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Are there too many games – How do you stay focused?

There are so many games these days, as our good friend Brad from Cast Dice Podcast says “we’re in the middle of a gaming renaissance”, there is just so much to choose from.  How do you stay focused?  Are you like me and collect a silly amount of stuff from all genres with a mountain of things to paint, or do you play just a handful of games or even just one?

I don’t often listen to a lot of podcasts, I certainly have some that I tune into now and then (like The Cast Dice, or The Bacon Burgers) but it’s not a thing I “put on when I paint miniatures” for example.  When I do though, especially when I listen to The Bacon Burgers (which is a podcast about Bolt Action) or any podcast that is game specific, it amazes me how much people really know about their preferred games.  I guess it’s not too surprising as those podcasts are typically about a specific game, but if those people play other games, do they know as much about those games as they do as Bolt Action?

I don’t seem to know much about any game!  That’s what I feel like anyway. I certainly know the rules for a few of my favourites and could run someone through a game, but I couldn’t really say I “understand” them on any significant level.  I certainly enjoy the games I play, and I’m not saying that I having a deeper understanding would make the games any more enjoyable for me, but is that something you look for in your gaming?  A deep understanding of the games you play, or (again if you’re like me you’re drawn to 400 different things!) are you just interested in playing different styles and genres because they offer something different each time you play?

If you only play one game, is that because you want to ‘know’ that game inside out, or is it because you don’t want to collect a different genre or style of terrain, is it because you’re only interested in that game and have no interest in anything else?  What is it that makes people play just one game, several, or loads!  There is just too much to choose from that like a kid in a candy store, I just can’t decide what I would ‘prefer’ so I just say “have everything!”

I certainly go through periods where I’m more interested in one game over another, or a certain genre or historical period but I have never been a “have an apple, be happy with the apple” kind of person, I’ll always want the apple AND an orange for later.  It would be interesting to see any stats or numbers on the number of people who play 1 game, 2 games, 3 games etc.  I wonder if the Great Wargaming Survey (which I have shamefully never completed!) done by The Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine each year  has any stats or details on how diverse peoples collections are.

I’ve never been a tournament/competitive player so it doesn’t really bother me that I don’t know the best combos, or odd/unique faction rules (I think the cool kids call that “the meta”) because wargaming for me is purely about fun and more about the ‘spectacle’, I guess that’s why my interests are so varied … there are just too many cool battlefields to build and play on!

If you’re interests are as varied as mine, does it bother you that you might not be “getting the most” out of a game because you might be missing out on the ‘meta’?

3 comments

  1. chromedog (@chrome_dog)

    I started gaming back in about ’86 or 87. 40k (RT) hadn’t even come out yet- battletech was the big SF miniatures game of the time. I started playing battletech, then 40k got released, and some friends and I started to play it – alternating with BT games (because a small tackle box and a few folding card maps didn’t take up a lot of room.
    Around 1993 I discovered WHFB and ended up with a wood elf army. This pushed 40k to one side for a bit, so I was playing WHFB (3rd) and BT. Then that wood elf army got stolen during a house move (box containing that army disappeared from the porch while I was moving other stuff inside). So back to 40k.
    So I’ve pretty much always flitted between two games at a time. My main, and my “other”. Currently my main is “Infinity” but my other’s have been 40k, WHFB (back with high elves after a 17 year hiatus) but then that scene died and I went looking for a replacement. Later 40k editions didn’t grab me. A few smaller games with rules published by Osprey have grabbed my attention, though. Reality’s Edge, Tomorrow’s War and a couple of others.

  2. Aaron Leaver

    I was a 6th ed Fantasy player who also did Mordheim and then tip toed into 40K
    Even though I don’t play WHFB 6th ed anymore, well, maybe once every 2 years, I still know that game better than any other.
    The last few years I’ve gotten into GorkaMorka, GF9’s Tanks game, and then into Seven Days To The River Rhine.
    Plus a little Rangers of Shadow Deep and, soon oh very soon, Zona Alfa which I will play solo.
    I do play some 40K with my kids when I see them but have totally lost interest in knowing the fluff or even any rules at all for 40K.

    Zona Alfa on the other hand, I hope to get to know as well as I do WHFB 6th ed.

    Too many games for me to know much about them all but those two are, or will be, my easy favourites

  3. Mark Newman

    I have a style of tabletop games I enjoy which has lead me to enjoy a number of rules sets, historical periods and different genres. The requirements are a bit of interest in the figures, simple rules, quickly understood that provide a flavour of the period or genre through the mechanics and deliver a fun, narrative game – I dislike competitive gaming and gamers intensely, and prefer to find my own niche. When I find a nice rule set, I invest in figures and learn a bit about every period, and then enjoy looking for more … so, apples, oranges and a slice of cake?

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