My partner recently (like moments ago) asked me to help her understand my gaming better. This could not have been a more perfect moment for me. The essence and my original intent of the War Dolls – girls celebrating the girl gamer (or those interested in it) coming together with the person who has my heart. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to see if I could effectively break down the basics of gaming, having been firmly ensconced in the hobby for the last 2 millennia. So here we go.
This one is for all of you new Dolls.
Boardgames – These are easy enough. You probably played these as a kid. Pretty easy right? There are some (Settlers of Catan, Game of Thrones) that are more intense, with more complex rules and in depth strategy others (Candyland, Monopoly), but they boil down to game pieces on a board of some sort. Chess is probably the most basic example of boardgame that everyone knows.
Card games – “I know these!” Well you think you do. 😉 Go Fish, Uno, Gin Rummy, Poker. Yes these are pretty commonly known, but then you get into Magic, YuGiOh, Munchkin. These are are still essentially the same sort of versus game, but with different rules and mechanics. These are usually ‘collectable card games’ where you have to purchase booster packs, not knowing what you will get. The rarer cards in these collections are usually the more powerful ones.
Dice Games – I wasn’t quite sure of basic versions of dice games other than craps (there are apparently, alot). There are a few ‘geeky’ versions of dice games, like Dragon Dice and Catan Dice Game. Some of these are collectable as well.
Roleplaying games (RPG) – This genre is usually broken down into “Massive Multiplayer Online…”, “live action” and “pen and paper”. The latter two are games where the players take on the roles of characters that explore a world of a Gamemaster’s (GM) design/telling. The former is done entirely online, most often with the computer playing the part of the GM. Pen and Paper happens mostly in your imagination, and you decide what your character does. Dice rolls determine how successful these actions are. In a LARP, you usually perform the actions yourself and combat is handled with soft foam (boffer) weapons or rock paper scissors.
Miniature games – These are a bit more like boardgames than any of the others but usually on a larger scale and a bit more freeform. There are computer/console versions of these as well, usually called Real Time Strategy (RTS), we’re mainly concerned with the physical versions today though. Like chess, you have your game pieces, but usually you assemble and paint them yourself (this can be a hobby unto itself). Each game piece, like in chess, usually has it’s own abilities and special rules. In some Miniature games, you have whole groups or squads of pieces rather than just one. Movement in these games is usually done with tape measure and across a table, rather than on a game board. The interaction between the game pieces varies according to the different rulesets. Like the RPG, the action takes place in the imagination.
There are also several crossovers between these groupings, but I believe I’ve covered the basics.
The point of games are for fun and entertainment. For a lot of the above there are competitions in the form of tournaments and leagues. As with anything where there is a reward at the end, people can get pretty serious about their game. It’s easy to be intimidated by the more hardcore players, but the level of involvement is of course up to you. Even they started with just a few figures. 😉
Game on, Doll!