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Real Miniatures? - 1/22/2005 2:21:40 AM   
Louie71


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Does anybody here actually play real miniature wargames? Personally, I've been really interested in starting up an army and getting into playing. But since I have nobody to really play with (I'm looking around for places in Toronto, but no luck so far) ATG is all I have for now.
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/22/2005 7:06:20 PM   
Hertston


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I used to, which was one thing that attracted me to this game. These days I just don't have the time that's involved any more (playing and painting), and I suspect even if I did I would find the whole thing a little tedious after playing computer wargames for so long, against both AI and human opponents.

(in reply to Louie71)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/22/2005 8:23:25 PM   
Louie71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

I suspect even if I did I would find the whole thing a little tedious after playing computer wargames for so long, against both AI and human opponents.


But... does the computer you offer the atmosphere and the ability to talk with your opponent live, being able to see his (hopefully) well painted armies? I find computer games are usually good to fill in the gap of lonely time, when you can't find someone to play with as a substitute for the real thing.

I personally just can't wait to get going, I just need to find some places to play in my area, find out what size models they use, and let the fun begin.

(in reply to Hertston)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/22/2005 11:36:05 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Louie71

But... does the computer you offer the atmosphere and the ability to talk with your opponent live, being able to see his (hopefully) well painted armies? I find computer games are usually good to fill in the gap of lonely time, when you can't find someone to play with as a substitute for the real thing.



The human element is important of course, but these days I think I'd rather stick to Mahjong. Keeps the Mrs quiet, too

"Atmosphere" I'm not so sure about... I actually get a lot more wound up and involved in some of the online wargames than I ever did playing with miniatures. The computer doesn't just serve the purpose of dealing with a lot of the tedious stuff fot you, but in so doing it also makes the game more focused on what it is actually supposed to be simulating. Table-top stuff can get way too abstract sometimes, and there is a much bigger emphasis on exploiting the rules at the expense of choosing "real" strategies and tactics.

Quick tip... when you have chosen your period and scale, pick an army that isn't overly common. Firstly, it helps in getting games (the umpteen guys with Napoleonic French armies always welcome the bloke with the Prussians), and secondly (particularly with ancients) you will find a detailed knowledge of a particular army and how it can be used will give chances even against much more experienced players. The Khitan Liao are in the Lists for a reason !

Second tip. Use bases that are easily removable and replaceable without ruining the paint-job. Different rules use different specified sizes of base, and figure numbers per base.


EDIT: Talking of Khitans, I just found **THIS** on the net. This guy really knows his stuff.. how 15mm should look.


... and a final tip Actually, most people can paint miniatures that well with a little practice. What seperates the experts from the rest is the ability to do them at reasonable speed. Don't worry too much what your first army looks like - get something you can play with. Then you can replace it at your leisure a unit or two at a time, painted to a much higher standard.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 1/22/2005 9:58:30 PM >

(in reply to Louie71)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 1:12:13 AM   
Louie71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

Quick tip... when you have chosen your period and scale, pick an army that isn't overly common. Firstly, it helps in getting games (the umpteen guys with Napoleonic French armies always welcome the bloke with the Prussians), and secondly (particularly with ancients) you will find a detailed knowledge of a particular army and how it can be used will give chances even against much more experienced players. The Khitan Liao are in the Lists for a reason !

Second tip. Use bases that are easily removable and replaceable without ruining the paint-job. Different rules use different specified sizes of base, and figure numbers per base.

Thanks for the heads up. Actually, I'm tied between going with a Hoplite Greek army, or a Seleucid army, since those are by far my favourite armies in history. So either way, if I go with one of those I know I will be very happy.

If I go with a hoplite army, I'm thinking a Spartan one of some sort. How do the rules treat the difference between the less armoured early Spartans, compated to the later, more heavily armoured guys? Will I be really handicapped if I go with the lesser armoured, but cooler looking guys? In reality, I understand that the less armour you have, the weaker you will be, but I just don't want to go with an army of lightly armoured, farmers and get destroyed every time I play. But I guess I can't have it all...

(in reply to Hertston)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 1:21:35 AM   
Louie71


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To see the Spartans that I am talking about, look at the far right of this picture here: http://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/images/Greek_Army_large.jpg

Something about them just calls out for me to get them. Then again, I could always go with a mixed army of Spartan Hoplites as seen on the far left, and far right of that pic... That way I can have a bit of both, and have an even nicer army.

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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 2:26:57 AM   
Marathon


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I do not have the hand or patience to paint them.

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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 2:40:41 AM   
Louie71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marathon

I do not have the hand or patience to paint them.

I suck at painting things too, my hands are all shaky... but it's a challenge that I love. Painting little things takes me forever, but for some reason I don't get frustrated doing it because I have accepted the fact that I'm nowhere near the best painter. I've never painted miniatures before, but I have painted clay scultpures with fine details for school (I just made a black and white vase, black background, fine white lines... took me forever but I'm proud of it).

It's just a matter of getting over trying to be the best, and being proud of what you can manage to do. Plus... if you mess one up really bad, you can always repaint it later.

(in reply to Marathon)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 8:26:28 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Louie71

If I go with a hoplite army, I'm thinking a Spartan one of some sort. How do the rules treat the difference between the less armoured early Spartans, compated to the later, more heavily armoured guys? Will I be really handicapped if I go with the lesser armoured, but cooler looking guys? In reality, I understand that the less armour you have, the weaker you will be, but I just don't want to go with an army of lightly armoured, farmers and get destroyed every time I play. But I guess I can't have it all...


Most ancients rules are very flexible, because of the huge time period they cover. WRG (Wargames Research Group) for example covers 3000 BCE to 1000(+)AD, with very few "special" rules. Units cost a certain number of points (the total being decided on before you start), the major determinant being unit quality.

Light, medium and heavy infantry all have their place. Although your medium/heavy choice may well be restricted by the historical nature of your army (if your rules define, say, Macedonian phalangites as "medium" or Roman Imperial infantry as "heavy" there isn't much you can do about it), every army needs light infantry (as skirmishers - not in the line). The important thing is balance, as in most wargames. BTW, all Hoplites tend to be classed as "heavy", so you shouldn't have a problem. As far as deciding whether line infantry is heavy or medium the important factor is not so much the amount of armor they wore historically as how they fought

A (historical) Spartan Army is particularly tricky as your core Spartiate units come expensive. Not generally as expensive as historically they should be (making any unit that more effective than equivalents distorts gameplay too much), but you still can't afford that many and need to use them wisely. The rules tend to list "Hoplite Greek" anyway, so its wisest to stay balanced and keep plenty of "allies" on hand to maintain good flexibility and balance.



BTW, I strongly recommend you start your ancients career with a game called "De Bellis Antiquitatis". Its a set of quickplay rules, "ancients lite" if you like, that is hugely popular, and with only twelve elements a side you can have a playable army (or several) painted up very quickly. You'll always find opponents and there's even an **ONLINE VERSION**.


BTW (again). DBA aside, make sure you find out what rules you ae likely to be using BEFORE you decide on the make-up of your Army. Some favour particular combinations, and forbid others.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 1/23/2005 6:41:13 AM >

(in reply to Louie71)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 7:23:15 PM   
Louie71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

A (historical) Spartan Army is particularly tricky as your core Spartiate units come expensive. Not generally as expensive as historically they should be (making any unit that more effective than equivalents distorts gameplay too much), but you still can't afford that many and need to use them wisely. The rules tend to list "Hoplite Greek" anyway, so its wisest to stay balanced and keep plenty of "allies" on hand to maintain good flexibility and balance.



BTW, I strongly recommend you start your ancients career with a game called "De Bellis Antiquitatis". Its a set of quickplay rules, "ancients lite" if you like, that is hugely popular, and with only twelve elements a side you can have a playable army (or several) painted up very quickly. You'll always find opponents and there's even an **ONLINE VERSION**.


Armies as small as 12 units? Looks like a pretty easy way of getting into the game, and seeing how I like it. Either way, I want to buy and paint a Spartan army and have for a display since I just love the look of the Old Glory 25mm, so I can easily use that as my army then and it shouldn't be all that expensive. If I just buy a pack of 30 hoplites, a couple javelin throwers or slingers and some Greek commanders I should be fine for some quick fun shouldn't I? It shouldn't cost me TOO much if I go with Old Glory since they sell Hoplites/Slingers at 30 for $33USD, and all the command units I need for $18USD.

So that looks like it will run me 33+33+18, so $84USD before tax, so say $95 with, converting that to Canadian it will go at $120 bucks. Tack on paints, $150 max. A little expensive at first, but I guess it's not bad for a 25mm playable army judging how video games cost $75 each and don't even offer half as much fun and replayability.

Btw, I checked out that online site... it looked really cool at first until I noticed the free version has barely any battles to select from (and none from the time period I like). And I would rather save up my cash for the real miniatures than the cartoons on my computer.

< Message edited by Louie71 -- 1/23/2005 12:25:53 PM >

(in reply to Hertston)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 7:58:23 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

Btw, I checked out that online site... it looked really cool at first until I noticed the free version has barely any battles to select from (and none from the time period I like). And I would rather save up my cash for the real miniatures than the cartoons on my computer


Hehe... fair enough. The thing with the online game (effectively managed PBEM), though, is that if you get into DBA there are ALWAYS opponents. Unless you have a good club nearby, that's rarely the case... and like any game the way to improve your skills quickly is to play frequently. DBA is a also a good introduction to the WRG "full size" quickplay rules, De Bellis Multitudinous and the "full" rules, WRG 7th which I still believe are pretty much a standard (certainly in the UK, not so sure about US).

quote:

Either way, I want to buy and paint a Spartan army and have for a display since I just love the look of the Old Glory 25mm, so I can easily use that as my army then and it shouldn't be all that expensive


Be very careful of 25mm ancients. Although some use 25mm, 15mm is very much the standard and you will find a much bigger choice of figures in that scale. In my own experience (again only in the UK), I never met anyone who played 25mm ancients; that scale was generally reserved for the Napoleonic and (mostly) Medieval periods. Find your club and/or potential opponents first, and find out what scale and rules they use before you spend any cash.

Personally, I don't like 25mm (except as display models). They don't actually look a lot better than 15mm when painted up, but they take a lot longer, show up defects in skill a lot more, and are far less transportable.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 1/23/2005 6:02:11 PM >

(in reply to Louie71)
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RE: Real Miniatures? - 1/23/2005 11:27:28 PM   
Louie71


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

Be very careful of 25mm ancients. Although some use 25mm, 15mm is very much the standard and you will find a much bigger choice of figures in that scale. In my own experience (again only in the UK), I never met anyone who played 25mm ancients; that scale was generally reserved for the Napoleonic and (mostly) Medieval periods. Find your club and/or potential opponents first, and find out what scale and rules they use before you spend any cash.

Personally, I don't like 25mm (except as display models). They don't actually look a lot better than 15mm when painted up, but they take a lot longer, show up defects in skill a lot more, and are far less transportable.


I actually prefer the look of 25mm... I find that the smaller you go the less interesting the models are to look at. Sure, you find more crowded battles, but they just come across as massed blobs of indistinguishable soldiers who all mold into eachother. I like the more inidividual, and clear look of 25mm. But you are right, I really need to find where I will be playing first as that will be the main factor in what rules and size I go with.

I've been looking around, but so far I haven't been able to find a club to play at within a reasonably distance from my house. So until I do, the hunt is on.

(in reply to Hertston)
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