I've been back in wargaming for about three years now. It's quite interesting to look at the things that have changed in that time.
First up, from my viewpoint, the demise of Warhammer Historical (and specifically WAB) as an entry point to non-fantasy/SF wargaming, is a biggie. I've gone on enough about this and the policy decisions round it that I don't need to do so again, but if any of my newer readers want to give me more page views by catching up on my opinions, do feel free :D
GW's confessed business model - to sell figures - isn't actually that dumb, if you step back and take a look at it. Rules are a one-off purchase (unless you go with the 40K approach): if you're a full-time business, the real money is in enticing people to get their lead and plastic pile from you.
There have been a couple of attempts to replace WAB, of which the obvious three are Clash of Empires, War and Conquest, and Hail Caesar. None of them have really taken off as much, as far as I can tell, as WAB did in its heyday. I find the first too close to WAB with the serials filed off, from the couple of games I've played. I'd like to get a better look at WAC, as it's probably the closest in spirit to what WAB 3.0 could have become, and the army lists are pretty comprehensive.
Hail Caesar has the advantage that WAB had, only in spades: not only do a major games company (Warlord) back it, they actually produce figure ranges for it! My issues with it, though, are twofold: it seems to generally require rather more figures than a corresponding game of WAB, and I still find the command activation system slightly flawed.
Next up, the rise of Dark Ages gaming. Specifically, obviously, SAGA, which has been a flash of genius on the part of Gripping Beast and their partners since they've got figures to go with the rules. I still find it a bit beer-and-pretzels: it's a great game, but it's not exactly a simulation (Mike Hobbs and I are recording another podcast with Neil tonight: that should give him a chance to have a go at me :D). But of course, in addition to that, there's the Duxes (or perhaps, the Duces?) Britanniarum and Bellorum, which set out to do different things and both do them pretty well (you know where my preferences lie, though :D).
In WW2, we seem to have seen the steady fall of one big ruleset backed by a massive range of figures, and the rise of another in a different scale, while smart rule makers happily ride in on the availability of minis in both scales. Man at War tried to emulate the former in the Napoleonic period... the jury's kind of still out on that one: they're still going but slowly.
Then there's the (re-) rise of games at the skirmish/RPG-lite scale (I could give you a list, but I don't have all day :D) The likes of Judge Dredd, In Her Majesty's Name spring to mind. They do sort of hark back to Mordheim/Necromunda, but they do seem to be growing in popularity as a ... if you like, form-factor... for gaming. These do seem to come as 'rules with figures' packages - brilliant if the setting and the rules work, and the figures are up to scratch.
The real biggie, though? Kickstarter. I mean, just... wow. Things are happening in the gaming world that just weren't possible before as a result. As long as people can get their heads round the concept that Kickstarter's raison d'être is advance funding and a clearer idea of the market for the vendor, and not purely loads of cool free swag RIGHT NOW for the buyer, we're in with a shout of some great things coming through it. But it's clear from a couple of notable events such as the withdrawal of the Beyond the Gates of Antares Kickstarter, that not everyone seems to 'get' how best to use it.
That said: wargames? The hobby's rockin', man, as the guitarist in a band I used to be in would say. I can't wait to see what happens next.