Whilst 2016 was most definitely the year of Chain of Command, my gaming hobby in 2017, though still primarily miniatures based, has moved much more towards a smaller sized game, especially as the year has progressed.
It could be argued that most of my gaming has in fact been boardgame based, as my definition of ‘miniatures gaming’ includes not only traditional miniature wargames, but all games that are played with miniatures, but are played on boards or tiles.
This change has been indicative of my gaming over the past year – I’ve spent much more time playing 3 or 4 player games rather than the more traditional two-player wargames. Our regular gaming group has grown from just Guru Luff and myself to include ‘my other mate Dave’ and Richard – both colleagues from work.
The primary casualty of this change in gaming group has been our Chain of Command campaign, which has not seen the table this year – it’s not that we no longer want to play, but rather that we need to plan days to get this to the table – hopefully we can return to this in 2018 (We need to get Kampfgruppe Von Luck to the table – CoC is too good a game NOT to play!)
With a couple of notable exceptions – Test of Honour and X-Wing – I’ve only played each of these miniatures games a couple of times this year. I was hoping to play a lot more of Runewars, but I didn’t get around to painting my two armies, and I hate playing miniatures games with unpainted miniatures, so this ended up with very little table time, despite being a good game.
Rather than two-player miniature wargames, it’s these games that have seen most table time this year.
These types of miniatures ‘hybrid’ games are becoming ever more popular, especially as the production quality of miniatures in boxed games improves – for example, the figures in games such as Imperial Assault, Ninja All-Star or Conan are top notch.
However, I don’t think games like Imperial Assault or Space Hulk are any less of a miniatures game for taking place on a board – the only real different is that artwork tends to take the place of 3D terrain, although this is not always the case.
The added advantage of these hybrid games tend to be that they take up less space to play, and can be played easily with more than two players – which has been one of the major factors for me this year.
This year has been a bumper one for playing games – I’ve managed to play games over 130 times this year – and almost 60% of those have been miniatures games of some sort or other. Whilst I would like to play ‘traditional’ miniature wargames more often, as the Great Guru himself would say, more gaming choice means that you end up playing particular games less often.
2017 has been a GREAT years for playing games, and it already looks like 2018 is shaping up to be just as good.