When one thinks about wargame project several things must be considered and all of them involve time. Hobby time.
That being said a lot has been done and a regular schedule dedicated to making it happen with the young bloods by making them appreciate the “start to end” of the package.
While many would justifiably point out that it would be better to just buy a cardboard wargame the entire scope of the project is exactly the opposite – the creation of the wargame – in its entirety apart from the ruleset.
I am not keen in argumentation for or against but having the liberty of creation while moving pieces around without any constraints of a set map or immutable game pieces is one of the reasons we, as a team of old and younger generation, decided that wargaming with miniatures was the way to go.
we can have a new map every session
we can come up with orders of battle that suit any scenario we design
we learn as we construct our game box
The price paid for all of this can be summed to 3 brand new run of the mill high end publisher cardboard wargames.
With that what we got so far:
- Enough miniatures to simulate THREE age of sail crews, at a minimum of 13 hands plus a Captain and a First Mate, depending on the ruleset used for said scenario.
- An already previously purchased starter set of ship to ship combat miniatures wargame
- Almost a HUNDRED assorted tree types ready to be placed on the table. All that had to be done was to hot glue them to washers.
- Model houses, some 3D print some mdf, to represent both European and Caribbean settlements
- DIY hills/rock outcrops that can be doubled as islands when playing ship only scenarios.
Now, the fun part started when the youngsters had to sit for 30 minutes every session of painting, gluing, modelling and getting the hands dirty in a mixture of checking museum references for textile colours, osprey illustration and a lot more references to help with their choices.
The further fun was for the less graphical artistic ones to start thinking about names and stories to their respective captains and first mates and eventually some of the crew figurines they think deserve a name.
With all that in hand the GM, me, can start thinking of a storyline to drive their wargame sessions that ties the narrative to credible combat scenarios.
While there’s the lite rpg part in the narrative we will not dwell into the non action parts during the games; that’s not the point. What we want is the action part, where decision has been made to break out of a jail, or to assault the governor mansion, or to take over the silver shipment.
With the progression of the narrative driven by the results of the wargames a bigger thing will be born and that’s the younger generation love for creation.
They know which figurines they painted, they will know their names, they recognize the houses, the farmlands, the palm tree that hangs by the tavern, they will step through the swamps of Panama while preparing a night raid in the port town and know this was their doing, and as such they will care for the characters that exist only in paper and metal in a table.
And maybe, just maybe, they can express and talk to their other friends about the grand stories they can be part of by just standing around a table chucking dice and “once upon a time…”
Create more. Consume less. Wargame with a purpose.