Wargaming Doomed?

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V22 Osprey
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Wargaming Doomed?

Post by V22 Osprey »

This article that bairdlander posted in another thread got me thinking, is wargaming really doomed?

http://wargamecenter.wordpress.com/2010 ... wargaming/

I'm a teenager, but I think I may be youngest wargamer in a 500 mile radius. However, even when I was very young I was into these types of games. When I was 10 or so, I remember playing the demo of West Front(Now known as part of the Campaign Series by JT) and played Close Combat 3(oh, the memories!)and enjoying it thoroughly. Even when I had a game boy advance and Nintendo DS, the only game I played on them was that series known as Advanced Wars.(When I was in elementary school, many of my friends actually like advanced wars)

Now it seems like the main stream games are becoming worse every year. Most people I know won't even pick up a game if doesn't have nice graphics.(With the worse offender being a female friend, I couldn't even get her to play Company of Heroes, she only likes Call of Duty) I tried showing my friends John Tiller Campaign Series and one agreed to try it, until I showed him a few screenshots and he said "that games looks boring, nevermind" I once brought my laptop to a gaming club and loaded up SPWAW and a kid came up to me and said "come on and let's play some real games". Sadly most gamers nowadays think that thinking is only for school and cannot be part of entertainment. Sad Really.

One thing I disagree about the article is the topic Wargaming is too expensive for the new wargamer. Considering JTCS, TOAW III, SPWAW, and many others, I think there are a pretty good selection of choices in and under the $50. Also considering that even little 8 year old kids can get their hands on $60 games for their Xbox alone proves this to be false.

I just stick to my guns and proudly play WitP:AE, JTCS, Steel Panthers, and now WitE.

I think this could be a long and interesting discussion for fellow wargamers.

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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by diablo1 »

Well what I find interesting and funny at the same time is that article was "republished" 20 years ago in 1990 and well wargaming is still alive and well 20 years later. What I find after 40 years of wargaming is it's just not as exciting as it was 40 years ago. I keep feeling like I'm just playing a circle of the same old games over and over just developed by a different person. Nothing today really jumps out there and says BUY ME, PLAY ME, ABUSE ME for hours. Even Battles from the Bulge which I got yesterday isn't that exciting for me after watching the tutorials and piddeling around with it a little as it's really just another Bulge game using one weird gaming engine. I still don't understand the concept of watching a game play itself (even though it says you can micromange even the developer says "you really shouldn't".) For me wargames just aren't as appealing as they once were. Perhaps it's age (hey mom I finally grew up! lol) or perhaps it's just tired of playing the same old wars and battles over and over. I certainly can't get excited about WitP or WitE as I don't see the fun of moving 1000+ pieces every turn, that works in a rts game but not turn based for me.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by andym »

Its an instant gratifacation thing i think.These days stuff has to be instant and i also dont think you can compare "Classical" style wargames with FPS like MOH and Call of Duty.In those games you kill some one and you got your fix,simple and quick.With conventional wargaming its a tad more complex and time consuming.You have a multitude of units and options,and critically you need to THINK!Sadly,thinking is going out of fashion,just ,look at the Game console scene(yes i have a PS3 and play it!)Thinkin needs time and a bit of effort that most of todays youth lack or refuse to do.I am 50 and was brought up listening to the Wireless(radio to you modern dudes)i still love listening to Radio Drama and plays,as it needs me to use my imagination.I doubt that may of todays yoth would be able to sit still and listen to a radio drama or play these days.Try tellin a 6 year old about life in the late 60's and early 70's and they wont believe the half of it!
 
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by Lützow »

I see more wargame releases these days than 10-15 years ago. [;)]
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by bairdlander2 »

you have to admit the graphics are a lot better now,this is a screenshot of a game I used to play "Knights of the Desert".I thought it was the greatest thing ever.[:D]

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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by jomni »

Matrix is doing well and we get to see some new faces joining Matrix once in a while. You also get "wargames" with nice graphics like Combat Mission (Shock Force). Total War series, those games done by Russian studios and Paradox titles are all wargames and are quite popular in both the mass and the wargaming market. Eventually they'll want to play more detailed and historical stuff so we will eventually find their way to Matrix games.

Take note that these kids will get old some day and will not care about graphics anymore.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by 06 Maestro »

The vast majority of people have little or no interest in history. Without such an interest, there is little motivation to play military games where the common objective is to best historical outcomes.

Forty five years ago I had very few buddies that could get interested in a "serious" war game. Most would give it a try, but few would stick with it. One advantage in gaining new players back then is that the games were on the shelves in department stores as well as in hobby shops. There was exposure to those that would have an interest. In the current environment (in the U.S.A.) someone who has an interest in military strategy gaming would have to look around for it online-it is not staring them in the face whenever they do some shopping.

Of course, if one actually takes the time to shop around online they will find a wealth of military gaming which should be able to satisfy anyone. They just need some hints as to where to look.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by E »

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

However, even when I was very young I was into these types of games. When I was 10 or so, I remember playing the demo of West Front(Now known as part of the Campaign Series by JT) and played Close Combat 3(oh, the memories!)and enjoying it thoroughly.

The article is about board wargames... 20 years ago.

However, board wargames have been making a bit of a comeback over the past several years.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by diablo1 »

ORIGINAL: bairdlander

you have to admit the graphics are a lot better now,this is a screenshot of a game I used to play "Knights of the Desert".I thought it was the greatest thing ever.[:D]

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Oh the commodore 64 version is sooooo much better than that baird : http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/knigh ... Id,392873/
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by parusski »

I too recall that article. I also know that I got hooked on war-gaming in 1981. How this happened would astonish 06 Maestro. Why? Because of "MY" environment back then. I was in my early teens(no car), living in a very, very rural area of Tennessee. The largest city, Memphis, was about a three hour drive. Also Google was not quite an idea, much less an internet. I was lucky to find my St. Rock comic books. But one day a friend and I had gone with a friend to one of his 'friends' to play Dungeons & Dragons. Hours later I took a break and while searching through his magazines saw something called Fire & Movement. The cover depicted "Drive on Stalingrad" by SPI. I had never even heard of war-gaming. But I spent the next few hours till dawn reading articles about "Drive on Stalingrad", "Operation Typhoon" and "War in the Pacific". Then I started window shopping the ads. The friends friend let me have that issue of F&M. About a month later my first war-game was delivered. "FULDA GAP" is what I started gnawing on 30 years ago.

Point??? I dunno. Lost in my own memories. Oh, even an isolated person can stumble into this obsessive hobby. Of course finding partners to play with, that's another story.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by Fred98 »

[font="compatilfact lt regular"]For some wargames, Close Combat comes to mind but it might suit others, how about 2 sets of graphics.[/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"] [/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"]One game engine with 2 sets of graphics.[/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"]The first set of graphics depicts Panther tanks in a European field and the second set depicts a Klingon Battle Wagon driving across an alien moon.[/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"] [/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"]The 2 games are packaged separately and sold separately.[/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"] [/font]
[font="compatilfact lt regular"]-[/font]
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by ilovestrategy »

I've been hearing about the death of PC games in general for the last 20 years and they are still around. 
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by bairdlander2 »

Yes I realize the article is 20 years old,but the topic is the same,if you overprice wargames you will drive new users away or not even get them interested in the first place.One poster suggested pc wargames should sell for $165 so i posted the link in the other thread.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by Shark7 »

ORIGINAL: jomni

Matrix is doing well and we get to see some new faces joining Matrix once in a while. You also get "wargames" with nice graphics like Combat Mission (Shock Force). Total War series, those games done by Russian studios and Paradox titles are all wargames and are quite popular in both the mass and the wargaming market. Eventually they'll want to play more detailed and historical stuff so we will eventually find their way to Matrix games.

Take note that these kids will get old some day and will not care about graphics anymore.

Matrix main strength is the fact that they do appeal to a broad spectrum of niche gamers. Its not all just strategy or tactical, you have some 4X as well as other genre's here as well. One of these niche markets alone would not support the business, but combined they do quite well.
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by SLAAKMAN »

Wargaming Doomed?
SNAP OUT OF IT U SLAAKERS!!
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Been wargaming now for more than 40 years. From the days of miniatures to AH, SPI, TSR, et al to computer & multitudes to many to count. Its an art form & a way of life that will be as good now as it was then even until I draw my very last breath (afterwhich Ill play them in Heaven)!! MORE WORLD IN FLAMES CAMPAIGNS ON THE HORIZON!! [:D]
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by Les_the_Sarge_9_1 »

There is really only one truth in wargaming, and that article is likely missing it slightly.

I will die eventually. YOU will die eventually.

David Heath, Gary Grigsby, John Tiller, they will all die eventually.

In the 70s I became a wargamer, I was young.
In the 80s I became an adult wargamer, I also got married.
In the 90s wargaming really started to get seriously good use out of computers finally (after some earlier less than pretty efforts).
Avalon Hill also succumbed to the truth in the 90s.

There has never been a time when wargaming was genuinely profitable.
Matrix Games 'looks; successful till you measure the numbers against mainstream companies, then the grim truth is impossible to ignore.
Matrix Games will not outlive any of us as a wargame publisher.
Wargaming will also not outlive any of us as a hobby.

Wargaming, ie card board counters, turns, hexgridded maps, any game made to emulate that.
Not 3d real time fancy graphics experiences, just old school dull looking (to outsiders) boring history based wargaming.

EVERYONE I see playing old school wargames, only gets older, only ages as a group.
New blood? sure occasionally there is a trickle here and a trickle there.
There's no market in servicing a trickle.

That people have been talking doom and gloom for 10 20 or more years and it still hasn't died, is because I have, you have, and David Heath, Gary Grigsby, John Tiller etc have not managed to kick off and leave us yet. You will just need to be patient.
But I'm 49 this year (yippee friggin hurrah). In 2012 I join a new demographic, the 50+ category (I CAN wait, no really, I can). Ever noticed how so many polls cut it off at 49?

I play ASL, I have since I belonged to the teen demographic.
I NEVER see new teen players.
I also don't really see much in the way of 20 something players.
Actually I really see very little growth in the game's pool of players at all. Likely has something to do with how it is mainly a market for people that have been playing it for years.
MMP expanded into other titles likely because there's no real business in focusing on one game most of the fans already own.

The above is also the same over all problem with new wargames in general.
Now that we have War in the East, there is VERY little incentive to do it again.
Unlike the mainstream market that fully expects to continue making its games year after year.
There is little incentive to re invent War in the Pacific.
And you can say this about title after title in our hobby. Once a developer gets it right, they essentially lock down that topic.
I'd like a re built reborn Steel Panthers, but there simply doesn't appear to be anyone interested in doing it.
The recent BBC BA did a nice job of creating the experience of tactical in a new look. But now that they have done it so well, it is unlikely anyone will join them. We as wargamers are picky, we only want #1. We have no interest in rivals or second best.
There is a reason for why we have only one Close Combat and one Combat Mission. Because we wouldn't be to very kind to anyone making the effort and not totally wowing us.

So we continue to age, and we continue to play are narrow assortment of must have titles, and that is that.

And one day we will all start dropping dead like WW1 veterans, and people will start lamenting 'what will we do when they are all gone?'. And the answer will be, if you make games, 'make something else'.

Wargaming still has a few years in it left guys.
I'm not going to die just yet (I hope).
I'm sure David and Gary and John have a few years left in them too :)
I hope most of you guys are not going anywhere just yet.
I expect to be arguing with most of you lot for another 20 years at least before we start slowing down and start complaining about needing more frequent naps.

But I see NO reason to think our hobby has any future without the predominantly (now that is) 45-55 age group that made wargaming (the cardboard and turn using hex mapped sort that is)in the first place.

Now if the world ends in 2012 well that will solve everything of course :)
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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by NefariousKoel »

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

I've been hearing about the death of PC games in general for the last 20 years and they are still around. 

That and wargaming, too.

DOOM!!!

There are always pessimist DOOMers who are always wrong when attempting to predict the future. Like those predicting the end of the world.

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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by sterckxe »

ORIGINAL: Les_the_Sarge_9_1
Wargaming still has a few years in it left guys.

When I went to wargame conventions as a teenager, there was nothing but really old 40+ geezers.

When I went to wargame conventions in my twenties, there was nothing but 40-year old mature guys

When I went to wargame conventions in my thirties, there was nothing but guys just slightly older than I was

When I go to a wargame convention these days, *everyone* is my age

Here's my prediction : when I go to a wargame convention in 30 years time, it'll be filled with 40-year old kids

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by NefariousKoel »

ORIGINAL: Les_the_Sarge_9_1

There is really only one truth in wargaming, and that article is likely missing it slightly.

I will die eventually. YOU will die eventually.

David Heath, Gary Grigsby, John Tiller, they will all die eventually.

See.

DOOOOOOMMM!!!

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RE: Wargaming Doomed?

Post by sterckxe »

ORIGINAL: NefariousKoel
DOOM!!!

There are always pessimist DOOMers who are always wrong when attempting to predict the future. Like those predicting the end of the world.

Now, that part is easy : in 5 billion years the sun will run out of fuel. My advice would be to buy stocks of flashlight and warm sweater producing companies just before that event because it'll get dark and nippy real fast.

Other than that : board and tabletop wargaming haven't been this alive since the seventies. Historicon had record attendences and Alan Poulter's list of wargames produced in 2010 had 250 entries. 250 - that's 246 more than AH made in one of the so-called Golden Years (tm). And it's not just quantity - the game & component quality these days is going through the roof.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
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