Thursday, June 20, 2013

Polygamer or Monogamer?

Yet another concept I'm stealing from someone.  Russ at The D6 Generation mentioned a concept of the polygamer vs the monogamer. It was mentioned somewhat in passing and was the not the main core of their story which was state of miniatures gaming within their group of gamers.

Go listen to the story here at the D6 Generation site.  I believe the story is about the 1 hour and 35 minute mark. (BTW, a very long and detailed podcast on gaming and geek life - been going a long time and they have nice production value.)

He said in relation to the game Infinity, by Corvus Belli.  (I've never played.) He thought it may be a better game for a monogamer, one who focuses on one game/game system, as opposed to a polygamer, or one that tends to dabble or play several different games with regularity.  These are my definitions of what he was saying, not necessarily his definition. 

He said this because of the depth of the game, the special rules, the variety of factions and their attendant rules, the exceptions, etc that make it a challenge to pick up and play well just a couple times a year.  Understand he wasn't saying this was a bad thing.  And also, not that you can't play it every few months.  You just won't play it as well and possibly not have as much fun because you're not going to remember all the nuance that makes (insert game here) a fun game for it's biggest fans.

Games that appear to me to favor the monogamer:
I'm using this without permission
Warhammer 40K
Warhammer Fantasy
War Machine
Flames of War to a point
Advanced Squad Leader
Operational Combat Series or Tactical Combat Series games
(Golf to me would be a sport that is monogamer favoring. You really need to focus on it and play it quite regularly to have any chance.)

Whereas games like Kings of War, Combat Commander, and many others can be picked up every once in awhile and you can do relatively well in them.

I would like to be a monogamer. This is what partially led me to ASL. I like the idea of learning a game (especially one that covers the entire war) and really getting to know it. I like the idea of listening to podcasts about the game, reading forums, etc. 

However, there's too much Gamer Butterfly in me. I get too distracted by the new and shiny.  And by "new"  I don't necessarily mean "hot off the press", just new to me.

So in belief I'm a monogamer.
In practice I'm a polygamer.

What are you?  What do you think of this concept?


  1. I would put myself firmly in the polygamer category I enjoy far to many games to limit myself to just one. Although I have given up games like ASL and SFB because of their complexity because of that. I play a lot of different miniature games and what helps is there is always at least one person in our group is an expert at so if we play infrequently someone can still handle the mechanics smoothly. Lately my boardgaming has been restricted to railroad games (founding member of the TGA) but there are more than enough different types to keep my interest high. I think those are perfectly valid definitions, although we might be able to add some sub categories to those. For instance you have the true polygamer that plays all types of games; Board, RPG, Miniatures, Cards and video games as opposed to those that are polygamers within their preferred niche (like miniatures) but monogamers in that they only play miniature games.

    1. There are definitely monogamers in the sense that they only play minis and little to no board games.

      I almost put 18xx as a potential monogames.

      What's SFB

  2. I guess I'm a polygamer, as I also like to dabble with hex-based systems, but try to do them with miniatures. My own philosophy is that complex games don't make good games. Just my opinion, but so much time and effort can be required to master complex games, and in the end, because of their complexity they're rarely played without making mistakes. Sometimes it seems that the actual effort [and allure of the game] becomes whether the system can be learned, and that the actual gaming enjoyment is lost in this exercise to solve the rules puzzle. Now the downside of polygaming is that new games must be learned too (as touched on by Kris above). Hopefully any new game system being promoted can be picked up fairly quickly (especially if it's being offered for play at a club/game shop setting).