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Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/12/2021 11:49:15 PM   
pzgndr

 

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I found this discussion interesting at ConsimWorld Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity

Things that got my attention:
1. Losing things in wargames vs building/acquiring things in other games
2. Wargames require planning and long-term thinking vs 30-minute games
3. Command-style wargames (move/attack to win/lose) vs management (micro-management?) games with indirect competition
4. Wargames allow players to move all their pieces each turn vs less complicated games

Full disclosure. I grew up playing Avalon Hill wargames in the 1970s and enjoyed them. I've watched these trends myself and wondered why younger players aren't interested in the same things. Times change. Even Wargamer.com seems to have strayed off the classic wargame path with its recent reorganization. Maybe I'm too set in my ways, but I still prefer the old classic wargames: turn-based, hexagons, units with AF-MF, CRTs, terrain effects charts, and just being able to enjoy playing a game for its various strategies and tactics to see what works and what doesn't. It's a game. Have fun.
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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 12:50:15 AM   
Zovs


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Amen brother. JTS Panzer Campaigns and Battles are similar to old board war games. TOAW and WitW/WitE too.

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 2:08:30 AM   
z1812


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I don't think things have changed so much as we may think. Wargames were never very popular. I grew up playing Avalon hill games in the sixties. I usually had to play them solitaire as no one was interested in the topic. Not to mention learning the system and rules. The best I could do was to get my friends to play light games like Risk or Diplomacy.

Wargames will always be niche enterprises.


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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 4:48:20 AM   
RangerJoe


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It also depends upon the definition of wargame as well. A lot of people play them if you count mating and marriage.

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 7:15:25 AM   
warspite1


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I think there are some valid points here - but also some dubious points made.

As has been mentioned above already, when you look at the numbers, even in the heyday of wargaming, the numbers were small.

Of the six reasons given my £0.02 GBP Sterling would be:

- Generational. This is the big one. Time moves on. When I was born, World War II was only 20 years ago. As a kid there was World War II everywhere; cinema, TV, books, games, plastic model kits. There was simply more interest because the people producing product were likely to have been involved in the war and it was a big thing. Despite this, war gaming interest was relatively low, so its not surprising that 50+ years on its even lower.

- Zeitgeist. Sorry much of this sounds like gobbledegook. If you are good at wargames you win and build things (territory, empires etc). As for you can't lose? Well that is nonsense. Of course you can lose in video games. Yes you re-spawn, but with a war game you just start over. What is the difference? Shorter attention spans and instant gratification? Yes, generally, but there is too much generalisation. In what numbers has Civilisation sold? That's not instant gratification. And yes you aim to build and acquire in Civ - but you definitely lose too (well I do ) but that didn't stop its massive popularity.

- Ego. No. Just No. This is psycho babble imo.

- K12. As above. I understand the nonsense that we are all winners and we should avoid competition blah blah. But I don't think THAT stops someone buying and trying out a wargame. What stops them is the generational argument. They don't know about some stupid war in the past, history is boring and.... no thanks, Super Mario Kart look FUN!

- Indirect vs Direct, Management vs Command. Er okay....what?

- Video Games. The last point in this slide is interesting. Not least because, if modern day games (the technology) were available in the 60's, would that mean that the games produced would be very different to today (and perhaps more like wargames) because the people producing those games would have had the whole generational connection to WWII etc? I think games like GTA would never have been allowed to see the light of day. Different times, different outlook, different mindset.

Complication? - I think this fits with the instant gratification and attention spans argument. Kids aren't stupid. Kids generally today would have no more difficulty in picking up and understanding a rule set from an AH game than we would in the 60's and 70's. It's just that they don't have the inclination to try (because the war gaming subject matter doesn't interest them) and yes, I suspect that for those that would, there are perhaps more demands on time, social media etc.

I think its too easy to over complicate things.... or maybe I've sought to simply things too much?



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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 12:07:26 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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Back in 1978 or 1979 I had a book on Wargame Design - It made mention of a estimated 25000 wargamers in the US. That's fairly niche and it probably has not changed too much.

Wish I still had it, loaned it to a gamer friend and his dog ate it!

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 12:09:06 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Evolution.

When wargames were originally board games, wargamers tended to be college-educated and geeky nerdy people.
When role games were originally pencil paper funny-shaped dice and books, the players were the least popular kids in school as well.

Then came machines. And games started going digital. You no longer needed another human. You didn't really need to 'read the manual'.
Then machines allowed the games to get more complex, and it aided in the creation of the games as well.
Games started using numbers for editions. Originally, you bought a game, it was printed, and it didn't change much. Now games had patches and versions.
Games like Squad Leader became very detailed games like ASL.

It's not like board games became video games overnight. The internet wasn't the www thing for a while. But electronic toys and digital games didn't require human to human interaction. The worst thing to happen to games, my opinion, was cell phones. "Everyone turn off your cell phones during the game" would be met with disgust, all manner of lame reasons, "Oh I need it for work" and other justifications that really killed getting together for a role game.

Our 'social media' which isn't as social as everyone wants to think it is, has turned humans into zombies who can't stop staring at a small screen long enough to eat a meal with friends let alone several hours to focus on a board game. I never had a problem mastering a board game rules manual. No, the mere idea of not being able to turn on a video game and just start playing is met with disgust. My first action when I bought Gary's War in the East was print out the manual, in colour, spiral bound. The idea of just turning it on and playing seemed idiotic. Try getting a 20 something to do something like that.

How many of our great games designers have died in the last 10 years that you know of?
How many wargamers have you watched die in the last 10 years?

It might not be any one thing. But if the companies are gone, the designers are going and we are starting to die off.....

Some markets have their time, and then it ends.
In the 80s, I liked buying music on CD.
Back around 2000, I liked getting movies on DVD.
I refuse to give up buying books in hardcover.
I wish I could still find space for board games. But I'm thinking of getting a cat :) And I've given the only safe room to the train layout project.

I actually had my son with the silly notion "Maybe if I grow my own wargame opponent." But while he likes my sciences, he's not a wargamer.

When you say wargame in a game store, they think you mean Call of Duty. When you say role game, they think you mean WoW.
As 'great' as Slitherine and Matrix are to us, mainstream gamers have never heard of us.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 12:47:29 PM   
RFalvo69


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Except that both boardgames and role-playing games are enjoying a boom. The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most played RPG ever and is leading a resurgence for the whole sector. Classics like Traveller and Call of Cthulhu enjoy record sales.

Boardgames boomed around the early 2000 and currently the competition is stiff; you must be very good to emerge in a field where dozens and dozens of new titles are published every year. The most successful ones (like Twilight Struggle, Gloomhaven or Wingspan) are generating digital versions (I can say that I played more games at Twilight Struggle online than at any wargame I own).

So, people still like to socialise (or even play via zoom in these times) and participating to a game together. Wargames must find their own reasons.

_____________________________

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 1:16:02 PM   
z1812


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

Except that both boardgames and role-playing games are enjoying a boom. The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most played RPG ever and is leading a resurgence for the whole sector. Classics like Traveller and Call of Cthulhu enjoy record sales.

Boardgames boomed around the early 2000 and currently the competition is stiff; you must be very good to emerge in a field where dozens and dozens of new titles are published every year. The most successful ones (like Twilight Struggle, Gloomhaven or Wingspan) are generating digital versions (I can say that I played more games at Twilight Struggle online than at any wargame I own).

So, people still like to socialise (or even play via zoom in these times) and participating to a game together. Wargames must find their own reasons.



As true as that is, it is only within a very small group with a niche interest in gaming. Interest in the more complicated and thoughtful pursuits in life has never been very high. Just look at you tube views for Logan Paul as compared to Albert Einstein.


< Message edited by z1812 -- 2/13/2021 1:28:56 PM >

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 2:54:36 PM   
MrsWargamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

Except that both boardgames and role-playing games are enjoying a boom. The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most played RPG ever and is leading a resurgence for the whole sector. Classics like Traveller and Call of Cthulhu enjoy record sales.

Boardgames boomed around the early 2000 and currently the competition is stiff; you must be very good to emerge in a field where dozens and dozens of new titles are published every year. The most successful ones (like Twilight Struggle, Gloomhaven or Wingspan) are generating digital versions (I can say that I played more games at Twilight Struggle online than at any wargame I own).

So, people still like to socialise (or even play via zoom in these times) and participating to a game together. Wargames must find their own reasons.


As much as I want to believe that, truth is, role gamers and wargamers are the same sort of dedicated collectors. Why DO I buy so many wargames. Oh, yeah, the same reason I bought so many role games :)
I CREATED role gaming to a point in the 70s (me and my crowd).

Bought D&D, bought 1st, 2nd heavily, missed 3rd. didn't care for 3.5, bought heavily into 4th only to see it shamelessly cancelled so I could buy into 5th. Hey, hold on a minute there. I know the deal, you will just magically cancel 5th in about 3 years (you just wait and see). 4th was a good product. It didn't need to be replaced. They did the same with Alternity, one of the best designs I have seen in 30 years. Why no reason. I guess they wanted you to buy something else now.

I was a big fan of cardboard crack you might know it as Magic the Squandering. But by 97 it was clear they expected you to replace everything every 2 years, even though the game never really changes.
I walked out on Hearthstone recently when they mangled a game that worked. They needed you to spend more.

Now, at least Gary's War in the East 2 will probably be worth it. Not sure if I will get it. I have not leapt at Panzer Corps 2 yet as well. Order of Battle is likely good, but, it's a bit too like a lot of other good games. I recall when a great game didn't need as much volume and didn't need to be as expensive. Squad Leader 1 box. Panzer Leader 1 box. ASL is mostly WTF?! Battle Academy is a great purchase and a lot of playing. A rare example of a lot of DLC which is ok.

Civilization yet again. VI, I don't care if it is ALL free. Enough is enough. It's no longer fun. It's less work to just go to work.

We have layered on too much.
Most of these games would NOT have succeeded if the had begun as they are NOW, and not as they started.
I'd have never started playing ASL as ASL first.
Advanced Third Reich is ok, but where it currently sits, and for the price they want, nope. I don't even want it for free.

I started wargaming with Tactics II. Didn't even have hexes.
I thought Blitzkrieg was great. I could likely get a non wargamer to play Blitzkrieg.
I am not even inclined to show non wargamers most of my computer wargames. They just glaze over and go look at their cell phone.

I don't know if there is that many playing 5th, but, you can BET that they mostly play staring at a digital device, and NOT eating pops chips and staring at a scribble on a piece of paper telling them what's going on.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to RFalvo69)
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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 3:39:26 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I think there are some valid points here - but also some dubious points made.


Agreed, the discussion is not definitive but does provide some insights. I am less concerned about what other players play than I am about why developers are not interested in the classic board wargames that I would like to see adapted to the PC with challenging computer opponent. Maybe someday, but probably not.

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 3:49:21 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I think there are some valid points here - but also some dubious points made.


Agreed, the discussion is not definitive but does provide some insights. I am less concerned about what other players play than I am about why developers are not interested in the classic board wargames that I would like to see adapted to the PC with challenging computer opponent. Maybe someday, but probably not.


Game developers may be interested in developing the classic board games into a computer version but the companies which own those games may not be interested at all. So the games that are developed can't follow the board games too closely without the potential threat of lawsuits. Most suits are bad but lawsuits are the worst. Some birthday suits are fine, some are not so fine . . .

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 3:50:45 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer
quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69
Except that both boardgames and role-playing games are enjoying a boom. The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most played RPG ever and is leading a resurgence for the whole sector. Classics like Traveller and Call of Cthulhu enjoy record sales.

Boardgames boomed around the early 2000 and currently the competition is stiff; you must be very good to emerge in a field where dozens and dozens of new titles are published every year. The most successful ones (like Twilight Struggle, Gloomhaven or Wingspan) are generating digital versions (I can say that I played more games at Twilight Struggle online than at any wargame I own).

So, people still like to socialise (or even play via zoom in these times) and participating to a game together. Wargames must find their own reasons.

Bought D&D, bought 1st, 2nd heavily, missed 3rd. didn't care for 3.5, bought heavily into 4th only to see it shamelessly cancelled so I could buy into 5th.

Well, no: the problem with 4th was that it was a hard fiasco. They tried to cater to the "young" crowd (aping CRPGs like World of Warcraft) only to see half of their basis move to Pathfinder (AKA D&D 3.75). The 4th era is considered one of the lowest points in the history of D&D. This doesn't mean that those enjoying it are wrong: it simply didn't live up both to the numbers and the hopes that WotC had advertised to their owners, Hasbro.

In the meanwhile they obliterated some classic adventure settings like the Forgotten Realms. The Forgotten Realms guide for 3.0 is still considered one of the best setting books of all time. The two FR books for 4th were truly dire. I bought them during a trip I made in Washington D.C. in late 2008, read parts of them in the evenings and left them in a bin at the airport when I left. To this day I'm amazed that the Department of Homeland Security didn't arrest me for "Biological Terror Attack" in an American airport.

quote:


5th was born Hey, hold on a minute there. I know the deal, you will just magically cancel 5th in about 3 years (you just wait and see). 4th was a good product. It didn't need to be replaced. They did the same with Alternity, one of the best designs I have seen in 30 years. Why no reason. I guess they wanted you to buy something else now.

As I said, the problem was that the sales were disappointing. The same happened with Alternity. You can still hold dear the books you have and play using them.

5th edition was born from the desire to "come back to the roots". Pathfinder's success was a slap in the face to WotC and led to the infamous "edition wars". While it was never certain if Pathfinder's sales surpassed D&D's (it is possible that they did, at least for a period), it was certain that every Pathfinder player was someone who didn't play 4th edition. Thus the need for a change. Again, all I have is hearsay, but on RPG fora I constantly read that the 5th is the most successful D&D edition ever. A hint that it can be true was that Paizo reacted by publishing Pathfinder 2nd edition. Good luck.

I'm a 3.5th head after starting with the original Dungeons & Dragons and the wonderful Gazeteers. Back in the day I run campaigns and adventures for a range of players comprising from my daughters and their friends to friends of my age. We ignored 4th Edition and after a while, as is the fate of every role-playing group, live intervened. I now run Call of Cthulhu then and now with a small group of passionate friends (another habit that the pandemic broke), and that's all for my current role-playing experience.
quote:


I don't know if there is that many playing 5th, but, you can BET that they mostly play staring at a digital device, and NOT eating pops chips and staring at a scribble on a piece of paper telling them what's going on.

I guess that this kind of player will not play pen'n'paper role-playing games in the first place.

_____________________________

"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 3:59:58 PM   
RangerJoe


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The only people who want a fairly frequent change and cry if they don't get it are babies.

No matter their age.

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“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 4:39:15 PM   
MrsWargamer


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"Well, no: the problem with 4th was that it was a hard fiasco. They tried to cater to the "young" crowd"

Part of me is trying not to laugh.

If you lose the young, you are just waiting to die off.

I created the role game hobby (along with wargaming). I'm 58. Gary Gygax is dead. Just a matter of time before WotC has to accept that they can't sell to old and dead gamers.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 15
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 5:50:51 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

"Well, no: the problem with 4th was that it was a hard fiasco. They tried to cater to the "young" crowd"

Part of me is trying not to laugh.

If you lose the young, you are just waiting to die off.

I created the role game hobby (along with wargaming). I'm 58. Gary Gygax is dead. Just a matter of time before WotC has to accept that they can't sell to old and dead gamers.

No. You missed the key point: they triedto cater to the young crowd. 4th was basically an attempt to turn D&D into a miniature combat game with some role-playing interspersed between encounters. The first hint I got that it was not going to end well was when they put WoW "labels" on classes: Controller, Damage Dealer etc. While I agree that certain classes tend to cover certain roles, it is an "emergent" behaviour - which can be totally altered by the party composition, the tactical situation and the characters' situation in a given encounter. I have seen the strongest characters in the rearguard throwing bundles of spears at the charging enemies while a Wizard was near the frontline keeping up a Wall of Force - with a Cleric nearby just in case.

Then they came up with risible rules, like "a diagonal still counts as one", both in movement and combat. Surrealism ensued, with "cubic" fireballs and archers capable of hitting enemies beyond the horizon - because there was no difference between a straight line and the massive diagonal which started from the same point. I guess that counting that .5 more when you moved in diagonal was not on the level of their audience.

[Which led to the almost obligatory need of battle maps and counters to represent the characters. I ran my combats by using only pen, paper and the players' imagination since I was 16, thank you.]

And don't let me get started on the content's quality. The Forgotten Realms were retconned into oblivion, becoming more a videogame map than the vast, detailed World described in the three former editions. If anything, everything seemed a first draft. The "introductory" adventure saw the character starting in a city of 1-2000 souls with a map (done, IMHO, with MS Paint) that showed maybe seventeen buildings in total - services included. A group of goblins placed and detonated an explosive device near the walls during the day and in full view of the city guards (beside the fact that a night attack would have been the obvious choice, goblins are creatures of the night in the first place); they then charged immediately, making everybody wonder how they avoided the blast radius, and...

Did someone even re-read what they had written? Because the text never recovered from this kind of abyss.

But, as I said, a lot of people liked this way of playing. WotC lost possibly half of the players to Paizo and Pathfinder, but, hey!, some were happy.

Meanwhile, the WoW crowd... went on playing World of Warcraft in the first place! If you buy D&D you want D&D. If you buy "Seekrieg V" you want an involving naval miniature wargame, not the pen'n'paper version World of Warship. WotC, instead, thought so. What could possibly go wrong?

_____________________________

"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 16
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 6:20:46 PM   
MrsWargamer


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I was able to make 4th work for me, but your observations are also on point in a lot of ways too.

I think they made a big error with 3rd 3.5 though. It was complex to the point of nauseating. And I won't touch Pathfinder as it's the same thing, a different owner.

5th might be a better thought out product. Myself though, I'm firmly in favour of Warhammer 2nd edition. And no, I won't consider anything that followed 2nd. I don't care for the 'dark' background of the setting though. I just like the PC design.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to RFalvo69)
Post #: 17
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 7:12:16 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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So, what was the names of your favorite D&D characters? Mine was Vicodin, not terribly imaginative I suppose.

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RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 7:25:22 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Temuka Alexis Leitchfield (got it out of an Atlas :) ). Originally an elf, backstory, mom was drugged when she had me.

This name went on to be attached to several PCs, that ranged from classic swords and sorcery to space opera settings. Mostly Temuka was a weird combination of Merdock (A-Team), Luke Skywalk and Han Solo. Temuka could drive or fly anything, was a trader normally, and usually looked like a gorgeous female. They were intersex hehe. I was something of a shameless gamer. I usually took advantage of the guys at the table. They were just never ready for the outrageous things I tried to do during the game. The last time I played a 'Temuka' she was a Scorpion clan courtesan in the Legends of the 5 Rings game.

But I haven't seriously role gamed now for hmm well more than 10 years.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to Grognerd_INC)
Post #: 19
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 7:33:11 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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From: CA native, retired in FL
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Well true it's been, well since 1981 when I last played.

Like all my silly RPG characters he was a typical melee type, big two handed sword or axe, patterned after Conan I suppose.


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Post #: 20
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/13/2021 8:06:23 PM   
DeepBlack


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As long as war persists, so too, will wargames exist.
They will evolve into unforeseen formats and enjoy
undulating cycles of popularity.

Not many will still be playing Squad Leader
one thousand years hence but it cannot be guaranteed
as completely dead.

A precious few professors who specialize in the study
of ancient games may still be fighting over whether or not a string
intersects with the corner of a building, as they enjoy
the passage of a pleasant evening on Mars.


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(in reply to Grognerd_INC)
Post #: 21
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 12:04:38 AM   
Rosseau

 

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I am really enjoying this thread! Thanks to all who have contributed. Unfortunately, I have a knack for killing discussions.

I was born in 1956, but didn't get hooked until 1983 with Chris Crawford's Eastern Front on the Atari. So I was maybe 15 years behind the times compared to some of you.

Now I hope "the Mrs." is right here:

"Now, at least Gary's War in the East 2 will probably be worth it."

I am pretty sure both of us will purchase it, partly because our humble income allows, and partly because it part of computer wargaming history.

Also, looking forward to Second Front on Steam, whenever it may come out.

Best wishes to all!




(in reply to DeepBlack)
Post #: 22
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 2:14:56 AM   
MrsWargamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosseau

I am really enjoying this thread! Thanks to all who have contributed. Unfortunately, I have a knack for killing discussions.

I was born in 1956, but didn't get hooked until 1983 with Chris Crawford's Eastern Front on the Atari. So I was maybe 15 years behind the times compared to some of you.

Now I hope "the Mrs." is right here:

"Now, at least Gary's War in the East 2 will probably be worth it."

I am pretty sure both of us will purchase it, partly because our humble income allows, and partly because it part of computer wargaming history.

Also, looking forward to Second Front on Steam, whenever it may come out.

Best wishes to all!






He probably speaks the truth :)

Once upon a time getting computer versions of old classics was a great idea. But it became obvious (well it took a while to accept it) that Hasbro, who owns AH, which means so many of our classics, would rather those titles rot in hell.

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Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
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Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to Rosseau)
Post #: 23
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 2:21:53 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I think there are some valid points here - but also some dubious points made.


Agreed, the discussion is not definitive but does provide some insights. I am less concerned about what other players play than I am about why developers are not interested in the classic board wargames that I would like to see adapted to the PC with challenging computer opponent. Maybe someday, but probably not.

warspite1

MWIF is an example of the challenges that can be faced - although World In Flames, with player interaction required at some many points, optional rules, and rules complexity, is perhaps an extreme example of trying to convert a board game to computer?

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(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 24
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 11:10:06 AM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: z1812
As true as that is, it is only within a very small group with a niche interest in gaming. Interest in the more complicated and thoughtful pursuits in life has never been very high. Just look at you tube views for Logan Paul as compared to Albert Einstein.

I finally found out Wizards of the Coast's statement about D&D. The two key points are: "Six years of constant growth for the D&D brand" and "Over 40 million D&D fans around the World."

https://tabletopwire.com/dungeons-dragons-records-6th-consecutive-year-of-growth/

True, these are not Magic: the Gathering" numbers; but can wargames state that they have 40+ million fans around the World?

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Post #: 25
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 12:04:01 PM   
loki100


Posts: 8523
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From: Utlima Thule
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I think there are some valid points here - but also some dubious points made.


Agreed, the discussion is not definitive but does provide some insights. I am less concerned about what other players play than I am about why developers are not interested in the classic board wargames that I would like to see adapted to the PC with challenging computer opponent. Maybe someday, but probably not.

warspite1

MWIF is an example of the challenges that can be faced - although World In Flames, with player interaction required at some many points, optional rules, and rules complexity, is perhaps an extreme example of trying to convert a board game to computer?


I'd say that AGEOD's WW1 Gold is much the same. Its a very faithful port of a map and counters game that had a lot of immediate interactions. It did a very good job as a result of simulating in-hex combat while played on a physical map.

That is why I hold to the view that in some ways it is the only game that manages the strategic/operational divide in terms of WW1.

Its also near unplayable, some was poor coding decisions (those mostly have been overcome) but its mainly as a design that worked well outside the PC environment runs into problems within it

as to the rest, wargaming is/will be a niche - by that I mean the sort of stuff that Matrix publish. In part the relative complexity (even of something as basically beer and pretzels as say Fantasy General 2) is a barrier, so is the subject matter, so is a significant part of the community (& one strength of this forum is the no politics rules keeps that under control).

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Post #: 26
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 1:35:45 PM   
pzgndr

 

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From: Maryland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
MWIF is an example of the challenges that can be faced - although World In Flames, with player interaction required at some many points, optional rules, and rules complexity, is perhaps an extreme example of trying to convert a board game to computer?


Ditto for Empires in Arms.

I still believe simple classics like AH Afrika Korps, Russian Campaign, etc. should be relatively easy ports to a computer version with computer opponent. Yes, there are ownership rights involved, but a way around those is for a developer to create a flexible 'wargame design kit' where modders can create maps, OOBs, select various rulesets. AFAIK, mods are not subject to copyright infringement, else someone would have come after me years ago for my Advanced Third Reich mod for Strategic Command. Ah well, perchance to dream...

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Empires in Arms Development Team

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Post #: 27
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 1:49:09 PM   
Grognerd_INC


Posts: 1047
Joined: 11/17/2005
From: CA native, retired in FL
Status: online
Well, why can't we be original and just bypass the legal aspects of ownership.

It can't be too hard to make a Russian Campaign, Africa Corp clones so to speak and bypass legal wrangling.

That's is somewhat what we see now from various developers. I think there is just not enough of a market to put in the development time.

Seems like paper and cardboard is doing ok, GMT, Decision, multi-man publishing and others seem to be doing alright.

As soon as you get into computer programming it gets dicey.

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Post #: 28
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 4:03:08 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Fortunately, Hasborg doesn't own the history.

WW2 really happened. So did the war in the desert. You might not be able to call it Afrika Korps, but the terrain is what it is, the units that fought there are what they were, and Nato symbology isn't owned by Hasborg.

Slightly change the artwork. Slightly change the wording of the mechanics. Presto, it's just a game of actual history.

What made some of the past wargames great, was they weren't so overburdened by nauseating levels of micro-detail. And you didn't need to have a degree in history to enjoy playing them. You didn't need 3 weeks to master the rules. A turn didn't take all day long.

We have done it to ourselves willingly, and aggressively and knowingly. The main difference between Gary's War in the East and Russian Campaign, simplicity. Which War in the East sure as hell doesn't have.

Squad leader, I might have ended with Cross of Iron. It would have benefited from nation sets, no further complexity. New maps sets. New scenarios. But we just wouldn't leave it alone. It couldn't just be woods. It had to be more variations of the same modifier, but supposedly different looking terrain. After all, we need to know if it is an apple orchard, or a stand of Christmas trees eh.

I don't care what's loaded on each and every fricking ship in the Pacific. I bought War in the Pacific before I realized how absolutely anal the experience was going to be. I don't want to follow a pilot's training. I want a carrier, I don't want to watch it get built. Just because our computers can handle all the details, doesn't mean I really even want it to. Some say they do. I think they're weird (I would rather use more accurate language, but I won't).

One of my favourite Russian front games is the board game Russian Front (I guess claiming a name first has it's advantages). Modest sized board.
One game I thought I wanted, but failed to purchase, and I'm glad of it, was Fire in the East. a 6x8 foot map. Who the bloody hell thought that was a good idea? Did they even sell enough copies to make it worth making it?

A perfect wargame, a perfect any game is playable in a single sitting. Not several months, several hours.
A perfect wargame, is such, you can play it, and several other designs as well, within a month. It doesn't demand you faithfully play it and never have the time for anything else.

Today, people simply have no attention span worth a damn. In fact, a FB post this long won't get read.
People want it now now now. Read rules, you're kidding, right?
It isn't a young people thing, adults are no better.

And we have to debate why wargaming is not doing so well?
It's obvious.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to Grognerd_INC)
Post #: 29
RE: Six reasons why wargames have plummeted in popularity - 2/14/2021 4:20:33 PM   
RangerJoe


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There is no need to insult people who like and pay War in the Pacific.

You are using your personal, subjective definition of a perfect game. Others have their personal, subjective definition of a perfect game. There is no need to insult people who believe differently than you do, all opinions presented in a civil manner should be respected and not insulted.

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