Immersing Yourself in Your Game

I love tabletop games. If you are reading this, you probably

love tabletop games, too.

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss

ways to make your gaming experience more immersive. More specifically, how to

make miniatures games more immersive.

I love minis games because of their tactile nature. The

games are visceral: they have real components that you really put together and

painted. They have a little piece of you in them. We all create narratives in

our minds about our little army men and women, even the most hardcore

tournament gamers amongst us, while we play that make these games so much fun

to play. That’s part of the appeal of minis games and why I prefer them to

video games. We create a little universe that exists in part in the reality of

the setting we create through our creative efforts and in part in our imaginations

which we then share with other human beings. It’s collaborative story-telling,

creation and competition all in one. Sweet!

One of the ways we can ramp this experience up is by

creating an evocative setting. Beautiful minis with a fully fleshed out back-story

(and yes, I am that nerdy. All my armies have written stories to go with them!

Fan fiction FTW!) played on a piece of felt with a stack of books here and

there is fine to get started with minis (and I know as a kid, my buddies and I

started out in just that fashion), but to really take the experience to the

next level, building a beautiful scene for your games to play out on is the

next logical step.

We built all of this terrain for the LVO!
There are lots of ways to do this. Having built—literally—hundreds

of tables of terrain in my gaming career I can tell you that while those

mind-blowing custom tables we see in white dwarf or around the net are amazing

and set the bar for what we can all aspire to build; for most of us that is

either beyond our modeling ability, or we simply lack the time and inclination

to build them.

Terrain kits, and custom jobs created from a mix of common items.
Easy ways to create a more immersive gaming environment are

all around. Using a combination of household items like soda and tin cans,

sprinkler pipes, bendy straws, etc. you can form a great foundation for some

easy, custom terrain. Combine that with some items bought at the hardware or

craft store such as hard board (awesome for basing terrain pieces), foam-core

and the AMAZINGLY useful plastic pattern, and you can easily create some

awesome terrain pieces. Mix this in with some purchased terrain kits such as

those from GW or Amera to name a few, and you can economically create fun,

playable, terrain that really enhances your gaming experience.

And, of course, I would be remiss not to plug out own

products, the F.A.T. Mats. F.A.T. Mats are beautiful, durable, portable gaming

surfaces to stage your games on. We actually have some new designs up for

pre-order now for anyone interested. Just click here to see them. These really

crank up the immersion of your game. For an example of how dramatic the

difference is, take your terrain, put it on a sheet of felt, or wood table (or whatever

you happen to use) and then pick it up, put a F.A.T. Mat down, and put the

exact same terrain on the table and look at the amazing difference!

Another fun way to increase the immersion of your games is

to write a back-story for them. I love doing this, but, I am a writer by nature

(obviously). For those that don’t enjoy the act of writing, you can even just

get some cool pics from the net to evoke the setting you are shooting for, and

write a few bullet points about the key things you want to communicate about

this particular battle. Email these to your gaming buddies before a game to

create a more meaningful game and it gives you something fun to do when you

should be working! Creating a narrative like this can take a normal Wednesday

night game from fun, to epic. The best part about this is that it is easy to

do, free, and is an enjoyable creative exercise of its own. You can link these

games together too, with an ongoing narrative if you and your group are

enjoying them. My old gaming group (hey, hey to the CCMG guys and gals!) and it

was a blast. We created stories about our main characters and the battles they

had between one another, it was really fun.

Lastly, document your games! Creating bat reps is fun, even

if they are just for you and your friends. Written with pictures, videos, even

something crazy like an audio drama recreation! Let your imagination go wild.

Any of these can really enhance the game play experience.

 

Hopefully this article has given you some fun ideas for ways

to increase the immersion of your game! Check out these pics of the new F.A.T.

Mats which are up for pre-order now, and if you like any of them, head on over

to Frontline Gaming to grab one. Happy gaming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

8 Responses to “Immersing Yourself in Your Game”

  1. Cavalier November 14, 2014 3:31 am #

    Already mentioned this on Faeit212 but wanted to throw it out here as well:

    Hey Reece nice to read your thoughts on the narrative side of things. I had no idea you had personal backstory for your armies, thats really awesome.

    One thing that ramps up the immersion for me is using characters from campaigns that you’ve run in casual games between friends. As per the campaign rules I play by your warlord can choose his warlord trait, and a special rule from a limited list (like furious charge). Using those characters in casual games between guys you’ve played with before on campaign can make for an ongoing narrative in any game.

    BTW I’d love to see you guys at FLG do campaign with video bat-reps. I think that’d be a first on youtube. Anyway great article Reece, thanks!

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 15, 2014 2:47 pm #

      Thanks, glad you liked it! And yeah, narrative campaigns are a blast.

  2. rexscarlet November 14, 2014 4:43 am #

    A table that looks like the last 5 minutes of “Time Bandits” is perfect!
    Here it is, look closly;
    http://feexby.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/vlcsnap-2012-09-06-16h15m05s28.png
    .
    Inclination is the only obstacle.
    Not having the Time is an excuse.
    .
    Give a man a Fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for life.
    Keep giving out fish (letting unpainted, non-wysiwyg, poor counts as, and proxy on the tables)
    and there is no “Inclination” to learn to fish.

  3. MrSmfwic November 14, 2014 8:04 am #

    Hey Reece, great article!

    You mentioned Amera in your article, so I checked out their site and products. The pricing seems pretty competitive, but the material they use has me worried. I’ve seen their terrain your Bat Reps before, so I was wondering about your opinion on their stuff(Durability/Quality).

  4. Jarlwolf Joe November 15, 2014 5:16 am #

    Excellent artical! And thats the way to do it. This game is not just about throwing some paint on a model and fielding them. Its about imagination and personal owenership of your army. Making it an extension of yourself and creating a story line that goes along with your army. Great artical.

  5. adam Fasoldt November 17, 2014 12:24 pm #

    It truly is amazing what you can do with just a few household items or items from nature, a hot glue gun, a few cans of spraypaint, some flock, and some sand. You can really crank out some immersive environments.

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