Some people give me funny or quizical looks when I tell them I play miniatures games. It’s funny that other people, who might be into video games, or whatever other hobbies they’re into, can question this hobby. But since they do, I’ll explain some of the reasons I play miniatures games.
The primary reason is that it’s fun. This should be the primary reason you do any hobby, really.
It Challenges Me
I’m a guy who loves to think. I like debates, I enjoy researching stuff, I just really like all kinds of stuff that makes me use my brain. Miniatures games fall into that category. Whether it’s trying to create an army list that can take on a variety of threats, or even the tactics that I have to use on the table. Before the game, I have to determine what forces I’m going to bring, how they might react to threats, how they’ll interact together, and work them into the agreed-upon points limit. During a game, I have to not only execute my own plans, but react to my opponent’s plans swiftly. It’s a “rush” to me to learn that a unit on my opponent’s side is a more serious threat than I expected and then figure out how to divert some of my offensive ability to neutralize it (or just neutralize it through other means, such as slowing it down and preventing it from doing too much damage). It’s a lot of thinking, and you get to pit your own cognitive abilities against someone else’s in real time.
Speaking of “someone else,” you always have at least one opponent, sometimes more, and sometimes you have allies on your side. Miniatures games always involve interacting with other people personally, not through a computer or phone or some other medium. And often, it’s not just about telling each other what your models are doing on the table. It’s also about joking with each other, sometimes having side conversations during the game, and having a good time. Between games, gamers often chat, hang out during a lunch break, all that good social stuff. Social interaction is important for people, and miniatures games help fill that role. In the header image for this article, you can see multiple people around one table to play a game together.
It Lets Me Express My Artistic Side
This one’s a biggie for me. I love art. I’ve always enjoyed drawing from a young age. Miniatures games also let me indulge in modeling and painting. Since it’s not a strict model and you can change things up to your imagination’s limits, there’s a lot more variety to what you can do than in working on normal models. Once the models are assembled, you can paint them as you like. Trying to find a nice paint scheme and implement it is a fun little challenge, and I love showing off the finished product, whether it’s the dishonored Knight I just finished, some Wood Elf Rangers from The Hobbit, or a Tomb Kings Warsphinx (I’ll have those latter models up on the site when I can get some proper photos).
There you have it. It’s a social hobby that lets me interact in enjoyable ways with other people, challenges my cognitive abilities, and lets me express my artistic abilities in a 3D medium.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend stopping by a game store, checking out some people playing games, and maybe trying a demo game yourself. You might just find you enjoy it yourself!