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29 Oct 2020 12:35 p.m. PST
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yarkshire gamer29 Oct 2020 9:29 a.m. PST

picture

picture

https://youtu.be/DxY0U6k4Ny4

link

During lockdown, I've become so bored being told what to think by talk radio I can't be bothered listening, in my search for new ear fodder I discovered Wargame Podcasts (yes I know I'm a bit late for the tram on this one !)

So starting with episode one I've started with The Veteran Wargamer, WSS and the Toofatlardies Oddcast amongst others. They are great fun but the drive definitely is towards skirmish games of 20 or 30 figures or small battle games of 100 or so figs and a couple of vehicles (e.g. Bolt Action) and to have demo games on 4 x 4 tables with a dozen nicely painted figs.

As I grew up in the hobby I used to stare in amazement at the huge 28mm games at Wargames shows and aspired to get collections and have games like that (I think I've cracked it ;-), has that drive gone ? Or are people just happy to start gaming with a few figures and then just stop.

More discussion on the blog and a video on me getting side tracked on counting how many painted figures I've got.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

John Leahy29 Oct 2020 9:43 a.m. PST

Nope, it is not. I think there are way too many gamers who own large armies for it to disappear. There are loads of smaller games out there. I think there's room for both.

Thanks,

John

Glengarry529 Oct 2020 9:54 a.m. PST

Nobody told me!

Striker29 Oct 2020 9:58 a.m. PST

For a minute I thought he was talking about big game hunting games.

yarkshire gamer29 Oct 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

Cheers John,

There are lots of oldies out there with big armies and I agree we are not going away but that isn't how new gamers are coming into the hobby and that's the point I was trying to get at.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Berzerker7329 Oct 2020 10:09 a.m. PST

I got back into gaming about 18 yrs ago and it can take a lot of time and money to build up big armies with vehicles and terrain; especially as I like 28mm scale the most.

Sgt Slag29 Oct 2020 10:10 a.m. PST

I love to field multiple fantasy armies on my table, in my games. I also love to invite friends over, to push my mini's across the tabletop. The bigger, the better.

I love to game with 54mm plastic Army Men figures. My last game, was my biggest: over 100 mini's, per side, plus ~20 vehicles for each side; the table was around 20 feet by 30 feet! It was a blast!… We had five players, on the first day, but we were down to two players on the second day, with me refereeing both days. We had more fun than a Human Being ought to be allowed.

I love large games, the bigger, the better. I also play smaller games, but those are fewer, and farther between. I will play any scale of game, but I prefer bigger games. YMMV. Cheers!

Prince Rupert of the Rhine29 Oct 2020 10:24 a.m. PST

I imagine many gamers do not have the space (not only to play huge games but store all the resulting miniatures and terrain) or the finical clout to build huge collections. While big games are common sight in the wargaming media and at wargames shows I've never noticed them being a big thing in the circles I've moved in. Club games always had to be set up, played and put away in three hours and my home table, while permanent, is only 4x5 feet so big games have never been an option for me and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 10:32 a.m. PST

None of us started into the hobby with big armies. Before skirmish games became a popular port of entry for miniature gamers, there was usually a delay of months or years before a new gamer could collect and paint enough figures for a large battle. The popularity of skirmish gaming has lowered the bar to entry significantly.

Some of those who get into the hobby now with a few dozen figures will go on to collect hundreds or thousands, as many of us have, and eventually put on Big Games . . . others will not. Skirmish gaming is not replacing mass wargaming – it is complementing it.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 10:53 a.m. PST

For me – different wars call for different ways to represent them

I love Big Battles with lots of figures at a strategic level – but for a period like the French and Indian war, I prefer to focus on the tactics.

Overall though prefer the larger battles and Strategic Focus

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 10:56 a.m. PST

A really big game means a big table and a lot of players standing around it. Not this year. Maybe next year or the year following.

Long term, barring some political catastrophe, they'll always be with us. They're just too beautiful not to do sometimes. But a lot of things have to come together--wargamers with the space and money for big collections, wargamers with the energy for big long games, and wargamers who agree on period, scale, basing and rules. Good luck with that last.

General Kirchner29 Oct 2020 11:17 a.m. PST

+1 robert

Its always been inspiring to me, but its truly never realized.

I sure play a lot more on a skirmish level, than i ever do anything other than dream about big games.

sure play more pikeman's lament than i do Pike and shotte for example.

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Oct 2020 11:31 a.m. PST

As Robert said, big games require in addition to big forces. larger space/tables and multiple bodies. Given Covid discouraging numbers of folks in confined spaces, I expect it will still be a while but it will be back.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 11:36 a.m. PST

One needs only to look at some of the Facebook groups to see massive Hail Caesar, Colonial, and other battles still occurring, so there are some gamers/gaming groups doing them. However, a large percentage of gaming companies are putting out products suited for skirmish gaming and that has certainly moved to the forefront of the hobby.

JimDuncanUK29 Oct 2020 11:40 a.m. PST

I am just rebasing a borrowed 1000 strong army with the intent of playing against one of my own similar sized armies even if it will be solo play.

mckrok Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 12:20 p.m. PST

I hope not and keep painting to create bigger and bigger armies.

pjm

olicana29 Oct 2020 12:46 p.m. PST

Hi Ken,

I don't think it's dead but, you can see the cemetery from 'ere.

When I were a lad, I too dreamed of collecting enough figures to game big, and even, Lord preserve us, campaign with. Pictures of huge games in magazines, and seeing them in the flesh at the occasional show were always an inspiration.

To a large degree, I've achieved my original ambition. I always collected both sides thus doubling, tripling or even quadrupling the numbers required, and I always try to collect enough to be able to do more than one scenario. And, I have to admit, it's felt like a chore at times.

Trouble is, I'm still not satisfied. I don't want bigger collections necessarily but, I do want more of them. That's the bind of collecting large armies – you don't have the time or money to collect lots of different armies and periods. I think that's the real impetus behind the success of skirmish gaming; you get to do lots of different things; variety is the spice of life.

Variety or concentrated effort? That is the question. My answer looks like this:

Ravenna 1512:

picture

Zorndorf 1758:

picture

Chotusitz 1742:

picture

Cerignola 1503:

picture

Harran 1104:

picture

Trasimene 217 BC:

picture

Actium 31 BC:

picture

Sidi Rezegh 1941:

picture

My latest project is painting armies for the Peninsular, the French are done (pictured below) and the British are two thirds done.

picture

And that's the other thing about big armies. They take up a lot of storage space. The only collection I've ever photographed all together is my Punic collection (not the biggest collection I have) but it gives you some idea of the room they take up – that table is a 12 x 6.

picture

Even in 15mm, a Panzer division (teeth arms only, at a figure ratio of 1:5) takes some space

picture

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 12:47 p.m. PST

Some of us have a quite few years of collecting behind us. We started out when $5.00 USD would get you 10 Ral Partha historicals, now you would lucky to get two figures for $5.00 USD

olicana29 Oct 2020 12:53 p.m. PST

Figures aren't expensive. Most people only paint a few Costa coffees worth a week. IMHO, it's the time thing, and the space to play and store thing, that limits most people.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Oct 2020 12:55 p.m. PST

just resting

Prince Rupert of the Rhine29 Oct 2020 1:00 p.m. PST

Figures aren't expensive is a very subjective statement that really depends on your financial situation.

HMS Exeter29 Oct 2020 1:07 p.m. PST

I think the traditional "big" and "monster" games were once possible because you had large numbers of gamers who were like minded on period, scale and rules. In the last 30 years the accelerating profusion of figure lines, glossy new rules sets (and their trend toward smaller starter forces) and scale creep, makes it harder and harder to assemble sizable numbers of gamers singing off the same page. I cant go to a con anymore (no irony intended) without seeing a dizzying array of shiny new rules sets being introduced.

I'm old enough to remember the days when, if you wanted to game 15mm ACW, you could choose from Minifigs, Essex or Freikorps and from Stars and Bars or On to Richmond. That was it…

Its hard to explain the tectonic shifts that were the introduction of Battle Honors, Old Glory, Johnny Reb and Fire and Fury (tho I seem to remember F&F was originally called something else.)

To be sure, there are new things that command a considerable following, like Frostgrave, but I suspect its' caché will not be terribly long lived. There will always be "some new thing." Gaslands seems like a comer.

To the extent we do see big games going forward, I expect they will be either "Rainmaker" games; big games staged by one gamer who brings everything. I saw a massive Khartoum game at last November's HMGS Fall In. It was clearly being staged by 1 fellow.

Or, they will be club games, where a dozen like minded gamers combine to host a game about which they are all passionate. Last Historicon saw a BIG 25mm Viking siege of Paris.

Or they will be Company sponsored splash events to promote product. The ESR crew go big in every department at the East Coast shows.

Or they will be tourney events. I went to a minicon some months ago that was almost wholly an ADLG tourney.

Or, as I have always imagined, some alchemy of ingredients will coalesce into one all accepted "perfect" rules set that will restore balance to the force, and we will once again agree that 25mm Ral Partha Zulus using TSATF is the one and only true faith.

Change is the only constant.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 1:20 p.m. PST

Col Durnford, I started when you could still buy battery-cast Scruby 30's at 20 cents each. Figures are cheaper now. My most recent order was 40 Perry Wars of the Roses infantry for about $25 USD--say 60 cents a figure. An inflation calculator says 570% over that period. Those 40 battery-cast Scrubys--we used to call them semi-rounds--adjusted for inflation would be $53.67 USD.

As olicana says, it's space and storage. I still have my 30mm Napoleonics, which really need a 6x8 table, but other than that, the objective is a few 28mm armies requiring a 4x6 table and largely sharing terrain, and skirmish or microscale forces for 4x4 or 3x3. A wiser man would have come to that conclusion years faster than I did.

yarkshire gamer29 Oct 2020 1:47 p.m. PST

Thank you all, it's certainly got people talking !

I think there are two things going on here, there is the time, space, money question which has affected us all at some stage, those financial pressures will have been a driver to all of us over time. As I get older I have more time space and money to do big games, the difference seems to be that I wanted to do big games even when I didn't have all the above.

The second thing is gaming companies financial models. The current thing seems to be to get people to invest in new small games for a reasonable but low cost and then either drop the game (Mongoose and ACTA) or change the editions every few years (GW, Malifaux or X Wing). This model has now become the norm in Historical gaming.

In doing the above companies and rule writers develop rules that don't work for big games, they have a quirky mechanics usually for activation that collapse when games get above a certain size, this is effectively discouraging larger games. So companies are choosing to get money back over a short term getting people into a game and buy a few figures rather than develop that game to a larger one and get people to buy more figures.

I'm lucky to have big collections of figures and a permanent set up, I enjoy that aspect and hope those newer to the hobby will aspire to that, as I did and not be left with a ton of half done mini projects in boxes all round the house.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

olicana29 Oct 2020 2:04 p.m. PST

Figures aren't expensive is a very subjective statement that really depends on your financial situation.

Some people have no money to spare for any hobby, that is true. Some people can't even afford to feed their kids, which is sad. But, that does not mean that figures are expensive, it just means that some people have little or no discretionary spending money.

Most people do have discretionary spending money, and then it is just a case of priorities. When it comes to discretionary spending, how much is an army in comparison to a foreign holiday? Do you buy 3 28 mm figures or a pint of beer at the pub?

Caddis29 Oct 2020 2:15 p.m. PST

As someone that has played both big and small games and before COVID used to meet up with the local gaming group every week (about 4-8 guys based on the day), I think it comes down to opportunities of time and resources.

To play the big games you need lots of figures, terrain, and space. You also usually need lots of time too.

A small skirmish game can likely be played start to finish in only a few hours but a "big" game might take all day. To get that big game in you need to get a group of players together that can spend the whole day playing one game. With work and families I find it is a more difficult thing to get "the whole day off" to play a big game. My group used to average about one every three or four months, whilst we got in about four smaller games a month before COVID.

Just my thoughts,

Ryan

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 2:30 p.m. PST

Not in our club. Here's a table for a WW@ Bulge game in 20mm:

YouTube link

this is a typical game for the club – we also run numerous smaller games on otehr tables.

Ten Fingered Jack29 Oct 2020 2:31 p.m. PST

The craze for skirmish games with piddly little "armies" is just another wargaming butterfly fad. But, there's room for both in our hobby.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 2:31 p.m. PST

Here's a shot of an Old West game from the club:

YouTube link

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 2:36 p.m. PST

WE play big games with big toy soldiers. We do Ancient Romans with over 1,000 60mm figures and FIW with over 1,000 40mm figures.

Brian Smaller29 Oct 2020 2:49 p.m. PST

I am playing in a big Borodino game with 6+ people a side in a couple of weekend time. I think the big thing is just getting people together – a logistical effort in itself.

arthur181529 Oct 2020 3:10 p.m. PST

It is, of course, perfectly possible and not so expensive to fight battles featuring large numbers of real troops with large numbers of small scale – 2mm or 6mm – figures.

It is also possible to fight multi-corps battles in a highly stylised way, using rules such as Paddy Griffith's Generalship Game, replacing the corps counters with small, square bases of troops for ease of identifying nationality and arm of service and aesthetic appeal, without having to provide large numbers of figures.

Big games with lots of figures tend to be slow moving because of the sheer time and effort of moving them. I recall seeing a recreation of Waterloo at the National Army Museum that took longer to play than the real thing!

Frothers Did It And Ran Away29 Oct 2020 3:36 p.m. PST

Big battles are where it's at. I think the current vogue for skirmish games is driven by the stunted attention spans most gamers have. Many gamers don't even manage to paint enough figures for, say, a Saga warband before their attention is diverted to some other, newer, thing. There was an interesting thread on Lead Adventure a while back where one member asked the question "what painted armies do you have". The answers were pitiful, loads of people confessing to having a few figures from this period and a few figures from that period but no actual finished forces at all, even for smaller figure count games. Their hobby wasn't miniature wargaming at all, but buying figures and leaving them in a box unpainted while talking online about their grandiose plans that would never come to fruition.

The dude who ran the Meeples and Minatures podcast was a high profile example of the same thing – week after week he'd regale the listener with the armies he'd ordered, the various kickstarters he'd backed, to the tune of hundreds of pounds each episode, but he never actually painted any of it and seemed to only play boardgames. There was one episode of the podcast which stands out it my memory where all the presenters picked Sharp Practice as their #1 game of that year, despite only one of them having played it. The other two were banging on about what armies they were going to buy and paint for it. But they never did, and the game they'd picked as the best that year had produced was never actually played by them subsequently, because within a month or so something else had appeared and grabbed their attention.

Similarly, how often do we see some new range of lovely figures come out and people drooling over them online, ordering lots of them, and then posting on forums with threads like "Can I use my new Perry Liberation Wars figures as ACW Confederates?!?", or, "I know nothing about the 1st Barons War, but I've just spent loads on these new Footsore figures, can I use them as Normans?!?" Clearly a lot of the customer base for these ranges aren't actually interested in the history behind them at all, and just lack any sort of self-control that you might reasonably expect from a grown adult.

There appears to be a lot of evidence that smartphones and social media rot our ability to concentrate on anything for an extended period of time. Whether this has something to do with gamers filling their homes with lead mountains but never building painted armies, I don't know, but it seems plausible to me.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 4:12 p.m. PST

We have one of our smaller gaming weekends coming up amongst friends. We are only putting about 1,000 figures on one of our tables, and about 400 on a second table. So I guess I failed to get the memo. (and so many of our games end up with 1,500-2,000 figures or more)

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 4:32 p.m. PST

Frothers Did It is spot on here. My issue with skirmish games is that after a few they all seem to blur together. We recently did a Saga game where I came out of the house where we were playing and couldn't remember which side won! Most of my group buys and buys and buys, but not much gets painted as everyone is continually jumping into something that just came out that week. The gaming companies love it, but at some point it's going to come to an end.

yarkshire gamer29 Oct 2020 6:48 p.m. PST

A great response from Frothers did it, straight to the point like us Yarkshire folk like. I'd not considered the too much shiny makes Gamer loose focus angle.

I agree too that a lot of the historical interest and knowledge is going from players, you just have to read a Bolt Action Forum for ten minutes with everyone going on about super lists and "What are you running" down to the why can't I have Tiger Tanks in 1940 France. People come to historical gaming from GW and treat it in the same way as 40K.

A good discussion.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

UshCha30 Oct 2020 12:43 a.m. PST

I think to some extent the thread not recognising the march of technology in the 55+ years I have been playing.

You could say I play on a table that in none Covid times is about 19 by 14 ft, in the parlance of a 28mm figures, somtimes 37ft by 14 ft if you cont virtual tables possible with digital cameras for record keeping.

However In the old day we were forced to use large figures (really 24mm Airfix) when I was a kid. Now we have the great scales like 1/144 (about 12mm) where you can play massive games on a table you can reach over. Basicaly folk have moved on from playing large game using figures best displayed in a cabinet, to practical(afforable, in time and money large)games using more sensibly sized figures for lage games.

My own group plays large games as they add immesurablely to the challenge and interest, so large games are here and perhaps even more common than of old.

Martin Rapier30 Oct 2020 1:06 a.m. PST

Even on a small covid webcam friendly table you can use a lot of stuff, particularly for grand tactical and operational games. Real armies deploy in width and depth and take up a lot of space, and you might as well fill that space with figures and vehicles.

Ive been doing this a long time and I have a lot of stuff, so I like use it.

Black Hat Miniatures30 Oct 2020 2:25 a.m. PST

I'll be a disappointment to you then UsCha as I play large games using 54mm figures as do a lot of others I know…. :-)

Still play large games when I get a chance but the smaller skirmish games do offer an opportunity to fit a game into a couple of hours in an evening….

Mike

TodCreasey30 Oct 2020 3:54 a.m. PST

What we see is a stepped approach where you can start small and scale up if you like over time. Some rulesets we stopped playing because the barrier to entry for your first game was too high (Hail Caesar and to a degree Pike and Shotte come to mind) so we gravitated to games where a small start was possible and a big game was within the scope of the rules (Saga, ADLG, Fire and Sword).

Big games for us are usually for occasions like a convention or a big games day once or twice a year but we still like them. I find myself planning for big games all the time still despite there being no conventions on the horizon.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2020 4:11 a.m. PST

When young I took several times a year overnight trains and ship to go playong and conventions in the Uk, together with others fortunately living more North, we gathered too, for big games wherever could be. Some teams easily managed 1000s of figs as every one was doing a few100 which is easy. Some would lead the way, with rules (not home grown) more history reading (even if now I found a lot was flawed as few actual sources were used), some things of the past. Even if some have big collections and a permanent huge room, it seems no one is interested, better spend evenings playing semi fantasy with 2 trees and 33 figures, and 4 hours a day activating the thumbs on telephones.
It is true that huge variety of subjects, rules are pushing fragmentation. It is also virtually impossible to be supported by a townhall to find a room for "historical military games" this looking too bad. 30 years ago the town could ask the club to put a game for the French revolution. I had to improvise fast something with the few 15s available (Battlehonours, Minifigs, and some now sold by Magister) a village in the center, two teams fr amd Austrians to forage.
Called Chickens and muttons in Baden. Free kriegspiel, I was the rule.
History is twisted, not taught, attention span has shrunk as said, research is made hard by lack of knowing own language etc. A lot, all together.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2020 6:44 a.m. PST

Hmm. Something I hadn't considered. Franchise wargaming tends to be anti-big battle. As is pointed out, the rules aren't written with big battles in mind, and franchise stuff frequently blips in and out faster than you can raise a big battle's worth of troops. You do need sustained interest in a period and widespread agreement on scale and basing.

Consider the (hypothetical) group which decades ago based 25mm ACW for On to Richmond, and the (equally hypothetical) one which based 25mm Star Wars for Star Wars Miniature Battles. The first group is probably buying 28mm Perry figures and might be playing Black Powder, but everything still works and more or less matches. The Star Wars people have a dozen new troop types and current figures which look eight or nine feet tall next to the originals. And they're the lucky ones. Think of the people with Starship Trooper armies, or a dozen worlds invented only to sell figures.

I don't know what this means long-term. Fortunately, I doubt I have a long term.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2020 8:44 a.m. PST

I think there are many reasons that determine what someone games, and I doubt that short attention spans and electronic devices have much or anything to do with it. When I was young and didn't have anything to worry about but myself, sure, put 3,000 figures on the table and game for 8 hours. With work, kids, after school activities, etc., I don't have that kind of time. I like the ability to put some figures on the table, push them around for an hour or two, and actually fight a battle to conclusion in a short period of time. Were it not for that, I would hardly get any gaming in at all.

Back when I started gaming, there was a group of guys who had everything one would need to run multi-player games. A resource like that allows you to slowly build and paint your own forces. Without that, people want -- and frequently need -- to get their own force on the table as quickly as possible, and small figure count gaming allows that to happen.

Good thread.

UshCha30 Oct 2020 11:57 a.m. PST

Is your Big game by definition a multi player game?
Me I am no lover of multi player games. I have played a few but for me you need a group of expert players steeped in the period tactics and strategy and are competent with the rules to get any benefit out of it, other wise its a social meet but tactically a damp squib at best.

So at the end of this I am left understanding less about what a "Big game" really is meant by the OP.

Jeffers30 Oct 2020 11:59 a.m. PST

Depends very much on your personal circumstances.

I can only echo what 79thPA says above. In the early 80s the club I went to had something like 20 regular members and 10 irregulars, so when the big Christmas game came about there were enough people to make it happen. But then I was in my late teens/early twenties and didn't have the responsibilities I have now, which leaves me just enough time to play a couple of hours with a chum. My plans are now based around that.

Russ Lockwood30 Oct 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

Big, multiplayer games will always be with us, especially at conventions. Your local chances will depend on local gamer group.

Here's my write-up of a great Viking Siege of Paris game at Historicon:

PDF link

The club up in CT (near Hartford) puts on an annual Snappy Nappy Campaign in a Day with about 20 gamers playing across 14-16 tables:

link

As many above noted, depends on access to other gamers.

yarkshire gamer30 Oct 2020 4:16 p.m. PST

UshCha and others have questioned what a big game is ?

It's an interesting point and historically (in wargames terms) I think it's a very different beast in the 80s when I started to what it is today.

The whole premise of the argument is that there is a prevalence of "skirmish" games and those to me range from squad level game with a handful of figures say Gangs of Rome to the large skirmish games like say Bolt Action.

So for the purposes of this argument, today a large game is anything bigger than that. But when I started gaming a big game was thousands of figures on a huge table either at a show or a group of friends hiring a village hall for a weekend.

I often played and organised these games and have great memories of them, Leipzig at 33:1 on a huge table, 1st Day at Gettysburg etc. I definitely remember those games and not the DBA games I tried in the mid 90s with 10 stands on a 3 ft table.

Arguments have been made about how boring big games are or how it's just a group of mates playing a game when big games are seen at a (UK) show. I would say they are just badly run or badly organised games. Having run games at shows over the years we always had designated "chatters" on hand to speak to the public about the game and talk about the battle, terrain, figs etc.

But you cannot deny the joy of seeing a huge game of well painted figures on some beautiful terrain, that is a marvel in itself. A lot of hard work has gone into that. I'd rather see a huge game badly run than 2 people hunched over an exquisite table 3ft sq that I can't see properly unless it's through the lens of my camera.

The argument comes up a lot "you need too many figs", I will just paint these 20 figs for this game or that game. Large numbers of figures shouldn't put people off games it should inspire them !

I know these big games go on still, the old guard keep them going and it's great to here from you but this isn't a how big is my big game contest, it's an evangelical call for the return of the big game.

So back to the original question of this piece, What is a "Big Game". Honestly it's what you want it to be, it should be about aspiration, aim to play a platoon game if you play squad games now, Divisional games if you play Battalion Games.

Most people have or have had restrictions of time, space, money or opponents, mostly they don't last forever, dream big and before you know it you could be running your own big game.

Thanks for a positive discussion (so far !)

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Augustus30 Oct 2020 8:29 p.m. PST

Cost of miniatures factors in. It used to be 20.00 could get you a lot of miniatures. Now, you might get 5 or 10 miniatures. In other scales, maybe as pack of 15 15mm or less.

A hobby is just that. If I can game something truly for an investment of 100.00 then I will. Skirmish scale or not if it requires more than that or needs more that two hours out of my day, no thanks.

I'm not working or living my life to spend it worrying about storage or eating 3/4's of a day playing one game or modeling. 4x4 tables I can set up and break down in minutes. I dont need an entire house to store stuff.

My hobby is just that, a hobby. Not a life.

Sgt Slag30 Oct 2020 9:21 p.m. PST

Figure cost is really not a limiting factor, today. A box of 1/72 scale, plastic figures can be purchased, 40+ figures for less than $20. USD Periods available include ancients, Napoleonics, to modern, and even fantasy. Figure cost is not much of a struggle, if you are willing to play with, and paint, plastic figures. I have a plastic army of Goblins, numbering around 200 figures, including Wolf Cavalry! The entire lot cost me around $85. USD

Enjoying large games is just one aspect of my gaming hobbies. It is a small aspect of my life, but it is one which I enjoy very much. Playing large games is not something I do often, but when I do, it is memorable, fun, and a lot of work. Such games create special memories for all participants involved. We all enjoy them, tremendously. Pulling the project off well, requires effort amongst the entire group, It rewards the entire group. The result of the game is not the whole of the experience. Large games create camaraderie. The whole team, working together, to achieve a common goal. That, to me, is the more important aspect of large games. The combat results are the icing on a big cake. Cheers!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2020 3:46 a.m. PST

I am more and more of the two-tier approach. Little Round Top or La Haye Sainte should normally be defended by 28mm castings, but Gettysburg and Waterloo fought out with 5/6mm figures. "Big battles" are mostly attempts to fight out a large battle with large castings. They look spectacular and I've fought out and enjoyed many over the years, but they're a team effort or a special project--not what you do after work on Friday, or even Sunday afternoon with a full day ahead of you on Monday and only four players on hand.

Ideally, you need two sets of rules with the same basing conventions but different levels of representation, so the easy start-up army of one set can be a component of a Big Battle army on the day.

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