donderdag 2 februari 2012

Magic Vs Miniatures

Okay, admit it, the redhead on the picture caught your attention and that`s why your reading this. She is Josephine Rieth, one of Germany`s top Magic the Gathering players, and I doubt we`ll ever see someone like that in our personal man caves of miniature gaming.

But what is it that separates, yet brings those two very different games together?

Well, first of all of course, the average player

But there is more to it, both are fantasy games, both have a competitive setting, both have pro`s and con`s, and in this opinion piece, I`m taking a look in what I think are touching points, but also what the divergence is.

1. The Setting

Wether it`s the american civil war, the second world war or the siege of Helm`s Deep that rocks your miniature boat, the true fact is that in essence, every wargame is a fantasy. We play with hindsight, we tend to do things differently to try and reach other outcomes, so it isn`t an accurate representation anymore, but hovers to the what if era of the given battle. In other words, a fantasy.

Magic the Gathering is just the same, as this is set in a place of mighty wizards known as Planeswalkers, whose adventures have been comic-ized, novelized (the first one Arena, is still the best in my opinion, and an underrated, yet absolute top fantasy novel - go read it, you`ll find it on eBay for a pound or so). Your actually doing what ifs as well in the setting.

So no difference there... so the score stays at 0 - 0

2. The `models`

This one is a clear winner for the Miniature Gamer. No matter how beautiful the artwork, a card is just that, a drawing on a piece of cardboard, and the creative input of a player in a wargame is far greater. You don`t build landscapes to play your cardgame on, you have no artistic input in the painting etc etc...

0 - 1 to the Miniature team

3. Storage

Lead Mountain. Closets and cabinets full of boxes and armies. Half a car full of miniatures and rulebooks when going to an event, be it a tournament, convention or clubnight...
Then the Magic player walks by with his small box containing his deck in the pocket of his jacket, and often one or two UltraPro binderbooks with `trade material`.
And someone with a full closet of Magic cards is called a store in the MtG midsts lol.

1 - 1 as the Magic team pulls along

4. Competition

Both have a fanatic competitive environment. Testing decks and testing armies is basically the same soup with another label. If your a T3 wargamer or a Planeswalker Point gatherer, if you look around, you can find a competitive event without issues every weekend within a decent travelling distance. Surely stores tempt to run FNM and the likes as it takes less space to hold a tournament like that, but i compare that to a regular clubnight for the wargamer. Same people you tend to see each week to play a game with the intention, no matter how some might deny it, to win.

And so it stays 1 - 1 as both contender prepare for the tie-breaker

5. The Tie-Breaker... Resale value!

Oddly enough, this one goes to Magic the Gathering BIG time. Sure you`ll stay stuck with 95% of the cards you draw out of boosters. But those 5% you can trade off for a high value, usually a single card is worth just as much as a `good tabletop painted` regiment of Warhammer on places like ebay, if not more. And it certainly took far less workhours in building, painting, packing for postage etc then the card. Sleeve it, stick in between two pieces of cardboard and put on the mail... 3 minutes work after a one minute opening of the booster pack.

So I have to admit, even though being a die-hard wargamer, that in the end Magic just pulls the title of "Tomsche`s King of Geekiness Hill" to itself with a marginal 2 - 1 victory.

Okay, there is perhaps one other thing...

Average Wargamer Geeks Promo Team:

Average Magic Geeks Promo Team:

Okay, that was a tongue in cheek joke with some people I discussed about this past sunday at the Prerelease event, but it are cool pictures even if you wouldn`t know what it was about hehehe

Ciao ciao, I`m off to do some

3 opmerkingen:

  1. I take miniatures over cards any given day mate :-)))
    And I think Miss Rieth and her promoteam just aren't cute enough, not that I prefer the wargaming one tho LOL.
    Major point for me is the personal artistic input, cards just don't have any.

  2. Actually, I beg to differ Makaison :)
    In Magic, it's entirely possible to feed your creative side through building different types of deck, either focussed on different playstyles/tribes/artwork or on simply playing the cards you want to play by putting them together in a way that works. (a thing that is harder to do with some cards then others)
    Even so: when building a deck in limited magic (thus, opening a couple of packs, building a 40card deck and playing the game) definitly requires some creativity.
    Sure, painting figs and armies requires it as well and probably more so, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that MTG doesn't have a creative side!

  3. I too beg to differ, Den Tom.
    Deck building is pretty much the same as building an army list, and I think that's the fairer comparison. The average MTG player isn't creating artwork, painting, etc.