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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Great wargaming Survey.

In some respects this post can be viewed as a bit late as it concerns this months, November's wargames magazines.
 I unfortunately received my copy of Wargames,Soldiers and Strategy quite late through the post, hence this late post.
I dont want to do a comparison of the big three magazines, as really its all subjective. What I may like will no doubt not be what someone else likes.
 I did think that Miniature Wargames was looking a tad sparse and short of articles. Waragames Illustrated  in my opinion looked all fur and no knickers.
Which leads me on to Wargames,Soldiers and Strategy.
   I must admit I did enjoy this magazine this month, but then I usually do enjoy it.What I found of particular interest was their Great Wargaming Survey article.
 I actually sent in my views and I think the response to the survey was pretty impressive coming in at over 7000 wargamers taking the time to complete the survey. I think its fair to say that what came out of it should hopefully be pretty accurate.
 Certainly it is far better than the normal political poll which seems to ask the same small group of dunderheads their views, hence the wildly inaccurate predictions.
 What I found heartening was that whilst there is a higher greying wargames population in the UK and the USA, in Europe things look a lot better with the average age coming down somewhat.
   In fact Worldwide, nearly 70% of wargamers were spread between the ages of 18 and 50 years, so whilst it excludes me I now know that when I shift this mortal coil, someone should hopefully buy my stuff, and I can sleep the sleep of ages, safe in the knowledge that they will be used and hopefully appreciated. So thats a good thing.
 I found it interesting that WW2 was the most popular period. Interesting but not surprising really, given the amount of coverage SKY TV devotes to the Second World War, and in the United Kingdom just how much time is given in schools to the rise of the Nazi party.
 Obviously I think Flames of War must have had a big influence on this period initially and its popularity must have also been influenced by the excellent plastic kits available.
 I clearly sense however that Flames of War is no longer doing as well as it once was. Well certainly from the rumours I have heard about the company.
 Naturally Sci Fi. and Fantasy are the next most popular. Again the once mighty Games Workshop must take some credit for this, but similarly their star is definitely on the wane, and given the loss of talent and their pricing policy things dont look too good for their future.
 A big surprise, well for me at least, was the position of Medieval Warfare in the league. That has got to be a combination of things, including the Saga rules, Gripping Beast, and the fact that you dont need many figures to play the game.
 In fact one thing that has struck me going around the shows this year, was the number of small games on show. By that I mean games on a four foot boards with a small number of castings on show. Not a complaint but just an observation.
 I also found it heartening that the vast majority of wargamers were looking for rules that encouraged the use of historical tactics, so the history was very important and the game less so.
 I wont bang on too much more because most people will have read the article.
 Finally I thought what was particularly interesting was the figure of 72% of wargamers including those that had been gaming many years were very keen to meet new wargamers to play against.
  Now there is an opening for some enterprising chap. All they would need to create is an online wargames dating site, which would put two wargamers in touch with each other.
 Personally I think it would be a great opportunity for the less socially blessed wargamer to kill two birds with one stone and advertise for a wargaming opponent and perhaps an Eastern European partner at the same .Just a thought.....................I wonder if Taylor Swift would be interested?

                              Some colour to finish with, Eureka, Von Bruhl Saxon Dragoons.




 




7 comments:

  1. I think your two observations are correct - yes, skirmish games are very 'now' (and I'd suggest 'of the future' too) and yes, there's an opportunity for new clubs or even the 'wargaming weekend' holiday centres. Many people who, like me, have come to the hobby in the last five year are getting their kicks via the net or with existing friends (partly because we're too scared to go to existing clubs).

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    Replies
    1. Good Evening,
      I have never been a club man. When I first started, I saw an advert in a pet shop window! looking for wargamers and I steeled myself to go along. It wasnt a club but someones house. They had a loft room with a 10 foot square table filled with masses of metal Napoleonics. I was hooked after that. I used to organise big wargames weekends, and invite people that I barely knew to attend, usually in a hired hall. These were always a sucess. I still enjoy meeting new gamers. So perhaps I should return to this idea.
      Thanks Robbie.

      Delete
  2. As regards wargame mags, I think the wame with WSS streets ahead, but, although not a competitor in the normal sense, Wargames Bloggers' Quarterly is my current favourite.

    Clubs: thtey can be a pain as well as a blessing. The 'like minded people' / friends approach is, I think, the best. The more general clubs are a bit of a curate's egg: the best are very good and almost professionally run, whereas otheres are cliquish and awful. Edwin, you've got an excellent club in New Buckenham (they have an FB group).

    Like the idea of wargame speed dating or whatever., but sad at the small(er0 size of forces and games which do seem to be sprouting. Economic forces or idleness? Dunno.

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    Replies
    1. A couple of points here. I still pop into my local wargames club which has been around since the late 60's. I never joined and although I have toyed with the idea I never will. Youre probably right about the cliques.Yet when I attended Grimsby's club this year I found that experience great.
      The small games are definitely a feature nowadays, but I suppose better thatn a DBA game. I think a lot of gamers like the idea of a small number of figures [cheaper] a skirmish game [ quicker] and a small table [practical] I dont however think they add to a show.
      Thanks Robbie.

      Delete
  3. Robbie,
    I stopped buying MI because it seemed to me little more than the Flames of War equivalent to White Dwarf. I've also stopped MW bcause it quickly became clear that whilst Henry could do a good job for a magazine every two months, a monthly pblication was obviously a strain for him. I still subscribe to WSS but find myself reading only a selected number of articles and so this too will cease in time.
    As for the observations made in your post I tend to agree mostly. The Second World War is a popular period because it is still remembered by people we know. Add in the availability of cheap and multitudes of models for just about very theatre and the fact that we all grew up playing with Airfix kits.
    I was struck by the suggestion that many gamers start young, disappear and then return to the hobby. So maybe our approach of trying to get "young" people to the hobby should change to look at the 25+ year olds instead who played fantasy at that shop but then who moved on.
    Thanks for the plug by the way.

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    Replies
    1. Evening Paul,
      Actually thats a very good idea re 25+, although I kept wargaming through my teen years, the period was very stop start, especially when I discovered women.

      Delete
  4. Now as it happens I have WSS and MW sent to me becasue I'm an advertiser in both and I thought both were below par this time speaking personally . As advertising organs both do their job. As magazines they are usually even steven in the intrest stakes. though WSS more often has the edge from a personal point of view- though not always.
    As for the survey - I did fill it in but found the questions a little misleading- as in all surveys they are designed to get the answers the surveyors want- otherwise why ask.
    Nevertheless the results were more intresting than I'd feared and I certainly agree with Robbies point about looking not at the kiddie market but at those somewhat older- as I've said more than once on my own blog.
    I'm surprised that medieval is rated popular - mostly because SAGA is hardly a medieval period rule set but just A.N. Other skirmish game with pretty pictures- that actually doesn't touch most of the High medieval period at all Yawnarama!!
    What did strike me was the relative narrowness of historical periods offered in the survey- I'd call 6 of them - non- historical - yet there was no "Dark Ages"- which perhaps explains the "popularity" of medieval and of course "Pike and Shotte" was spelledin the same manner as a proprietary rules set rather than as an indication of period- almost no dates at all were used in the categories. Interesting in itself Hmmm???
    Always remember chaps
    there are lies Dammend Lies and Statistics- you can make anything out of those survey results

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
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Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
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Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating