Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Many Schools of Wargaming

Greetings friends!

So for the past few years I've heard one argument thrown around a lot about the wargaming hobby.

The argument in question is very often based around price and the cash injection often needed to take part in a serious/competitive manner.


To further explain this I will need to describe the different groups. I will try to do this as best as possible to my ability but I am sure I will fall flat on my face.

Type 1
So we start off with Type 1 gamers.

Type 1 tend to have started off playing wargames a good decade or more ago, they like to see themselves as veterans and old school players who have a love for 'army scale games' and believe that spending a lot of money is just a part of the wargame hobby.

I have seen many Type 1 wargamers say phrases such as "Wargaming is expensive, if you don't like it get another hobby" when they read challenges to companies like Games Workshop and their pricing strategies.

Type 2
Next up is the Type 2 gamer. These often have younger wargame lifespans; either they themselves are younger or they just got into the wargaming hobby more recently. As a general rule they started playing wargames in the 'post-Warmachine' era.

Type 2 wargamers believe that everything should be a low cost buy in and that the way forward are small model count games that fall under the skirmish size scale.

Type 2 gamers are very active I their open dislike for the sort of games that Type 1 gamers play in particular games made by Games Workshop.

Type 3
Last but not least is the Type 3 wargamer. These players think that every game has it's place and that choice is one of the most important factor.

Type 3 gamers may not always like both large scale and small scale, they may have a preference one way or another; perhaps they prefer the epic feeling of fielding a 100+ model count army, or maybe they just don't have the budget/time and so play skirmish games, but they understand that other gamers like different games to them and they are cool with that.


I think it is safe to say that the fairest and perhaps the nicest of those three types are Type 3 and I would even say that myself along with the majority of friends I have in wargaming are Type 3, often owning skirmish sized gangs as well as large scale fantasy or futuristic armies at the same time, but on the flip of that, it is also safe to say that Type 3 are very often not the most passionate about their game or medium of choice.

That is where Type 1 and 2 come in.

Come on, how often have you seen on an open discussion forum a straight out flame war about how shit Games Workshop is? What are the attack points usually used?
- Price
- Lack of support for their specialist game range
- Quality of model

All of these are arguments made by the Type 2 gamer who acting as the 'independent rebel' want to point out the evil of GW's pricing structure, their quality of sculpt (which let's be honest is really 'quality of sculpt compared to price' so pricing again) and how BloodBowl/Necromunder/Mordheim/GorkaMorka is no longer supported.

So we're looking points 1&3 both around pricing, and point 2 being about small model count games no longer being supported (which again relates back to pricing as they do have cheaper entry points).

What is the usual response these rants get?

Well I've already said it: "The Hobby(tm) (I hate that phrase) is expensive, if you can't afford it, don't have the time or patience or ability GTFO!"


I don't think I can really justify the Type 1 response. It's elitist attempts to exclude people for no good reason other than to make themselves feel better.

That's right, if you ever use that argument against someone then it's essentially admitting you have a small penis and are trying to make others feel bad so you can hide behind their tears.

At the same time however, I can not defend the Type 2 attack. It is misplaced anger and rage, most likely because you know that the target of your rage (GW) is more popular and successful than the game you're playing.


Really what should people really do?

Should Type 2 gamers stop attacking other game systems that are not their own? Well yes! Instead put that energy into promoting your system and not attempting to destroy the competition through RATM style guerrilla warfare.

Should Type 1 gamers stop defending their systems against attackers? Absolutely not! But it should be within reason. If someone doesn't like your game or company, that doesn't mean they should "GTFO" of your 'hobby'. Chances are 'The Hobby' existed before you were a part of it and will continue long after you no longer are and within that time many different games will be created and disbanded and no one has the right to exclude someone for the reasons given (being a dick however is a perfectly good reason).

So until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you're too far wrong with the categories however I do think there are a couple of noticable ommissions.

    Firstly there are the fanboys, every game has them and they're generally a mix of veterans and noobs. They agree with whatever their chosen game company decide and can rarely manage a coherent justification for their statements.

    Secondly there are the 'non-gamers', people who read up on games just enough to know what will push people's buttons. They sit online and seek attention by angering people with stupid statements. If you're wondering what I mean by this, check out one of the 40k groups on Facebook. The regular queries of "has anyone used Total Wargamer?" are obvious cries for attention from a sad, lonely little gobshite (should that be hyphenated?).

    I'd also like to suggest a sub-category for type 3, those that see value in elements of different games and have a vision for their perfect game, the budding game developer.