Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My experience with Big Muddy Historical Gaming Alliance

The Big Muddy Historical Gaming Alliance is a local historical gaming group in St. Louis, MO.  I've been involved with it since 1995.  The club has expanded, declined, and stagnated during that time.  It still puts on several conventions a year.  Barracks Battles/Die Con in June, August Spearhead during the summer, and Command Con in November.  There have been monthly game days in years past.  Now, gaming is ad hoc and localized.  People seldom leave their gaming circle to play in other games.  Hopefully, this is changing. 

At one point, I was an elected officer in Big Muddy.  I gave that up when I moved away.  I now feel no need to be directly involved.  I know the limitations of the club.  Gaming conventions are what I expect.  An occasional Game Day will happen at a local shop.  I've moved on with running my own games at local shops with my own friends.  I always would welcome more players from Big Muddy. However, that usually doesn't happen.  This is St. Louis.  What happened to Big Muddy is just a large microcosm of what goes on in St. Louis.  Other places where I've lived aren't like this.  People are willing to travel in order to game.  People aren't afraid to cross rivers or bridges. 

Big Muddy had the potential for campaign gaming.  There are enough people with similar interests that could support an involved campaign.  Some local campaigns have been ran involving Coral Sea and WWII Pacific airwar.  There's also Napoleonic and ACW gamers.  But people talk more than they do.  The lack of campaign gaming has forced me into annals of WH40K.  If I had my way, I get rid of my WH40K stuff.  I lose many of the games I play.  And I have too many figures as it is.  I play GW games because that is what the majority of the gamers I hang out game.  The only thing I can say about WH40K is that it's miniatures gaming.  The price of the models has gotten to the point where I can't afford to purchase anything.  You can't play 40K if you're broke.  You can if you play historicals...

But I digress.  Big Muddy runs gaming conventions.  There is ad hoc gaming locally.  One has to make a effort to leave one's pond if them want to game someplace else.  I publish the games I'm going to run a year in advance.  I have a feeling I'll probably just wind up gaming once a month, instead of the weekly gaming I now do.  Whether by circumstance or happenstance, that remains to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Blake,

    I do feel your pain. I dropped out of miniatures gaming a decade ago because it was getting stale, and I was getting stale along with it. My fascination with gaming never ended though, I just transferred my interest towards PC gaming completely, both online and solo, and ultimately got heavily involved in flight sim modding, and eventually into direct content contributing to such retail combat sim projects as Tiger vs. T-34 & Rise of Flight. However, I was still missing something in all my gaming involvement......PC gaming was still remote, and I had lost one of the great sides of miniatures wargaming, the cavorting with friends face to face over a lively tabletop. In all the time past and since my involvement starting with wargaming, I've never lost the idea that the hobby continually needs promotion in order to "survive" (I'm old enough to remember when wargaming was something you only did in a basement, and kept "in the closet" so to speak). So, I've never felt totally comfortable or satisfied with thinking that gaming should remain only in the basement. I mean, I spent years hosting games at the various local hobby shops (and universities) trying to sell this hobby interest of mine to others, and trying to promote the reasons why I find it so engrossing, and still do. All I can say Blake, is that I'm still "all-in" on the public gaming idea, and will never abandon the idea that the hobby needs constant public promotion. I'll try to do my part in getting folks out to play at the local shops, and will try to catch a few games be presented by others who are also doing the same.

    Keep up the positive thinking bud, and just remember there's more of us who do think it's great to get out every once in awhile too!