When did we lose sight of the game?

Now that I’ve got more of my old gaming things out on display, I’ve been spending some time flicking through the various rule books and looking at the miniatures and it strikes me that something has changed. The game has gone. The fun has gone.

I’ve got the new Warhammer 40k 6th edition rulebook and I’ve got the 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook. At some point in the last 20 odd years something has changed.

Now, I’m not stupid. I know this change has happened. I’ve picked up enough from various podcasts and blogs and I can see with my own eyes how much Games Workshop has changed. But it really makes me sad that money has taken over what should be an enjoyable hobby. The old books included cardboard representations of units and special weapons for you to cut out, copy and use in battle. The Blood Bowl Companion book includes various templates and even includes a +2 bonus if y0ur cheerleader models are painted. This to me says that the important thing was to play the game, not buy the models. The best 40k or Fantasy Battle player shouldn’t be the one that can afford to buy and paint the best models or afford the most Codex supplements. In part that’s why I love Blood Bowl and why I think it is perfect. I need a minimum of 11 miniatures up to a maximum of 16. The rules are simple, I don’t need special terrain or carry cases to carry flyers. This isn’t about Blood Bowl though it’s the principle of gaming. Right back to D&D where you didn’t even need minis – the rules, a few dice, paper, pencil and you were away. I’m starting to explore the brave new world of tabletop, card and roleplaying games in the hope of finding some new loves. I know they are out there.

I don’t know when this change happened, but I know it’s not one that has made this a better world. I wonder how the original designers of these games must really feel now…deep down. Not in the glossy brochure that is White Dwarf. Looking at the pictures of them in the old rule books these are not people that needed miniatures to have a good time with tabletop games. The game is in the skill and imagination of the players.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle rule book

Warhammer Fantasy Battle rule book

Warhammer Fantasy Battle cut outs

Warhammer Fantasy Battle cut outs

Lonely gamers?

Now, I’ve not looked. I’m getting that out there straight away. I’m a married dad of one. My wife isn’t into ‘geeky’ stuff. I moved to a new area 6 months ago, and although I am making headways in terms of Blood Bowl, I am still a lonely gamer.

What is there for me?

I’ve been going through some of the contents of the old toy cupboard in preparation of moving it into my cave later this week. I’ve found my Warhammer Fantasy rulebook (1st ed I think) as well as the D&D Rules Cyclopedia from the same period. I love fantasy gaming. If I’m honest I love the background and story, hobby, elements more than the playing aspects. But, I still love to play. Double but, I don’t like the though of MMOs, I want to play on my own or with a few mates. Considering I don’t know anyone else like me (at the moment)…what games can I play? Where are the Massive Singleplayer Online games? Where are the card games for one? There must be more lonely gamers out there? I’ve got Blood Bowl Chaos Edition but that’s installed on my PC laptop not my Mac (that I use most). Suppose I can rectify that when the cave is opened. Given my recent debut with the Eshin Academy I think that would be a good move 😉

I love, love, love the hobby and fluff aspect – reading, purchasing, painting, building armies/teams/characters etc – and that will always continue. That’s about to have a rebirth of it’s now my time and money can focus on it.

But I want more!