Everyone loves to hear a good story. We get stirred by both fiction and non-fiction tales that inspire or leave us with a lesson to reflect on. We learn about history (or some do) so we don’t repeat mistakes – after all, it is said that a wise person learns from their mistakes, but a person with even greater wisdom learns from the mistakes of others.
Without wandering off the topic too much, I’d like to say that sometimes it’s the lore or background of the games we play that drive us onward into it. This can be especially the case in the world of video games, particularly where it can feel like a grind just to see that happy (or not so happy) ending. Some games are played for their ending, others we have to take the more philosophical road of ‘the journey is the reward’.
With tabletop gaming, it can be a combination of the ending (outcome of a mission or game) as well as the journey (the battle or skirmish fought). We ultimately want an enjoyable experience throughout, but the lore can even further enrich the experience.
In a campaign or mission, it could be fun to give a theme to a story you are trying to create (or recreate). Are you the hero or the villain? Perhaps somewhere in between, or maybe your forces are just misunderstood?
When designing an army, it can be fun to have a backstory to follow or create, but the important part is that we don’t get too heavily attached to our models during a game. If your dearly loved warlord (be it a hero or villain) is brutally destroyed by gunfire or an assault, do not be bitter – in your story he could have survived and was incapacitated or broken, carried back to base by allies – but will recover. Some armies may not even worry about this – legions of mindless undead or hordes of immortal demons that get banished generally can come back.
If you get all sulky or over protective with your miniatures, it will affect your tactics, gameplay and even your ‘social health’ in some sense. People may get nervous to have a game with you if you rage quit when your personal representation of a character is ‘slain’ on the table.
To summarise, lore can be fun and a great way play a mission or campaign, but don’t get too attached that you can’t let them go when they fall in battle. Unless you’re going to have a little joke about it – I once named the characters and said their families would receive a ham.