Monday, 17 April 2017

Why I love Table Top Gaming

It has certainly been a while since I have revisited this site, and thank you for joining me back here for this post. A lot of things have happened, including gaming wise. But before we come to those kind of posts, today I wanted to enquire why YOU love that which we call 'Table Top Gaming'!

Why do you love table top gaming?

And don't limit yourself to specific games like 40k or Dungeons & Dragons. If you play with simple coins on a desk, simulating engagements, I want to know! But more importantly, I want to know what draws you to do this?


Here are five main points of discussion I want to focus on regarding my love of the broad spectrum.

What do I define as Table Top Gaming?
Firstly, I define table top gaming as a game that can be confined to a table top, but also expanded to several if wished. A game that involves pieces, whether these are coins, figures or other items. The valuable addition of a die or dice is a key aspect to this as well, usually a medium to help direct the flow of a game in some way. Further thought would also have me attach the need for a goal; as I have yet to come across a table top game where there is no goal, even if it is simply destroy all enemy pieces. Most importantly, and may be key, is a system of rules. Whilst the rules can be as simple as, four pieces per side, and sometimes are made up as the game progresses, they are what help to contain or expand any table top game, and give it its depth.

What is its best aspects?
For me, table top gaming brings a world of unexplored land and time. Even when recreating scenes from historical battles, for example, you are exploring a time capsule that has not been visited. Though you follow a set of guidelines, this will not necessarily set the outcome of the game! It's something that draws upon a players imagination, and sometimes tactical genius. 'Where should I put this piece', 'How can I move around that obstacle'.

I liken it to a humans development. Baby's see the world as big, unexplored, unexplained, alien. As they grow, they learn, they become accustomed, they change, but they also add their own influences. This is comparable to a table top gaming and the journey one takes when playing it. At the beginning you can be unsure, stumbling over rules, over tactics, over what kind of scenarios can be used. But with each game, each thought in this gaming world, if you'd have it, you begin to develop. Not only do you develop however, you also start to help influence.

The chance to grow your own purchased, customised or self created collection, which in some instances can be painted with the challenge of trying to get those blends exactly right, and try out new techniques on highlights, undertones, eyes and weapons.

Table top gaming is extremely personal compared to other games. You're physically moving the pieces with your own body. No virtual reality to enhance it. Simply physical items, then your own imagination. It's you, the player, who design and develop this world. Its you who adapt rules within certain parameters. Players are in control here, not set within the bounds of the maker of a system or designer. You want to play Warhammer 40,000? Chess pieces, toilet roll and some small boxes could be your army and scenery for your battleground. Better yet, if you've got spare money, the desire to create, and any spare time, you could buy one of the forms of putty/clay to simply sculpt your own figures. Again, another air of personal touch.

Despite its name, it does not have to be relegated to a table. It can be played how you like, where you like. If you have the mind to do it, the space, then you can do it.

What does it bring to my life?
Table top gaming is just that, gaming. It in no way takes over reality for me, however it is something that can make life that little bit more enjoyable. At times it has served as a lovely connection between those I love, both friends and family.

With a desire to create and design, it also gives me an outlet at times to get thoughts or ideas out, which can flow into other paths of my life. Most of all, table top gaming is simply a fun way to break up the time between activities/responsibilities that can sometimes be stressful, dull or simply exhausting, and I find myself looking back at all my creations, no matter how simple or imperfect they are, and feeling pride at what I have achieved, and put forward from my own time to move toward.

Why would I encourage others to take it up?
Why not? These days there is a heavy emphasis on technology of the computer kind. Apart from getting out and playing normally, I would also encourage both children and adults alike to take part in table top gaming. It is socially rewarding, brain stimulating, but also can get you out of those normal habits of simply watching tv, texting on your phone or being on facebook, as so many of us are starting or have already gotten to the point of doing.

I think it's important that these types of things are kept alive.

What are its bad points?
If I had to say table top gaming had a bad point, it would be its addictiveness, which ties in with the need to collect at times. Best examples being things like Warhammer 40k, War Machine, so on. It can also take up a lot of space depending on what type you are doing. Collections of figures, storing gaming tables, which can in some cases be vast and intricate pieces, not just the simple flat boards that the more traditional of these are known for.

So, there are some of my thoughts, but I would really love to know yours. Please comment and I will be happy to get back to you. Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it.