Sunday, 22 April 2018

On Minis Games

On Minis Games is a podcast dedicated to miniature games and gaming, with the odd splash of board gaming thrown in from time to time. I have written a little about it in the past, but haven't mentioned it too much because over the last twelve episodes we've struggled with some technical difficulties, trying to work out why our feed won't validate for iTunes and a few other things.  Up until episode thirteen we weren't in iTunes. All that has changed now, and thanks to the fine work of Erik and Don of On Board Games, our feed is functional, has been validated, and you can subscribe through iTunes, yay! The iTunes link is here.

On Minis Games started thirteen episodes ago, but the latest episode sort of feels like a new beginning. In the latest episode we talk about why we play miniatures games. Some of that talk is about why we like games in general, but we tried to hone in on the couple of reasons we like miniatures games specifically.

Of course, like all games, the best part of miniatures gaming is undoubtedly the social aspect. Being able to hove off time with a friend or three, chat, throw some dice and experience a good story is brilliant. This is true of all forms of table top gaming I think, and why, while I love board games, role playing games and miniatures games, I have never really been captured by electronic gaming.

Mordheim, with some Perry miniatures.

Mordheim, with a Perry miniature and 4Ground terrain.

Aesthetic is a key component of miniature games; they are a visual delight. A table with painted miniatures and good terrain, well, there is nothing quite like it. It's like playing in a diorama, creating a window into that setting or world, and allows the story of what's happening on the table to be realised as much visually as through the game play. For historical games I enjoy researching the force I am collecting, finding out what colours are suitable, and carrying that through with the force.

Badgers and Burrows with Splintered Light minis.

Another aspect that makes miniatures games great is that they provide a sandbox. With a board game the board and pieces come out of the box and there are the parameters. With a miniatures game the rules provide the architecture for how pieces, miniatures, terrain etc, interact, and the players create the specific parameters of each game by choosing the forces they use, the terrain on the table, the scenario they play, and so on. Games are highly variable, and many of the rules sets I enjoy most are thematic and have a strong narrative component.

Dystopian Wars minis, from the old Spartan Games.

Gaslands! With Hotwheels cars and Infinity terrain.

Miniatures gaming is also a hobby, with the collecting, building, painting, basing and all the other aspects that that make it the rich experience it is. Some people will love some of these aspects, others will hate them, but they are there should you choose to indulge. I like painting well enough, but often struggle to finish projects. This is partly due to how I choose to spend my free-time, most of which is spent these days freelance writing for RPGs. More than painting, I love having finished painting. Being able to look at models I know that I painted them, being pleased with the results (for the most part), all of it makes me want to get those pieces on the table. I like having painted, more than I like the painting, but of course to get one, one must do the other!

My painting desk. A mess of unfinished projects.

There are a number of other things specific to miniatures games that draw me to this style of gaming. We talk about them on the podcast, which you should definitely check out and subscribe to!

Here is the link, and thankfully, you can also now find us on iTunes!

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