Years ago I went to the Grimsby Wargaming club. They have a rule of no unpainted figures on the table. By painted they mean a minimum of three colours of paint. I guess that this is probably about the minimum requires to paint a naked figure. This strikes me as someone, somewhere has put some thought into it but it also strikes me that someone is trying to push their own agenda. It also strikes me that there are people out there that want to break the system, like making something out of 100% GW parts.
|I guess making a figure out of their sprue counts as 100% GW parts|
This is a blog mainly about painting figures so what I argue might seems a little counter intuitive. It is true that I like playing games with painted figures. It would love to play games using nothing but Kev Dallimore painted figures in all their exquisite glory. I live in the real world and I know that I don't have that kind of money.
Grey is grey. It is difficult to tell the differences between units if they are all the same single colour and this is the really core of what painted figures mean to me. To me that is the long and short of it. I have a friend who used to describe bases of miniatures as pretty painted counters. Although I riled at it back then, I do kind of see the point he is trying to make. Wargaming rules frequently dispense with reality but that does not mean we dispense with rules.
Having played games for the best part of forty years now, I have to say I prefer painted figures. I recognise the nature of most gamers works against this. Most of us will not sit down and paint an army in a week or even a month. It can take months or even a year to get everything done. Most of us lack the ability to maintain the focus required for this. What I have found is that if you start painting an army, you want to play it. If you don't use it, you go on to the next thing that is catching your attention.
It stops people playing on the spur of the moment ideas. I have seen a few games that only use unpainted 1/72 plastic kit figures. It might not be pretty but it is gaming. They wre embracing a chance to play experimental games that didn't cost three hundred pounds to buy and six months to paint.
All of us use rules, that is part of what gaming is about. When it comes to wargaming most of us tinker with the rules. I am used to the free and easy side of gaming. I am never that sure that I like the idea that a club committee dictates how I play a game and the spirit that I play it in. So if you are going to potentially tinker with rules if not throw them out and start with a different ruleset, then, all least when you are starting out, why base them. As games mature you would expect to have all the figures based and painted but making it a require stifles creativity and leaves each wargaming with a lead mounted of expensive dust collectors.