Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

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joopers79
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Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by joopers79 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:22 am

Hi all. Stumbled upon this website while researching a present for my teenage son's birthday. He has been obsessed with Warhammer for the past couple of years. I really don't get it but each to their own I guess. However, this past year he has been covering WW2 in his history classes at school and has developed a particular interest in the subject. I've hinted that it might be more educational for him to pursue his passion for war games with something that has some historical context and meaning rather than pitting monsters against spacemen. (I wasn't quite that cynical). He took the point and nothing else was said. However, I would really like to source some WW2 period figures, accessories and game plans/rules etc for his birthday. But my knowledge of this pass time is limited. I've been looking for anything related to war gaming for sale online but the results are mixed and I don't really know for what or where I should be looking. Can anybody point me in the right direction? Also, is war gaming of this kind suitable for a teenager who has been playing Warhammer for the past 2 years? Is the premise the same? Or is it on a whole different level in terms of technicality? i.e. Is a teenage kid going to enjoy playing it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.

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sjwalker51
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by sjwalker51 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:09 am

Anyone who can help convert teenagers from GW to historical gaming deserves congratulations and support, but bear in mind the window of opportunity is very small before he discovers women and alcohol!

There are WW2 rules out there that have a lot in common with GW in their principals and core mechanics that would make the transition easier: 'Bolt Action' by Warlord Games is probably the best known and most widely played. The WW2 game of choice on this forum tends to be 'Chain of Command' but that's the next step when he/you want something more 'realistic' and gritty. Both are pitched at the platoon level - 30-50 men and a few supporting tanks and guns.

For figures, don't forget there are no 'Codex Approved' manufacturers for WW2! I'd go for 28mm (roughly the same size as GW) - you'll be amazed how relatively cheap they are. Figures of this size have more character than the smaller ones. Warlord do some hard plastic boxed sets and there are an abundance of lovely figures in metal from the likes of Artizan Design, Wargames Foundry, The Assault Group etc.

If he wants more 'epic' WW2 games with loads of tanks and other kit, consider downsizing to either 20mm (lots of plastic stuff available) or 15mm figures, using the 'Flames of War' rules. I've not used them but they've had a popular following.

Most important question, I guess, is where are you based and are there any local historical gaming clubs you could check out? Easiest way of getting into it, and then play whatever rules they play to start with.

But always keep at the back of your mind that, ultimately, he (and you?) should be playing CofC! :-)

Hope this helps as a starting point.

Archdukek
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by Archdukek » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:29 am

Hi joopers79,
Welcome to this Forum and all credit to you for making this effort to engage your son with the historical side of the hobby. I have had similar conversations with other parents when my Club has run historical games as part of public events in our museums locally. They often say that they find it hard to engage with/understand the Warhammer side of things and would be able to get engaged more if the games were more historical.

First off historical Wargaming can be just as appealing to teenagers as the Warhammer side of the hobby and there is no reason why your son won't take to it just as well. However, it can be more of a challenge to become involved since historical gamers can be an independent bunch and are more interested in following their own path than swallowing the packaged material provided by any one company. You will find that is the case in this community, but you will also find it to be a very supportive community too.

The WW2 rules produced by Too Fat Lardies, namely Chain of Command and I Ain't Been Shot Mum, are in my view the best on the market, but I am not going to steer you in that direction just yet. They need some background knowledge and benefit from being introduced by an experienced player. So I am going to be a heretic and in your case recommend a different option which your son may find easier to get into since it shares some of the mechanisms of Warhammer 40K and was developed and written by the authors of those rules.

I therefore recommend you check out the Bolt Action rules and accompanying figures and supporting material produced by their publisher Warlord Games. Many Warhammer players have made the transition to historical gaming using this entry route and the Bolt Action community is a lively one so your son should find it easy to find other players. They have produced a vast range of figures and vehicles for the hobby so you will have plenty of choice. A new version of the rules is due to be published very shortly so there are a number of introductory packages available.

You can find out more about it by visiting their website http://www.warlordgames.com

The great benefit your son will find is that the figures and vehicles he acquires for that game can be used to play Chain Of Command or IABSM once he is ready to make the transition to a more historical set of tactical challenging rules. He will then find a warm welcome here.

John

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Seret
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by Seret » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:59 am

One thing worth bearing in mind is that he'll need someone to play against. There's no point buying him miniatures if he hasn't got opponents to play against. Do any of the people he plays Warhammer with also play historical games? Is he part of a wargames club that has people playing other games?

If not then I'd suggest that he wouldn't get a lot of benefit out of the miniatures. It might be worth trying to find a local club or shop where people are playing historical games and encouraging him to go along. It might turn out not to be WW2 that piques his interest, maybe he would like to play Samurai or WW1 aerial games, or something else entirely? As a teenager it was all about moderns for me, I was fighting the hypothetical battles of the Cold War gone hot.

joopers79
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by joopers79 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:20 am

joopers79 wrote:Hi all. Stumbled upon this website while researching a present for my teenage son's birthday. He has been obsessed with Warhammer for the past couple of years. I really don't get it but each to their own I guess. However, this past year he has been covering WW2 in his history classes at school and has developed a particular interest in the subject. I've hinted that it might be more educational for him to pursue his passion for war games with something that has some historical context and meaning rather than pitting monsters against spacemen. (I wasn't quite that cynical). He took the point and nothing else was said. However, I would really like to source some WW2 period figures, accessories and game plans/rules etc for his birthday. But my knowledge of this pass time is limited. I've been looking for anything related to war gaming for sale online but the results are mixed and I don't really know for what or where I should be looking. Can anybody point me in the right direction? Also, is war gaming of this kind suitable for a teenager who has been playing Warhammer for the past 2 years? Is the premise the same? Or is it on a whole different level in terms of technicality? i.e. Is a teenage kid going to enjoy playing it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.


Thanks for the pointers guys. Quite a lot to take in but I've certainly got a better idea of what I am looking for now. Getting him involved with a local club is a great idea. He is already involved with a local Warhammer club but I have no idea whether or not they play any of the games mentioned above also. I will investigate. In terms of purchasing the game once he has decided on one, is there any benefit or saving to be had by sourcing figures and games for sale online from classified ads or auction websites such as http://www.for-sale.ie/ (we're based in the Republic of Ireland) or is it advisable to just deal directly with the manufacturer in question? Or is a mix of both acceptable?

Archdukek
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by Archdukek » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:18 am

Historical Wargaming miniatures, vehicles and rules can be purchased from a wide range of suppliers, unlike the near monopoly created by Games Workshop, which does make it a bit more complicated a market to navigate. It isn't walk into a GW store, place down large amounts of cash and walk out with whatever they are promoting at the time. However, that has advantages too in terms of the range of choice available.

Purchasing Wargames figures is like buying any other item on line or via ads. Yes you will sometimes get a bargain, but other times you may end up with a mix of figures you want and some you don't need. Some of the online re-sellers will offer a reduction on the box set or rules but charge more for postage, others can take a long time to deliver while others will provide an excellent service. A browse around some Wargaming websites like The Miniatures Page will give you an idea of who has a good reputation.

Most wargame figure manufacturers are small businesses, sometimes producing figures as a sideline, so buying direct can encourage them to produce more of what you want. Larger operations like Warlord Games are full time operations with a number of staff who both produce and sell their own figures and rules, while others like North Star Military Figures (www.northstarminiatures.com) are distributors for a range of wargaming products some of which they produce under licence. Both are experienced and professional companies to deal with.

Initially I would recommend purchasing from the manufacturer or a major supplier. Once you are more familiar with the market you can shop around. If you can make contact with a local Club its members should be able to give you some recommendations.
John

siggian
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by siggian » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:03 pm

As far as where to purchase figures goes, the first question to ask is whether you want them already painted or not. Online sales can have already painted figures but the quality can be all over the place. This is the expensive route. There are also painting services out there too and they range in quality and price.

For me, I buy and paint my figures. It's a bit of a labour of love as I am a very slow painter. But I really do appreciate when I am done and I am proud of what I have produced. They are never going to win awards but I still enjoy remembering how much research and work I put into them.

Kommissar Hedgehog
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by Kommissar Hedgehog » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:34 pm

I'm barely a few years older than your son so I suppose I should offer some suggestions too.

I love military history, so often it's a labour of love putting together the figures, getting excited by the period, researching the stories of the forces involved etc. I think it'd be worthwhile, particularly for us disparate youths who have short attention spans! What I'd suggest is that along with buying a set of figures (get two forces unless you're certain there are other people in the area who have forces available - perhaps unlikely given you're asking these questions in the first place!) is that you can a DVD of some TV show or film that relates to the figures. The example here that springs to mind is that you get Band of Brothers.
Although no fan of that series myself, it is awesome inspiration for all kinds of paratrooper shenanigans. One of the draws of Warhammer is that it's lore (although not my cup of tea) is cool. World War II is ideal for being made fascinating and exciting too (I'd rather not use the word "cool" to describe it) with all the literature and great films about it. I've never been into them but commando comics might be worth a look too.
To add to Band of Brothers you'd then get a box set of paratroopers and a box set of Germans for them to face. Perhaps a tank or two to make the paratroopers look tougher.
Now you have inspiration and a force to go with it. I guess your budget isn't infinite, but a pretty table with a building or two, lots of hedges and bocage and a few trees will make it into a really cinematic battle.
I got into historicals myself once I realised what a wonderful tool the internet is for organising games and meeting people with the same interests as me.

With all this said, I'm an old soul so playing with a bunch of guys old enough to be my father (or grandfather) isn't a problem for me. For him, playing with the rather hyperactive sort of nerd (ugh), playing with the old folks and his boring old dad (with all due respect of course) mightn't be so much of a draw. As such, be prepared for the possibility that these figures may end up at the back end of the painting queue in perpetuity.
The wargamers my age are all playing Warhammer unfortunately, it is tiresome when a supposed "wargaming" club turns out to be nothing but a bunch of space marine players!

The one advantage is that I've never had a bad experience with a single historical player. They are to a man friendly and welcoming, especially when they understand that the future of the hobby will ultimately rest on 20 year olds like me! Warhammer players on the other hand... If they're not being hyperactive and going on about lore as if it were real.

A quick tip. If he finds painting hard to concentrate on, I'd strongly recommend audiobooks. Stuff on D-Day etc is great to listen to with little GIs and paras on the table.

For rules, I'll echo the members here with recommending Bolt Action, it's pretty similar to Warhammer and the support base to it is similar. The plastic kits he will feel right at home with and one box set of plastic soldiers will make a fine army that can be brought over to Chain of Command immediately should he feel the need to scratch the realism and tactics itch.

The objectives for these games are almost always the same ultimately. The defeat of the enemy.

Best of luck!

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changl09
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Re: Advice needed by somebody with no clue whatsoever!

Post by changl09 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:00 am

I don't know why people worship Bolt Action though: the grand majority of the crowd seem to have picked up Bolt Action because they wanted an alternative to Warhammer 40k, and yet BA is basically an extremely streamlined 40K with random activation thrown in.
Here in Japan I run BA once in a while at my local AFV modeler club to demonstrate to the local populace that they don't have to build scale models just to put them on the shelf, and that the rules are in Japanese. If I can get CoC in Japanese I would run that in a heartbeat.

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