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"Recommendations to a historical gaming newbie?" Topic

19 Posts

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1,147 hits since 16 Apr 2010
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Comments or corrections?

IsThereASix Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 6:58 a.m. PST

Wargaming has been a source of great entertainment for me through 30+ years of hangin' around the hobby. Looking back to your accumulated experience(s) – what would you recommend to someone just starting out in the historical gaming hobby? Let's say they're a 13-14 year old and their only gaming experiences have been a couple of historical games at the local hobby shop.

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 7:12 a.m. PST

WW2. Tanks and planes are cool. And there's enough theatres and campaigns and such to keep him/her amused for a while. Plus the painting isn't as complex as other cool periods like Medieval or horse and musket.

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2010 7:15 a.m. PST

First I'd try to find out what period(s) interests them the most. Then I would try to get them to start out small, by painting small units of troops and then working their way to bigger things.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2010 7:16 a.m. PST

I'd go for something that ties into their particular historical interests … be that WWII, or ancients, or naval, or medieval, or whatever … from there, you can almost certainly find an introductory set of rules and some minis with which to get started, and you stand a much better chance of success if you focus in on an area that already intrigues the newbie.


runs with scissors Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 7:19 a.m. PST

I would advise them to take up smoking. In the long run it probably works out cheaper and is more likely to make you look cool.

Connard Sage16 Apr 2010 7:22 a.m. PST

Spend your money on something worthwhile. Like booze and easy women.

Liberators Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 8:06 a.m. PST

I agree with those who say "find out what period the kid likes". I also agree with the sentiment that WW2 is probably the easiest period to get them into. A handful of men, a couple of tanks and you've got a game.

The key to me is to encourage their imagination in whatever period it is. Make it fun, take 'em on day trips to the museum or to some local historical sites. And give them enough space that they feel like they're the ones coming up with ideas and pushing things forward. No kid likes having things jammed down their throat.

I was very lucky back in the mid-late 70's. We had one hobby shop but it was stocked floor to ceiling with all kinds of stuff. D&D in the front corner, Airfix minis in the back left corner, Minifigs, Ral Partha and GHQ in the back right after the model trains, and a cool coin tray display for the front counter. 30-35 years on I can still tell you the layout of that store. I'd catch a bus downtown and hang out at that store for an hour, two hours. Ride back home with the latest copy of Wargamer's Digest and maybe a box of Airfix or a 1:76 scale model.

My best friend to this day has similar memories of the comics shop a few blocks over and retains the same love for comics that I do for gaming.

Regardless, find a place where there's a sense of wonder, where they feel like they belong and where they can explore possibilities.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2010 8:09 a.m. PST

Well apart from agreeing that booze and women might be a better option, I would then echo elsyrsyn and ask "if there is any period of history you have more interest in" because that's going to be the best place to start. I'd also recomment using 1/72nd (20mm) soft plastics. There's so much choice, they paint up great, and you'll have more money for the booze and the women.

it's always worked out good that way for me…….

(is there a smiley for trying to keep a staright face whilst making a blatent lie ? Just wondering)

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2010 8:29 a.m. PST

I would also encourage them to obtain books on the period and read up on the history, strategy and tactics, and armies of the period.


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2010 8:55 a.m. PST

I second the suggestion for WWII. Lots of material
available, and ease of painting. I'm not sure I'd
follow the naval suggestion, though, or the air games.
Painting 1/3000 or other ships might be discouraging
to a new gamer. Ditto small a/c, although 15mm might
be OK.

If an earlier period is sought, then I'd say ACW,
for the stated reasons (ease of painting and availability
of materials). Plastics in 20mm abound, and you can,
within limits, use the same figures for both sides.

Goldwyrm Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 9:56 a.m. PST

Spend your money on something worthwhile. Like booze and easy women.

Agreed. I should have given up on gaming for the total pursuit of women and other high adventure. I could have been a rock star if I'd started playing in a band at that age instead of sitting around a table rolling dice. Just saying. grin

WarDepotDavid Inactive Member16 Apr 2010 3:28 p.m. PST

Pick 2 or 3 periods to focus on. I remember starting off I loved buying all sort of figures and rules only to find I never had enough to do anything. When I chose my 2 or 3 periods to focus on, thats when I really began to make some progress.


dayglowill17 Apr 2010 4:54 a.m. PST

I reckon Old West skirmish games might also be a good bet. Not too pricey to get started in either.

Dashetal17 Apr 2010 7:39 a.m. PST

I second choosing a period he is interested in and also obtaining some skirmish rules for it so he can get the immediate satisfaction of having enough painted figures for a game.

Feet up now Inactive Member17 Apr 2010 12:03 p.m. PST

Start with Battlelore? then ease into heavier tabletop games using Measuring and more diverse units and weapons.You could even use the games miniatures on the tabletop initially.The earlier release Memoir 44 is a good starter too.

pissant Inactive Member18 Apr 2010 10:56 a.m. PST

Find out what your favorite hardware is and game in that period. Most kids aren't interested in the political shenanigans. They are drawn to a period by the weapons and armor.

Oddball19 Apr 2010 1:59 p.m. PST

Pick ONE scale and stick to it. Doesn't matter if it is 15mm, 20mm or 28mm, but try to start with terrain that you can use with multiple historical periods. That way you don't have to double up on your cash layout.

WombatDazzler21 Apr 2010 4:51 a.m. PST


bobstro Inactive Member21 Apr 2010 7:53 a.m. PST

Based on my experience with my (now grown) sons: Keep the emphasis on fun rather than strict historical correctness at the start. If it's fun, they'll stick with it long enough to discover the joy of historical accuracy. Sneak the history in, rather than demanding it.

My son thanked me when he scored some extra credit in French class for being able to rattle off a list of French place names because of all our WWII games. :)

You might also check out some of the skirmish-level games as a way to get a taste of various periods without a huge time or monetary investment. Get him playing quickly, then see what sticks. Buy a dozen 15mm figures for each and give 'em a spin.

- Bob

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