Fictional Histories is a Fine Art project that seeks to analyze the world of tabletop gaming and looks to use the voice of the hobby to tell the stories of the men and women who engage in the hobby community. This work was among 4 others that were displayed at the Gatewood Gallery in May of 2017.
This is the third of those pieces presented in the show, here showcasing an interview with one of my long time friends and opponents Chris formerly from "Sippin' on Paint Water" now contributing to the blog-o-sphere through Gloria in Morte. Chris is a skilled painter and modeler, the resident "how did you paint that?!!" guy of the group so to say, it's not uncommon to see intricate unit badges on the sleeves of 15mm soldiers, or to look at his host of carefully converted Death Guard with horrifying disgust. While his recent move has taken his forces appearance on the blog to a reduced regularity, we still find time on occasion to throw tiny plastic warriors into pitched battles. When I talked to him about the most memorable moment in gaming for him he pointed more towards a time period, a stretch of time around the release of 6th edition 40k, that spanned around a year where the group of us began entering into the 15mm generic sci-fi scene. I chose to capture that time period by looking at one of the absolute earliest battles between the two of us, the Battle for Sellas.
I can't speak to any one person's reasons for playing a tabletop game, or becoming more involved in a wargaming community. I do think that it has something to do with a sense of camaraderie or shared interest in a creative outlet. I think it's good in general, more people means more money in the hobby, a broader variety of interests to fuel the hobby's expansion. I think we'll see more and different ways that people choose to integrate it into their interactions with others, especially in a digital way.
I've had some long term projects, I've had large projects, but I think the single best gaming experience had to be when I started into 15mm sci-fi as a genre of interest. It's got less to do with science fiction and collecting lots of cool and affordable miniatures, and more to do with my exploration of that community as a digital presence and in a more real way with my close friends who started into that process at the same time. It allowed me to experience it as an individual, as part of a small group and with a sense of belonging to a sort of hobby diaspora.
so you would say like the PGCC and the stuff we did as part of that rush in the beginning was more rewarding because it was entirely our thing. like because it was crafted entirely from our small group it held more significance than it would have if we had moved from mainline 40k play to like infinity or something
Yes, not because the bigger games lack value, or good game design, but more because there is a certain amount of organic enthusiasm and creativity in something that is less polished. 15mm sci-fi is more of a sandbox setting for gaming, there are rules but no one set is king, there are great minis but the companies that make them don't have add budgets or marketing just a product that gets people excited and wanting to share it with folks who like it as much as they do. It might not be the best formula for long term success, but it is earnest and engaging in a way that something more established can't be.