Sunday, 16 December 2012

Am I A Proper Wargamer? Feedback

Looking back on the Am I A Proper Wargamer posts, I must say that mostly, it gave me a lot of fun. The 6 score questions and some were entertaining and sometimes thought provoking and I had a good time digging up relics from the past, like my Franco-Prussians and samurai ruleset.

And suddenly that question hits you...

Apart from providing good fun, praise should go to Phil for giving a pretty good alround description of wargamers. Most of his question were answered in the positive by the respondents. It was not complete, perhaps, but that was never the point. As said, the list generated quite some discussion, both in the form of expansions and counterlists and even a sermon. Phil has even added another addition to his list recently.

Frontline Gamer, in a Sunday Sermon, picked up on the level of elitism that comes with the word 'proper' and which excludes a broad range of phenomenons that are just as wargamy as anything in Phil's list. Why exclude the large tribe of Games Workshop customers and others that play non-historical? In the end Phil and FG agreed that the latter was over-analysing his original post, and FG made it clear that he used it more as a coat hook to hang his argument on.

I agree that in some cases the hobbyist ethic is a obstacle to popularising wargames. FG notes that part of his wargamer values is to paint your own troops. Likewise, in our club, there is the informal ´rubber mallet´ rule that you should play with painted miniatures. In my case and those of others I know, painting and modelling has been a major hurdle to enter miniature games.

Prepainted miniatures could be the way of the future because people like minis, but can´t find the time or feel their skills are below those of the kids in Bangladesh or wherever that do these paint jobs. Maybe AT-43 wasn't the right thing at the right time, but Heroclix and similar games have done well. Look at Fantasy Flight's X-Wing now.

Of course I was very happy to see my posts on Phil's list picked up and to get so much response from a variety of people. That was good exposure for my blog but also an influx of discussion and fresh ideas. Because even though a blogger likes to have an audience, it´s much more fun when they actively engage rather than just read my stuff without comment. I can´t be right that much of the time, you know...

PS for those of you that might be worried, the ´rubbet mallet´ rule has never been enforced


  1. Nice wargames room in the picture BTW. Is it yours ?

    1. No, it isn't, regrettably. It is a room in a Polish landhouse/palace near Cracow. We played a few demo games there in 2007.

      It was really beautiful

  2. I remember a CLWG Christmas game. We put all our names in a hat and drew one in secret. Next we described a wargame, the period and the style of rules etc. And then the rest of the group had to guess which player amongst us would hate the game the most.

    Jim Wallman had drawn my name out. He described a Napoleonic figure game with lots of rules and tables that we had to be familiar with to play the game. The group guessed it was me fairly quickly.

    I was always pleased by this accolade - I am not a wargamer.

    1. And a good thing too. Wargames don't need more wargamers, but people who play wargames. If this hobby wants to grow or survive, we need new people, and those cannot all be wargamers.


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