Perceived view of wargaming in decline

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hi,

A post in another forum managed to attract my attention to this topic
(again) - but instead of discussing the retail vs. webstore issue or
the US vs Europe debate I would like to introduce what I consider the 2
most likely culprits of this perceived decline :

Fragmentation & Stragglers

Fragmentation : other hobbyists have it easy, whether you're a poker
player, a football freak or even into needlepoint - you've got at least
90% in common with other poker players, football freaks or
needlepointers. Oh, there are some variations on poker, but a 5 minute
explanation will usually suffice to explain the differences and all can
share the same web-forum or newsgroup.

Now back in the sixties, being a (board)wargamer ment you were playing
or had played The Russian Campaign, PanzerBlitz and a few others. You
could talk to other wargamers and exchange experiences, ideas and
thoughts because both of you knew at least something about every game
ever published because only a handfull of games were published at the
time.

Fast forward to now - not only has the hobby "wargaming" split up into
tabletop, boardgame and pc - but also within the pc world into
turn-based or real-time, strategic, operational or tactical with even
same-category games being as different as night and day. When 2 random
wargamers meet in this day and age there's some common ground, but it's
pretty useless starting to discuss the finer points of this game or
that.

Now, I'm not complaining - I like this diversity of games - but it also
means that about each and every game has it's own dedicated forum
resulting in a spread of wargamers over these forums. Once in a while a
wargame becomes a "hit" (Combat Mission, Hearts of Iron, Cossacks) and
then you get the phenomenon that the dedicated forum is exploding with
thousands of gamers posting. A temporary defragmentation so to speak.
Cossacks sold 2.5 million copies. Plenty of wargame potential there.

Then there's stragglers : when people reach what is for them wargaming
nirvana they become frozen in time and play nothing else for all of
eternity. Plenty of examples here : from Advanced Squad Leader to TOAW
and even the HPS Battleground afficionados, though they get a new
scenario pack every couple of months, they are effectively lost for the
rest of the hobby.

But what's the number #1 sign of a hobby that is fragmented but with
lots of new things coming out every month ?

Magazines.

We can't/won't keep up with everything, but we like to "keep in touch"
by reading the hobby magazines. And this for me is the proof that
wargaming is not in decline : plenty of wargame magazines going strong
, with new ones appearing as well : the new strategy magazine by the
Wargamer hit some production problems but was scheduled to be launched
at Origins and just this week I've read the announcement of the first
issue of a new French magazine hitting the stands.

These magazines prove the hobby is pretty healthy imho, your mileage
may vary.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
18 answers Last reply
More about perceived view wargaming decline
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    > then you get the phenomenon that the dedicated forum is exploding with
    > thousands of gamers posting. A temporary defragmentation so to speak.
    > Cossacks sold 2.5 million copies. Plenty of wargame potential there.

    I tend to disagree here, IMHO Cossacks is not a wargame.

    Definition of RTS clickfest - one peasant is building barracks or chopping
    trees or catching pigs whatever. Historical background aside, it's how is
    game implemented what is important. I would like in TOAW to make production
    facility by asigning some engineers but no go :)


    Mario
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Wargaming is not in decline.

    PC wargaming may be...

    Wargamers are - by and large - smarter than the average human being.

    PC users - now that there is one in almost every home - are not they're
    just - well - average.

    Companies wishing to make money produce products that the mindless
    masses can use which means when it is a wargame one that they can beat.

    Real wargamers are discovering that the products created for the
    mindless masses leave much to be desired so they either go back to board
    style games or stick with the niche PC products that are grognard
    friendly and that can be played online against another wargamer.

    As of now real wargames for the PC are in short supply, are published by
    small companies and are still lacking a decent AI. Unless that changes
    and money can actually be made from a wargame with a decent AI expect PC
    wargames to get dumber and dumber until all the real wargamers go back
    to miniatures or board games.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Kanda/Alan H,

    Have either of you played our Highway to the Reich game?

    And do either of you own it?
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    > You are absolutely correct I also feel that there is no reason that a
    > good AI can't be created now that we have a 1000 fold increase in
    > computer power. In addition, if as we have today, computer wargames that
    > are designed to be primarily PBEM games then the sector is doomed to
    > forever be a niche market dominated by small developers with no hope of
    > ever capturing a broader appeal. Because, what then is the difference
    > between a paper wargame of thirty years ago and a computer wargame of
    > today? The opponents are just farther apart. The lack of attention to AI
    > has killed the sector. The golden days are behind us and the market
    > isn?t in decline its dead.
    >
    >
    > Alan

    Computers may have gotten 1000 times better, but I don't think humans
    (programmers) have.

    Epi

    ----
    I would rather use meek-words than power-words.
    ----

    http://www.curlesneck.com
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Arjuna wrote:
    > Kanda/Alan H,
    >
    > Have either of you played our Highway to the Reich game?
    >
    > And do either of you own it?
    >
    NO, Armhem doesn't intrest me. Is this the answer to all my complaining?
    Alan
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    In article <_6KLe.277$ej5.163@lakeread05>, Alahorn@cox.net says...

    > You are absolutely correct I also feel that there is no reason that a
    > good AI can't be created now that we have a 1000 fold increase in
    > computer power.

    Hmmm. What - exactly - leads you to believe that real AI might not
    involve a 5,000,000-fold increase in computer power?

    --
    Giftzwerg
    ***
    "The most despicable misuse of terminology, however, occurs when
    Leftists call the Saddamites and foreign jihadists 'the resistance.'
    What an example of moral inversion! For the fact is, paramilitary death
    squads are attacking the Iraqi people. And those who oppose the killers
    - the Iraqi police and National Guardsmen, members of the Allawi
    government, people like Nour - they are the "resistance."
    - Stephen Vincent
    (Journalist murdered by terrorists, 8/2/2005)
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Alan,

    The reason I was asking is to clarify your position above. I appreciate
    that you may not be interested in Arnhem, but there are many who reckon
    HTTR has advanced the cause, especially in AI. If not HTTR then make
    sure you take a look at our new game, Conquest of the Aegean ( COTA )
    which will be out very shortly. Then get back to us and let me know
    whether you still think the industry is dead. All the best,
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    In article <MPG.1d6a45e546cc30e598a4db@news-east.giganews.com>,
    giftzwerg999@NOSPAMZ.hotmail.com says...
    > In article <tCNLe.3141$Ji4.1122@fed1read03>, nunya@numbnuts.com says...
    >
    > > Real wargamers are discovering that the products created for the
    > > mindless masses leave much to be desired so they either go back to board
    > > style games or stick with the niche PC products that are grognard
    > > friendly and that can be played online against another wargamer.
    >
    > Your argument here implies that legions of grognards cheerfully flocked
    > to COMMAND & CONQUER[1], eyes bright with happy anticipation, only to
    > come away sobbing, hot tears of sorrow streaming down their cheeks -
    > resolved to never, never, never, *ever* play one of those awful computer
    > games again.
    >
    > Please.
    >
    > "Real wargamers" never paid much attention to these mass-market products
    > in the first place, and didn't "discover" anything they didn't already
    > know.
    >
    > [1] Or THE SIMS, perhaps?

    I think if the best game ever, one that would please everybody, was
    produced, these guys would be somewhat saddened that it would then be
    much more difficult to complain.

    Epi

    ----
    I would rather use meek-words than power-words.
    ----

    http://www.curlesneck.com
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Greetings...

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 07:26:16 -0400, Giftzwerg <giftzwerg999@NOSPAMZ.hotmail.com> wrote:

    >In article <tCNLe.3141$Ji4.1122@fed1read03>, nunya@numbnuts.com says...
    >
    >> Real wargamers are discovering that the products created for the
    >> mindless masses leave much to be desired so they either go back to board
    >> style games or stick with the niche PC products that are grognard
    >> friendly and that can be played online against another wargamer.
    >
    >Your argument here implies that legions of grognards cheerfully flocked
    >to COMMAND & CONQUER[1], eyes bright with happy anticipation, only to
    >come away sobbing, hot tears of sorrow streaming down their cheeks -
    >resolved to never, never, never, *ever* play one of those awful computer
    >games again.

    No it's more like - Oh Cool! Panzer General - No wait - It's just civilizations without
    all the city building....

    Or - The seemingly endless stream of squad based Quake clones supposedly each MORE
    realistic than the last... Yet it's still nearly impossible to operate realistically...

    Or if anyone actually produced a seemingly realistic simulation - Oh wait - They forgot
    that on the Tactical Battlefield, SMOKE was actually USED... Or it's SO bug ridden,
    unplayable, or just downright uninstallable that you discover YET AGAIN, wasted another
    portion of your pay check on yet another box full of garbage....

    See, THAT scenario is what one of the Vidiots did - not a true wargamer experience...


    >Please.
    >
    >"Real wargamers" never paid much attention to these mass-market products
    >in the first place, and didn't "discover" anything they didn't already
    >know.

    Exactly - Unfortunately, All that Shovelware displaced Wargames almost completely off the
    shelves of the local software stores. My town here USED to have at least 6 stores that
    sold software and at least 3 of those would cater to wargames and stock all the known
    titles... There is now exactly 1 store left, (not including Walmart) and they don't have
    ANY wargame titles on the shelves anymore. Every other store went over to the dark side
    and now ONLY stock Vidiot Games - Nintendo/Game/X-Box - cartridge junk.

    There aren't even any magazines on the shelves anymore that AREN'T vidiot cheat code
    manuals...

    >[1] Or THE SIMS, perhaps?

    Oh Boy - Voyeurism at its very worst... I never did quite "Get" the whole "Sim" thing...
    Oh look, a game that isn't a game, it's the final expression of the ultimate interactive
    movie taken to it's most puerile extreme. Build a world that does absolutely nothing of
    any value, teaches you absolutely nothing, and removes all consequences, making the object
    of the game - how fast can you arrange the destruction of your own little world in the
    most entertaining fashion...

    Sickening,,,,

    But then, That's what Wargamers are accused of too isn't it...

    ll
    Kanda'

    <>SPAM-KILLER<>- If you really want to contact me, then -
    kandaje<at>bresnan<dot>net

    You figure it out...
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Kanda' Jalen Eirsie wrote:
    > Greetings...
    > <snipped>

    I was going to reply to every one of your misconceptions about HTTR but
    in the end I decided it was not worth my time, so here's a famous
    UseNet quote that says it all really :

    "I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to
    know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    intended as, an insulting question:
    Are you stupid?"

    Greetz,

    Eddy Sterckx
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    In article <1126853472.255430.82050@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    eddysterckx@hotmail.com says...

    > I was going to reply to every one of your misconceptions about HTTR but
    > in the end I decided it was not worth my time,

    I couldn't even stomach *reading* all that borderline-deranged prattle,
    to say nothing of a point-by-point refutation. So I just flipped to the
    end, where I read:

    "In a nutshell - If it can't replace that 10 year old spot on my hard
    drive that Steel Panthers has dug into and has been tenaciously
    defending then it aint worth buying...."

    Whereupon I can succinctly reply:

    "In a nutshell, if you're loopy enough to believe that STEEL PANTHERS
    (for all its good qualities) is a valid example of 'great graphics' or
    'acceptable AI', then no opinion you propose can possibly be valid."

    > so here's a famous
    > UseNet quote that says it all really :
    >
    > "I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to
    > know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    > manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    > intended as, an insulting question:
    > Are you stupid?"

    "Never ascribe stupidity to that which can be adequately explained by a
    big buttload of powerful synthetic hallucinogens."
    - Giftzwerg's college roommate

    --
    Giftzwerg
    ***
    "If [New Orleans Mayor] Ray Nagin was half as good at busing poor blacks
    to safety as he was busing them to the polls, nobody would have died."
    - Andrew Leach
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    eddysterckx@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Kanda' Jalen Eirsie wrote:
    >
    >>Greetings...
    >><snipped>
    >
    >
    > I was going to reply to every one of your misconceptions about HTTR but
    > in the end I decided it was not worth my time, so here's a famous
    > UseNet quote that says it all really :
    >
    > "I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to
    > know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    > manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    > intended as, an insulting question:
    > Are you stupid?"
    >

    <Briarroot vainly attempts to stifle his snickering!> ;-)
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
    world domination, eddysterckx@hotmail.com mentioned

    >
    >Kanda' Jalen Eirsie wrote:
    >> Greetings...
    >> <snipped>
    >
    >I was going to reply to every one of your misconceptions about HTTR but
    >in the end I decided it was not worth my time, so here's a famous
    >UseNet quote that says it all really :
    >
    >"I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to
    >know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    >manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    >intended as, an insulting question:
    > Are you stupid?"
    >
    >Greetz,
    >
    >Eddy Sterckx

    Eddy, I like the question. May I quote you at some future date?
    ..
    ..
    We are Microsoft of Borg.....Your technological distinctiveness will be
    added to our own.....Resistance is fu...
    ......$$@#
    ..
    General Protection Fault in MSBORG32.DLL
    ...
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    "Miowarra Tomokatu (aka Tomo)" <not@thistime.net> wrote in
    news:e4cni1tgkqt95vk1fqr3iuttqkujcsn6d5@4ax.com:

    > While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
    > world domination, eddysterckx@hotmail.com mentioned
    >
    >>
    >>Kanda' Jalen Eirsie wrote:
    >>> Greetings...
    >>> <snipped>
    >>
    >>I was going to reply to every one of your misconceptions about HTTR
    but
    >>in the end I decided it was not worth my time, so here's a famous
    >>UseNet quote that says it all really :
    >>
    >>"I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious
    to
    >>know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    >>manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    >>intended as, an insulting question:
    >> Are you stupid?"
    >>
    >>Greetz,
    >>
    >>Eddy Sterckx
    >
    > Eddy, I like the question. May I quote you at some future date?

    It's not from me, I picked it up in another ng where I tend to lurk -
    and it was a quote from someone else there too.

    Greetz,

    Eddy Sterckx


    --
    "Ceterum censeo Belgicam delendam esse."
    (Cato, 'Pro Gerolphe')
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>And this concept of Game has been known for over 3000 years!! When Sun Tzu SHOWED the
    Emperor through a game using a cadre of serving girls and defended the
    imperial palace
    against his best warriors establishing his credentials...

    What utter nonsense. Go read the book - and the legitimate histories.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>And this concept of Game has been known for over 3000 years!! When Sun Tzu SHOWED the
    Emperor through a game using a cadre of serving girls and defended the
    imperial palace
    against his best warriors establishing his credentials...

    What utter nonsense. Go read the book - and the legitimate histories.
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Greetings...

    On 15 Sep 2005 23:51:12 -0700, "eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >"I'm not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to
    >know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate
    >manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not
    >intended as, an insulting question:
    > Are you stupid?"
    >
    >Greetz,
    >
    >Eddy Sterckx


    Heheheh... yes, sometimes, I AM...

    But - as I tried to make clear in my very first paragraph - I do NOT own the game, I have
    NEVER played the game, and thus - anything I say about the game cannot in any way be
    considered authorative or even a review - As I said in my letter - but apparently didn't
    make clear enough - My whole entire perception OF the game is completely based on what I
    saw on the website and/or read on the box...

    That's it...

    And that's the entire basis of my thesis-length "Gripe"...

    Sure it might be stupid, but in the long run, it's saved me literally $1000's of dollars
    NOT wasted on bad product...


    ll
    Kanda'

    <>SPAM-KILLER<>- If you really want to contact me, then -
    kandaje<at>bresnan<dot>net

    You figure it out...
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

    Kanda' Jalen Eirsie wrote:
    > My whole entire perception OF the game is completely based on what I
    > saw on the website and/or read on the box...

    If your whole perception of HTTR came from what you read on the
    website, you've got a reading comprehension problem on top of all the
    rest.

    > Sure it might be stupid, but in the long run, it's saved me literally $1000's of dollars
    > NOT wasted on bad product...

    Right - has it ever occured to you that there are other websites/forums
    besides the developer's or publisher's you might take a peak at ?

    As an example : this ng - it's a wargame ng visited by a lot of
    grognards. I'm pretty sure there are lot's of people in here who don't
    like HTTR for one reason or another (pausable real-time means no pbem,
    too realistic wrt command & controll, ugly units, no in-game music,
    Arnhem-done-to-death-syndrome, whatever ...) but I dare you to find a
    guy in here who has the game and thinks the AI is lame or that the
    realism factor isn't sky-high.

    Look, we've all bought the occasional dud based on marketing hyperbole
    (replace "occasional" with "a lot" if you're like me) but over the
    years I've come to trust the general opinion of people in here. Not
    when it comes to taste, because that's personal, but more in general
    appeal of the game, the mechanics, stability, user interface, etc.
    This way you'll develop an informed opinion about a game, not one
    formed by looking at the box.

    Will this guarantee you never buying duds anymore ? Not really - read a
    review or 2 and ask about the game in here and you'll still be
    occasionally disappointed when the game doesn't work for you. That's
    life - put it up on eBay and get over it.

    Greetz,

    Eddy Sterckx
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