Friday, 4 July 2014

The Bright Future of Wargaming

Greetings friends!

So over the past few days I've written quite a few different blog posts, however unlike what I normally do, I did not post them.

The reasons behind this select posting was down to me being aware of where the writing was coming from.

I was writing posts that were based off a combination of both anger and frustration and would have been either boring or insulting to read.

Today however I have a post that I most certainly want everyone to read.

It is my belief that today is possibly one of the best times to be a wargamer.

There; I said it.

I know, this is a complete contradiction to everything I have said before, but I think it's true.

You see, I just spent the last 15 or so minutes talking to my head of department about the game X-Wing as it was revealed the other day that he is a bit of a wargamer himself, playing X-Wing and Saga at the moment with a bit of a 40k and Ancients history.

It occurred to me while talking to this guy, that this was not a bad way to spend the last 15 minutes of the day and that things were pretty good, all things considered.

It also occurred to me that this sentiment can be extrapolated out.

Let's have a look at some of the current wargame movers and shakers:

We have the behemoths of 40k and Fantasy Battle,
There is of course Saga which seems to me to be THE historical game,
For WWII there's both Flames of War and Bolt Action,
If you are interested in Wild West you have WWX and Malifaux which in turn moves into Horror and Steampunk,
Staying with Horror and Steampunk there is Empire of the Damned and the elephant of Warmachine & Hordes,
If you prefer your games more grimdark Warzone and Deadzone,
Maybe you prefer sport games? Well there's Dreadball and Bloodball (which I understand still has a very large player base),
What about Hi Sci-Fi? Infinity has your back and is due to go from strength to strength with 3rd Edition only a short jump away,
More gore on your menu? Give Hell Dorado a go!
What about post apocalyptic? Well that's EDEN for you!
Maybe you fancy something that's more Feudal Japan in style? You have to try out Bushido!
Do you like spaceship battles? X-Wing or Attack Wing all the way!
Maybe you like spaceships and the like but would rather play on-planet rather than off? Dropzone Commander!

Hell, the list is almost endless, and these are all games which are currently bring supported by either parent companies or third parties. That is not including the games that are in development like Guild Ball, Liberal Crime and of course; CRYPTS.

We also have to remember that with most of if not nearly all these games come with a line of miniatures giving you an almost listless supply of proxies for your game of choice!

Are we saturated right now? Possibly, but I don't think we have reached critical mass just yet.

I think it is safe to say that like with everything there will be a time when we reach critical mass and with only so many wargamers in the world and therefore a limited amount of cash a lot of these companies will fade out to obscurity or die out all together (I'm looking at you Hell Dorado and EDEN, seriously you both can do so much better! Sort yourselves out!) and when this happens it will be determined which of the companies are the market leaders for models, miniatures and game rules.

Some might argue that GW's actions over the past year or so would mean they were due to hand their crown over to the likes of Privateer Press or Wyrd, but then people have been saying that about GW for decades and we still see them as market leaders. But as the late King Terenas Menethil II tells us; no king can rule forever.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see another company take over the running. Not for a while, maybe 20 or so years' time.

I would be surprised if it was PP and pretty astonished if it was Wyrd. No my vote from the current contenders is Mantic.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Mantic. In fact I actually think their models suck balls! But they are ticking all the boxes and more importantly; are quite a bit cheaper than GW - but some would argue that is for a good reason.

I think if given the right amount of exposure we could see Mantic take the helm as market leader, especially if they tapped into the 'young adult' market that GW has hooked.

Regardless of all this, I think we can all agree that choice is most of the time a good thing, and with that in our minds, let's all look out the window at the bright blue sky and beaming sun, before turning back from the window, turning up your painting podcast of choice and getting your paint on!

Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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