May 14, 2014 by brennon
On Sunday I was sitting in my local gaming store and talking about X-Wing and Dungeons & Dragons Attack Wing. My friend and I were discussing how out of the two D&D Attack Wing was a more appealing prospect because the world of Fantasy just came to us more naturally. An opposing viewpoint was “seriously dude, have you seen Star Wars?! You can translate that so easily to the tabletop and it’s awesome!”
What this bought up for me was exactly what genre I like the most and without a shadow of a doubt it is certainly Fantasy. I love history and so seeing the translation of interesting and evocative events into make believe worlds is a massive draw to me. It helped that as a youngster I read a lot of fantasy literature and was obsessed with myths and legends so it became a pretty natural step to delve into fantasy and see it as my nugget of awesomeness.
So, I thought I’d ask you guys where you’re allegiance lay within the genres of wargaming and offer my opinions on the ones we chose as our segments at the top of the website. Are you someone who finds it easier to stick to one genre like me while occasionally dabbling in others or do you open yourself up to all of them and see the genres as something a system, rather than a theme, can define?
For me Sci-Fi has to do something particularly great to draw me in. Warhammer 40,000 is a good example of this. It might be set in the far future but it does grim dark exceptionally well and essentially puts a fantasy world of Emperors, Knights and Elves on different planets instead of continents of a fantasy map. In comparison worlds like Infinity have very little draw to me. I can see the joy of playing in the stylised anime-type world but it’s all a bit too flashy and exotic for my tastes. I like a plasma charged power suit as much as the next man and while I can appreciate the models and the background it’s just too much in the wrong direction.
By comparison a world somewhat near to that, MERCS, has my attention but is a genre that I’ve just not been able to really get into for other reasons. I think I prefer the aesthetic and the similarities it has with our current world are a definitive plus.
Fantasy has always been my true love on the tabletop and I went into it a bit above but the sight of massed battles between Elves, Humans, Orcs and the like is something I just can’t ignore when wargaming. I am drawn to the pageantry and flare of these kind of massed armies much more and I’d find myself stopping by a table of Warhammer Fantasy to watch more readily than I would one of Warhammer 40,000 for example.
This of course carries on into other games and the likes of Cutlass! with it’s wondrously funky pirates from different races certainly has my attention. Godslayer, Hordes, and games like the sadly drifting Uncharted Seas from Spartan Games all grab my attention because they include interesting and evocative mythological creatures and landscapes dredged from our own histories.
Talking of history the next genre is indeed that. You have so much to draw on with this genre that it’s hard not to be impressed by it. Of course there are many different camps within this genre, from those doing things just as they should (and that’s perfectly fine) and others going for alternative history style affairs where for example maybe the Anglo-Saxons did win the Battle of Hastings!
Much like with Sci-Fi Historical gaming has to bit the right chord with me however and I prefer either games set back in Ancient times or indeed something relatively more modern with Medieval history. The Dark Ages is the sweet spot however, but that’s tied very much into the mysticism and mythology of the period.
It took me a long time to get into more modern warfare style games like Bolt Action and I am considering dipping my toe into Napoleonics (frightening!). Historical gaming therefore comes a very close second to Fantasy simply by it’s lack of magical beings!
Pulp, Punk, Horror & Weird
Now this one is a bit of an odd one, which probably goes along with it’s genre. This contains things like Pulp Comic-style wargames, Steampunk, downright Horror affairs and of course anything which blends worlds together into one frightening heap. A good example of the genre would of course by Malifaux by Wyrd Miniatures or something like the relatively new In Her Majesty’s Name by Osprey Publishing or Wolsung from Micro-Art.
I’ve watched people play these games for a long time now in my local store and I’ve come to a conclusion with it I think. I like the premise and the idea of the genres but I don’t think it’s one that I like playing around with on the tabletop. Role-play in it, board or card game in it, sure, but wargame, I don’t think so. Something about it disconnects with me and I’ve felt this a lot when watching games of Malifaux in particular. I think with these worlds the plots and intrigue of them are so tightly engrained within the setting that I want to be part of the action of it rather than seeing it from a God’s Eye View.
This doesn’t detract from the potency of the worlds and the theme behind everything but it’s just not for me sitting last on my genre list.
What About You?
So here’s where you come in. What genre is your favourite and why? I’d love for you all to comment below and get talking about where you come on the spectrum. Of course you might completely disagree with my summary of these various worlds and games and if you do, make sure you tell me!
Sci-Fi Vs Fantasy Art by DaniLovesFood
Sci-Fi Vs Fantasy (Feature Image) by TARGETE
What Is Your Favourite Wargaming Genre? Total Voters: 632 (Log In to Vote Now!)
What Is Your Favourite Wargaming Genre?
Total Voters: 632 (Log In to Vote Now!)
Comment below and explain why a particular genre (or multiple) is your favourite!