Sniff, sniff; ahh, I love the smell of pewter in the morning.
As a member of the video game hobby, I enjoy the visceral and tactical element it brings to me. The pure rush of dissecting the cascade of imagery into it’s core element drives me to enjoy the concept of the developer’s world like no other. I also like bunnies and long walks in the park. When video games can’t provide said bunnies or the ability to needlessly stand upright out of my chair for long stretches, I turn to tabletop war gaming.
Often times when I leer deep into the maw of war games, I can’t help but giggle with joy. It is truly the best of both worlds. Not only am I able to play with mini action figures, I get to use rules more advanced than ‘the floor is lava’ or ‘tag, you’re it’. With such awesome awe-sa-tude, why wouldn’t you want try it if you had the opportunity? Well, with all things great, there is a hefty price to pay.
The first thing that comes to mind is the price. For a video game, the price of that experience ranges from free to $60, maybe $100 if you’re unlucky. With it, you get moving pictures and interactivity of many characters and locations (hopefully). For miniatures, the average price is $5 per figure. That is correct. $5 for one thing that isn’t even colored! You have to paint it yourself! Now, there are cheaper ways to get your mini toy fix and companies like Wizkids (now NECA I believe) can provide some prepainted figures of lesser quality for more reasonable prices of $2 a figure. Those figures still do the trick, so don’t let ‘lesser quality’ cloud your judgement with their stuff. Heck, you can go buy a few bags of army men and call it good.
Regardless, that adds up fast for a poor boy. If you ever wanted to fight army battles, with 100s of guys fighting each other, that’s near the range of 1000s of dollars if you want to play with the other 25mm war gamers (25mm is a term for the size ratio of the model in comparison to the height of a normal man. 25mm equals the height of said average man, around 5’10”). If that isn’t enough to shake your fervor for war gaming, the people will.
The people who usually consider tabletop war gaming have a real knack for math and toys. With such antisocial passions, you are bound to get people who are more likely to be irritating and just plain tools. On top of that, they paid a crap ton of money for their action figures and spent hours painting them. In short, most of them care too much and have tantrums mid game. Now the community isn’t all like that, but you will find more of those guys than you will the nice people you want to play with.
After figuring out an affordable selection of figures and finding the right group to play with, it can be one of the greatest experiences you’ll ever have. Have a budget of around $70-$100 and search for pre-painted figures or buy a few bags of army men and grab some game rules. It’ll be all kinds of fun, and the best part, you get to keep playing when you turn off the television screen. Ain’t that neat?