Friday, 16 November 2012

Proper Wargamers? Analysing the evidence

Over a week ago, Phil Broeders started a new wargamer questionnaire Are You A Proper Wargamer?
This was about as much fun as Ray and Fran`s list of 20 questions in September, but that was much more an indication of subcultural preferences than of behaviour. Also, Phil`s attempt takes the scoring approach and most people understand that they need to score as high as possible in these cases.

Phil asked for more questions that could be on the list and these were used by Lee Hadley for a second part of the questionnaire. However, as only a few people have answered these extra questions, I won`t use them here.

Just because it's a classic doesn't mean I can't recycle it

As with all questionnaires (even those designed by professionals) there`s a lot of interpretation possible by those surveyed (especially the Frontline Gamer), but this generally leads to longer and more interesting stories. So it might actually be a good thing.
"Looking at it the late Paddy G might not score above half on the list, and he was a proper wargamer."
Some people, like Trebian at Wargaming for GrownUps, even take issue with the principle of scoring and the contents of the list: "Looking at it the late Paddy G might not score above half on the list, and he was a proper wargamer." Trebian offers an alternative set of questions that is as interesting as Phil's but regrettably hasn`t been answered by anyone.

What I`ve done is to collect 18 questionnaires, including my own and scored both the questions and the surveyed people Most of these people were on my blog roll, but I also did a lazy google search on `proper wargamer`. Although 18 questionnaires is not a lot, the pattern was getting pretty solid, if you don`t take it all too seriously.

The 18 questionnaires are mine (follows later), Phil Broeders, Sidney Roundwood, Ian, Frontline Gamer, Jim Hales, Lee Hadley, Mike Whitaker, Greyhawk Grognard, Legatus, Mik, Stefan, Joe, Wargamer Girl, Anibal, Millsy, Christopher and Shermon.

Some of them had already scored their own responses very carefully, in other cases I`ve made a judgement call. This is not proper social science after all. That`s too much like work. So I`ve also not tested whether these 20 questions actually make a good scale (I doubt it). If you care about these things you`re welcome to use my database and calculate.

All the individual total scores

The total scores of all these bloggers were very close and with little variation. The minimum score was 13 out of 20, the maximum 18 for Phil himself, who of course set his own standard. Next up was Christopher with 17.5. The average was 15. All proper wargamers indeed, I'd say.

But the more interesting thing is the scores of the individual questions. The rate at which each question has been scored is an indication about real miniature wargamers, rather than Phil's ideal one. That post will be up tomorrow, followed on Sunday by my answers. See if you can guess what they will be.

If you have filled in the questionnaire but are not on my list, please leave a comment with a link to your answers. I will do an update later.


  1. I'll be interested in hearing what else you have to say on the topic. I'll be posting a Sermon on some of the issues the exercise raised for me. Cheers.

  2. Looking forward to your sermon, which "gaat er in als Gods Woord in een ouderling" as we say in the Netherlands.

  3. That's quite interesting stuff, despite it being a small sample. I'm pleased that I am on the 'less nerdy than Phil Broeders' end of the scale lol.

  4. I have a horrible idea that I am right up there on the nerd scale, oh well LOL


  5. By the time we get to 18 respondents, the effect of one answer going either way doesn't affect the overall outcome as much anymore. So the general pattern is probably correct, even if some percentage will go up or down.

    The most interesting thing is that even with 18 respondents, three questions still got the full score. Some things really seem to apply to all of us. You will see tomorrow.

  6. And Jim, thanks for coming out here and commenting!

  7. Hi Jur, looking for ward to see the full tables. I'm really curious

  8. That was an interesting post, not sure why I didn't post Phil's questions?

  9. Well, get going Ray! I can still include them in the update. There's a few others that have been brought to my attention.

    Also, thanks and welcome to Ian, Anibal, Phil and Mik for coming along.

  10. Interesting stuff. Why do I feel I'll be bringing the average up? :-)

  11. Hi Jur - thanks for doing this. It's really interesting!


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