Some specialization is probably unavoidable for wargamers, given the huge number of games published and the vast extent of potential topics. And I do have my fair share of relatively obscure interests such as the Spanish-American War and the battle history of the M3 Stuart tank.
But I have to admit that I do tend to run with the pack as far as my major interests in both wargaming and military history go. I have multiple games on many of the classic themes that have captured the interests of wargamers since the early days of Avalon Hill such as the Battle of the Bulge, D-Day, North Africa, the American Revolution, Midway and World War I aces.
And nowhere am I probably more of a pack runner than on the topics of Gettysburg and Waterloo. I am somewhat of a Civil War buff, but Gettysburg looms extra large in my collection of games and books even considering that. And I'm really not much of a Napoleonic fan at all -- I don't have much at all on that era.
So I even surprised myself a bit when I heard that Martin Wallace's new Gettysburg game was out and my first reaction was "Damn! And I don't even have it on preorder!"
My interest (and I'm obviously far from alone) in these two battles is hard to explain. While undoubtedly the most famous battles of their respective wars -- well-known even to the general public -- they can't be considered the most important battles of their time. And while exceptionally hard-fought, neither battle was a story of great generalship or maneuver.
But they do have drama and controversy galore and I'll admit a strange fascination with both. If I ever won the lottery I'd like nothing better than to recreate the Battle of Gettysburg from the point of view of several Gettysburg games, sort of a "series replay" between Meade and Lee, using their own words to describe the action.
I currently have the original Avalon Hill Gettysburg and the Smithsonian version. I ave SPI's quad Cemetery Hill and Columbia's block game Gettysburg: Badges of Courage. I have the hyper detailed This Hallowed Ground and the very abstract Dixie: Gettysburg. Undoubtedly the collection will soon include both Martin Wallace's Gettysburg as well as Bowen Simmons', Guns at Gettysburg.
My interest in Waterloo is just a tad less intense than Gettysburg, but it's still clearly there with more than a half-dozen games on the battle itself and a few about the whole Hundred days as well.
I don't know if it's a bad thing to run with the pack, but it's interesting to see how many variations on the theme are possible. My tastes and interests are wide, but I think it's good to have a few areas where you can plumb the depths as well.