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"When is it time to stop buying new rules?" Topic

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3,353 hits since 10 Feb 2017
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Trajanus10 Feb 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

It's just occurred to me that in the 2013 – 2016 period, I purchased two ACW, one Napoleonic and one Ancient set of rules, as well as two solo board games (Warfighter and Phantom Leader). Learned and played them all.

On top of that, already in 2017 I have tried and failed to get into Sharp Practice 2 and have rebased all my 20mm WW2 Germans & Russians for Chain of Command of which I very much approve!

Do you ever wish you could have stuck with one period?

Ed von HesseFedora10 Feb 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

He's using English words…but I just can't understand what he's trying to say.

Rod MacArthur10 Feb 2017 10:21 a.m. PST

Not sure there is ever a time to stop buying new rules. I probably buy one or two per year, clearly getting more selective in my old age.

I started off many, many years ago with ACW, then Zulu War, followed by concentrating on Napoleonics for years, more recently I have moved into the 18th Century with a Jacobite Rebellion set up, which will be completed later this year. I do have plans to extend this into WAS, but before I do that will spend a couple of years or so starting modelling and painting a mountain of figures, many of which I bought years ago, for an Imperial Roman era set up, including a variety of opponents.


advocate10 Feb 2017 10:22 a.m. PST

No. I understand the problem, and try not to be distracted… squirrel!

Terrement Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 10:25 a.m. PST


Jozis Tin Man Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:27 a.m. PST

I am in a consolidation phase of my hobby career. At least I am consolidating periods so I can actually play more and getting rid of stuff I have not played with in 5+ years…

Now I am still buying rules outside of those periods, PDF's facilitate that a great deal. trying to just focus on playing a few right now, though.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

My biggest "complaint" is and all these .pdf rules. Makes in too easy.<G> Click, paypal and in 10 minutes, you have the rules! I hate to think how many trees I'd kill if I printed all of the rules I purchase on line.


mysteron Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:33 a.m. PST

I am doing what Jozis Tin Man is doing.Concentrating on ACW,20mm Ww2 ,Naps and Ancients (Celts v Romans ) .I feel these periods will satisfy my needs for painting and playing.
Everything else I will look at with interest but that's as far as it will go .

nickinsomerset10 Feb 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

mmmm, next he will be saying "when is the time to stop buying figures"

BURN him now, before he breeds!!

Tally Ho!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

I used to buy every set of Ancients and AWI rules that came out, looking for the Holy Grail. Never found it.
When I realized the learning curve for a new set of AWI rules was about 3 games before I could be confident I was "doing it right", and that I played AWI about 3 times a year, I decided to stick with rules I and my group already knew and played well.
Which is why we are doing part of Brandywine in 25/28mm with Age of Reason tomorrow.
And soon Oriskany with TSATF.

So, I stopped buying AWI rules about 5 years ago, or about 40 years into my gaming career. grin
I'll still buy scenario books though.

My adventures with Ancients led me to pretend I liked DBM.
And it led me to buy Newbury Fast Play (sic) Ancients.
I'm done with Ancients. Sold off all my armies but I'll still play what games my friends put on.
Neil Thomas or L'art de la Guerre.

uglyfatbloke10 Feb 2017 10:53 a.m. PST

It's a long time since I saw a set of rules that I could really get my head around at all, let alone quickly. A big issue is the allergy that most rule-writers have to compiling an index. Dunno why; it's not difficult to do.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

It depends.

Some games I buy purely to read, others because I'd like to play them.

We rarely settle on a single set, since they often play rather differently.

As far as sticking with one period, I sometimes wonder but there's just too much stuff I am interested in.
Some things gets relegated to board games though.

I do wish I had kept to one scale though.

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

When I find a set of rules that gives me an enjoyable game in the period. Then I stop.

If we keep having problems (usually it's our armies are too big for the scope of game envisioned in the rules) then I keep looking.

Who asked this joker Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

I buy very few rules these days and mostly write my own. I figure that if I am going to tweak rules, sometimes beyond recognition, I see no real reason to buy anymore.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

Wargames rules are entertainment, like TV shows. Some series you don't find interesting so you never even watch the pilot, others you watch a few episodes and then move on, and yet others you watch the reruns over and over because they push all the right buttons.

When is it time to stop watching new TV shows?

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

I write all my own rules. Haven't bought any in years.

squeaky Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 12:04 p.m. PST

Buying new rules is like having sex with a cheap prostitute…
.. nup, I've got nothing after that.

steamingdave4710 Feb 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

@ uglyfatbloke- hit the nail on the head with that last point. How difficult is it to compile an index or even a detailed page by page contents list? Peter Young managed it in "Charge" in the 1960s.

Re OPs question, After nearly 50 years, I am still buying new rule sets in the hope that the new stuff will be better than the old; often disappointed, but there is the occasional gem-Chain of Command, Twilight of the Sunking, Baroque- enough to keep me buying more!

Benvartok10 Feb 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

(Sfx: dalek voice) Consolidate consolidate consolidate!

Just threw 8 FOG army lists on local version of ebay for $1 USD reserve and clearing out more.

But all it takes is one friend saying these new rules are good before a new rabbit hole full of figures, terrain, dice and more is opened and money disappears while the painting schedule is once more rearranged,….

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

Hmm. Maybe not one period for pushing 50 years--but not so many periods, and no more than two scales. (You don't think I'm right? Check the space required for a matched pair of armies. Then check the space required for terrain for one scale.)

I won't say there is a point at which you should never buy another set of rules--though I clearly bought too many--but these days I start by asking a few questions
--Can I play these rules with my existing figures without rebasing?
--Can I play the battles I want to fight on my regular table sizes using these rules?
--Do the rules have something about them--roster systems for me--which I'm not going to play regardless?
Those three questions filter out a great many rules. I wish I'd started asking them sooner.

Trajanus10 Feb 2017 1:12 p.m. PST

Should have added that I became "serious" about wargaming when Nixon was in his first term and Edward Heath was Prime Minister of the UK. So on that basis "old enough to know better" is certainly applicable! :o)

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

I'll continue to buy new medieval rules as they come out, even though I write and sell my own rules. I just enjoyed collecting them and seeing what other people's takes are on a period that I cannot seem to get enough of.

Northern Monkey10 Feb 2017 1:30 p.m. PST

Rules are a lot cheaper than figures and take up less space. I often find that I enjoy reading a set of rules, even if I never get to play them.

alexjones Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 1:44 p.m. PST

I would say when you have a set that you feel happy with, stick with it, there is no perfect and never will be.

I would also say that there are very few new mechanisms appearing in the rules coming onto the market, just a rehash and repackage of old ideas.

Rules that are still being played 20 or 30 years after release are in most cases worth more of a look than new releases.

sillypoint10 Feb 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

My parents used to say,
"You're a long time dead".

Bill N10 Feb 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

If you have to ask that question your brain is likely wired to think there is going to be a better set of rules out there if you just keep looking. For the rest of us the answer is usually when you find a set of rules you are happy with for each of the periods you game.

Jefthing Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 2:38 p.m. PST

I've found rules that work for everything I do, so no need for me to buy anything 'new'.

Having said that, I'm a wargamer and the Holy Grail is out there…

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 3:06 p.m. PST

with PDF formats more available now, I actually buy more riules sets. I enjoy reading them and often learn quite a bit even if I never actually play them. Good rules writers, and there are many, inform my sensibilities with different views about history and the hobby. Desiner's Notes can add even more. But, with this all said, I am very hesitant to throw down 40 dollars or more on a set of rules, but then again I haven't needed to.

warwell10 Feb 2017 3:38 p.m. PST

I like to buy rules sets even if I don't end up playing them. I can still glean some ideas from each set. Of course, PDF makes it so much easier

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 4:23 p.m. PST

I guess when you want to. I don't buy many rules, while my brother used to buy lots of them just to see what other people were thinking.

War Panda10 Feb 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

Play or Not

Snowcat10 Feb 2017 5:20 p.m. PST

Never ever ever ever.



Dynaman878910 Feb 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

When you decide to stop is when, not before, not after.

Lion in the Stars10 Feb 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

Maybe when you're not playing that period?

Or at least not trying to write rules for it…

Codsticker10 Feb 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

I was thinking I might stop buying minis and just buy rules….

Buck21510 Feb 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

When my money runs out. Then I search the internet for free rules…

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:14 p.m. PST

When your bookshelves collapse and you are buried alive to a depth of 3 feet with rules.

Cyrus the Great10 Feb 2017 10:36 p.m. PST

When you have to pry it from my cold, dead hand!

number4 Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 11:00 p.m. PST

When Mr P and Mr K stop writing them… ;)

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:29 p.m. PST

Is this a trick question?

The Colonel Inactive Member10 Feb 2017 11:48 p.m. PST

Conceptually impossible. Would mean the end of curiousity.

The Colonel

Trajanus11 Feb 2017 2:13 a.m. PST

Very deep, like that one! :o)

langobard Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2017 3:01 a.m. PST

Possibly the most subversive question I have ever come across. Anyone with a mind this evil poses a clear and present danger to the entire community!

(A community, please note, that is so fragmented, disjointed and factionalised that calling it a 'community' is stretching the usual meaning of the word near breaking point, but that doesn't matter! This is an EMERGENCY I say!)

Where is the Spanish Inquisition when you need them???

Trajanus11 Feb 2017 7:01 a.m. PST

Out buying more rules on how to torture people!

UshCha11 Feb 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

Its obvious, after you have bought all mine! ;-).

We found the real solution. When you have written your own. They do what you want to the level you want. You just stop buying. Maybe you read reviews to see if sombody has done "better" but that is cheap.

John Miller Inactive Member11 Feb 2017 1:58 p.m. PST

Played only two periods since the mid 80's. Not that other periods don't tempt me sometimes. Last set of rules I bought was in 1992. If it aint broke don't fix it. Just a personal choice thing I guess. John Miller

SBminisguy11 Feb 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

Its time to reflexively stop buying new rules when you buy one and realize you already own it…

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2017 8:37 p.m. PST

If you write your own, you are always fiddling with them. At least I do. grin
And I am always stealing… err being influenced by…. other rules.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2017 9:32 p.m. PST

Old wargamers never die, they just stop buying rules.

Trajanus12 Feb 2017 2:26 a.m. PST

John M,

Played only two periods since the mid 80's

Now that right there, is the problem. I play Ancients, AWI, ACW, Naps, WW1 Air, WW2 at two levels and occasionally Age of Sail and ACW Naval into the bargain!

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