Interlude: Games I play part I: Science Fiction

OK, I’m sort of on a roll, so I’ll let myself get a little bit expository with this one.

You could probably get the idea from looking at this blog so far that I’m a “40K guy”. A year ago, though, if you’d asked me if I played 40K, I’d have basically scoffed. While 40K was what got me into wargaming, and I played it a lot in the past, I’ve been away from the game for a good… 7 or 8 years at least, as I think of it. The last time I played a lot was with my group in Fukuoka, up until 2005 when I went back to the States for grad school. I played a bit there as well, but began to drop off, and by the time I came back to Japan in 2008 it was pretty well back-burnered. I couldn’t say exactly what it was, but being a poor grad student and unable to collect and paint probably had a lot to do with it.

I have always liked the universe, though, for all its ridiculous over-the-top silly grimdarkness, and 4 or 5 years ago I got it into my head to use Advanced Space Crusade (of all things) as an excuse to collect and paint some models. ASC was a game I’d bought in high school, right when it was released, and had fun with, and while its considerable warts kept me from playing it a lot, I always liked the idea of the game, and held on to the rulebook, counters and boards. So I figured, why not try to hammer it into shape? And a few years of houseruling and fiddling have put the game in a place where it’s good fun to play, I think! And it just so happened that a good-sized ASC marine force was also a solid core of an army for 40K when rumors of 8th edition suggested the game was going to good (or at least better) places than it’d been for a bit.

But really, my first and greatest love in the 40K universe is Epic. Also when I was in high school, I split a box of Adeptus Mechanicus with a friend, and then Space Marine, and I was hooked. I still feel very strongly that Epic: Armageddon remains the strongest set of wargaming rules GW has ever produced – not perfect, but very nearly so. Sadly, the game is ten years dead, which makes it hard to get people interested in picking it up – but I have like 8 armies, so my solution has been to host an “Epicstravaganza” event every year or so where I loan armies out, and I usually get 7 or 8 people to show up, so that’s OK.

Recently, a couple guys in the club and I have branched out into Hawk Wargames’ Dropzone and Dropfleet Commander games, and they’re certainly good fun (although the lack of a command and control mechanism in the former leaves a big gaping hole in my heart), but fundamentally it just hasn’t been able to get a critical mass going locally, so it’s basically me and one other guy who both play and show up to games days regularly. And he’s a nice guy, but playing the same matchup over and over starts to drag after a bit.

And those are my big SF games. I have a couple Necromunda gangs kicking around, and recently sold off my Battlefleet Gothic fleet after noticing I hadn’t played in like 6 years, and am constantly low-grade tempted by Infinity, but fundamentally that’s sort of the limit for how many games of one genre I can juggle at once.

So that’s the first bit of the holy trinity of wargaming, and the one that I’m most heavily invested in. But historicals and fantasy wargaming do both have a place in my heart! Later posts will talk about that.

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Author: chubugamer

I'm an American who has been living (and gaming) in Japan since the mid-90s.

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