(As suggested by Frontline Gamer's post here).

Ten games that define me as a wargamer, well now, that's rather a difficult one.  You should all know these games, or at least most of them, but they're what brought me to where I am today (and will explain a large portion of my unwillingness to abandon the Big Dog).  The years are roughly when I started playing them, according to the dim haze of my memory.

Game One: Warhammer Fantasy Battle Fourth Edition (1995)

This was my first wargame, if you're not counting Chess.  I split a starter box with a friend, though I had to paint the horrible little goblin spearmen for him, just so I could get the High Elves.  I doubt we played it right, and my Prince Imrik spent longer off the table "Flying High" than he did actually involved in the games.  I  loved every game of it as only a child could.

Game Two: Warhammer 40,000 Third Edition (1996)

By this time I'd found other people who played Games Workshop games, and they had been playing since long before me.  They combined my true loves (wargames and sci-fi) and showed me Warhammer 40,000.  It sunk it's claws in deep, I'll tell you that.  I remember being so excited at the launch of the plastic Falcon kit for the Eldar (I got one for my birthday, as well as a Jetbike from a friend I still play with).  The game took hours to play, but we talked about it for weeks.  I found both my old Eldar army and some of my old High Elves in my parents loft a few months ago - I gave them to a new blood friend of the family who was just starting, and he was so happy with them ("This is the old stuff... You can't even get this anymore! THAT'S THE OLD IMRIK!").

Game Three: Necromunda (1996)

I remember being shown a few games of this in the store.  I used to go into the Wolverhampton store just to play demo games of Necromunda.  Without this game I wouldn't have even taken a second glance at Infinity, so it still has a major impact on my thinking.  There's no doubt that it planted the seeds of the experience-based campaigns in my mind that would later blossom into my Dungeons and Dragons obsession.  The image of wounded, one-eyed gangers throwing one last shell into the mix was a spark to my imagination.

Game Four: Magic: The Gathering, Tempest Block/Rath Cycle (1997)

Oh dear.  Magic: The Gathering.  If you don't know this, you can give up your geek cred right now.  I must have played this on and off for at least a decade.  Introduced to me by the same group of friends that brought me to Warhammer 40k, it was an immediate hit with us.  The Tempest Block was our first major set, and we played well into Urza's Saga and beyond.  Some of us still play, though I only take part sporadically.  What Magic gave me was an appreciation for deck-building, a love of CCGs and a desire for a black-and-white ruleset that defines everything in completely unambiguous terms.

Game Five: Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition (2000)

We skip ahead a fair few years to my college/sixth form years and my weekly obsession with Dungeons and Dragons.  Roughly the same group of friends, though split into two groups, ran two seperate campaigns.  If I won the lottery I'd still be playing D&D every waking moment.  The love of narrative and story weaving has never left me (I was DM most often), and I still spin ideas for campaigns I know I'll never play.  There are characters my friends played within my worlds that I'll never forget (Violet, Avelon, Vall being the Holy Trinity of my memory).  I still play when I can set aside enough time, but that grows harder each day.

Game Six: Risk 2210 A.D. (2003)

Ha!  This game gets a mention just for making Risk so damn fun.  Any game where "NUKE THE MOON!" is a valid strategy immediately wins points from me.  This game is so much fun, and I have no idea why.  It has nuke cards that are the equivalent of vaguely waving your hand over a continent and firing, it has invisible tanks, it has space elevators and moon bases!  Proof that sci-fi can turn most anything around from drab and boring historical game to awesomesauce with NUKES.

Game Seven: Warhammer 40,000 Fourth Edition (2004)

After another brief flirtation with WFB, we ended up playing 40k again during our uni years.  The birth of the Sanguine Swords came during this period, though they were often shot to bits by the unforgiving Tau.  Death trap transports, unstoppable melee units (consolidate into combat, whee!!) and Fish of Fury dominated this edition, but didn't dampen the fun.  My appreciation for painting started to take hold again during this era, and reawakened the seeds of wargaming that had sat buried for so long.  The Necrons began to take precedence as my army of choice.

Game Eight: Warhammer 40,000 Fifth Edition (2008)

Fifth edition, for me, has represented the birth of competitive 40k.  I joined a local club, go to more events and organise gaming weekends with my old friends.  My lists have become more tightly honed, my tactics more solid and my play improved.  Watching the painting of my friends improve has caused me to try newer things in my styles and even start writing this here blog.  40k Fifth Edition has so far represented my "Golden Age" of gaming, and I go into Sixth Edition with my head held high as a lover of the game.

Game Nine: Warmachine Mk II (2010)

Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade drew my attention to this game, and if I can best describe it it's as "Magic: The Gathering" if it were a skirmish wargame.  It's harshly competitive, lists have obvious auto-win and auto-loss matchups and games are often won or lost in single turns.  It reminded me that there are other games out there that speak to different tastes.  I don't see Warmachine as a "fun" game, I see it as a competitive skirmish wargame, and it gives me another way to express my (fairly limited) competitive streak.

Game Ten: Infinity (2011)

Infinity, such a beautiful game that's really struggling with it's identity at the moment.  As a "High Sci-Fi" version of Necromunda, but without the campaign rules, I was always going to give this a try.  I really like it as it forces smaller decisions to come to the fore (I've written about why I love this game before on this blog).  It has helped me improve my painting techniques on single models in small forces where each model has to stand out.  It's still early in its life, with a fair share of growing pains, but it's fun and has the high-technology I crave.  It's also really brutal and newer players get routinely decimated.  It's a fairly hard game to teach, but it's given me an outlet for my Necromunda itch after I fell out with that ageing game.

We Are The Sum of All That Came Before

So there you have it, that's how I came to be as a wargamer.  Some of the games aren't wargames but they are all tributaries to my current state of play.  While I play a fair smattering of games, nothing is more fun for me than Warhammer 40,000 and that "fun" factor just hasn't been replicated in other games I've played.  I appreciate them all in their own ways, but it's still my primary and shall most likely remain for a long time.  I've got plenty of games though, if you'll just stay awhile and listen... Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...