warhammer, being the most popular miniature wargame, is also the most expensive. People see the cost of buying into warhammer and instantly shy away from all miniature games. If more people started with games like Malifaux or Infinity, which costs significantly less than warhammer, then people might be more open to playing these games.
The biggest thing I think that hold peoples interest in this kind of game, I think is the group it brings around. Beleive it or not, not everyone who plays these games is a 40-year-old virgin living in their mothers basement. Most are actually normal people who have a hobby of building and painting miniatures and hanging out with people who have similar interests. I know thats what it is for me anyway; that and I really like cool models.
By Alex Hicks