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"The Future of Wargaming" Topic


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Gorgrat02 Sep 2021 8:46 p.m. PST

I know I'm a newbie here, but I'd like to suggest this topic as a new board. I've done some reading since I joined tmp, and I know that many members think there are way too many boards already, but I think this one would be legitimate. What is wargaming going to look like in 5, 10 or 50 years? How will the hobby change and progress or regress.

I'll start with this one, do you think there will come a time when physical miniatures will be a thing of the past?

Do we have any members now who have switched all of their gaming to the computer screen?

If holographic wargaming became a real thing, would you stop gaming with physical toy soldiers?

For me, the answers to these questions are something of a mixed bag.

I stopped gaming and gave up my miniatures collections some time ago, and then finally decided I wanted to get back into the hobby, but I wanted to do it more… cohesively? No more 15mm in this scale, 26mm in that scale, etc. I decided that, at a minimum, I wanted all my armies in the same scale, so every miniature warrior could be used with every other one, just in case, say, I wanted panzers fighting Roman legions.

Also, I wanted my armies to be physically tough, so broken Lance's and chipped paint wouldn't be a problem. I also wanted compactness and portability.

Strange to say, what I decided on was paper flats. Yes, these are something of an anachronism, but they were also the first printable figures, and the technology that prints them is very mature. I briefly considered 3d printing, but decided that (for me, anyway) it was too pricey and too finicky.

Now, what if, in the future, they came up with hard light miniatures? Would that change my decision?

My guess is probably not, as I'm nostalgic enough to want physical objects, not something that ceases to exist if the power goes out.

So, just in case the board never becomes a reality, what do you see as the future of miniatures gaming?

Just one thing. No fantasizing about miniature AI robots please. The idea of humanity being destroyed by 25mm terminators is just plain creepy.

Gorgrat02 Sep 2021 8:47 p.m. PST

I know I'm a newbie here, but I'd like to suggest this topic as a new board. I've done some reading since I joined tmp, and I know that many members think there are way too many boards already, but I think this one would be legitimate. What is wargaming going to look like in 5, 10 or 50 years? How will the hobby change and progress or regress.

I'll start with this one, do you think there will come a time when physical miniatures will be a thing of the past?

Do we have any members now who have switched all of their gaming to the computer screen?

If holographic wargaming became a real thing, would you stop gaming with physical toy soldiers?

For me, the answers to these questions are something of a mixed bag.

I stopped gaming and gave up my miniatures collections some time ago, and then finally decided I wanted to get back into the hobby, but I wanted to do it more… cohesively? No more 15mm in this scale, 26mm in that scale, etc. I decided that, at a minimum, I wanted all my armies in the same scale, so every miniature warrior could be used with every other one, just in case, say, I wanted panzers fighting Roman legions.

Also, I wanted my armies to be physically tough, so broken Lance's and chipped paint wouldn't be a problem. I also wanted compactness and portability.

Strange to say, what I decided on was paper flats. Yes, these are something of an anachronism, but they were also the first printable figures, and the technology that prints them is very mature. I briefly considered 3d printing, but decided that (for me, anyway) it was too pricey and too finicky.

Now, what if, in the future, they came up with hard light miniatures? Would that change my decision?

My guess is probably not, as I'm nostalgic enough to want physical objects, not something that ceases to exist if the power goes out.

So, just in case the board never becomes a reality, what do you see as the future of miniatures gaming?

Just one thing. No fantasizing about miniature AI robots please. The idea of humanity being destroyed by 25mm terminators is just plain creepy.

Green Tiger02 Sep 2021 11:06 p.m. PST

I suspect many wargamers went over to computer gaming years ago but for me that is just a facet of wargaming – you get a different kind of game. I use different scales for different types of games too and I would never pit armies from different historical periods against each other. That is just me – I believe that all individuals approach this hobby from an individual perspective and they always have – that will never change. The only real change I foresee is an increase in 3d printing.

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 1:18 a.m. PST

All just speculative, of course.

But to say that you wouldn't use figures from one period against another seems to me a little odd.

At a minimum, it is certainly common practice to do fantasy or sf versions of many historical periods such as medievals or Victorians?

David Manley03 Sep 2021 2:15 a.m. PST

I don't see miniatures wargaming dropping in popularity any time soon, the modelling aspect is a large part of the hobby. From a personal perspective I really don't like platforms like Tabletop Simulator, although I do use it for remote games its so finikity that game play is much slower than F2F – and the social aspect is massively reduced.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 2:25 a.m. PST

The best reason to settle on one scale is that all the terrain is consistent – no more medieval village in 6mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm/28mm…..

I agree with David that computer wargames are part of wargaming but a very specific part – like boardgames, RPGs, etc. Miniature gaming is a hobby one follows for a number of reasons, and sticking things together and painting them is a big part of it for a lot of people.

I went through a bit of a computer gaming phase, but got bored with them.

Chimpy03 Sep 2021 3:10 a.m. PST

I went through a phase of playing computer games like Age of Rifles and Steel Panthers. But I like the modelling and painting and just sheer visual appeal of a game of toy soldiers. Also the social aspect of interacting with my friends.

And model soldiers never go out of date due to changes in software.. like Age of Rifles and Steel Panthers. And yes I know that there are DOS emulators etc but other than IT people who can be bothered?

Thresher0103 Sep 2021 3:34 a.m. PST

More miniatures ranges, more scales, a greater variety of poses, more espensive of course, more rules choices but still none that are the holy grail for gamers.

I doubt holographic gaming will be available, at least at a reasonable price and for the masses or for the period(s) you want.

I can see the possibility of a Star Wars holo-chess set/game being released, since they could sell millions, if not tens of millions of sets of that, due to the popularity of Episode 4 – the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. The AI might be run by a Wookie, so players will need to tread lightly here or you might have to buy a new game at a horrendous price, since the AI may destroy it if the "walking shag carpet" gets mad.

Horizontal, big-screen playing surfaces ARE a real possibility though, protected by Plexiglass or similar material (most likely Lexan since it is tougher), especially for RPG games/rules/players. Some people are experimenting with those already.

Martin Rapier03 Sep 2021 3:56 a.m. PST

I had a period back in the late 80s and early 90s where I gave up minis gaming and just did computer and board games, but I came back to figure gaming in the late 90s.

It is just a different experience and I like collecting and painting figures.

The future of wargaming? Me and my regular group of pals will go on playing with toy soldiers until we are too infirm to do so any more. I don't really care what anyone else is doing as it is a hobby, not a job. I don't care about 3D printing as I have more stuff than I can ever use, but if someone else wants to print stuff out and sell it, that is fine by me.

I've enjoyed remote gaming in lockdown though, it has broadened the group to include people all over the country. Still prefer f2f though.

Timbo W03 Sep 2021 5:37 a.m. PST

Wonder how long it will be before we have full colour 3D printed miniature armies?

Find a talented painter to do one of each pose, scan and print. Or dress up a re-enactor in period uniform, pose, scan, miniaturise and print.

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 6:44 a.m. PST

Martin Rapier

…I don't care what anyone else is doing…

But can that really be the case? Because, as you say, you and your pals do ot together, and, I assume, comptetively. If everyone else starts playing with their AI hard light 25mm terminators vs. Star Wars holographic chess pieces, you're going to be out of luck 😉

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 6:59 a.m. PST

Also, I and pretty much everyone else here has assumed that technology will progress in this area, but that need not be the case either.

What if the present economic downturn became the wave of the future, and luxury items like our little men became very scarce.

Curious how many of you might, if you wanted to get into new periods, go with flats the way I have now done?

***

Side issue: The real advantages of paper flats (paper can be something of a misnomer here, I print mine on polyester mailing labels) are that they are light, easy to make, nearly indestructible, and CHEAP.

I went into a new flgs yesterday (seems there are a few) and I was glad to see it, but found that the price ratio of flats to painted 3d figs (this place sold only DnD minis) was something like 24 to 1.

And, of course, you can get pretty much anything you want from wargames vault and drivethrurpg. Or just commission a set from Antohammer or one of our other local artists.

Point is, it might be either that or go back to playing exclusively Napoleonics or WW2, or, of course, DnD.

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 7:10 a.m. PST

20th Maine

DUH! (slaps forehead) you are right, and the best argument is that you don't need a cathedral in 2mm, 18mm and 54mm scales if all of your gaming is in one scale.

I've made some real progress with this recently, and now do starship combats in 28mm scale. But more on that in another thread.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 9:05 a.m. PST

1) Miniatures have an appeal of themselves, since before there was wargaming, so I don't expect miniature wargaming to go away. I think most of the growth of computer gaming has come at the expense of board wargaming, though the AI opponent feature is certainly useful.
2) I see no reason to pit Romans against panzers. The ability to do so would, if anything, be an argument against consolidating scales. That said, I have consolidated scales--but not to a single scale. Scales suitable for Leipzig are not suitable for holding up stage coaches or heroic last stands.
3) For me, paper is a Final Defense Line--not as satisfying as 3D armies, but a way of cranking out inexpensive forces if some sort of disaster befell my present ones, and I was too poor and too old to rebuild.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 9:07 a.m. PST

Being a hobby means that folk are very very disparate.

For example, I put the companionship and game play above the spectacle of 1000 figures.
I prefer the tactile nature of figures to all computer efforts.

Just the varied responses to these two sentences will show how we all differ in opinion.
I fully support hose who disagree with me.

This topic is probably best aired now and again as a thread rather than a compete board which will surely become a "moans" board??


martin

PS.Wargaming is a pretty cheap hobby (i say that with two meanings)

ChrisBrantley03 Sep 2021 10:06 a.m. PST

"If holographic wargaming became a real thing, would you stop gaming with physical toy soldiers?"

There are always those who choose not to adopt the technology, for various reasons, whether its nostalgia, fear of change, concern about the dehumanizing effects of technology, a "survivalist" preference not to become too technology dependent in case it goes away, or even such basic considerations such as cost. Electric cars are slowly catching on, but slowly because people have so much invested in their gas cars and the convenience of the existing infrastructure (and for some, because of the thrill of pushing a manual transmission through the gears). When you look at the future which promises AI-enabled human augmentations, you can predict large segments of the population may elect not to augment and remain "true humans." Anyway, with respect to holographic wargaming, I suspect "old school" nostalgia, the lure of touching things with your hands and the visual spectacle of a nice tabletop layout will keep the hobby as we know it alive, maybe with better electronic rules support…as well as related pastimes such as model railroading, diorama building, etc.

And specifically, to answer the question…since I already have a collection of toy soldiers, I'm sure I would still use them from time to time, although perhaps less frequently if good holographic games come along that I can play on demand without set-up time and requirements for acquiring and painting new figures and terrain. Big question is who to give the non-holographic ones to when I'm gone.

Blasted Brains03 Sep 2021 11:31 a.m. PST

Tactile hobbies have an inherent appeal to those who gravitate to such hobbies – it is what keeps me involved. What we 'play' with is 'real'. I can pick up and admire or move or rearrange what I own. Love the endless diversity that permits.

Computer games have health hazards supposedly beyond that they pretty quickly become blasé. Before I gave up, I never found an algorithm that wasn't easy to beat. Maybe that is there appeal – the devotees 'need' to win and known they can?

Holographics? Once upon a time it appealed – it was a very large 'fantasy' I had back in the early seventies, even, well before any of us saw Star Wars. Now? Nah. Lacks tactile element.

A board? No. This discussion? Good enough.

Stuck with one scale for everything until this year (15 mm) when I added Vietnam in 10 mm – and made one 'fell swoop' purchase across a few manufacturers so have what I need and only need to paint it.

3D printing? Has some utility. Part I don't like? World is awash in plastic to a dangerous degree. Do we really want to add more? Which has to be balanced against the reality that metal is an extractive industry product.

What I would buy into, and pronto? Something to keep me young, relatively, for another fifty years beyond my expected longevity so I can not only get all of my stuff painted but have to time to play each set a whole bunch of times!
(Any side benefit with the ladies? Well, chose your own adventure.)

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 12:31 p.m. PST

Board games and even board war-games continue to reach new heights, so I think the tactile and social experience is what draws many in. Also, as mentioned above, the painting and modeling aspects are also a big factor and with the amount of product coming out each year I really can't see it slowing down any.

The one problem that is occurring, however, is finding rules, opponents, scales, etc., that you and your gaming group can agree on! There is so much coming out so fast that Gamers ADD is now a real thing. Getting gamers to focus on something like a campaign or building towards a huge battle is getting to be a huge challenge.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2021 5:26 p.m. PST

I think all or most of us got into wargaming as a hobby because we grew up playing with toy soldiers. Why on earth would we ever give up playing with them? I for one have no plans to do so.

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 5:35 p.m. PST

Robert Pirpenbrink

Curious to me that the throw away about Romans and panzers seems to have rankled a few people. What about Tomans or panzers vs daleks, orcs, zombies, dinosaurs or shoggoths? I enjoy sci fi and sci fan of many types?

Martin Goddard

Maybe it would be a moans board, but I think it could be given to speculation as to what genres might survive or come into existence, such as new technologies for wargames, new gimmicks, whatever
? It even new just in the sense of "Hey, has anybody tried wargaming with wooden clothespin soldiers?

Gorgrat03 Sep 2021 5:48 p.m. PST

Chrisbrantley

Absolutely. Note how many people refuse to the new editions of DnD and Warhammer that come out ever 34 minutes or so.

Sadly, look at how many more keep sinking money into them.

Blasted Brains

I believe what you believe about tactile hobbies, but is that just because we grew up with them? Only time will tell.

aegisch47

Here at last, is one with which I disagree. Quite frankly, I think a lit of the newer games out, and especially the eurogame type, are downright silly in what they try to depict, and how they try to depict it. More on this if you'd like to continue discussing it.

nnascati

Also, sadly, another with which I must disagree. Because of societal changes taking place at such a sweeping level in the post-post-modern world, I wonder if toy soldiers will still be around in 50 years.

Certainly far greater changes have already taken place.

Martin Rapier04 Sep 2021 1:37 a.m. PST

"If everyone else starts playing with their AI hard light 25mm terminators vs. Star Wars holographic chess pieces, you're going to be out of luck"

I rather think I'll be long dead by then.

If toy soldiers were good enough for HG Wells, they are good enough for me.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2021 3:33 a.m. PST

Or you could join the Solo Wargamers Association!

lonewarriorswa.com

grin

advocate04 Sep 2021 5:30 a.m. PST

Gorgrat, your comment about Eurogames is off target. They aren't "silly" because they don't try to be simulations, but themed games, as distinct from quite abstract games like cards. But the emphasis is always on the game.
Figure games fit somewhere on the range from simulation to game as well (consider "Saga" on the game extreme, "From Valmy to Waterloo" toward the other. One of the joys of wargaming – and boardgaming – is being able to choose your sweet spot on the spectrum.
Between the personal interaction and the practical side of preparing armies, there is a lot to recommend figure gaming. I suspect it won't change too much in its basics. May become less popular, of course.

Gorgrat04 Sep 2021 6:18 a.m. PST

Martin Rapier

I imagine we all will. And I, of course, love my toy soldiers too.

Gorgrat04 Sep 2021 6:19 a.m. PST

20th maine

👍

Gorgrat04 Sep 2021 6:30 a.m. PST

advocate

All I can say is this. I absolutely hated my mother's macaroni and cheese.

She would tell me that it was a great recipe and that starving children in Borneo (always Borneo, for some reason) wished they could eat my macaroni and cheese.

When I suggested we mail it to them (seemed like a great solution to me) needless to say, the suggestion didn't go over big.

But to me, Eurogames are my mother's macaroni and cheese. They are not simulations but abstract games (not at all different from card games in that sense) with a theme stapled onto them.

I can easily see Tyrion Lannister's story of how his father put him in charge of sewage flow at Casterly Rock turned into a Eurogame.

I've played all of one Eurogame that I really enjoyed: Serenissima, and even that one, I couldn't get any of my friends to play again.

Question of taste.

Gorgrat04 Sep 2021 6:33 a.m. PST

Timbo W

Not sure about 3d printing painted reenactors. I think you'd need a massive amount of plastic 😈

advocate04 Sep 2021 3:13 p.m. PST

It is indeed a question of taste. So calling the preferences of many other people "silly" is wrong.

Timbo W04 Sep 2021 4:56 p.m. PST

Gorgat, I imagine the 2D photoshop slimming algorithms could be adapted to 3D 😉

Gorgrat04 Sep 2021 6:31 p.m. PST

"Silly" is, of course, an expression of my own taste. Totally subjective, and I don't pretend it's anything more. If you're into Settlers of Catan, by all means, settle on!

Augustus05 Sep 2021 1:58 p.m. PST

Given the constant improvement and rapid development of 3D printing, I see a serious shift coming for manufacturers, rather than gamers. As the tech matures, it will only become cheaper and easier and better than what manufacturers can generally offer. This means manufacturers will find yet another competitor for the gaming dollar. Easier storage from lighter miniatures and the fact you are removing apparently problematic shipping is just further icing. We are living in the last days of miniatures manufacturing as we have known it and it will not be long until everyone is a manufacturer.

For gamers I do not see a shift other than more contained games with very detailed terrains from, again, 3d printing. Gaming probably won't change, but the tools will.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2021 3:44 p.m. PST

I can easily see Tyrion Lannister's story of how his father put him in charge of sewage flow at Casterly Rock turned into a Eurogame.

Surely a Eurogame of water supply and sewage removal already exists? Powergrid does (the game of running a powergrid!) and apparently it's "great!" evil grin Not one that actually appeals to me, but I haven't played it so, yeah, maybe….

There's a game of running a trucks logistics company as well, which sounds like a simulation of a spreadsheet but again I'm told it is really good.

Gorgrat05 Sep 2021 7:17 p.m. PST

Anything involving all three of the words "gaming","spreadsheet", and "logistics", strikes me as a prelude to suicide.

Who knows? Maybe somebody pulled it off, but I doubt I'll be asking Santa for it.

Give me Casterly Rock sewage flow any day of the week 😉

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2021 6:35 a.m. PST

@Gorgat. Short answer is that all the out of period combinations are SF or fantasy, and not a type of either that I favor. Armies and opponents tend to be matched sets. Bring in two armies which have never heard of each other, and you get one really weird lop-sided battle. (I remember an Army helicopter officer looking at Pickett's Charge and saying "what a wonderful target for my attack helicopter!" Yes, sir. But if you fuel up in 1900, can you fly through time for 37 years?) After that one useless battle, armies adapt, and now you're talking different tactics, different organization, and probably different uniforms--for which you wouldn't have figures.

If you like it, fine. But it's not a capability I have any use for.

Fully agree with you on wargaming and spreadsheets. I was an OOB analyst, and I don't maintain unit rosters unless they pay me for it.

Gorgrat07 Sep 2021 12:18 p.m. PST

You were a 96b too, huh? I feel for you.

Tom D122 Sep 2021 1:04 p.m. PST

Martin Goddard – It's certainly cheaper than golf, my brother-in-law's obsession.

UshCha26 Sep 2021 1:31 a.m. PST

This is an interesting topic. In the Aerospace industry one of the most complex 3D tasks is pipeing and wiring the bits outside the internal rotating bits, as there are no axes of symmetry. Although much of this is done via CADDS programs there was always a 3D full size model as it is a major visualizer for the folks working on the computer. Therefor full 3D like miniatures is an optimum to solve problems which in the end is what a wargame is so taht will not change. Now could this be done 3D? Well you would still need to "walk round" the area and see it from a variety of positions at a consistent scale, effectively a full 3D virtual table. This is a big ask and not one to operate from a simple computer screen. You need a dedicated room and very expensive 3D systems, seems a long way off for moist of us. Even then you need to intereact with the virtual model, that is a very long way off to du very quickly.

If you could make forward projecting Holograms you could replace actual models with a flat base and a virtual model. However that would not help me as I need to manipulate the model.

So on balance computers are unlikely to replace models anytime soon technically and as been said physical meeting of friends is also a key issue. 3D printing as far as I am concerned has already changed the hobby in a minor way, all my new stuff is 3D printed. Hating painting 3D prints per-coloured prints would be great when they are cheap enough, but that would have no effect on the gaming aspects.

As to single scale that is a none starter. We play in two scales 1/144 for bigger more open battles. For close in urban 1/72 is better greater resolution of local detail. Multiple wildly different periods is something I can't relate too, too much painting and you would never be any good at any of them. Fantasy just leaves me personally disinterested.

deephorse02 Oct 2021 2:14 a.m. PST

Multiple wildly different periods is something I can't relate too, too much painting and you would never be any good at any of them.

If you can't relate to that, and therefore, presumably, you have never tried it, you can't possibly know how good anyone would be at it.

UshCha03 Oct 2021 12:09 a.m. PST

deephorse, I did do ancient gaming but it lost its interest. You can't read and learn about the History of Aztecs vs Romans or understand tactics of two protagonists that never met in earnest. Painting, that hold no interest for me so that side is just lost on me.

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