Thursday, July 5, 2012

CaulynDarr's Axioms of Miniature Gaming

This may end up being an abuse of the definition of axiom, but I felt a few things ought to be said while the blogging community is in the trows of resolving the cognitive dissonance that is 6th edition.  I've learned things about gaming in the time I've been gaming.  This is stuff we all probably know, but tend to conveniently forget when we go on cathartic diatribes.

Axiom 1: There is no such thing as a perfect game.  

Most games have problems.  Play them enough and you'll run into them face first.  Games are complex with hundreds or even thousands of variables, and you just can't account for all of them and meet publishing deadlines and budgets.  This should not be an excuse for bad quality, just an acceptance of the reality of game production.

Axiom 2: The quality of a game is secondary to the number of people you know playing it.

Hypothetically if you did find the perfect game, that wouldn't mean much if no one wanted to play it.  I got shelves of games I've bought because the rules looked very promising.  Games better and more fun than what I tend to play on a daily basis.  But games require x>1 person to play.  So if quality(Q) times players(P) equal fun(F) then Q(100)*P(0) < Q(50)*P(2).  So sometimes we play games that are not the greatest because we can actually find people to play them with.

Axiom 3: There is no such thing as the perfect game company

Game companies are businesses.  Often they have owners and employees with bills to pay and kids to put through school.  This requires them to make decisions based on profit margins over pure gaming culture ideals.  When a game company is something done by a few guys out their garage and it's done for the fun instead of the money, companies can do all kinds of idealistic things.  Unfortunately companies become the victims of their own success.  As they grow and people livelihoods depend on the company, sometimes ideals have to take a back seat to reality.  Even if a company where to hold on to the bulk of it's idealism, you can't make everyone happy all the time.  Sometimes a company that does everything right will eventually piss you off.

Axiom 4: Never ever sell off an army.

I break this one a lot.  I've never sold an army or bulk of models and not regretted it later.  If a new edition comes along and you're stuff sucks, it's cheaper in the long run to store it for later.  In two years the next edition will make it the new hotness, or It'll be the only thing your gaming group wants to play 6 months down the road.  Of course if you're getting out the hobby all together...yeah, like that's going to happen.


  1. I agree with you.

    I sold my StormRaven, a little glad I didn't end up selling the GK's. Kind of wish I still had the Raven.

    at the same time, I'm sort of glad I'm not sinking $80 for a rulebook, and another large chunk of change to make my 40K armies 'competitive'

    I think what I'm getting tired of is people telling us 'play 40K or quit bloggging'

    I'm perfectly content with the fact that a Sherman, is a Sherman. It will always be a Sherman.

    1. I have no problem with the Flames posts. I quite like them because I do think Flames of War is a good game. I also have no problem with people being critical or negative.

      I just think everyone needs to take a deep breath before posting and not spend so much time nerd-raging and counter-nerd-raging. Being angry a lot gets page hits and a 100 comment, but it's not as useful to the hobby in the long run as things like the color theory posts. Which, by the way, where some of the best miniature gaming articles ever.

    2. That's why I take a deep breath, and try to sleep on an idea before I write a post. Which also tends to lead to one of the other guys posting about an idea before I flesh out how I want to approach it. Usually because I chat with SandWyrm as I drive home, and he's got a lot more time to write than I do.

    3. The first 3 axioms are all quite true. Pricing, of course, affects my expectations of perfection.

      I don't regret selling my Guard at all. Well, maybe slightly when Stelek posted his blob-o-doom idea today. But that's a temporary death star at best. It's not worth chasing. I REALLY like the toys (an iPad and a Wacom Cintiq) that I got with the money. They make me happy every time I use them.

    4. I have Eldar models I sold off in high-school that I wish I still had.

    5. I have epic failed at the "don't sell your army" one a number of times. There are a few I regret selling. I have never sold enough at one time to be able to buy a Cintiq (I wish!), but I have gotten enough to buy another army that I'll sell off later.

      I 100% agree with #2. I think there are a TON of really good games out there (Infinity, Malifaux, MERCS, etc.), but it's not worth the time or money buying into them when you can't get an opponent. There are also a number of people stuck onto one game and one game only that they won't even give other games a serious try.

      #3 is the one that grates on me a lot in that people (not just any one person...a LOT of people!) complain soooo much about one particular company over and over. It just gets old.

    6. I've been tempted to check out Mercs. Especially since I think those guys are local to Indy. And Infinity probably has the best sculpts in the industry right now. So many games, so little time.

      I may complain about that certain company some times too. They do often do things that make no sense to me. However I see certain other companies pull the same sort of stuff and no one in the community bats an eyelash.

  2. I love both of you guys, even Sandwyrm. I miss you on the table tops Farmpunk. The game should be fun. And between us 3 and the fence post, that is where things went wrong. When someone loses a lot they will often quit, or if they care will try something different. I hope we can all just get along and be one happy family again. I just detest negativity and try to push the optimistic side of everything. Sorry if I have come off too strong.

    1. Peace.

      Personally, I find optimism much more compelling when the problems to overcome are recognized honestly. Else it's impossible to find a meaningful solution to a problem and move on. Optimism without realism is therefore grating to me and I'm sorry if I was grating in return. But I just wasn't hearing anything real in what you had to say.

      Blame it on a childhood spent around too many mentally ill people.

      I will also say (without naming any names) that it's frustrating to be surrounded by people more negative than I am about the game, and then get criticized online by those same people for voicing opinions less extreme than what I hear from them ALL THE TIME. So please, if you don't want me to absorb and reflect that negativity in my posts, don't dump it on me. Let's talk about happier things when we're together.

      Again, peace.

    2. I am by no means an optimist, but sometimes you have to accept the things that cannot change and like them for what they are. GW and 40K are like that. They will never ever achieve what is in their full potential, but the game exists as kind of a base universal language for all table top gamers. It's there, it exists, and its good enough. It's like McDonalds. If McDonalds charged $20 for a cheeseburger.

    3. You know what is funny is that if you look at the 4 of us you get 2 optimist and 2 pessimist. Farm and I are optimist and Caulyn and Sand are pessimist. It doesn't mean that anyone is better just different. I manage people all day and don't like to hear people whine and complain because of my glass half full mentallity. How your guys days go and your type might affect how you act as well.

      And Sand, I just don't think I am the same as either of you three on an intelligence or analytical level. I just do and believe. More on faith and experience.

      Love you guys!

    4. I like to think I am an eternal optimist myself. Maybe it's a bit pessimistic to think that maybe others look at me as a pessimist instead.

      I play these games to hang out with friends and have a good time rolling dice and moving little plastic men around on a table. Everything else is insignificant.

    5. I have the same problem Toten.