Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Is bigger always better?

Hello Wargamers!

For those of you who didn't immediately read that title as an innuendo, I congratulate you, as for the rest of us, it can't be helped, I know. Now you might be wondering what this blog post is all about and why it's taken me so long to get to the point, good question, the answer? Game size.

Playing at the University wargaming society I got a distinct feeling that the minimum kind of sized game people want to be playing is 1500 points. I thought to myself if this was a good or bad thing more recently. When I look at a bigger game I think "that's so cool" when all the miniatures are painted up and ducking behind terrain or charging into combat. But the problem is people aren't painting mini's any more apparently, so 1500 points starts to look very grey. So is it more fun? well I guess it can be but it takes a lot longer than smaller games for obvious reasons, Sometimes it can seem that games that last too long become more dull, especially if it becomes a slaughterfest. That being said, if you have the time and energy and most importantly the painted models, 1500 points is great, upwards of this is probably similar, I know that 1850 and 2000 are two other values often played, but what about smaller games?

Well games of 1000 points or less seem to slip under the radar. Arguably just as fun, cheaper and easier to have everything painted for I'm baffled as to why it's not more popular. I suppose you get to use more of your collection in bigger games but if it's unpainted does it feel the same, simply? No, it doesn't. I completely understand you should take your time and build up your collection in your own time, it's your hobby and you shouldn't let anyone rush you, but this is where smaller points games come in. With less to be assembled and painted it easier to have a complete army, it becomes an incentive. I once stayed up all night before a game at 12 in the afternoon just to paint up my last 250 points, and it was so worth it to see a completed army on the table. Is it terrible to have a few unpainted mini's on the board, no not at all, is it terrible to have an unpainted army on the board, in my opinion, yes, its a travesty. Having played a few 500-750 points games lately to experiment I can tell you now they are just as fun.

So what did I take away from writing this and looking into this exercise? It's all about balance. Build up to the bigger games when you are more comfortable with your army, or the game if it's your first army and then as you paint more you'll pick up the game and you can then start looking at 1500+ points games. If you are just starting out, look to 500-750 points, I'll probably be doing a blog post on a few low points list ideas for each faction at some point so keep your eyes peeled. Once you've then got the models painted, go to 1000 and then try to crack 1500, that's how I tried it and I'm happy with how much I picked up in the early days that has helped me develop into a more rounded gamer now. I think most importantly though, do what makes you happy, this is only from my experience and is my personal opinion, if you like bigger games with less painted mini's or just bigger games then play them, just make sure that you and your opponent are happy playing to the same size.

Thanks for reading



  1. Great article and I agree, these days I try and only play with what is painted. A far cry from my half painted 3000pt WFB armies.

    1. Thanks! and Yeah, that's the principle I've tried having from the start. Who doesn't love having their full painted army on the table?