Gaming when you’re not Gaming

I love my games. I love the social time of playing a game, for sure. And the challenge while playing, for sure. But there’s more than that for me.

I love my game systems.

I love my deck building, my RPG builds, my character creation, my army building. For many games, maybe for most that have this sort of external component, I spend as much or more time on these aspects than I do actually playing the game.

My early experience was probably just in playing party-based video game RPGs. Figuring out which party would be best, creating the characters, playing a bit… then deciding there was something missing, and heading back to the drawing board.

It carried on into Magic: the Gathering. We would play at lunch at school, and whenever we could sneak a game. So we played most days… and most nights, I was home, changing my deck, or building from scratch. I would rebuild to try to meet my friends’ challenges, or to try out some new card I got, to try some interesting-seeming combo, or just to try to take them by surprise. You change it that often, and you change it for all the reasons you might…

I moved on from Magic to Warhammer, where I was constantly building new armies, new lists. Sometimes, that drove my purchases… sometimes, my purchases led to my army building. Oh, so many of those armies never got played – unlike Magic, I wasn’t getting anything close to daily games. It’s hard, then, to decide what to actually bring to bear when you do finally get a game in…

From there I moved on to MMOs, to Final Fantasy XI and then even moreso to World of Warcraft. In FFXI, you could switch around jobs on your one character, but you also always needed to be working with your party… so I didn’t need to strategize too much, but did some between gaming sessions with friends. In WoW, I did a lot of playing with friends, but also plenty on my own. You played different jobs by playing different characters, so lots of characters… and even more characters that I dreamed up, built skill trees for, and planned out all the way to maximum level. A moving target, as they released patches and expansions and changed the game…

So why am I saying all of this?

Because my latest gaming-related-but-not-gaming habit has been Warmachine and Hordes. Not only are there armies to build – ones I own and ones I could buy and ones I don’t even have the start to… Armies I might expect to see my friends play, and ones I’ll probably never see. Armies I might field on the table, and armies that I will quite simply never get the chance to field.

On top of the army building, there’s all sorts of podcasts in the Warmachine and Hordes community… and the forums. So there’s a whole community that I’m listening to and getting interaction from, that I will never meet and never play against. And there’s just a lot to do when not playing the game, which is great, because I only have the one game night a week that I make it to.

So I had all of the above post in mind to write up, until we get this from Privateer Press today…

This June – so a couple of months – and there’s a new edition of the game. And all of a sudden, everything I currently know, all the armies I’ve built and podcasts listened to… it all changes. Hopefully it’s a good change. This will be the third edition of the ruleset, and you hear stories about the transition out of Mark I. But you also hear about how broken Mark I was, so Mark II was a breath of fresh air. But people have been hoping for a Mark III – and have been getting errata and nerfs instead. The community had kind of given up hope that it would happen, and right when we had they announce this.

I’m actually kind of excited to see what this holds in store, and even sooner, how all the podcasts will react. They spoiled a couple of rules things, but it’s mostly all unknowns still. They’re releasing the rules online so no waiting in that regard. And I’m assuming that, as with the last changeover, all of the existing models will still be in the game – so nothing should be inherently invalidated as a purchase. Let’s just hope the balancing comes out nicely!

Of the few rules they have spoiled, one of my favorites is that you’re allowed to pre-measure everything. So no longer will I feel handicapped by the fact that I’m bad at eyeballing distances – and that I don’t get enough table time playing to get substantially better at it. That should be a direct increase in enjoyment in the games I do get to play!

And meanwhile, lots of new armies to consider… wonder what I’ll play?…

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7 responses to “Gaming when you’re not Gaming

  1. Haha! I feel like you’re setting the table for me a bit here 😉

    Yes! The making up of the characters is as good or better than playing the damn games.

    Was into Magic myself for awhile. I had an artifact deck. Also, had a variation on the Sparkler deck in which I kept all the counterspell cards, but substituted the direct damage Red spells for Goblin Hordes!

    Sadly, we had a friend in the group who read magazines and he created what he called a “Stasis” deck which was a bunch of time elementals that made us all where we couldn’t move, ever, and he refused to play with any deck but that, so the rest of the group kinda lost interest.

    (The stasis deck dude was a bit of a douche, but then, we knew that all along. The thing just got out of hand.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • See changing decks was so much more fun than playing just the one! There were plenty of annoying combos you could set up, annoying ways to lock down opponents. Stasis indeed!

      I failed to mention how I’ve made whole D&D parties for one-shot campaigns….

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had a White+Green deck I was insanely fond of. Was one of the first I built, and it wasn’t that powerful. Was just fun. Because the Venerable Monks and the Forest-walking Cat People and the Order of the Dawn all knew one another! And don’t even get me started on the D&D. The tabletop geekery might have cost me more time, all-told, than all the RPG video games I’ve played combined.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to build a Hype Machine | Comparative Geeks

  3. Pingback: New Edition of Warmachine and Hordes – First Impressions | Comparative Geeks

  4. Pingback: New Edition of Warmachine and Hordes – First Impressions – Comparative Geeks

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