Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are you a "proper" wargamer?

This interesting Q&A was started by Phil and expanded by Lee and has been joined by many others. I thought I'd join in as I find them fun and hopefully others will be as interested in my thoughts as I am in theirs.:-)

Big Lee put in a point structure as follows:
If you answer yes you get a point, half points can also be earned and of course no points for negative answers

* Spent at least £500 on figures / tanks - and you get extra kudos for every £500 you've spent
I've averaged at least between 500 and thousand per year with probably more at times.(2pts.)

* Pricked your finger or thumb on a pike block - several times
Yes...many..many times!(1pt)

* Tried at least 10 different rule sets and vowed never to play half of them ever again
Worse....I have bought and have yet to read several different rule sets let alone play them! The thing is I love collecting rule books and looking at the eye candy, but find reading rules terribly boring and just a necessary evil to playing. I'd be quite happy for someone to read the rules and explain them to me thus leaving me with the task of only needing to read something if I have a question about a particular rule.(1pt)

* Bought an army off EBay
No, but something similar.Most of my buying and trading is on forums. Usually I buy unpainted or those that are painted to strip.(1/2pt.)

* Sold an army on EBay
A few figures, but again mostly selling and trading on forums(1/2pt.)

* spent months painting an army - then used it in anger once
Oh yes this has happened a few times. The most painful being a large Trojan army fought one weekend and that was it! Eventually sold it. Hazards of being wargaming butterfly!(1pt)

* tried several different periods and genres
Try multiple as several sounds too little for me! :-0(1pt)

* dropped a box of figures on the floor from a great height
Yes, but only with units and singles and not an entire army.....yet.(1pt)

* lost a battle on the last throw of the dice
First throw, middle throw and last throw! (1pt)

* made at least one enemy for life
Not that I know of and hopefully not, but when I played in tournaments in yesteryear I probably stepped on a few toes to my regret. I used to be more competitive then I am now. I've realized a good game is far better then winning. I pretty much have quit tournaments in favour of campaign week ends and participation games when not gaming at my house or the club as the emphasis is on the game and not results on the board. (0pts.)

* had a proper, stand up argument over a wargamers table
Yes indeed I've had some very, very heated opinions flying back and forth! However, these days I'd say far less often and most I'd term more discussions then arguments. I like to think I've grown over the years and have calmed down and mellowed as age sets in.(1pt)

* thrown a dice across a room
Again, guilty of this to my shame, but I have not done so in a very,very long time. Fortunately for myself and others age continues to smooth the waters.(1pt)

* rebased an army for a different rule set
Oh yes! Still searching for the best approach to basing to avoid this problem and keep changing my mind!.(1pt)

* inflicted a whopping defeat on an opponent

* suffered an embarrassing defeat due to a stupid tactical decision
Yes indeed!(1pt)

* joined a wargamers club
I've been a member of one for many years, but find myself drifting away a bit partly due to parting interests in gaming(I prefer historical and the club more fantasy/Sci Fi) and since having my own gaming room and thus able to invite others more interested in the type of gaming that I am.(1pt)

* bought a ton of lead that remains unpainted
Yes as my drawers and shelves will easily point out my vast and I do mean vast total ineptitude at self restraint and pragmatism to collecting miniatures.(1pt)

* been to a wargamers show
Yes, but nearly as much as I'd like too. This is something I'd like to do much more often so as to meet more gamers from the forums and blogs I've come to know.(1/2 pt)

* have more dice than is logical or necessary to own - and have used most of them
Yes I have more then I'll ever need and like unpainted miniatures will of course just add more!(1pt)

Have taken boxes of your troops down to your club just to show them off to your mates
Since for me painting comes first then gaming second then I must confess that I'm guilty as charged of this indulgent self promotion , horn blowing activity.......oh and as one can see that wasn't enough for me so I had too start a blog too! (1pt)

* You have reference books on each period / army you play
Yes and mostly more then one for each.(1pt)

* Having played so many different games you confidently quote rules for a totally different period, scale or ruleset to the one you're playing at that moment
Yes I sure have. I often get confused. (1pt)

* You have lied to your partner / spouse about how much you've spent on the hobby 
No I have not and not because I think she may read this which I seriously doubt, but because I don't need or want too. My wife while not completely understanding my addiction does support me and we have a mutually agreed budget that I use for wargaming and as long as I don't go way,way over the mark things stay calm and has worked well for many years now which basically makes lying not only pointless, but unnecessarily destructive.(0pts.)

* You get genuinely excited when a package arrives in the post - then hide it upstairs quickly before your partner sees it.  If your partner finds it first, you lie about the contents.
Yes I get very excited....don't we all:-) and no I don't hide it. Read above please for why. (1/2pts.)

* You have joined a re-enactment society (5 points for this one!)
Sadly no. If I lived back in the states I'd almost for sure be part of an ACW re-enactment society. I'm still thinking of joining one over here(Either ACW,FIW or AWI).(0pts)

* You have played in an unsuitable venue
Yes/no. I've played some small events where the venue could have been better, but my expectations where not overly high so not overly disappointed. No large event has been unsuitable that I've been to as of yet.(1/2pts.)

* You continue to search for the perfect Napoleonic / WW2 / Ancients / ACW etc. rule set (knowing that it doesn't actually exist).
Yes of course, but fortunately I've played enough systems that I like that I don't feel unhappy.(1pt)

* For that reason you have developed your own house rules for certain periods.  And think them far superior to the original author's efforts.
No, I don't like reading rules all that much so writing them is diffidently out for me, but I do like adding some house rules here and there. (0pts.)

* You have returned from a wargames show and sneaked upstairs to hide the stash.
No for same reasons I gave for packages and spending.(0pts)

* You have an irrational aversion to some genres and vow never to play them regardless of how much fun they look.  Like Dystopian Wars, 6mm Napoleonics, Warhammer 40k, Malifaux etc.
If it looks like fun I'll probably play it, but I do have an aversion to playing anything say after Viet Nam as it's too close to real life. I served in the military and am a vet and so no need to play what I lived. I like my wargaming to have some mystery to it.
Another thing is a question of scale where I may like the figures but I'm undecided if they are too small like 10mm for example.I know anything 6mm or under is too small both in painting and visually and things over 40mm is too big. I say 28mm and 15's are my comfort zone and I'm reluctant to leave this with only 10mm and perhaps 20mm giving me any serious thoughts on expanding beyond.(1pt)

* You have made your own wargames scenery.
Yes I 've made whole towns and I'm now working on some scenery. However, I admit while it is cheaper it is also very time consuming so often I just buy it and paint it rather then build it to save time.(1pt)

* You have reached a painting 'wall'
Yes in way. I don't really just stop painting, but I'll slow down time at the desk or jump between several periods which I do with unrelenting frequency which exacerbates my butterfly wargaming habits.(1pt)

* You have lost - and regained - your wargaming mojo.
Yes/no. Kind of like painting where I'll slow down for a small period and then pick up again, but not completely stop. (1/2pt.)

* You have the occasional (and short lived) sense of guilt with your wife/children when complaining to them about the money spent in clothes, shoes or toys/Xbox games when you have £200 of unpainted metal stuffed in an upstairs drawer.
I've been a hypocrite at times on this, but not often and usually snap out of it soon.(1pt)

* You have done armies in different scales for the same period
Yes and I'm doing my best to stop this and keep only one scale per period, but as of yet not completely successful.(1pt)

* You have jealously coveted someone else's troops 
Sure every time I look at the blogs and magazines.:-)(1pt)

* You have laughed (secretly or otherwise) as someone else's paint job
Bare metal is the only true funny thing on a table which I have to my shame done in the past(happily I can say I no longer do so). While I may find some paint jobs less the stellar or even an eye sore I where I think oh dear paint splash on figures I at least somewhat to my credit respect the fact they have painted their army which I recognize is not that easy and something to be proud of.(1pt)

* You have provided a piece of useless trivia relating to the troops on the table to show off your wargaming knowledge.
Yes I have and also been proven wrong on some of the boasts to my deserved humiliation.(1pt)

* You have contradicted someone elses' trivia - demonstrating your superior knowledge and giving you a warm glow inside.
Yep, I've been a smug ass at times and like I said also been proven wrong eating my boastful words!

* You have caused a major disaster on a wargames table 
Almost a few times, but luckly always managed to catch my balance preventing a gang beating.(0pts)

* You have cheered when an opponent's dice lets them down at a critical point
Yes, my emotions get the better of me too often and too my shame I have indeed done a dance in celebration of my opponent's misfortune. However, I at least accept when the same is done to me without malice. However, this is a behaviour I'm correcting both consciously and naturally through age . It also depends how the cheering is done say if you cheer them as well as yourself because it's an exciting event in the game and not out of personal satisfaction then I see no problems with it.(1pt)

* You have lied to your partner about going gaming. 
No. I think I've explained this well enough.(0pts) 

* You have lied to an attractive woman (man) about your hobby. 
Perhaps I might have in my younger days, but now I could care less so I'd say no I do not. Truth be told, they often are interested as geeky things are not so shall we say taboo as they used to be.(1/2pt)

* You have made an opponent cry.  It doesn't count if they are under 8 years old though.
Not that I'm aware of and hope not!(0pts)

* You have painted the same army in the same scale more than once 
Well kind of and if not exact then similar. with ACW and WWII, Vikings being the prime offenders.(1/2pt)

* You have reference books on armies you haven't even got (I have books on ECW, ACW, SYW, 30YW yet not one solitary figure for any of these periods).
Yes I do. (1pt)

* You have bought figures for a period you have never and will never play - because they were cheap.
Yes with plastics often the case. I usually buy and sell them as I prefer metal almost every time. This hasn't stopped me from trying to keep warming up to plastics! (1pt)

* You have inflicted grievous bodily harm on a dice that has let you down. 
Yes,enough to make a base ball major league scout take notice, but I can't remember the last time. Fortunately, dice are very forgiving and still let themselves be used.(1pt)

* You blog or have a web-page about your Wargaming activities

Yes, I've been indulging for a few years now.:-) (1pt)

* Your book collection is almost all war and wargames related

Not sure I'd say quite all as I like quite a few subjects, but it sure has the dominent portion. (1pt) 

* You critique 'war' movies (especially Hollywood war movies) for historical accuracy 

Yes, but I would say I'm not overly critical and still manage to enjoy most for what they are trying to do and really appreciate the ones that do it even better.(1pt)

* You spend car / train journeys checking out the lie of the land - considering which way you would attack from and whether it would make good wargaming terrain.

Way too often and have almost put myself in a very bad spot because of it!(1pt)

If my terrible math is correct and I gave the proper points then I guess that gives me 40 out of 56 which I hope makes the cut.:-) 


  1. lol There's a few extra there that should have been on the original!

    How about "Discarded the wargaming shop's logo'd bag and replaced it with a plain brown paper bag, so your neighbours will think it's just porn and nothing weirder"?

    1. I knew I wasn't the only person to do that. In Leeds, in the 1990s the "Travelling Man" RPG and comic shop stopped giving out fantastic purpose designed carrier bags showing all kinds of geeky goodness and replaced them with a plain, anonymous beige carrier bag owing to customer requests!

  2. This thing has gone viral! I've seen multiple versions of it over the last week and it's been fun to see the answers.

  3. The additional points were made as suggestions by other bloggers who'd seen the first post and which I posted a day later and which I wished I'd thought of for the original. Big Lee had a great idea of scoring each item and most people seem to be scoring c.30+ (ie over 50%) on the blogs I've seen. Really glad people are enjoying it - it does seem to prompt both happy memories and sobering honesty.

  4. First time I've seen this. Made me chortle, and a few thoughts of 'yup I've done that too'. Fun read.

  5. l loved all the questions and if truth be told answered just about all in the affirmative..but that last question was spot on...even the immortal H G Wells mentioned that in book of his not even on wargaming.

    1. Yes one as has to be careful of wargaming daydreams while driving!


  6. Terrific replies, Christopher. And some great comments from other readers (I could not resist adding to Jim's comment! - I hope you don't mind). And I share your pain about acquiring rules as eye-candy!!

    1. Happy you found it enjoyed the replies as I did yours. Of course I don't mind you commenting on others replies and he did have good one!:-)


  7. Many thanks, Christopher, for this highy enjoyable account. I'll not answer those questions myself as I am afraid I'll have too many points and also in categories I'm not proud of (budget, err)...

    1. Thanks Sir Toby glad you enjoyed my ramblings.:-)


  8. Hi Christopher,

    I used your answers to Phil Broeder's list for a wider analysis of the questions. You might be interested in the results. See here:


    1. Thank you and it seems I scored high on the nerd meter. :-)


  9. No worries. I think we're all high on the nerd meter ;-)

  10. And here's part two


    1. Thanks Jur just read it very interesting results!