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    Avatar photoMike

    I was thinking about all the various forums and groups there are, which are geared toward one particular flavour.
    Could be a set of rules, could be a genre, could be a scale, could be a combination.

    Do you think the positives of specialist groups outweigh the negatives?

    Let us use 6mm Napoleonics as a group example.

    The obvious positive would be that everyone* in that group would already be a 6mm Napoleonic player and you would be with like minded souls and should have some good experience to draw upon.

    The negative would seem to be that you are not promoting 6mm Napoleonics by keeping it away from other periods/scales, so are less likely to attract fresh players/ideas.

    Just a thought, nothing serious.

    *give or take.

    Avatar photoSparker

    Well off the top of my head, don’t most wargamers have interests that span periods and scales? To take your example, a specialised forum might result in a 10mm Naps wargamer being unaware of the site and its value. A Nap 2mm gamer (if there is such a hawk-eyed beast!) also. And surely there might be potential cross over into 6mm ACW gaming that would be lost unless each individual signed up to multiple such groups?

    And certainly people always seem interested in new (or old) rules they haven’t come across, particularly those types who adapt their house rules from several rulesets…

    I think a broad church is the way to go, at least by period…

    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I know that the 15mm SciFi Facebook group is very active.

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    When these groups are on Facebook (or theoretically speaking other, similar social networking sites) and become major hubs of their respective fields of interest, I subjectively find them a bit problematic. The structure and format are not conducive to the sort of discussion I tend to prefer, and it’s frustrating to be “herded” into FB that way.

    Forum communities (and historically speaking Yahoo groups, which seem to be quite thoroughly dead now but had a format much the same as forums in their day) don’t bother me. All communities of this sort that I’ve frequented have been quite small, and I’ve recognised many of the most prolific posters on other, broader forums as well. I tend to view them as small second-order adjuncts to the “broad” miniatures gaming community, branches too thin to support nests of their own. But again, this presupposes that we’re talking about small communities for very narrow fields of interest, as opposed to fairly big communities for fairly broad fields, like the 15mm sci-fi FB group.

    Some fields of interest are so “niche” that discussion about them can be drowned out, dumbed down or rendered flavourless in the madding crowd of broad-spectrum communities. For example, I’ve often found it more rewarding to discuss Heavy Gear Blitz in the Dream Pod 9 forum than in the broader hobby forums. In the broader forums, a lot of people don’t quite “get” the odd duck that is 12mm scale. Threads about HGB in these forums often veer off toward the same tired topic: Will the figures mix with 15mm or not? It’s not really what I’m looking to discuss. The high prices of DP9 products is another topic that often infects and consumes such threads. In the DP9 forum I can converse with other people who, like me, have largely gotten over these two matters (or just don’t care about them to begin with). I can also have much deeper discussions and debates about the rich HG background fluff with other people who are well-read on it, like whether the Humanist Alliance is genuinely humanist, how the Koreshi tie in with the Prime Knights, what we think of the advancement of the Port Arthur storyline in the NuCoal leaguebook, what our hopes/fears are for New Jerusalem, and so on.

    I can also imagine that some niches are far enough removed from the rest of the hobby that some people just don’t feel that the hobby outside of their niche is relevant to them. Spaceship gaming and “fantasy sports” gaming (like BloodBowl and Dreadball) come to mind. I’ve met veteran BloodBowl gamers who move in their own gaming circles where BloodBowl is the only miniatures game that exists. They seem to think of it more as a boardgame and when the topic of “miniatures gaming” comes up, they treat it as something foreign to them.

    Avatar photopaintpig

    Specialist pages are great for those who are already in a scene and for those that are contemplating, Ive found with, using yahoo groups as a good example, they can be very limiting.

    Your example above is dangerous what with Napoleonic’s being famously inflammatory, but that aside, a member would be able to get access to all the information they like on 6mm Naps. and share aar’s, scenery builds and painting tips etc. but discussion on warfare, tactics and things like unit histories etc would be limited to only those with an interest in 6mm Naps. To answer your OP more directly, yes I guess a group does insulate itself but I think that is the whole point it is looking to confine it’s discussion to a particular subject, similar to a particular board of a general forum. Of course on a general forum every member can pop in to have a look at a particular board and therefore the word gets spread around. We need to take a look at who sets up a specialist group over a general group, they are two different people/mindsets with different goals.

    Unintelligible warbling over. 


    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel
    Slowly Over A Low Flame

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