What Type of Gamer are You?

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

Moderators: rkr1958, Happycat, Slitherine Core

What Type of Gamer are You?

1. The Historian.
14
42%
2. The Military Enthusiast.
4
12%
3. The Assassin.
2
6%
4. The Competitor.
5
15%
5. The Hobbyist.
2
6%
6. The Gamer.
3
9%
7. The Specialist.
3
9%
 
Total votes: 33

rkr1958
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What Type of Gamer are You?

Post by rkr1958 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:12 pm

I don’t know the demographics of those of us who frequent the Slitherine and Matrix forums and regularly play their games but I suspect that it has a significant portion that, like me, cut their teeth on Avalon Hill war games. Games like Third Reich, Victory in the Pacific, Squad Leader, Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom, War at Sea, The Russian Campaign, Panzer Leader, Panzer Blitz, Arab-Israeli Wars, Midway, Richthofen’s War, France 1940, 1776, Tobruk, Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Fortress Europa, The Guns of August, Hitler’s War, Midway and Magic Realm. This list comprises my collection of 21 Avalon Hill board games that I haven’t played in over 25-years. But; games that I still own and which occupy a safe haven in two large plastic storage bins along with 40 issues of, “The General” including the Third Reich and Panzer Blitz gamers guides.

The heyday of my fascination, o.k. obsession, with playing these games was in the 70’s through the mid 1980’s. My first wargame, which I got for Christmas in 1973, was France 1940. The rest I bought myself over the next 12 to 13 years. My favorites and the ones that I tended to play a lot, were Third Reich, Victory in the Pacific, Squad Leader/Cross of Iron and War at Sea. That’s not to say I didn’t play the others but the majority of my gaming time was spend playing these 5 games. This time included not only playing the games but pouring over, interpreting and trying to properly apply the rules. This “golden age” of playing wargames on boards with cut out cardboard pieces predated the internet and personal computers (for the most part). There were no interactive forums to easily and quickly get your questions answered. If you had a rules question that had you completely baffled you had to hand write your question, mail it in with a self addressed stamped return envelope and wait, at best, for your answer to come in 3 or 4 weeks. This was also the time that you had to setup the game yourself hunting through the 100’s of counters for that 7-8 armor corps or the US heavy cruiser Chicago. Fortunately, both my patience and, more importantly, my eyesight were much more suited for that then than now.

After college and graduate school and at the beginning my work career in 1981 I found I had more money to support my hobby so I increased my collection of wargames and also took out a subscription to The General, which I keep until the late 1980’s. Flipping through my collection these magazines takes me back to a time where draft articles were handwritten and reviewed by editors before being sent for type and publication. Articles in The General, ran the gambit from rule clarifications/errata lists, strategies, tactics and opinions. Some of the articles on strategies and tactics came with tables and graphs that would have made a PhD in mathematics or statistics proud. Learning the rules, strategies and tactics of a game was like preparing for a college final. And in some cases it was so much so that during term I wouldn’t play my wargames because I was already overloaded with college work. Even after college I would skip playing these games because it felt like I was putting in overtime at work. Thank goodness for quality computer wargames, like those put out by Slitherine and Matrix, that removes the burden of physical setup, hours of reading through rules and hours of arguing over the correct interpretation of a given rule and whether or not your opponents move was legal. Now, thank goodness, the computer handles all this for me; but this is a necessary, but NOT sufficient, condition for me devoting my time to playing these games. The computer games that I play also must be balanced and historically realistic. This brings me to the subject of this article, which is, “What Type of Gamer are You?”

I was recently thumbing through one of my issues of The General (Volume 19, Number 6) reading articles on VITP and I ran across an article by Seth Owens, “A Historian’s Guide to Avalon Hill Wargames” that struck a cord. In it he gives a letter grade (A-F) to over 40 Avalon Hill titles from an “Historian’s” perspective. In the introduction to this article he references a book by Jon Freeman, “The Complete Book of Wargames”, in which seven labels (or categories) are defined by those who have an interest in wargames. They are:

1. The Historian. They value the realism and accuracy to historical fact the most and are also the most likely to use the term “simulation”.

2. The Military Enthusiast.
They value the tactics, technology and regalia the most and tend to enjoy games on contemporary or futuristic wars. They also tend to prefer the term “simulation”.

3. The Assassin. Winning is the only thing!

4. The Competitor. A challenging and balance game is critical to keep this gamer’s interest.

5. The Hobbyist. A collector, analyzer and philosopher of the wargaming hobby.

6. The Gamer. They just like to play games (any games) and the social interaction that goes along with them.

7. The Specialist. Wargames are just one part of their interest in history.

So I thought it’d be fun to ask the community what type of gamer are you. Personally I see myself in 1, 2, 4 and 7; but if I had to pick one I would have to pick, "1, The Historian." Though, achieving some balance is important to me too. But if the choice was between a perfectly balance game (i.e., 50/50) with a C for historical accuracy and a slightly imbalanced game (say, 30/70) with an A for historical accuracy I would chose the later, which I guess puts me in category 1.

So, what type of gamer are you?


The rating scheme that Seth Owens applied in his article for historically accuracy was based on historical accuracy in four areas (Order of Battle, Map, Tactics and Strategy). My five favorite AH games were given the following grades: Third Reich – B, Victory in the Pacific - C, Squad Leader - B, Cross of Iron- B and War at Sea – F. That's a 2.20 GPA, which would have gotten me kicked out of Graduate School. :D

Any interest in deriving “community” letter grades of this sort for computer games?
Last edited by rkr1958 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.

gchristie
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Post by gchristie » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:43 pm

What type of gamer am I? An atypical one, I'd say. But if I have to choose, I'd rank myself majoring in 7 -Specialist with a minor in 4 - Competitive. I've a general interest in history of all kinds but am drawn to the American Civil War and WWII. Playing games is one of my hobbies, but it has to be challenging and fun or it gets replaced my something else that is. And when the weather is good, I'm outdoors.

I had the board games Third Reich, Squad Leader, Battle of the Bulge back in the 70's but found it hard to find people to play so I kind of gave up on gaming till PC games arrived. Then I played exclusively against the AI but got frustrated at the lack of challenge. Plus I became busy with school, dating, family, work, outdoor activities, etc. and didn't make much time for playing.

The only two games I play by email are CEAW GS 2.0 and AGEOD's American Civil War though I'm thinking about adding Panzer Corps once I get up to speed with it.
Last edited by gchristie on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."
~Anne Frank

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:15 pm

Hi Guys, interesting thread.

I would say i am more number: 4 Competitor more than anything else.

I do enjoy the strategic aspect of the game as well but most importantly it has to be a challange otherwise i loose intrest.

Do any of you guys know a good pacific war strategy game that is good and worth sinking my teeth into? Preferably at sea and land action combined.

Crazyg

richardsd
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Post by richardsd » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:34 pm

very interesting thread

for figure gaming (were I spent most of my time before children) I was definately in the mould of 3,4,1,6

for 'board' games its 1 and 6

AC67
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Post by AC67 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:58 pm

I'd see myself somewhere between 1 and 2. Used to play "Third Reich" but it took you hours just to set the thing up. Have also "Stalingrad"; years ago, also, I used to play some table top games covering the battle of Kasserine, Operation Husky and Okinawa. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the editor. They were fast playing games with a kind of 3D maps.

Blathergut
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Post by Blathergut » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:11 pm

Magic Realm!!??!!

The only true AH game was The Longest Day of course!! :)

1+2 + 6

rkr1958
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Post by rkr1958 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:14 am

Blathergut wrote:Magic Realm!!??!!
What's life without a guilty pleasure now and then. :D

Blathergut
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Post by Blathergut » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:17 am

Well...I do own a copy here somewhere... :oops:

massina_nz
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Post by massina_nz » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:48 am

Blathergut wrote:Well...I do own a copy here somewhere... :oops:
So do I, even played it once :D

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Post by mamahuhu » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:09 am

i am 1 2 4

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Post by shawkhan » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:09 am

I have been playing wargames since the 60's(yes, I am old)
I pulled my copy of the AH General vol19-6 and it seems that I still own 38 of the 40 mentioned titles. My total wargame collection still numbers about 300 boardgames, as I don't have the heart to do away with them, and fortunately I have the storage space to accomodate them.
I would appear to be #1the Historian and #7 the Specialist as my first degree was in history, and it still shows. Whether I win or not hardly matters as I prefer to explore the historical "what ifs" more than playing a game to the bitter end.

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Post by barteksanok » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:24 am

Hi,
I'm: 1+2+5+7

I'm 36 years old. My hobby started nearly 23 years ago when after collapse of communism in Poland we could buy board games about II World War, Napoleonic Wars etc. Later we could play very good games on early computers as Commodore, Schneider, Amiga :-D
I remember when me and two other friends played computer game "Storm a corss Europe" (???) on AMIGA around 18 years ago.
We did "hot seat" game for around 28 hours non-stop!!!!! I was as a German and i won that game :-D
I think it was a sort of ancestor for games as "Hearts of Iron" and "CEAW"especially.

Best regards to all
Bartek

rkr1958
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Post by rkr1958 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:38 am

shawkhan wrote:I have been playing wargames since the 60's(yes, I am old)
I pulled my copy of the AH General vol19-6 and it seems that I still own 38 of the 40 mentioned titles. My total wargame collection still numbers about 300 boardgames, as I don't have the heart to do away with them, and fortunately I have the storage space to accomodate them.
I would appear to be #1the Historian and #7 the Specialist as my first degree was in history, and it still shows. Whether I win or not hardly matters as I prefer to explore the historical "what ifs" more than playing a game to the bitter end.
38 to 40 Avalon Hill titles and 300 boardgames in general. That's one impressive collection! How far back does your collection of The General magazines go?

I found myself reading through Volume 18, Number 5 (January - February 1982), which featured several articles on Third Reich. I found the one on the Spanish Gambit fascinating. Also, I enjoyed one titled, "The Lone Fox - A Solitaire System for Tobruk." Quoting from that article, "Even if one plays by mail or has a regular opponent , there are still those those loose hours when one wishes he could sit down and play a competitive game on the spur of the moment. ... Several options have recently become available available to the gamer. The new microcomputer games have an instant appear to the solitaire player able to afford a computer system." (Emphasis added).

I never played by mail but at best you could get a move or two done a week!

Thank goodness for CEaW, Battlefield Academy, PBEM and server play!

Morris
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Post by Morris » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:09 pm

i am 1 2 4 too

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Post by Morris » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:09 pm

i am 1 2 4 too

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Post by KingHunter3059 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:32 pm

1, 2, 6 and 7 - mostly

Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:18 pm

KingHunter wrote:1, 2, 6 and 7 - mostly
Me too

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Post by Kragdob » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:53 pm

Modest 4/6 but sometimes posessed by 3 8)

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Post by Lannes » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:38 am

1, 2, 6 and 7 - mostly
Christophe


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Post by JimR » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:04 am

I started playing AH wargames (specifically, Afrika Korps) in 1966 when in junior high school. I think we wore out the pieces for Afrika Korps, D-Day, Stalingrad, and Battle of the Bulge. Later I subscribed to Strategy & Tactics magazine and enjoyed the mini-games that came with every issue. I liked how the S & T team took and expanded AH's concepts to make games (especially at the operational level) more mobile and exciting (airpower, armored breakthroughs, etc.) The last thing I remember from this phase of wargaming was a massive title called "War in the East," which I played solo because by then I was moving around a lot and had no face-to-face opponents. Only with the arrival of computer wargaming was I able to return to the hobby, because between moving around, marrying, building a career, and being a parent I had little opportunity to continue the old time-intensive face-to-face pastime. As it turned out I became a professional historian, and part of my interest in the past was formed by the AH wargames of long ago. I would say I am a combination of numbers 1, 4, and 7.

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