Miniature Wargaming

Ever thought of wargaming? Our newest volunteer Alexander introduced the SAcommunity team to this hobby and there are four war gaming clubs listed in the directory: Garrison Wargaming Club, Group North Historical Wargames SocietyHarlequin Halls and the Southern Wargaming Club.

Find out more about Alexander’s experience of this both artistic and strategic hobby below:

What is war-gaming?
Miniature Wargaming is a hobby that appeals to a large and diverse group of people, from all over the world.  It incorporates artistic, tactical and social skills to create a unique gaming experience that has existed for over 100 years.

How did you become involved?
I began Miniature Wargaming in 2006, and have stuck with it ever since.  What initially drew me to the hobby was the grand set pieces and dioramas that unfolded during the games, when players pitted two fully painted armies against each other in an equally painted and detailed landscape the results can look spectacular!  I was instantly hooked.

What is it that makes war-gaming so interesting?
I consider miniature Wargaming as a blend of four key aspects that combine to create one experience; building, painting, playing, and socializing.  Most miniatures are boxed as grey, plastic sprues, and need to be assembled with glue before they can be used.  There are of course, instructions on assembly, but I know many people who combine multiple kits, from multiple manufacturers to make entirely unique models and collections. 

Painting is one of the major aspects of miniature wargaming.  As most miniatures originate as grey plastic or resin, it is up to the wargamer to paint the model in any way they like! When I first started, I can’t say I was very good at this, but even putting some base colours onto miniatures can look good when they are fielded en-mass on the tabletop!  Nevertheless, after a while I began to learn painting techniques such as shading, highlighting and dry-brushing.  To some people, this is the main aspect of miniature wargaming, and they will spend hours on individual miniatures, to create genuine masterpieces, and it’s always amazing to see these on display in competitions and photos.

Playing is the most obvious aspect of miniature wargaming, and for many (me included!) the most fun.  Most miniature wargames are played using dice and measuring tools (usually a tape measure), to move armies of miniatures around a table, and fight against each other using a combination of luck and strategy.

While the games themselves are relatively simple, the strategy that surrounds games can be incredibly layered.  Combining everything from what you intend to bring to the table, to how you move models and what opposing models you engage first, which can mean the difference between victory or defeat.

How does war-gaming capture the imagination of the community?
The gaming aspect of miniature wargaming receives a lot of attention from the community.  Games are often recorded or streamed online, and get hundreds of thousands of views.  Huge articles and forums exist, discussing the minutia of various games, and factions within those games, and tournaments are held regularly all over the world.  I personally know of about 15 that happen in SA annually, from massive 100 attendee events such as ‘Terracon’ held in Naracoorte, to more local tournaments, usually held in Adelaide and the suburbs.

How does wargaming help people connect?
I believe socialization is a large aspect of miniature wargaming. When I first joined my club of wargamers, I knew few people outside of family and school friends, but I grew to know everyone at the club personally, and became good friends with the majority of them.  These friendships have lasted far longer than many of my school contacts, and still continues to this day.  I have found miniature wargaming appeals to a diverse group of cultures, ages and ethnicities. I have managed to form an extensive web of contacts, and experienced many different cultures and opinions through my interactions at the club.  I believe miniature wargaming, and the people I have met have had a large impact on my life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.

Interested? Contact one of the wargaming clubs listed today and find out more.

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