A well played miniature game complete with painted models, well built terrain, and dynamic tactics is both part movie and part epic story- it’s easy to get sucked into the events unfolding on the table as you push your little toy models around and roll dice.
For many of us in the hobby seeing such a grand setup is what immediately got us sucked into the game- with the question being which game system to start playing?
Battle robots, space aliens, Roman legions, dragons, tanks, and wizards- there is a miniature game out there catering to any and all tastes, so naturally the first choice is to pick a game where the background story fits what you like as this is what makes playing a miniature wargame so fun!
The next, and perhaps hardest decision is to decide if you want to play in an open gaming system or a closed gaming system- let’s take a look at both so you know what to look for.
An open gaming system is one where the rules and models change every few years, with a perfect example being Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy by Games Workshop. In these miniature systems you buy, build, and play an army that you are constantly changing and adding to as Games Workshop comes out with new models, rules, and books. Naturally something like this can potentially be VERY expensive, so naturally the question is this- why would anybody play such a system?
Well, if it is always evolving there is little chance of the gaming system getting stale and you will always have a new selection of units/models to buy, build, add, and collect for your army.
On the opposite side we have a closed gaming system like Battletech- a system where the models and rules are firmly established and after the initial investment in the game you have everything you will ever need to play and keep playing the game. Of course over time new models and rules become available if you want them, but they aren’t needed to play the game.
Most wargamers play both types of systems, as both aspects of the miniature wargaming hobby have their different rewards, but if you are approaching the hobby from a new perspective consider what you may be getting involved with and where your interests are in entering such a hobby.
Be warned- pushing around little plastic soldiers and tanks is addictive!