|Posted by gamingforacure on January 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM|
Welcome everyone to the first, of hopefully many, of the GFAC blog posts. I have been thinking long and hard about how I wanted to do this series of columns, and how to appease Charlie (since this was his idea)! I have decided to make it part of my New Year’s resolution to bring you a monthly installment of news from both Gaming for a Cure and from across the gaming industry.
This month’s entry is about Miniature Tabletop Gaming, and the big debate of playing with pre-painted or paint yourself figures. As I am a gamer and also a Bookseller, there are many similarities between the gaming and the book world at large. Let me explain. Over the course of the past Holiday season e-book readers, such as the Borders Kobo, the Amazon Kindle, and the Barnes & Noble Nook, grew to new heights of popularity. The ability to have at your fingertips 1000’s of books at once is hard to pass up for many bibliophiles, but amidst the hubbub of e-publishing and digital downloads there are still that core percentage of the reading public that refused to give into the new-fangled technology, and an even smaller group who (like me) preferred and saw a benefit to blending the two medias.
This sort of mindset also applies to those of us who enjoy pushing “dolls” around on the tabletop. The lure of playing “straight out of the box” with pre-painted minis, in games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Wings of War, is indeed and incentive to many who want instant gratification and the need to get onto the table as quickly as possible. This was indeed the fact two years ago at the 1st annual Cherry Capital Con, located at the Grand Traverse Resort. Charlie and a few of our other volunteers had broken out this new game Wings of War and had begun flying a few missions to kill time in between passing out flyers and talking to Con-goers about the organization. Inadvertently this drew a huge crowd by day’s end. Both gamers and non-gamers wanted to get in on the action! Fortunately for us, Jeff and his crew from Wargames North, out of Cadillac, were located in the booth next ours and had Wings of War planes in stock. This started a huge influx of new players who were able to grab a new painted airplane, and other opening the box and placing the plane on the stand, were able to begin playing in seconds. A giant plug for those pre-painted games!
Then there are those players who may have been gamers for decades or just those newer folks who prefer more depth to their experience, other than playing. These are the hardcore Paint and Play gamers. Games such as Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, Flames of War, War Machine, Hordes and a new personal favorite of mine; Heavy Gear. All of these games, while not required to paint (in some circles), do take some assembly and modeling skills. This breaks the games into 3 distinct hobbies: Modeling, Painting and Playing. This can bring great enjoyment both on and off the table. Games like Warhammer give the flexibility to be creative and to develop new painting skills and techniques, while games like Flames of War bring about historical research into camouflage patterns and the color of German gun straps post 1943. All of which brings more meaning and depth to the playing experience. And there are those of this group that are adamant about have the figures painted and fully based before they hit the table (you know who you are!), all of which can take weeks of planning and preparation, a fact that can easily drive away a casual gamer.
Then there is the hybrid group, who like in the previous example about e-readers, are, all in all, gamers to their core. Those who enjoy the game for the games sake. To paint, research and model are all well and good and are fun avenues of the hobby. However they are more than willing to grab a pre-painted bi-plane, or 5th level barbarian/sorcerer and hit the table around which are seated friends and fellow countrymen, at a moment’s notice. They come out on any given day for the camaraderie and fun, and usually find it!
All in all, whether you place yourself in the category of strict Paint and Play or the Quick Play Pre-painted categories, just know that there are always others of our kind out there and will be for long times to come. Enjoy the game, for the enjoyment it brings, and the friendships it builds. Raise your glass, can, horn or other preferred drinking vessel, and salute the games you are playing, for it is a great time to be a Gamer!
Be sure to mark your calendars for February 5th, 2011 for the Gaming for a Cure Winter Fest being held this year in our new location at TC Paintball and War Room, just North of Chums Corners. I hope to see you all there.
~ Jodie P. Brandt ~