Thursday, 18 August 2011

What sort of gamer are you?

Right this was my entry into the House of Paincakes Idol competition so I didn't really want to post it here for a while just in case I got through and stole their thunder. Luckily its up now so I'm posting it on my blog. I'll be returning to this theme over the next few weeks but I think its important not to take this all too seriously. Its just an exercise in getting you thinking about your hobby, as a psychologist I'm not dumb enough to think you can fit people into such nice neat compartments so its just an aid to some introspection.

I've often thought of myself in a certain 'type' of gamer. We all think of ourselves in a certain way... probably far nicer than what our opponents think of us!!! This is going to be a personal blog about you; I'm not going to be chatting about what sort of gamer I am. I'm giving you a matrix and I want you to be honest about it... and then hand them out to your opponents and see what they think!!! That's right, get them to rank you - you might be surprised to see what people think of you as a hobbyist.

Open and Print

Frontline Gamer Matrix explained

Painter or Gamer - This axis is about which part of the hobby you enjoy the most. There are those who only like the gaming, and just slop paint on their mini's and play lots of games. Then there are those of us for whom painting and modelling our forces the best we can is the main thing we like, and gaming is just an excuse to flaunt our undeniable painting talents to the world.

Competitor or Socialite - It should be self explanatory, do you play games to win, choosing the beardiest armies, bending the rules to their limits... hell maybe even breaking them!!! Or do you play to have a laugh with your mates, meet new people, socialise?

What does it all mean?

Well everything and nothing to be brutally honest. I wrote this article to get us all thinking about what we want out of wargaming. Our hobby is somewhat unique insofar that it takes two to tango (possibly more depending on the game) and because of this we not only have to make sure we're getting what we want out of it but the guy or gal across the table is too. Wargaming is strangely competitive and co-operative - maybe codependent - at the same time.  Knowing what you want  is important to your enjoyment, and sometimes I wander whether we really think about this enough.

Just as important is knowing what your opponent wants. If they're a competitive gamer who likes to be challenged they won't thank you for turning up with your quirky themed army that is as beautifully painted as it is ineffectual!!! Maybe you can get away with that occasionally, but you'll need to try and challenge them at some point - and all you seal clubbers out there, don't take the uber army and game face to every tabletop you place an army on!!! Sometimes your opponents are out for fun and don't want to take things too seriously. Mix things up a bit and try some different builds out, you'll learn just as much about effective tactics from an unoptimised list as you would your 'killa list'. I'm not saying compromise what you want from the hobby, but do a bit of giving rather than taking. I'm honestly not trying to make this sound homoerotic, its just coming out that way. oh there I go again!!! Peace out!


  1. Back in my foolhardy 40K days, the best games I ever played were with a mate who was in it for the fun aspect rather than the "crush everyone" aspect. Sample conversation:

    Me (targeting his commander): Mind War is a half inch out.
    Him: That's fine, he'll live.
    (Roll the dice, he in fact doesn't live)
    Him: Ah well.
    (Goes for revenge with some nearby units)

    Not only did games like that run smoother, but it made it more fun as well (in this case, fending off a charge from the nearby units seeking vengeance for their fallen commander just felt like the right thing to be happening in the battle).

    We also tended to be rather loose with points values in the game, even playing some hideously one-sided battles at various times. As it turns out, given the right conditions (a sensible terrain deployment for one) I love playing as the smaller force.

    The thing I never got was people's reactions when watching the games. Half of them couldn't understand why we would let the other person take liberties like that, or how we could possibly play with unbalanced points values. But then, those people also tended to be ridiculously unimaginative when it came to Inquisitor as well, so I guess we know why that is.

  2. Hi Kemp, I think people should play the games, and I mean any game, how they want to. I've heard of so many little clubs or groupings of friends over the years deciding how they're going to play games certain ways, discount certain rules and include new house rules. Absolutely nothing wrong with it... until of course you step out of that bubble.

    Its like my article of Beer and Pretzels games, what annoys me is a company or somebody else telling me that I'm doing something wrong if I'm not playing the game a certain chuffing way!!! Its my time and its my money I'll bloody well do things as I see fit!!!

    Any who some people got the wrong end of the stick the other day when I threw this matrix out there so I'm going to be doing a more in-depth look at it and explaining what it is a little bit better and also explaining what the hell its not, because it is not a way of grouping wargamers together in any way. This matrix is about you understanding what you want from your hobby, personally, and maybe trying to understand what your friends want as well. Although it sounds to me like you guys have a good handle on it.