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"The Two Types of Wargamers" Topic

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Return to the The Two Types of Wargamers Poll

2,906 hits since 27 May 2013
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advocate27 May 2013 1:50 a.m. PST

I voted for 'chess and tennis' though I would see the issue as more of a spectrum than a straight one-or-the-other.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 May 2013 3:04 a.m. PST


The two most important things to me about gaming are hangin' out and experiencing the milieu. While there are a lot of of other types of social interaction, gaming keeps the interaction both "alive" and "focused". The experience of the game is not about honing personal skills or playing the player (like chess, tennis); it is about playing like you are a part of the force you control. If you've seen my figures you know its not about model railroad level execution of them. They look OK and I have lots of fun making them, but they are not museum quality.

So, pretty much, its about playing make-believe.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP27 May 2013 3:25 a.m. PST

I started wargaming as a combination of interests in military history, board & card game playing (this was before the days of computers) and modelling.

I don't fit neatly into either category as I enjoy painting/modelling (in fact I currently make a part of my living doing it) as much as playing games. I enjoy a wargame as a game and as an attempt to 'visualise' the battle and understand how battle 'worked' in that period.

I do play some Fantasy/SciFi but those are just the game aspect and, while they are fun, they aren't as interesting as historical games.

Most of the people I game with have a similar attitude – without the love of painting in some cases. The history is an essential aspect of the hobby for them all, without it they would lose interest very quickly.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2013 4:04 a.m. PST

I tend to lean toward the painting miniatures and nice terrain side. But like advocate see it more as a spectrum than one or the other.

Mainly28s Inactive Member27 May 2013 4:11 a.m. PST

I lean more towards the paint and play type, although the game is more important. I wouldn't play more than one game without painting the figures, and even then I'd at least have them undercoated when playing. I know I'm not the greatest painter, but at least I try.
I see your second option (tennis/chess type) as the ones who will play with whatever's at hand, and often won't bother even painting their figures.

Wellspring Inactive Member27 May 2013 4:13 a.m. PST

Probably I'm a collector more than I am a player, but I enjoy both. I think they've identified the poles correctly, but it's a spectrum rather than a dichotomy.

Yesthatphil27 May 2013 4:38 a.m. PST

Inevitably there are more than just those two types … and wherever you find 'types' there is a big overlap.

Amongst my local associates (most of whom are 'both' on the modelling and playing spectrum) the most obvious split is between historical wargamers and fantasy types. Most are one or the other … although, perhaps inevitably, the arrival of 28mm plastics has increased the apparent cross-over.

For me, of course, the real question is whether you are trying to explore the history or just to play a game.

Wargamer first, I am increasingly more of a collector and producer than player in Arty's sense.


nazrat27 May 2013 5:34 a.m. PST

Arty does some great stuff and is deservedly respected, but I think this statement is just plain wrong. JUST two types of gamers? Nope. Not even close.

advocate27 May 2013 5:41 a.m. PST

Of course there are only two types, Nazrat. Those who agree with the premise of the statement and those who do not…

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2013 7:01 a.m. PST

There are two types of people. Those who believe there are two types of people, and those who don't.

vojvoda Inactive Member27 May 2013 8:54 a.m. PST

I said neither. I was never really a gamer before. And painting was and is a chore for me.

That said I have always maintained that wargaming was a vehicle I use to understand the military arts and science, and to foster and reinforce my reading of military history.

I do attempt to make the terrain as realistic as possible (Who ever saw a round hill?). My painting I work at different techniques and effects and am a uniform Nazi for correct colours in cuffs and turnbacks.

I too do not see this as a linear scale as many I know fit parts of both ends of the spectrum.

James Mattes

Angel Barracks Inactive Member27 May 2013 9:36 a.m. PST

I really like the making and painting side.
I really like the playing, however my playing style is not competetive, so to draw comparisons with chess or tennis is wrong, more like snap or playing soldiers..

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member27 May 2013 11:53 a.m. PST

I like it all!

advocate27 May 2013 12:51 p.m. PST


Snap isn't competitive? It always has been in our family…

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP27 May 2013 2:38 p.m. PST

I think the broad point is pretty accurate but as others say its a sliding scale with few at the extreme ends and most sliding along the middle part. Youll get some that will put anything on a table to get a game ( black primed based figs for instance) whereas I get nervous if the terrain boards dont have all the joints nicely flocked out and start twitching while moaning softly in the corner…………

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 May 2013 6:10 p.m. PST

There are two types of people. Those who believe there are two types of people, and those who don't.

Unless you reject the Law of the Excluded Middle …

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2013 7:09 a.m. PST

I am with Nazrat and the OFM. There are too many aspects of The Hobby that appeal to me for it to be one or the other in the original post.

dafrca Inactive Member28 May 2013 3:27 p.m. PST

I hate painting, I don't liek to do it, I would rather not have to. But I love a well painted army on a nice table. I think of myself as a collector. I hire painters to paint my armies. I buy nice terraign and figures. Adn I love to play games with my stuff.

As others have said, where does this leave me? Somewhere between the two extreems given. :-)

Baggy Sausage Inactive Member28 May 2013 8:41 p.m. PST

Beer and pretzels (not cut-throat)

Sparker Inactive Member29 May 2013 1:46 a.m. PST

I am a victim of 'massivism' in my gaming I like to organise games in the grand manner.


But I take it for granted that whilst people appreciate the sense of occasion and spectacle that such games afford, they also want to fight the battle out and get to a conclusion.

But I have been to some similarly grand scale games where after about 3 moves the consensus seems to be to just sit around and talk about 'the good old days', have lunch, then go to the pub….

A bit like the extremely impressive Waterloo 'game' at Salute this year, the one with the chap dressed as Napoleon. I'm reliably informed that not one dice was rolled…Now, all jealousy aside, that ain't wargaming!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2013 11:31 a.m. PST

If you are only into the gaming aspect (chess and tennis) of historical miniature gaming then why are you not playing board games? If I was only interested in gaming then I would not be wasting my time and money with figures, terrain etc. When I can buy lets say, "Saratoga" in a box, ready to play.

ranger629 May 2013 6:43 p.m. PST

With all due respect, I can't imagine voting for anything but both. I play board wargames (ASL, for example) and I play miniature games (WWII and after, including SciFi). The choice is between what strikes my fancy at any given moment, what I have room and finances for, and whether or not I'm playing solo (which is most of the time).

In fact, I came to gaming from toy soldiers and model railroading. There was a time in my life that I only did boardgames. Now, I do a bit of both, and feel all the richer for the dual experience.

At the same time, I haven't bought any board wargames in a few years, because, frankly, the prices are astronomical, what I get in return has often been disappointing, and the areas I want to play the most right now -- ultra-modern and near future tactical level (i.e., platoon to company) -- isn't represented by any decent boardgames.

There is one other point: I'm a history professor and can see the utility in either form of gaming as a means of testing why some things happened, at Waterloo, say, and why other things didn't happen.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2013 7:22 a.m. PST

I do way more miniature gaming than board gaming. I am just saying the advantage is no painting, basing etc. The big disadvantage is that boardgames are not flexible enough.

With miniatures I can do any battle or a made up one. With a board game I have to do the same battle over and over again. Then buy a new game to do the next battle and so on.
Gets expensive.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2013 1:19 p.m. PST

I am a bit of both but mostly the model railroader type – I probably spend almost 5 times as much painting as I do gaming and I will freely admit that I am a paint snob – no unpainted figs in my tabletop army! Not that I discriminate against those whose armies are not – after all, with my limited skills, it's not like it's always clear that my figs are painted at all

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2013 3:42 p.m. PST

It seems both these options are influenced by what brought each particular person into the hobby. A person who built models, and then decided to game with them falls into one category. A person who was a board-gamer and wanted more visual realism falls into another. While that view may have been reasonable when it was first put forward, I would suggest that many gamers of today entered the hobby because they enjoyed role-playing,

For such players, playing the battle of Waterloo might not be a visual experience, or a board game with nice pieces; It's a chance to role-play Napoleon or Wellington.

ochoin ceithir Inactive Member11 Jun 2013 4:17 p.m. PST

Train people have quite different aims

Don Manser08 Aug 2013 7:06 a.m. PST


SGThorne Inactive Member12 Jan 2014 5:29 a.m. PST

I don't think there are two types of wargamers. Because I cannot put myself in either camp: both aspects are an integral part of what makes wargaming my favorite pastime, my hobby, my passion. I research battles, strategies, tactics, uniforms, terrain, collect, paint, build, organize, collect, play and socialize.

At times I'm painting more than playing, and at other times it's the reverse.

Presently researching for the 600 years of Agincourt: plan to have a grand table using Tactica Medieval rules, and perhaps Perry miniatures. So, now I'm researching, and I am doing so with help from wargaming friends.

Personal logo Dasher Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 Feb 2014 10:28 p.m. PST

I hold that there are three types, actually:
1. Miniatures players
2. Roleplayers
3. Boardgamers
I contend that about 60% of gamers embrace two of these categories, about 25% restrict themselves to one, and only about 15% are committed to all three. That is, they can be counted on to partake in any of the three subjects enthusiastically without having to be coerced.
I can see how this poll refers to subsets within the first group, but I have found I can avoid a lot of frustration by remembering this theory when rustling up players for game night(s).

Larry R Inactive Member25 Apr 2014 8:03 a.m. PST

Ones that shower and ones that don't!

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