Can you remember the exact moment you became a wargamer? I\'ve read accounts of people (okay, just men) who got their first look at a wargame table or an army in a glass cabinet and were hooked for life. Not so for me. As a youth, I was a proud role-player. Dungeons & Dragons, MERP, GURPS, Call of Cthulhu and dozens more lined my shelves, but as the years passed, I seemed to spend more and more time painting miniatures to accompany the games than I did actually playing the games themselves. My first miniature army consisted of Mithril Miniatures Orcs mounted on rough-hewn basal wood bases, and was assembled without thought to a rules system or ever fielding them against an opponent.
After I left University and easy access to role-playing groups, I spent even more time painting miniatures and began to look for ways to use them in solo games. My first real forays into wargaming used modified role-playing systems and thus tended to be overly complicated and rather clunky on the tabletop. Still, it was enough to keep me interested.
As the years passed, I moved onto other systems, true wargames, though usually still fantasy or science fiction. Warhammer Fantasy, and many a homebrewed system took over my hobby time. In those days I was all about tables and charts; the more complicated a system the better. I didn\'t mind spending hours to resolve a turn.
I\'m older now (though I hesitate to say I\'ve matured), and I once again feel I\'m going through a change in my gaming preferences. I no longer have the time or energy for overly complicated systems. I just want to push some figures around and roll some dice, without any algebra involved.
Interestingly enough, this seems to be exactly the philosophy touted by Battlegames Magazine, which claims to represent the spirit of “Old School” wargaming. To date, I have read all eight issues of the magazine and enjoyed them all to a greater or lesser extent. So, I have begun to wonder, am I becoming an old-school wargamer? Is it possible to grow into the old-school?
I suppose only time will tell. Right now, my favourite rules set is Savage World, which, I would guess most old-schoolers would find a bit overly complex. Also, I think I spend a lot more time painting individual miniatures than most. Still, the old-schoolers have one very important thing going for them - they rarely seem to forget that the main reason behind the whole hobby is just to have fun.