Back from the wonders of the week-long work training course this pile of shrink-wrapped geek-goodness was waiting for me. It's about bloody time as there were some "issues" with delivery resulting in a re-send, direct from the States thus incurring Import Duty, and a previously un-mentioned product split. Annoying but at least it's here, unlike Heroes of Normandie which is delayed further than the second front it represents!
Meanwhile, back in the room, the thought process works something like this;
- "Traditional" wargames take a lot of time and effort to get going, building and painting armies, scenery etc
- For new gamers this can be something of a barrier, though naive enthusiasm usually sees them through
- Veteran gamers, or at least the ones in my group, tend to have time as their most limited resource, as demonstrated by the number of abandoned projects that litter the bits boxes
- Wargamers are all about the toys, the figures. We tend to be somewhat disparaging towards "pure" boardgames and those that play them. Where's the "hobby" in that we ask?
- Boardgames with "proper" figures are apparently far more acceptable, they scratch the required itch. Thus the rise of the Hybrid-Boardgame
The offerings available have simply exploded over the past 18 months or so. Dreadball, Deadzone, Mars Attacks, Kingdom Death, Descent, Hero-Quest, Incursion, Dust Tactics to name but a few. Then you've got X-Wing, Attack Wing and Wings of War as various birds of feather competing for our Geek time and money. How about Spartan's Uncharted Seas, Firestorm Armarda and Dystopian War, tha tmuch different?
So is this doing real damage to the 6"x4" plus wargames community? GW's aparrent woes are likely far too circumstantial but the rise of KS and it's effects on the wider community have been well documented. Plenty of hobby wedge is being hoovered up in this manner and there is surely only a certain amount to go around. We've certainly noticed an effect in and around the club.
A bit like Marmite the reaction seems to be love or hate but whichever camp you're in I'm sure the Hybrid Boardgame is not only here to stay but likely to keep growing. The question is where and when is the saturation point?