Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wargamer Taxonomy - What's Your Percentage?

This story comes to me in a round about way via YouTube.  TrojanArtPainting had a video entitled, "Crusty Old Wargamer on Gaming Etiquette: Don't Be An Asshole."  In it he spoke commented about a video he saw from OnceBitten360 called "Culture of Warhammer Players."

In this video, OnceBitten360 talks about Wargamer Taxonomy and the reason people play Warhammer.  But I immediately adopted it to wargaming in general because I think all his classifications are valid for all gamers.

So, I'll give my quick synopsis of his classifications and give my percentages. I would love to see in the comments or in other blog posts how you classify yourself. I add a few of my own definitions in here, but it's close to what he was talking about.

Immersion - You really get into the fluff/universe/world/history of the game  you play.  In my case it's World War II first and foremost.  It's the reason i got into gaming.  If I never play another game I will continue reading WWII books.  Similarly, a Warhammer/Battletech/whatever player can immerse themselves into the history of their chosen game with books, fan fiction, painting certain factions, etc.

Social - relationships are what's important.  You look forward as much to the dinner/drink afterwards as you do to the gaming itself.

Showcasing/Modelling - You really like to show your work and see the work of others. Modelling and painting are what give you the most energy.

Strategy - You like to read forums, listen to podcasts, work on lists, etc to improve your game.  You like the mechanics of how a game works.

Competition - you like testing your play style and abilities against others to come out on top.  Or, to test your strategies against the best.

My percentages, though somewhat flexible and can change a few points here and there:

45% Immersion
35% Social
5 %  Showcasing
10% Strategy
5%   Competition

I look forward to seeing  your percentages.

The videos:

Crusty Old Gamer

The Original Inspiration from OnceBitten360:

Also links to the videos in case the embedding thing isn't working for you: Crusty Old Gamer 

And OnceBitten360


  1. Interesting, I'd class myself as
    Immersion is an interesting one, combined with social because most of my friends play exclusively fantasy and sci-fi, I have found my Social diminishing as I stumbled into new periods, I honestly can't remember CHOOSING WW2 in 1/72 I fell into it by accident but now it is all I do, and trying to get GW players to give it a go is rather disheartening

  2. Hmmm interesting post, I'd probably say something along the lines of:

    Immersion 50% (in terms of historical, the interest in the period comes first, then the wargaming rather than the other way round)
    Showcasing 20%
    Social 20%
    Strategy 6%
    Competition 4%

  3. Hmmm... good challenge
    I'll rate myself
    50-60% Inmersion
    25-30% Social
    10-25% The rest, probably competition 0%-1%

    Two important comments here:
    (1) In my case history was first, before gaming. After gettiing hooked into wargaming, any new period is only undertaken after a thorough historical research; the arrival of internet open so many new possibilities...

    (2)Interestingly, I'mm not attracted at all by Strategy in the sense of looking how to better use the rules or army lists, as you've explained above.

    However, rules ARE important to me; to such an extent that I've been interested in some periods (for exmaple, WWI or Vietnam) ONLY because of the rules. But rules must be in the backstage when I play, the important aspects for me are their capability to simulate the historical performance of the armies involved and that I can simulate actual battles. Point-based lists or games (the DBMs of Bolt Actions for example) are not for me, although I can play fantasy, pulp or galactic wars given the appropriate system to make armies

    1. I play list games, like BA Amd BKCII but I like to use them for historical battles. I've avoided playing as lists just cause that part doesn't thrill me. But I can their place, especially when starting out.

      I recently built a list in BA and I didn't enjoy the experience much. Partially 'cause I kept thinking about the history.

  4. This is a great site and an interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing this. First, I am sorry those chuckleheads ruined Saga for you. My group here in Alaska loves it, but we all grew up together so that helps when we give stick, I mean when we banter!
    I would rate myself 40% Immersion, Social 40%, Showcasing 1%, Strategy 10%, Competition 9%.

    And I like Anibal in that my love of history came before gaming, but they complimented each so well. I find a period I am interested in and read about it, and then start looking at gaming the period.

    I live in Alaska and gaming was a great way to get together with your friends and stay warm. In that they are combined somewhat. Now our kids play too, which is very cool. As you said, it's a game, and I thought we gamed for the joy of it. Don't be an asshole. Well said.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. Btw, that's not me in that video. I was just sharing someone else's video.

      It's a bummer that he was turned off a game though.

    2. My son and I were impressed with the beard though. He'd fit in with us old Hippies out here! It's still a great video and you shared it so I appreciate in all ways.

      It is a bummer about Saga. It has been the easiest game system I've taught to groups and gotten them into. It's not strictly "historical" but it is fun. How do you not like crazy guys with sharp pointed sticks? I have a friend who has issues with Saga because there are no shield walls so it's not "really Dark Ages, nor historical". Whatever. I think they are covered in what you spend your dice on. But that's my tangent. Anyway, thanks again. I await the next post!

  5. Brilliant! It's tough but my first love is history.

    Immersion is 40%
    Social is 30%
    Showcase is 30%
    Strategy 0%
    Competition 0%

  6. Great post mate, so good I linked to it on my blog here.

    40% Immersion
    30% Social
    20% Showcasing/Modelling
    8% Strategy
    2% Competition

    I'm like Monty, History is the things that drives me along, although the social aspect has to be rated high as well (I am blogger after all!).

    1. I saw your post. I'm hoping to catch all the blog entries and make a follow up post.

      Thank you.