Well, this will be my first non-40k post, there won't be many, as 40k is my main hobby and the main focus of my time and energy. There are however, a few other systems that have caught my attention over the years. The list isn't long, Bolt Action, A Very British Civil War (VBCW), and currently I'm looking at Firestorm Armada and Firestorm Planetfall.
Granted, there are other systems out there and they all have there advantages and disadvantages, Dystopian Wars, and the Legion and Armoured Clash counterparts, X Wing, Malifaux and Dropzone Commander are other systems that spring to mind, but for me, it's the astetics and the fluff side of things that real me in to a game.
The Firestorm games have caught my attention due to the similarities between both Battle Fleet Gothica and Epic, two games I have enjoyed in the past. I have seen several campaigns online that have both elements involved, or rather will do when Planetfall is more available, and the idea sounds good to me. You start off with a points limit, play various space battles, and as you loose ships, you loose resources for your ground troops and therefore how many ground units you can field. Now, I dont know if there is a proper mechanism for this in the rule books, but many of the fan made systems sound very workable. There are only a few factions that I like the look of, mostly the two human factions, the Directorate and the Terran Alliance, but I will have to have a game of two before I think of investing.
Bolt Action on the other hand is a game I have played several times. It's a simple easy game with a very simple system, easy to learn with a great activation system, one I'm planning on trying in 40k. I have had several opportunities to get in to the system, and while I have always wanted to try, several things have put me off in the past. time and money to put in to the hobby being one, although not nearly as expensive as 40k, it's still not free! The other reason has been opponents, not a lack off, more of a difference in attitude. Some would refer to them as rivet counters, you may know them by other name. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these types of players, for them it's integral to the game and I see their point, it is, after all, a historical war game. But for me it's about the game not the history, after all I watched a game of Russians Vs British last weekend, and a very enjoyable game it was too. Which leads me to the fact that I think I've solved most of the issues, I've found opponents in my local club who have a similar attitude to me in regards for the fun of the game, and secondly, I've been looking at minitures from The Plastic Soldier Company. Now there not very customisable being mostly one part minitures and there not as highly detailed as some of the warlord or perry minitures, but they are cheap, and they will do the job, enabling me to get close to 1000pts of soviet forces on the field for around £50. This includes about 6 squads, two artillery pieces, mortars, machine guns and AT rifles, plus officers and medics and even a FOO. Maybe not the best, most rounded force in the world, but one I can play with and have fun with.
This brings me on the VBCW, I fun game set in 1938 and base on civil war in the UK. Pretty much anything goes as long as it was around prior to 1939. I played many games against Russians, Scottish separatist, local Militia, armeds shop keepers and even local cricket teams! My initial plan was to use the same Russians for both BA Russians and VBCW Norwegians, with the story that they had been sent over by the Norwegian monarchy to assist the British monarchy to re-establish control over Scotland, as that's where I was playing my games at the time. It's a great game, with lots of options, as the game doesn't really have any specific game mechanics, just a lot of fluff and back story.
At the end of the day, war gaming is all about having fun, whatever you do.