As a gamer I keep long lists of games and components I’d like to add to the extensive collection of materials I already possess. But sometimes the urge to run a particular game hits me when I don’t quite have all the appropriate pieces; at these times I rummage through the components I have and “make do” with something close, crafting a new game experience to use what I have on hand. Some recent flea market acquisitions inspired me to take this approach on several levels to create an unexpectedly interesting game experience I’d otherwise never pursue.
A Panzer IV waits just inside the
Bois de Bavent behind the minefield.
The regional miniature wargaming convention I recently attended hosted a Sunday morning flea market where gamers could set up on a table to sell their unwanted wargames, painted miniatures, history books, and other wonderful diversions. An old friend had some zip baggies of various Axis & Allies Miniatures (okay, and some Star Wars capital ships from some Wizards of the Coast game I’d completely missed...that I couldn’t resist). The pre-painted vehicle minis work well with 15mm-scale World War II miniatures games like Flames of War (though I’m sure diehard players would cry heresy!) and my own Panzer Kids, still in the development pipeline and awaiting what time and focus I can pry away from real life. Since Panzer Kids focuses on tanks, I was naturally looking for armor; most vehicles I collected when I was buying into the game’s frustratingly randomized booster packs consisted of German and American tanks, with a scant few British ones.