For myself, I guess I think back to when I was thirteen when I can say I officially started in the hobby when I was introduced to The Sword and Flame rules playing back to back Zulu War battles. I was hooked.
Here are some thoughts on why start into the Historical Miniature Wargaming hobby:
- If you enjoy painting historical miniatures or models then this is the hobby for you. Rather than just have planes hang from the ceiling just collecting dust, these planes can move around the table shooting down other planes. Model tanks painted up to run on flat beds in a model train table can now drive anywhere on the table firing away, with all sorts of vehicles on fire. You get to paint all sorts of miniatures/models. You can also paint in any scale you want within certain range bands for land, air or naval miniatures.
- Gaming is a main component of the hobby. If you enjoy gaming with friends or meet new people, there are lots of opportunities to game. You can go to conventions, local clubs, or meet-ups. If you don't want to game with other people, you can just do solo gaming. Before I discovered a local club, I did a lot of solo gaming and enjoyed it. On the other hand gaming with other people is a great way to meet new opponent and some or many may become friends.
- Do you enjoy military history? This hobby has lots of opportunities to learn more about all sorts of aspects of military history. I would probably be still stuck reading about WWII if I had not got into the hobby. I've learned so much more and discovered I enjoy learning about different periods. I still enjoy WWII, but wow, the hobby has opened my eyes. Fellow people in the hobby enjoy showing you their period and enjoy answering your questions. Even if you don't know anything about a period, you don't have to feel intimidated on the game table, the games are for fun. If you don't have fun, try a different game. You can share your military history knowledge via club newsletter articles, a blog, or during a game you run.
- As mentioned earlier, the hobby is a great way to meet people who share your enjoyment either for painting, gaming or military history. I guess for me it is gaming and military history. I think the way to go is to join in a local gaming club, hopefully a Historical Miniature Wargaming club, that way you are not distracted by non-historical miniature gaming or board games. Over the years I've been lucky to belong to three different clubs. I highly recommend it. You may not get along with everyone, but there are definitely others there that you will enjoy.
Any single choice above is a good reason to get in the hobby. If you can check off all four above, there is no reason you should not be in the hobby.
In this day-in-age there are many choices in what you can do as a hobby. Certainly computer gaming is the easiest, but Historical Miniature Wargaming is great fun. To be in the hobby, you don't have to own any miniatures or paint any, you can just show up and enjoy the games other people put on. There is always a need for more gamers around the tables.
Are you considering getting into the hobby or just want to sample it? Feel free to contact me for advice (eegist at hotmail.com).