Friday, January 28, 2011

Things I Like....Things I Don't Like

The beauty of having a blog is that you can write as much for you as for anyone else.   There are no deadlines, no editors, no work pressures.   With that in mind, this blog post is for me!

Things I like in the hobby
    by Brent Oman

1.  Mounted mapboards in boardgames.  I admit it...if a boardgame has a mounted map, I'll buy it.  I think it goes back to my childhood and the thrill of opening up the latest Avalon Hill game and unfolding those glorious mounted maps.   A paper or card map leaves me totally cold....but a mounted map?    Yowza - I don't even care how much the game costs...sign me up!

2.  Command control in rules.   To me - this is what a game is about - the command decisions forced onto players.  Do we really have the same decisions as generals?  No.  But - games that force tough decisions, or even better, force a choice between two bad decisions - those are the games for me.  Games without any friction or command consequence leave me cold....brrrr.

3.  Terrain that looks like terrain.   I appreciate those with a fine eye for detail, or more importantly, a flair for character and "pop" in their terrain.  That can be done with hexes, with ground mats, with squares...doesn't matter.  If the person obviously had some real soul poured into their set up, it shows.  Don't ask me to say that a game on lime green painted plywood with masking tape roads looks good....

4.  Figures and units with movement and animation.   I love units that look frantic, jumbled, and active.  In my minds eye, thats what a combat unit looks like.  Not a stately marching band appearance, all with the same pose.  

5.  I LOVE Old Glory's figures.   Huh?  Who says that??   ME.  I LOVE Old Glory's figures.   They fit everything I want in a figure, and look fantastic in units on the table.  On top of that, they're an absolutely brilliant company to deal with.

6.  Military history books with good maps.   I don't care what the subject of the book is - if it has good maps, I'm buying it.

Things I don't Like
     by Brent Oman

1.   Weird War, Zombie games, Mexican druglord games, gangster games....take your pick.   My life is busy, and when I game, I don't want my time to be wasted with "silly" topics.  Does that mean that I'm a "serious" gamer?   Hardly - the only reason for the game is to have fun.  But I think there's a huge gap between fun and silly.

2.  The smell at Historicon.  I admit, its been a couple of years since I've been to Hcon....but I can still remember the stench.   Ugh.   Its not that hard people.

3.  People wearing period hats while playing the game.   See Historicon in 2 above.   Come on people....a size 5 hat perched on a size 11 head isn't flattering.  

4.  Figure scale flame wars.   Is there a more useless waste of energy?  I've seen gorgeous 10mm games, brilliant 15mm games, beautiful 25mm games, breathtaking 40mm games....the choice of figure scale is entirely personal, and hardly a thing to debate.  I've settled on 25mm for all my periods because of two simple controlling factors - I don't enjoy painting anything smaller than 25mm, and by keeping to one figure scale, I can keep one set of terrain.   So - if you love 6mm, or 2mm or 71mm - great!  Please just make the games look nice.   See 3 above in "Things I Like".

5.  Jay Cutler.  Is there a bigger loser in the NFL???  Wow - did the Broncos do the right thing shipping that quitter off to the Bears.   Million dollar talent and a nickel heart.   Its like Jeff George has been cloned and is in the league again....

6.  Painting "competitions".   Huh?   Since every painter has his own style, and judges have their prejudices, I hardly see the point.   Does everything have to be a competition?  Why can't there just be painting displays?  I'd love to see that - how many don't enter "competitions" but would be happy to enter a "display"?

Well, enough of that.   Next time, I



  1. I like Old Glory, too. Not perfect, but their infantry and artillery crew are generally good or better, and I agree that they look great on the table. They are unbeatable for value too, of course. See the OG French Line and Landwehr on my blog. Had a poster on TMP say they would have looked better using Perry figures. Well, actually, they would have looked like - Perry figures! Very nice, very pricey, and really a bit large and chunky for my tastes, although certainly outstanding sculpts. To each their own!

  2. Ah yes - the ever vocal Perry/Foundry population! While I don't dislike those brands, they aren't my first choice. I find them a bit static, but that's my opinion. Beautifully detailed, but I don't believe them to be any more detailed or accurate than OG. Its all in the eye of the beholder.