Background of the project: The Fantasy Battles Hobby

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  • Here, I would like to elaborate a bit about what is "The Hobby".
    This is a very important concept for us, as it is the environment wich caused the game's creation and which still nurtures it.

    The concept of tabletop wargame using fantasy miniatures, known as “Fantasy Battles”, was created in 1983, in the wake of Roleplaying Games.
    "Vince Venturella's history of GW series, worth watching" describe a vivid relation of these early times.

    Within a few years, a whole Hobby emerged.
    If you think about it, there are several distinct components in the Hobby:

    - the first pleasure is collecting models, customizing them, painting them; participating to competitions for models or whole armies;

    - then comes playing games with these models, in epic battles including hundreds of models aligned in multiple regiments, or in small skirmishes;
    tournaments were organized, and progressively, independent organizers created specific adaptations to get more balance in the games;

    - many enjoy telling stories around these models, writing or drawing legendary battle reports or humorous stories;
    professional authors developed narratives in series of romances which were avidly read by fans; derivative roleplaying games based on wargame universes were developed;

    - derivative games were imagined aside of main wargames, which allowed to use the same models or new specific ones, in the same universe; for example, a fantasy football game named Blood Bowl became particularly popular, but there were also naval battles, alliance games, small warband games, skirmish games, video games…

    - a whole community developed around The Hobby. They would gather in local game shops or in large conventions. Fans discussed all aspects of their Hobby in more than a hundred of ultra-specialized websites and created many facebook communities in various languages.

    But relax! It is not necessary to be interested in all of these aspects to be a Hobbyist!
    Most Hobbyists are interested in several aspects, but each component has enough attractiveness on its own to satisfy many fans.
    Some only collect models. Some don't mind to play games with unpainted models, or are happy just to enjoy the atmosphere of a tournament. Some dream fluffy stories. Some let their creativity loose for developing new ideas. Some stick around just because they find the community cool and made friends there.
    And all of them are Hobbyists!

    In 2015, the main game animating the Hobby ceased to exist.
    Collectors were left with discontinued factions, players missed rules adapted to their former playstyle and competitions, storytellers lamented a destroyed and dead universe, and the Community massively dropped the frequentation of all specialized websites.

    The Ninth Age project was created in this context, to restore The Hobby into its glorious prosperity.

    This is done firstly through the provision of a new game: Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age.
    The game is designed to fill the unaddressed needs of Hobbyists, and is made with the help of the Hobby Community.
    The second step is to gather the community once again, and to grow it around a solid R&F fantasy game.

    We will examine that more in detail in the next article.

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves

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