Black Swamp Wargaming stages strategic battlesWritten by Mighty Wyte (Matt Feher) | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cold, dark, dreary days and long frigid nights can make winter seem like it never ends. Fortunately, there are some fun things to do indoors during the “unfriendly” season.
HobbyTown USA, located just off Airport Highway in Holland, plays host to wargamers. War-gaming is turn-based strategic combat gaming that employs the use of miniature figures, artillery, detailed scale environments, cards, dice and some very dedicated participants.
Store manager Ben Bostedor heads Black Swamp Wargaming, a group of miniature gamers who meet regularly to engage in battle.
“We play just about everything here,” Bostedor said. From the hugely popular “Warhammer 40k” and “Warhammer Fantasy,” “HeroClix,” “Flames of War” and “Magic: The Gathering,” Black Swamp Wargaming has something for everyone.
“Everyone needs a hobby,” Bostedor said. “A lot of gamers play video games, I play video games. However, video games end up being more of a stressor. These types of games are more relaxing. On top of that, you get face-to-face social interaction with these types of games. You get to meet some very good people and you also get to the opportunity to shake their hand and say ‘good game’ after your match. The social interaction is a positive.
“One of the more popular sets of miniature games is ‘Warhammer 40k’ and ‘Warhammer Fantasy.’ They’re turn-based tactical games set in the future. ‘HeroClix,’ on the other hand, takes comic book or video game heroes and pits them against each other. The games are all turn-based, meaning I’ll take a turn, make my attack or moves, and then you get a turn to respond. In these games you’re given a point limit, with each weapon or asset assigned a specific value. Players build their armies to meet these point values and commence battles with their purpose-built battalions,” Bostedor said.
Another highly popular and quite impressive-looking miniature game is called “Flames of War.” Set in World War II, “Flames of War” is historically accurate in terms of the tools and troops used in the game.
“In this game, each turn has a command and motivation stage, a movement and shooting stage and an assault stage,” Bostedor said. “One of the more exciting things about ‘Flames’ is the assaults. One player will initiate an assault and the other player gets to assault back, and it goes on until one side is destroyed or runs away.
“Many of these games are mission or objective based, so the games are over either when a time limit or particular game-specific objective is reached. Either that, or when one of the battling teams has been destroyed.”
More information about war-gaming and the Black Swamp Wargaming association can be found on Facebook. Visit facebook.com/groups/BlackSwampWargaming for information about tournaments, games and to meet some people who can help you get started.