Saturday 29 October 2011
It has come to my attention that not everyone understands that wargames are played in phases. Heaven forbid I thought that this was a truism that everyone knew about, but clearly not as evidences by this recent'ish thread on the Pendraken forum.
So let me review the phases of wargaming...
1. The Acquisition Phase
This is the ooh shiny I must buy it when I see right now phase that is common to all wargames. Triggered by seeing something new, generally in a shiney metallic material that grabs one's attention.
2. The Maturing Box Phase
The acquired shiny toys are placed in a suitable place for painting later, usually some sort of shoe box equivalent, but it can be a cupboard. Neither is considered superior to the other, except that cupboards tend to be larger and therefore more stuff can be maturing at the same time.
3. The Inspiration Phase
Once one has bought new and shiny things for painting one can become inspired to dream about how one is going to paint them and the the great games that one is going to play with them? This is often call the the Daydreaming Phase, and much time can be "usefully" spent here while the shiney toys mature.
4. The Planning Phase
After daydreaming, sorry being in the Inspiration Phase, one then moves on to the Planning Phase where one finds that one needs to find out more about the subject and how to paint the shiny toys. This is not a do-one-thing then do-the-next-thing model so the player can then interrupt the cycle to go back to the Acquisition Phase, so as to get the necessary extra shiny toys to meet the requirements defined from the Planning Phase. In a clever game mechanism this can result in the whole project entering the Maturing Phase for another round before going back to the Inspiration Phase.
5. The Painting Phase
Shiny toy miniatures are now prepared for painting by being placed on the work bench. Depending on the demands on the wargamers spare time, this phase can stretch out and lead to more planning. This is especially true if a new set of rules are purchased that require a re-assessment of the basing requirements, and therefore the number of figures needed for the project, which can result in another round of going through the Acquisition Phase.
6. The Playing Phase
Once the shiny toys have been painted, based and varnished they can then be lovingly deployed onto the field of battles where the likelihood is that the you will lose the game you are playing. This will cause you to reassess the need for further acquisitions of new shiny toys that will add more flexibility to the deployment of the forces, and it's ability to deliver a satisfactory victory by roundly thrashing one's opponent, or not as the case might be?
And that in a nut shell is why wargames have phases.