One game I really enjoy is Traveller, an RPG based in the far future. I still succumb to the lure of D&D once in a while.
I've also played fantasy gaming with a certain large company's game and 40K and Epic Space Marine, too. Oh, I forgot a favouite - Warmaster!
|The Vatican Hit Squad for|
Where Heroes Dare
In the past, I'd also done Spearhead, Command Decision, Newberry Fast Play for Ancients and Renaissance (a misnomer, sorry.), and a few others, some of which I don't remember... or don't want to remember.
Oh, I played Flames of War... once. I still itch.
I get the feeling that we are in the Golden Age for figures. I don't remember any time when there were more manufacturers! (Of course, I was out of communication for quite a few years and out of money for many more.) For Napoleonics, I prefer AB Figures, Battle Honours, and Minifigs (especially for 1812 in North America). 7-Years War - Freikorps15 and Essex. Ancients - Old Glory (affordable and acceptable) and Foundry. SCW - Peter Pig and anything I can scrape together. ACW - in 28mm, Perry Miniatures; in 15mm, Old Glory 15s, Essex, and some Falcon Minis for the odd stuff (Garibaldi Guard and such.) WWII - 28mm-Warlord plastics, Black Tree Design, Battle Honours, and Bolt Action (very nice.)
Obviously, I don't have a favourite manufacturer. Often it depends on what I can find. I still like to see the figs I'm purchasing. I'm old fashioned that way.
One of my biggest influences was my father. He didn't care for my staying in and painting or gaming. He wanted me to be more athletic, but he tolerated my foibles and did answer my questions about his military service. In World War II, he was regimental supply sergeant for a US coastal artillery (anti-aircraft) regiment sent to North Africa, Corsica, Sardinia, and southern France. When they disbanded the regiment (to convert most of the personnel to infantry or transportation corps), he transfered to the Transportation Corp and ran the port of Marsailles for a while. He retired after 20+ years service in the Army Reserve with the rank of major. I suppose that set up some of my interest in history.
My family's interest in re-enacting has been an influence as well. Learning the 1812 US Manuel of Arms and standing in a firing line is something to be experienced. You see your games in a whole different light.
Let's see... Cornwell's Sharpe series, Laumer's Bolo sci-fi books, The Lord of the Rings, Glen Cook's Black Company fantasy books, Anderson's Flandry books, the Osprey and Hippocrene books I've been collecting since the 1970's (I've got some OLD ones.), Forrester's Hornblower series, the Honor Harrington series (without the soap opera), Heinlein's Starship Troopers, my crazed interest in history and my wife's degree in history. Not much history, I know but what can I say? I should read more of Adrian Goldsworthy's stuff; supporting the family, y'know. (We're not related, as much as I might pretend.)