Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
I have a question for you, if you're interested, and if you're willing to answer it. You can read my rambling explanation, or just skip to the picture of the d20 below if I'm boring you.
So I've been reading some blogs, blogs of Big Time Game Writers and Designers, right? I like to keep up on the history of the hobby, even while it's happening.
And I have discovered a thing: The Older Cousin Model.
Y'see, ever since D&D really started to hit the big time, the marketing people have been trying to figure out new ways to grow the game, grow the market, sell more units. It's what they do. Particularly under WotC, and ESPECIALLY with Hasbro. And they discovered an unusual thing.
Roleplaying games aren't like other games. A child sees a Star Wars Rebels boardgame, he's attracted to it because of the cartoon show, but if he's going to play the GAME, he has to sit down, read the rules, figure out how it works. If I find a Game Of Thrones card game, I do the same thing, although it's a safe bet the rules are lengthier and more complex. But the same is true of both myself and the Star Wars child: we see the game, get interested in the subject or license, buy or are given this game, we sit down and figure it out, and try to interest our friends in playing it with us. Sometimes Star Wars kid will play the game at his friend's house first, but like as not, he'll see it on a shelf and want it, without ever having played it before.
....................but not RPGs.
Apparently, based on market research? Nearly all RPG players are taught to play by an actual human, THEN start jonesing for their own copy of the game. They have to catch the fever from existing RPG players before developing an interest in the hobby form. Apparently, AFTER you've mastered an RPG, THEN you might develop an interest in other RPGs or RPG genres, and you might, upon mastering D&D, get interested in one of Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs, or a White Wolf LARP, or even just Pathfinder or Starfinder, and you might buy a copy, read the rules, and start your own game...
...but statistically, MOST of us apparently started out as acolytes at someone else's table.
They call it "The Older Cousin Model," in that most of us learned it from an older cousin, a sibling, kid we went to school with, whatever. The point is that most of us were TAUGHT, as opposed to doping it out ourselves. It's a social phenomenon as opposed to seeing it on a shelf or in an ad, and that apparently complicates the marketing of the product.
And that got my attention.
Y'see, I doped it out myself.
I was all of like, eleven, and reading this magazine, Rolling Stone's College Life, because, hey, college was far cooler than anything MY peer group was doing, right? And there was this article on this game that was sweeping the country's college campuses at the time, Dungeons and Dragons, where you could take the role of a barbarian or wizard, go slay dragons, become more powerful, have a magic sword, accumulate gold, build a castle... anything you wanted. The nerd equivalent of a permanent floating craps game in the dorm's TV room. It caught my interest, and the next time my immediate ancestors chose to visit civilization, I picked up a Holmes Basic Set at Spencer's Gifts... and there, all my weirdities began. Upon learning how to play the game, and finding others who were interested, everything else followed. Cool college guys used miniatures? Plainly, miniatures must be obtained... and painted. Some of these people play other games by SPI and Avalon Hill? Hm, this should be looked into. Hey, other RPGs like Traveller and Runequest? Investigate!
But I had to work it out myself. I taught some friends to play afterwards, and the game took on a life of its own after that... but I was the one who lit the fire.
Upon thinking about it? Everyone else I ever played RPGs with? Either I taught them, or they already knew... having been introduced to the hobby by a friend or relative. Apparently, being a gamer is more a contagious paradigm than one imposed by one's environment or advertising.
...and this is what brings me to come bother YOU people. How did you get involved in RPGs? How did you learn to play? How did you develop the interest?
Was there an older cousin, sibling, friend, role model? Were you influenced by marketing or advertising? Trip over it at a comic shop? Encounter a screaming mob of beardos, flinging dice and invective at each other?
I'd like to know.
By Rob Dean
Since I went ahead and posted the big project WIP for this, here's what I've already got on hand to start with.
For orcs etc., I've finished 6 of the man-orcs, 7 armored goblins with spears and bows, 3 "true orcs", and 7 of the little goblins. There are also four wolves and a rider, a "troll", and two Nazgul on horseback that still sport an original 1970s paint job. For my own amusement, every shield so far is unique, although I hope that the running black/red/white theme gives them a related look. By the time I do nearly two hundred more, I expect there to be some duplication. So far, all of the orcs and goblins have been individually based, but for wargaming purposes, I will be switching to three or six figure bases once I've done a dozen big orcs, two dozen middle orcs, and a dozen little orcs.
This stand of dwarves was one of the triggers for my full-scale vintage binge; the figures came from a dealer table at Cold Wars in 2015, and I hadn't seen a Mythical Earth figure in a long time.
The elf army to date suffers from a bit of indecision on basing. The one scout stand in the front on the 60mm square base was built from the same bag of miniatures that contained the dwarves. I didn't think I'd ever see another. As I work through the remaining figures, I'll need to do one more stand of three to match it, which will do duty as a Dragon Rampant scout unit, but the rest of the elves will be in threes. Anything that doesn't currently work out to a twelve man unit will be mounted individually, like the archer next to the command stand.
The two stands of ents and huorns (the range contained two of each for some reason) have been with me since the '70s. I "enhanced" the horns with some Woodland Scenics tufts, but any more that I acquire, like the large Huorn in the middle, will not be so treated. I was playing with him to attempt to make his bark a more typical tree bark gray. I've got five or so ents awaiting attention, and two more huorns are inbound, so Fangorn Forest is well represented.
For humans, I've mostly been doing samples to get the feel of working with them. The back row is a little group of really old Minifig Vikings (base code V5). I got about ten of them in a lot, and the ME range has few archers. I expect them to do duty as needed as Dunlendings, Rohirrim, or Lakefolk. In the front row, a historical NS (Norman/Saxon) spearman is a sample of historical who will be adopted for the same block of cultures. Next to him is a slightly later IR (Imperial Roman) range early Dark Ages warlord, who fits my idea of a Rohirrim leader on foot. Then we have two actual ME mounted Rohirrim, in the early versions. (The later versions were helmeted). You only need one Gandalf, at least on foot, and the ME53 Ranger swordsman has been done as my Aragorn figure. Next to him is a basic Gondorian swordsman, and an archer of Faramir's Ithilien rangers.
As of today, they would make a rather odd skirmish game, but, given how far along the elves are, I think the first all-vintage-Minifigs battle is likely to be allies of the north against the goblins of the Misty Mountains.
By Rob Dean
I expect this is going to be a long-running WIP thread. My intention is to convert this heap of vintage lead into war games armies to allow me to field forces for a variety of Tolkien situations, using only vintage Minifigs. For those who are younger than me, Minifigs produced this line of Tolkien-inspired figures starting in 1972, and, as far as we've ever been able to determine, it was the first range of specifically fantasy miniatures ever produced. They were the first that I bought as well, and I will freely admit that this is a nostalgia project.
I posted a batch of finished elves this morning. Here's what I have left to do: two elf riders, an elf king to form a second command stand, 14 elf swordsmen, and 9 elf bowmen (three of whom have lost arrows and one who's been redone as a standard bearer for the command stand.)
For the era of the Battle of the Five Armies, they have some dwarf allies. Here's a dozen, representing all three stock numbers that were produced. Each stock number was a strip of two. I have a batch of seven already finished and based.
Minifigs did not issue any specific Lakemen, nor, for that matter, any specific Rohirrim on foot. For the Five Armies-era humans, I'll have to reach into the historical and use some figures from their NS (Norman/Saxon) range with round shields. I've got about three dozen available with which to work. They should also serve as dismounted Rohirrim when needed.
Beorn and Gandalf are also available, and a token eagle...
To continue with the good guys, there were two catalog numbers of actual mounted Rohirrim. I have two completed so far, and about 22 available, including a few Later Romans or similar Dark Ages figures which blend well. A few spare horses remain to be found.
The Gondorians were represented by five different figures, a citadel guardsman, two rangers of Ithilien, a spearman, a swordsman, and a foot knight. I've got at least a dozen of each, plus a total of two dozen of ME53 and 54, Rangers of the North.
The Dark Lord's forces can be lead by the imposing squadron of flying Nazgul, of which I have four:
I have 18 wargs (plus a few already finished), but only two of the goblin riders:
Large orcs came in three poses, with sword, axe or spear. I've got about 85 to be done:
Smaller orcs came in four poses, a bowman, a swordsman without shield, a swordsman with shield, and a well equipped armored goblin with shield, spear and bow. Of that latter, I've only got a handful, all completed. Of the first three, I've got about seventy from a recent purchase:
There is also one pose of little goblins. I finished a few of them last month. I've got more, but they are sitting in paint stripper at the moment.
Sauron's human allies were represented by four poses of figures; there was a Haradrim spearman and a mounted lancer, of which I've got about 30 and 5 respectively:
There was also a Southern spearman and a mounted swordsman. I only have a token 3 of the spearmen, so they won't be a unit on their own, but I do have nine of the mounted swordsmen, so they can be.
Last, I have a hobbit militia of about a dozen, plus a couple of mounted hobbits. The foot hobbits came in strips of three, and one strip is much easier to find than the other...
My basic plan is going to be to play these with Dragon Rampant, which generally uses units of six mounted or twelve foot figures, with provision for heroes and large monsters as exceptions. However, some of the teams will be big enough that I could use Chaos Wars (also in sixes and twelves), and I expect that an actual Battle of the Five Armies game my brother and I have been discussing will take every orc/goblin that we have painted.
Edit: Ooops! Forgot the Dunlendings; there are enough of them to make a unit, and given Saruman's forces a bit of distinctiveness...
It's been 6 years since I last played a sci-fi table top game in 28mm. Wondering what is out there BESIDES 40k these days? What are you playing and/or what do you recommend?
My favorite in the past were 40k 2e and Necromunda. I prefer more skirmish level, and capable of handling multiple players/sides.
Here's an old Medieval wargaming miniature from the 1980s, produced by Essex Miniatures.
Essex were among the first to start producing larger scale 28mm miniatures, although they actually advertised them as 25mm. Up until then, 25mm had been the standard, and Essex armies towered over their opponents on the wargames table. Basing systems had been designed for 25mm figures too, so Essex figures tended to be very crowded on bases designed for the smaller scale.
They tended towards rather caricatured, cartoonish features, but I always rather liked them, except for their horses which looked a bit small and spindly underneath their gigantic riders. Eventually they also started producing 15mm miniatures which were also excellent, and a lot more affordable than larger scale armies.
Who's Online 6 Members, 0 Anonymous, 0 Guests (See full list)