Broad topic i know, but i wanted to throw out my thoughts on several things. I'll start with my first foray into gaming which was with Miniatures.
I'll discount when I was like 8-11 years old and had like 30 Guardsmen and a Tank from this subject, I didn't know, or really care for the rules then and just liked to look at my overpriced army men and play soldiers with them. It wasn't until 10th grade that I was finally pulled into it for real with Warhammer Fantasy. I played Dwarves and found rather quickly I had a small attention span for a single army and within a few years had branched out to build small Undead, Wood Elf, Beastman, and Chaos armies. Most of them i played a few times, generally with a lot of proxies. Wood Elves and Beastmen appealed to me the most. they used fast guys, skirmished units, and were a nightmare to try to engage. I entered my Dwarves into several tournaments and usually went 2-1 with them. Never won anything. My first tourney with the Wood Elves I crushed all three opponents soundly and took home a win. With my Beastmen I did the same, but to an even worse extent, I believe in three games I only left 25 total models alive. I won best general, but lost on account of my unpainted army, and most likely poor sportsmanship. I started into Wahammer 40k as i went off to college, all my Fantasy Buddies went away to school, so I started 40k so I would have something to do. I sucked hard, and Honestly I've never done well at 40k tournaments. I'm pretty good at a 1 and done style game and usually win those, but when the tournaments roll around I generally flop. I played Space marines, but got fed up with that and Went to Chaos, which I have played every since. I've tried starting new armies, but i lose interest really fast and just buy more Chaos. Without realizing it I had a large well painted army that I could customize in a lot of ways.
At some point in here I picked up a battle box of Cryx guys, I assembled them, primed them, played like 10 games with Bill, and then put them back in the box to sit for a while. It wasn't until Jay started bugging me to pull them back out that I started earnestly playing Warmachine, which was the best thing I've ever done with my life, and that's a disturbingly true statement. I wouldn't know any of my current friends or my Fiance, had I not started playing this game. And my god it was fresh! The game is really unlike anything else I've played. Rules and Mechanics wise it is the best miniature game made. The models were gorgeous, the factions rich with flavor, the fluff was crazy ass cool! I immersed myself in Warmachine for a very long time. And the best part is I was really damn good at it. I seemed to understand the tournament setting far better than 40k. (At this point I had become to fed up with the asinine rules of Fantasy to even play anymore, to this day I declare it the worst game I own... also i have orcs for sale!) Outside of the 2005 National Tournament I have not entered a tournament with my Cryx and not taken the award for Best Cryx Player. This helped fuel my ego and allowed me to make such audacious claims as I was the best Cryx player within 1,000 miles. My unfortunate friends had no way to disprove this statement as I was really really good. In the summer of 05 Privateer Press announced Hordes would be the next big thing. We waited impatiently for the full release. I liked the Circle models best, but was pretty broke so I went with Trolls thinking It would be cheaper. that was wrong and now I play Circle! but at the time i played trolls and damn were we excited for this game. We mixed it with warmachine, played solo, did just about everything under the sun with these two games until we burned out of them for a while. There was a stretch were played l5r almost exclusively, and a point where just I did. But not be Denied Warmachine came back into out minds and our hearts, new models, stories, and rules kept fueling us to play more and more. We have burned out and come back it more times than I can count. At the moment I feel like we are all on the verge of another great Warmachine push, but we need out MKII cards... nice job making us wait 2 weeks PP ya assholes!
Interspersed between all this we bounced around new games here and there. the most notable were Monsterpocalypse, which while a fun game got disturbingly repetitive after a while, I throw your through a building, I throw you! I throw you!... crap i died because there are some overpowered damage combos... woooooo, and repeat. Arcane Legions was our next one, I'm still in love with this game a little bit. It was cheap to get into, easy to play and there were a lot of great little touches in it. My problems arose when Archery became the end all aspect of the game. I have more bows therefore my tactics are irrelevant I can shoot your toughest unit down before they get here. And The create your own unit feature, which allowed people to break the game as they saw fit. Lastly the game were are still learning, and trying to get models for, Firestorm Armada. So far its a great game, I'm having trouble getting that elusive first victory, I'm not frustrated yet, but I might be soon.
Thats where my miniature gaming portion ends. I'll do another section later. Card Gaming might be even longer, god I played some shitty card games.