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Author Topic: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead  (Read 1831 times)

Offline Yarkshire Gamer

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Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« on: October 29, 2020, 05:35:22 PM »




https://youtu.be/DxY0U6k4Ny4

https://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.com/2020/10/big-game-gaming-is-it-dead.html

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
"Glittering prizes and endless compromises,  shatter the illusion of integrity"
http://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.co.uk

Offline AndrewBeasley

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 06:15:57 PM »
Big Game Gaming - is it dead?


Hope so.  At least in the shows.  I struggle to think of a big game that I've seen where it's not been a group of mates out for the day and not fussed about the visitors. Add that to the long long turn times and you end up with a great but boring spectacle.


(Rant over)
Sic Parvis Magna <*>

Offline syrinx0

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 06:37:24 PM »
Gaming in the US at shows is a bit different from the UK as almost all are public participation games.  While skirmish games and tournaments tend to dominate the shows I have attended most recently, I was generally able to get into several large, longer games at each convention.  You tend to have a bit of down time at the larger tables though so I can see why it's not for everyone. 

Our local club has a dedicated space so large multiplayer games are easier to run.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 07:12:30 PM by syrinx0 »
2020: A:38 P:161; 2019:-471 2018: -47; 2017: -100; 2016:+1;


Offline Mammoth miniatures

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 06:43:29 PM »
outside of conventions few people have the space or time to play giant games.
they're a relic of a time when disposable income and personal time were the norm.

Offline fred

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 06:54:28 PM »
Within our group big games are still very much a thing. We all have collections built up over years, and are old enough to have disposable income to buy stuff, but are more limited with time for painting.

There are times when skirmish games are good, but nothing beats big games with loads of units. (although our preference is small figures)

Offline Norm

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 06:56:33 PM »
I suppose it is just different strokes for different folks. If your typical set-up is a 5 x 3 to a 6 x 4 and the family want it free again by tea time, then your view on what you can play will be different from the person with a permanent set-up on tables 8’ and larger.

Also, do you play in a home setting or a club setting. There are some gamers who currently have no room at all to game or store figures, so solutions will be different for everyone. At least in this day and age, whatever you want is largely catered for.

Another thing that we (I) have lost is the ease at playing a short midweek game, life just does that, so anything that can get that particular pleasure back is a positive in my books.

Being a regular attender of shows on the UK scene, I like to see a smallish table that has stuff on it that inspires to to thinking ‘I could do that at home’ and then I race of to the dealer that sells it, so I see a clear symbiotic relationship between games at shows and the traders. So very big tables don’t do that for me. I can admire them, but not get inspired by them ........ but the bloke standing next to me with a big table and a ton of space at home or the club will be much more generous in his appreciation of the same.

At the moment I am trying to put 28mm and 1/72 stuff into my gaming space, because I like the spectacle of the individual figure, so that means smaller armies, but aesthetically it is what I want.

I don’t think big gaming is dead, but perhaps there is now a preponderous  number of gamers who have a lifestyle that fits with smaller collections. What we should not get confused with is those with the smaller game (skirmish, big battle skirmish) are not having their hobby diminished or that a sector of the hobby is in trouble, they can be putting in as many hours and having as much enjoyment as the ‘big battle’ enthusiasts.

Offline Yarkshire Gamer

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 08:07:54 PM »
Big Game Gaming - is it dead?


Hope so.  At least in the shows.  I struggle to think of a big game that I've seen where it's not been a group of mates out for the day and not fussed about the visitors. Add that to the long long turn times and you end up with a great but boring spectacle.


(Rant over)

That's a bad example of how big games should be presented at shows, I have done loads over the years and we always had dedicated "greeters and chatters" on hand to talk to people and explain the game, rules. A big boring spectacle is better than a tiny 4 ft table you need a microscope to see  :)

Offline hearts261

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2020, 08:18:38 PM »
I can obviously only vouch for myself here but,
I think personally (lately especially as I havent been playing as much due to the pandemic) When I have been able to game I don't have time for an all day affair. Being able to set up a 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 table to play on and getting a game over in a an evening is a big part of the allure of "smaller gaming"
Theres also just such an enourmous investment (both time and money) in a Huge Game like some of those photos. I'm fortunate enough to have an 8 x 4 foot table but most of the people in our group certainly don't
If someone pitches a game like bushido or malifaux, I'm way more likely to paint the 10 or so figures then i am to paint 10 or so units of 12 figures a piece.
Personally, I found that investment so off putting i've scaled down my "big games" to 10mm which in my mind looks good but doesnt always have the same "wow factor" that might put it in the "big game" section as it were

Offline Ben Waterhouse

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2020, 09:35:55 PM »
No, that’s why we invented 10mm. Seriously, over 50 odd years, it’s the huge 25/8 mm spectaculars at Salute, FIASCO and Colours that still stick in my mind.
Arma Pacis Fulcra

Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2020, 09:49:50 PM »
What is this 'skirmish'?
Suffering from insomnia?  Too much excitement in your life?  Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog might be just the solution you've been looking for: www.jemimafawr.co.uk

Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2020, 09:52:46 PM »
That's a bad example of how big games should be presented at shows, I have done loads over the years and we always had dedicated "greeters and chatters" on hand to talk to people and explain the game, rules. A big boring spectacle is better than a tiny 4 ft table you need a microscope to see  :)
Well said and yes, that's exactly how I present games at shows.  The biggest part of it for me is talking to people about the battle.

It's funny, but people always feel the need to make snide remarks about demo-gamers on forums but never have the balls to do it face-to-face (or to actually put the effort in themselves).

I wonder if people go to model shows and later complain that they weren't allowed to play with the models...?

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2020, 10:00:55 PM »
I suspect diminishing attention spans and the wargaming butterfly/ shiny, shiny effect have played their part. Many people have lots of smaller collections, across a variety of periods.

Once upon a time, the hobby was really dominated by smaller spheres out interest and smaller numbers of manufacturers. Napoleonics, Ancients and WW2, with smaller colonial and ACW scenes. Your manufacturers choices wen I started were similarly constrained. Minifigs, Hinchliffe, maybe Essex and Peter Laing, unless you had stuck with Airfix.

Now we are spoiled for choice both in terms of periods and makers, so a lot of people flit from one flower to another and few people have the resources to be completists in every field of interest. I once had large Napoleonic and Modern armies, albeit in 6mm. Within the past twenty years my aspirations have shrunk to one day, maybe, completing my English Restoration Army, which would run in its entirety to around six foot regiments, a couple of cavalry regiments and maybe a representative militia unit. To me that’s almost the perfect size but mostly pointless because there were never more than around four battalions in any engagement be that Tangier or Sedgemoor.

Spectacle is nice but I’m happy for some other bugger to pay for and house it.
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Offline warrenpeace

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2020, 02:33:11 AM »
I'm in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Our convention games are all participation games. Our main regional convention uses 6ft x 8ft and 5ft x 8ft tables and game periods of 4 hours. We used to be able to reserve 2 or 3 or even 4 of those tables and two game periods to present big games for lots of players, usually in the middle of the gaming hall. These games varied in entertainment value depending on the GM, though they were usually popular and often won awards. There was some grumbling about the extent to which the few big games sucked some of the life out of the rest of the room.

Three years ago that changed. New administration declared an end to the big game in an effort to allow as many different GM's as possible to present games to a minimum of 4 players on each of the standard size tables. Those few of us who still want to present really big games will have to come up with our own venue.

I know one megalomaniac who has all the ships for Jutland in 1:6000, and a huge number of Napoleonic corps in 15mm. My only big collection is 28mm WSS, with about 100 battalions, 170 squadrons, and somewhere between 15 and 20 batteries. Most of these were painted by other people. My friend has a similar sized collection. I need to paint about 60 to 80 additional battalions, and a similar number of additional squadrons so that we can play Oudenarde & Malplaquet with the right units.

Having said that, I don't think I'd ever start anything like that again. I'm really liking Pulp Alley. That's below skirmish level, at what I call role playing scale. It's really a blast to paint a few interesting character figures and put together nice looking but smaller tables for a quick cinematic game.

Sailors have more fun!

Offline syrinx0

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2020, 03:43:23 AM »
That sounds like a space constraint pushed the larger games out near you.  Adepticon & Little Wars in the Midwest US still have support for multiple big table(s) games each day/night in spite of the majority of games moving to the skirmish level.  From what I read the east coast conventions in the US still support a lot of big table gaming but I have not attended those.   Not that I have attended any conventions at all this year...

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: Big Game Gaming - Is it Dead
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2020, 01:26:43 PM »
What is this 'skirmish'?

That would be a board game with miniatures.  ;)

 

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