So, my first rant...(tip of the hat to Andy Rooney)
Did you ever notice, that we as gamers are often rather highly opinionated?
Recently I was in a discussion about a set of rules. I kind of like them, but others suggested they were not that good.
For my part my opinion was based on having:
A) Read the rules, and
B) Played the game.
Having an opinion is not a bad thing, having one with out any knowledge of the topic, or revealing why you have this opinion is not good. To say that a game looks like another game, and therefore you do not want to play it is is weak. To site specific examples helps in a friendly discussion. I want to emphasize 'friendly' as if no one is likely to convince the supporter of the game to stop playing, and likewise it seems unlikely that the detractor will suddenly about face and start playing. Actual argument of this sort become pointless very fast.
I am not convinced that the other participants have done either. Instead they referenced other games by the same company and even brought up other games that have little to do with the original game being discussed. Now I have been guilty of forming opinions on games that I have not played. I am sure most of us have. I for one do not like DBA. I have read the rules and I have seen the game played, but not tried it myself, but from what I know of the game there is just an aspect of the game that I do not like. Perhaps it was the way it was played by the local gaming group, I know I did not like the look and feel of the game, the army size, and the lack of excitement exhibited by the players. I do not begrudge my friends playing the game, I just chose not to participate. I know the game has a following, and my dissing of the game would be of no value, and would be mean spirited.
One of my favorite comments that I read was someone who dismissed a game after
"glancing through the rules, I threw it up on a shelf"
Glancing, then shelving, never even testing, just a fine example of being open minded individual.
I have many rule books, it is close to an addiction. I enjoy reading the rules even if I do not wind up playing the game. It is often very interesting to see the different ways people will approach a given subject. Often I get ideas to then modify games that I do play. There are few games that I play without some changes or modifications.
On another related note, have you ever encountered someone who did not want to try a game because they did not want to invest in the figures etc. A friend of mine once went out and bought and painted a small collection of figures to test out some rules. Why? The God of gaming wasn't going to come down from high and smite him for substituting 100 year war figures for Saxons, nor would he have been pulled down to gamer hell, if he substituted WWI figures for Science fiction figures just to test out 5150. So many rules have samples available or if you are like me and just buy rules before shelling out for the figures. But why are you/we compelled to buy the figures to test the rules. As I said to my friend, you have a ton of figures that you can substitute, do so, test out the quick play rules, or the full rules, then see if you want to continue.Lead and plastic figures do not know what they are, so take the rules out for a spin, if you like them then buy the figures. Just don't tell me you did not want to buy a whole bunch of figures only to find out that the game sucks...
I just wonder is it too much to ask that we have an exchange of ideas, and do not just slam with no apparently valid reason.
There you have it my first rant, a little tame and not even one of the three topics that I was going to lead with.