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Subject: Why people have no interest in Wargames rss

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Jack Smith
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This applies equally to Euros and Ameritrash too.

When I left a popular online game recently and people asked why I told them it was because I wanted to do more Wargaming and Boardgaming. Now these people love games, some play them 24/7 online. But they are computer games.

Not ONE of the people I spoke to knew one thing about our hobby. The general consensus was:

1. Wargames are fiddly and boring

2. Boardgames are for kids

Now its not news that people think this. There are some amazing games out there which people are never going to experience due to simple ignorance.

I never see adverts of any decent promotional material from games companies in the public domain. Except for BGG all game forums are a mess.

There is a whole untapped market out there.

There are several ways to educate and get gaming out there to the public that have never been done as far as I know:

1. Do deals with education boards for cheap, easy to play games to illustrate history lessons.

2. Have small games given out with computer games of the same subject in computer games shops. Millions of games of Call of Duty were sold. That's a massive market even if a tiny percentage took the hobby further.

There's a lot more ways, including asking the local game shop owner to try smiling occasionally.

Does anyone agree with this or have any ideas? Maybe you think its not desirable to have the great unwashed getting into gaming. If so let us know.



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In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring" but Board Games aren't just for kids so that 2nd point is obviously whacked out. Too bad they're too busy grinding their WoW characters to branch out. That game's boring after about 1 hour of playing.
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McDog
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wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring" but Board Games aren't just for kids so that 2nd point is obviously whacked out. Too bad they're too busy grinding their WoW characters to branch out. That game's boring after about 1 hour of playing.


I find wargames extremely fiddly and boring. If I want to play a wargame, I'll do it on a computer with a game designed for a computer...


Just my opinion.
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Mark Luta
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Free wargames are already available online for the cost of printing the components. In the 1970s, SPI would give away their game 'Firefight' which they had developed for the Army for a LSSAE. Putting wargames in videogame packages might seem a nice idea, but I am not sure the videogame companies would see any benefit to them for doing so.

I am not sure that videogamers in general are the great target market. It would seem so, after all they devote many hours to a game, it is generally some sort of conflict, and they clearly have the cash to purchase the games. And of course many people who play wargames do play videogames. However, I see some significant differences. A good wargame rewards longterm planning, often very longterm, without the immediate feedback a videogame gives. And while it might seem laughable that people who play games with a fairly simply defined set of interaction rules find wargames 'fiddly' that is a significant difference, you have to understand what to do in a wargame, you cannot simply try something and rely on the computer to enforce the rules. And playing a game against an opponent means some compromise, fitting in with the schedule of someone else, sometimes playing what they want to play rather than one's own preference--not considerations for a videogamer.

I think the better places to look are places such as history clubs, film clubs, book clubs and the like. It seems to me most wargamers are history buffs, probably most of us even got into wargaming through an interest in history. There are not only the obvious tie in of wargames with history, but games such as Dune and Battlestar Galactica really do dovetail well with the key issues in the book or tv show, and so might be of interest to fans. What is a 'fiddly' rule to the uninitiated, is a key simulation point to devotees!
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Richard Maurer
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Honestly, it just depends on whether they have anyone to show them. I find that too many people just don't know fun wargames exist or they have a misconception of wargaming "Oh, you guys must play Dungeon and Dragons right!" All you need is someone willing to take the time to explain a game and to show them that it is really easy to learn.

There are always going to be game haters, but I find that if you start quoting game rules and information, the buggers run away like the cockroaches they are. It is nice because I don't have time to deal with dummies who don't know a thing about a particular subject and will only stick around to make fun of it.
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Hunga Dunga
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wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring"

Wargames are like Slow Food.

There's a lot more going on than first meets the eye.

You need to take the time to really appreciate everything that's happening.
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Eugene
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Hungadunga wrote:
wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring"

Wargames are like Slow Food.


Prepared on a stove that may or may not heat properly. On any given Sunday, your cake may collapse. Through no fault of your own.
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Hunga Dunga
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garygarison wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring"

Wargames are like Slow Food.


Prepared on a stove that may or may not heat properly.

To be fair, you only need to roll 0-8 on a D10 to get the stove lit.
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Tom Hancock
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Board gaming, war gaming, whatever table top gaming is just not for everyone. Sure there are some people out there that would like it if they try it but not everyone enjoys it.

I have a friend who is a long distance runner and thinks everyone would love running marathons if they would just put the effort into running a few miles a day for a couple weeks. He might be right, but you will never catch me running two miles a day just to see if I like something.

This is basically how video gamers feel about board/war games. They are used to the computer moving all the fiddly parts for them behind the scenes.
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Mark Buetow
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How do people who know nothing about the hobby have a consensus on why it's unknown?
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Jack Smith
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Well I found that once I had explained what they were their interest went up a lot. In fact many I played with were heavily into their characters and very detailed mechanics of the game which includes heavy maths.

So their ability to learn and enjoy was not an issue. There is a perception that all computer gamers are drooling teens but thats from the truth. Some in my Guild were teachers, one a professor, several professionals and all capable of absorbing a lot of detailed information.

They are ripe for the picking.

I'm sure there is a vast untapped market if only the misconceptions were removed.
Another misunderstanding is that computer games give the same mechanics and feel as board games when they definitely do not. Computers make terrible opponents. But computer gamers assume computer games are an evolution to board games rather than another branch of games with a totally different feel.
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Jack Smith
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Malacandra wrote:
How do people who know nothing about the hobby have a consensus on why it's unknown?


Because they have a consensus on why they do not play them or even considered them.
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Rob Doupe
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For starters, most people under 50 have no interest in history. It's all about fantasy now. Take a wargame (Battle Cry), slap a fantasy theme on it (BattleLore) and you'll sell 8x or 10x the units.

Then there's learning rules. Most people regard reading a manual as a horrific kind of punishment, It reminds them of high school, and they probably hated high school.

Then you have impatience. The feedback for wargames is way too slow and subtle for gamers who are accustomed to the slot-machine reward pace of videogames.

Finally, you have physical limitations. It takes a long time to set up and play wargames. The pieces are tiny, and you have to lean down and peer at the map. Lots of people don't have the space to set up a "22 x "34 map and assorted aids, not to mention leaving it set up for two or three or six weeks.
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Barton Campbell
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Malacandra wrote:
How do people who know nothing about the hobby have a consensus on why it's unknown?


Incredibly good point!
Or you could put it this way:
How do people who know nothing about something, already know everything about that something?
The fact of the matter is everyone has heard of our hobby and they don't care for it. It's called "educational games" by them. Please stop trying to proselytize our hobby. People who are interested are inexplicably and uncontrollably attracted. Those who aren't will never be "lured in".
Just as I'm not interested in football or stamp collecting, everybody is interested in something else. That's the beauty of there being different people.

PS - Schools will never be interested in wargames. Frankly, their not even interested in "educational games" but their definitely not interested in "war".
yuk
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Jack Smith
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But you know about football don't you? And Marathon's, as an earlier poster mentioned. They are both marketed. Games are not.

Not one person I spoke to knew anything about games past Monopoly and Risk (at best) and they assumed that's all there was.

I'm not suggesting all will suddenly see the light but there is a lot of ignorance about the games available and the enjoyment they can give.

We simply cannot assume everyone made a definite choice not to be a gamer. We often see here new people coming on and saying 'wow I didn't realise games could be this much fun, what have I missed?'
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Paul O'Connor
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We must find these people, ZOC-lock them, and force a DR.
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Barton Campbell
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Here is another example.
Wine is a perfectly good alcoholic drink but most people prefer beer.
Then among wine drinkers there are those who prefer red or white, though many drink both. Now try to tell one of these wine drinkers to try "green wine" and they think your a nut.

But there is a green wine, Portuguese vinho verde and it's amazing. But is anyone going to look for it and try it. I seriously doubt it. But if you do, gazela is the best.

What the heck does wine have to do with wargames? I'm just saying everyone is into different things.
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Robert Wilson
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or maybe a dr if its random selection
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Lori
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bartman347 wrote:


But there is a green wine, Portuguese vinho verde and it's amazing. But is anyone going to look for it and try it. I seriously doubt it. But if you do, gazela is the best.


Green wine? Who knew???
See, I knew I'd learn something new reading a wargaming forum. ;-)
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John Bobek
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I think I'm the stealth designer. My games are invisible on this site! zombie

Quote:
1. Wargames are fiddly and boring

The ones I've judged aren't.

 







Quote:
1. Do deals with education boards for cheap, easy to play games to illustrate history lessons.

I did history labs with miniatures for years.



 

It's all in my book.
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James McHaffey
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Rastak wrote:
wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring" but Board Games aren't just for kids so that 2nd point is obviously whacked out. Too bad they're too busy grinding their WoW characters to branch out. That game's boring after about 1 hour of playing.


I find wargames extremely fiddly and boring. If I want to play a wargame, I'll do it on a computer with a game designed for a computer...


Just my opinion.


I find people with this opinion fiddly and boring. And it's absolutely NOT true about wargames. Third Reich sold almost 1 million copies when people didn't have computers to think for them... That's far more than any euro. The problem is we now live in a degenerative society where people use technology as a crutch so they can be lazy. Instead of using their brains they'd rather let their computer, cell phone, or GPS do alomst everything for them. I've been a teacher for almost 30 years and I've seen the de-evolution. Kids can't write or add anymore. The only thing they are proficient at is using a device to get the answer for them. The next generation is in trouble heaven forbid the Internet were to implode from a virus. They can't even (or want to) find a book in a library. It's the same exact reason why there are virtually no wargamers under 30. Europeans are not as dependent on technology as the typical American so there is still some appreciation for boardgames there amongst the mainstream. People don't look at you like you are a freak just because you like Settlers of Catan...
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Two words and an abbreviation

1) War

2) NERDS!

3) ASL.
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Barton Campbell
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Your from the UK. I don't know if you've been to Finchley in northern London but there is a small independent gamestore on the Finchley High Street. Everyone who lives in Finchley has passed this gamestore on the way to the underground. So everyone in Finchley is somewhat familiar with games besides Risk and Monopoly even if it's just seeing other games in the window. According to your theory there should be a lot more gamers in Finchley than anywhere else because they've been "exposed" to these games. But you know what? There are no more gamers in Finchley than anywhere else in the UK. Why? Because people already know about these games. If they were to admit they had heard of Dungeons and Dragons or any other weird game, then that would mean they had 'lergies' (that's cooties in America). Wake up brother. We've got lergies.
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Jack Smith
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bartman347 wrote:
Here is another example.
Wine is a perfectly good alcoholic drink but most people prefer beer.
Then among wine drinkers there are those who prefer red or white, though many drink both. Now try to tell one of these wine drinkers to try "green wine" and they think your a nut.

But there is a green wine, Portuguese vinho verde and it's amazing. But is anyone going to look for it and try it. I seriously doubt it. But if you do, gazela is the best.

What the heck does wine have to do with wargames? I'm just saying everyone is into different things.


Yes I do see what you mean. But now take that further and assume they had never heard of wine? Or even Alcohol. That's were many people are with gaming I think.

There is no point marketing to people that may have tried it and did not like it or they are heavily into something else but that's not all of the market.

To an earlier poster I'm not suggesting we stick a full game of OCS on every packet of cornflakes. But even a flier or whatever in a computer game pointing to a website where it can be downloaded would be something. Start it simple of course, small map, rules of a few paragraphs and a few counters.

When I played World of Warcraft their own produced CCG is heavily marketed on splash screens and linked all over the site. The board games are not mentioned once. This is probably due to licensing and distribution but really, why did they not work out a mutual arrangement?

11 Million play World of Warcraft, how many even know the Boardgame, several of them, even exist?

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Hungadunga wrote:
garygarison wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
wytefang wrote:
In all fairness, most wargames ARE "fiddly and boring"

Wargames are like Slow Food.


Prepared on a stove that may or may not heat properly.

To be fair, you only need to roll 0-8 on a D10 to get the stove lit.


Yes, but the other guy gets a bonus modifier if you're playing with the Kitchen Waaagh! rule.
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