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Subtlelties Under the Tabletop

There are subtle aspects of tabletop gaming that go beyond gameplay alone. And whether or not you’re a newbie, you’re likely to encounter them at some point.

Yes, there are games (many games!) to play and there are rules (lots of rules!) to learn if you’ve reached the level of fanatical gamer. And the underlying benefits and extensions of tabletop gaming that exist can enhance, fortify, and expand your gaming experience. Let’s take a look under the tabletop at what you might uncover.

Unearthing Deeper Roots of Gameplay

While there are straightforward benefits of gaming, you’ll find deeper roots of gameplay. The more you play, the more opportunity there is for a bit of self-discovery.

The types of games you prefer

Each game comes with its own complexities. Miniature wargames, for instance, have varying nuances. Some involve more tactics, strategy, and miniatures, while others are fast-paced or require less equipment to start. Even RPGs differ from system to system, using different kinds of dice, methods of character creation, and player mechanics. And board games are their own animal, each one requiring special game pieces, boards, etc.

As you play, you learn what you like and don’t like about different games, as well as WHY. Maybe you don’t like the idea of pretending to be a character, so RPGs aren’t for you. Or maybe you realize you like the strategy involved in wargaming vs. board gaming because you find it more challenging. Trying different games helps you determine what you’re likely to stick with or avoid playing.

The involvement and time you’re willing to invest

Some games are a one and done deal — you can pretty much play them straight out of the box, so-to-speak. They don’t require anything extra to get started. Other games, such as miniature-based games, however, do require time. It’s what makes them a full-on hobby.

While you don’t have to paint your minis to play casual games, here at The Ogre’s Den we do encourage table-ready minis for tournaments, big events, and leagues. The hobby side — assembling and painting miniatures — does require time (and lots of patience), so it’s definitely something to consider.

How to improve your game

When you play on a regular basis in our groups or monthly events, you get to play against others with varied skill-sets. This gives you an opportunity to explore your style of gameplay through practice, AND improve your gaming skills.

When you want to excel in something, you need to challenge yourself. And playing with the same people all the time doesn’t always accomplish this. By gaming with different people, you encounter different game styles and strategies, and of course, personalities. This presents you with fresh learning scenarios to keep your mind and gaming muscles conditioned, and thus strengthens your skills!

Your preferred level of gameplay

As a newcomer to tabletop gaming, you may not know what your level (meaning intention or frequency) of play is just yet. You might surprise yourself and join the competitive circles, participating in tournaments and possibly even traveling to them. Or, you might enjoy gaming as a purely social and regular hobby. In this case, you’d probably enjoy our open play days for certain games, or monthly large-scale events.

Do Your Own Thing

Gameplay doesn’t have to be rigid, nor does it only have to pertain to just the act of playing. Over time, you might develop the need to do something a bit different, and where you may become more involved in a gaming community like ours.

Customize your game

They’re more like guidelines, anyway. Tired of the same rules and restrictions? Do you like a narrative or scenario but feel it could use more cowbell? Be bold and change it up! Once you know the ins and outs of a game, you’re ready to make some tweaks and use house rules — as long as everyone is in agreement.

Start something

When you get hooked on a game, don’t be surprised if you want to expand your arena. Be a game master, organize an event, or start a gaming group. You’ll continue to build your gaming skills in different ways, as well as possibly generate gaming interest with newcomers. At The Ogre’s Den, we encourage Denizen-run activities. We wouldn’t have a community without them!

Design a game

Bring gameplay to the ultimate level. Create your own RPG, write a wargaming narrative, or even come up with your own board game! Play your creations with your friends and family, or take it a step further. Get your RPGs and narratives published, or build a prototype of your board game and possibly get it manufactured for sale.

For Love of the Game

As you can see, there are many spokes to the tabletop gaming wheel, and actual gameplay is just one of them. Whichever ones you uncover and explore, we hope they give you greater satisfaction and meaning in your tabletop fun. Don’t limit yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn!