View from the Veranda – Episode 8 – Whatever happened to Battlegames and ‘that book’?

Welcome to Episode #8 of View from the Veranda

Download Episode #8

At long last, Henry and I have managed to record another podcast!

Unsurprisingly, this show is a bit of a catch up. Whilst we do discuss a couple of topics in passing (Salute 2012 & UK wargames shows in general) we mainly concentrate on Battlegames magazine, talkng about the new issue, but also looking back at the events of last year, when the magazine almost folded.

In addition, we also talk about ‘The Wargames Compendium’, which at time of recording was nearing completion.

Are you sitting comfortably? Favoured beverage to hand? Then we’ll begin…

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3 Responses to View from the Veranda – Episode 8 – Whatever happened to Battlegames and ‘that book’?

  1. Roger says:

    Talking of woman and youngsters at wargames shows and in the hobby, is it me or have you noticed that wargaming seems to be an all white hobby? Certainly does not reflect the make up of the population, no idea why.

  2. Part of the problem with attracting any newcomers to the hobby are the barriers to entry. First of all, it’s quite expensive to buy a new army or two, rules can be £30, and then there’s the terrain and other accessories. That’s a big investment for something you might not have played before. Then there’s the amount of time you need to spend painting armies, reading rules, learning history and tactics, etc… I think this puts a lot a potential players off starting the hobby. Who wants to risk £200+ and spend 100 hours preparing to begin something, when you can buy an X-box game for £10 and be playing it in seconds?

    As someone who regularly runs demo games in shops, games clubs, and youth clubs, I’ve had a lot of interest from the 12-20 age group, but probably only 10% have had the money, time and attitude to take up the hobby for themselves. Lots of people have been willing to borrow my models, let me teach them the rules, and have a go; but very few have bought their own army, painted it, learnt the rules, and become a regular opponent.

    I’ve also had some success in converting female friends into gamers, but this has mostly been with light-hearted games such as, Irregular Miniatures’ TUSK, and Ground Zero Games’ FULL THRUST. In fact, an ex-girlfriend liked the FULL THRUST spaceship game so much, that she stole my copy of the rules, and bought the rights to publish a Polish translation of the game. 🙂

    Another factor which influences the lack of new, young, or female entrants to wargaming is the attitude I keep seeing from a lot of wargamers and clubs. To say that a lot of wargamers have poor social skills is putting it politely. I’ve seen some veteran players run demo gamers, only to humiliate the new players, and boast about how superior they are! Others have expected the young or new players to have an intimate familiarity with a period of history and set of rules, which they’ve made no effort to explain.

    As for non-white gamers, I have had a couple of Asian lads enjoy the role-playing and wargames I’ve run. But they were also the only non-white members of the youth group.

    Recruiting new, young, non-white or female gamers seems to be a matter of approach and attitude. Get the right people to run the right games, in the right way, in the right venue, and you’ll generate lots of interest. If you run games which are fast, simple and fun, then you’ll attract new people to the hobby.

    ANDREW MALCOLM.

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