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  • #123404
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I have been chatting to various people on social media about which era/genre/period/conflict/etc has the most players globally.
    I mean relatively specific ones, not as broad as sci-fi, fantasy or ancients etc, but more defined.

    My gut says 40k, followed by Napoleonics or WWII.

    What do you think?

    #123406
    Tony S
    Participant

    Anything from Games Workshop would dominate I would think.  I assume you’re limiting it to tabletop games that require players to assemble and paint figures, and provide their own terrain?  Otherwise X-Wing might also be a popular choice.

    #123407
    deephorse
    Participant

    Globally? How would anyone know?  You could possibly deduce it from sales figures, but going by the amount of undercoated GW figures in bring ‘n’ buys there might be a lot more folk buying them than ever get round to playing with them.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #123409
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    40K or Star Wars (mainly because of X-Wing). I’m not convinced that the next runner-up after those two is anything historical, either. Warhammer AoS, WarmaHordes and even Infinity have traction with a large demographic that may not have much contact surface with us who hang around in forums like this, but their numbers count nevertheless.

    I reckon the highest-ranking historical period is WW2, mainly because Flames of War and Bolt Action have managed to emulate the popularity of games like 40K.

    I’d rather not be restrictive about who counts as a proper player and who doesn’t. Buying in is enough for me.

    #123413
    Tony S
    Participant
    #123443
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    Measuring by last year’s sales doesn’t tell you anything about the numbers playing. I have figures bought 30 years ago that get played with regularly and I haven’t bought anything for that period since.

    I’d suspect the ‘survey’ from ICV covers only those using proprietary games and similar systems, wargames rules where you have the choice of many manufactures almost certainly don’t even get a look in. I know we have arguments about what is and isn’t REALLY wargaming but this type of  organisation is clear about what it includes and it won’t be independent wargamers using a variety of printed or home grown rules with figures collected and painted from a wide range of manufacturers to play historical, fantasy & sci-fi games. I’ll bet they don’t even consider most of the figure suppliers to be part of the same industry.

    The answer is ‘we don’t know’ and probably will never be able to be certain. Probably GW type fantasy/Sci-Fi is the most played but does that count as a single ‘period’ or not ?

    Also, for most of us, I suspect the answer is ‘who gives a damn’.

     

     

     

    #123462
    John Treadaway
    Participant

    Also, for most of us, I suspect the answer is ‘who gives a damn’.

    Right with you there! The hobby is about what you can bring to the table.

    “Diversity is our strength” (blah blah blah)

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #123464
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    I want to bring up another point here and that is regional diversity. “Classic” wargaming is largely an Anglo-Saxon affair with it´s primary market in the UK and secondary in the US and in the rest of the world mostly unknown (with a few exceptions).
    I took a closer look at the local scene this year. There was one a convention here which was very small (15 tables and a handful salesman). It was the only one in a radius of 200km. Of the thirteen games 5 were 40k, 2 GW LOTR, 2 AoS, 1 X-Wing and the remaining three 2 Bolt Action and one medieval game I didn´t know yet. And additional two Scythe games.
    Same for the only regular gaming club I´ve found so far in a radius of 150km in a different location. The majority of the games played there are 40k, LOTR and a few BA. The players drive a lot of kilometres to play there even from cities I guessed had own clubs (and as I found out they didn´t). The only diverging from this standard are some other games like Warmachine and the like – games that try to copy GW´s successes.
    I sold (or better gave as a gift) my remaining WH40k stuff to a a guy who mentioned that he plays it a few weeks ago and showed him my 6mm sci fi armies, my 28mm sci-fi and the new 15mm sword and sorcery stuff  and he was completely surprised of that such things even existed and the prices compared to the GW (+clones) stuff. He wasn´t even aware of the WH epic scale.
    What shocks me most is that DBA is today virtually unknown – one of the games that brought me into the hobby. Napoleonics are virtually unknown and ACW non existent. With the possible exception of a few collectors.
    The last time I was at a dedicated (RPG) hobby store most of the minis sold there were again GW products, followed by RPG minis and a notable collection of old RP BT mechs.
    I´ve got to add that the situation was a bit better the times when we had still a presence of US Armed Forces here.

    So, on a global scale I would say that WH40k dominates the market by far, followed by other GW games and then several Star Wars games.

    But personally, I´m with Tony and John here. I don´t give much on others in this case.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #123469
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Also, for most of us, I suspect the answer is ‘who gives a damn’.

    Right with you there! The hobby is about what you can bring to the table. “Diversity is our strength” (blah blah blah)

     

    As the owner operator of a community that caters to the hobby as a whole I very much give a damn. It is in my interest to make sure all feel welcome and that I am aware of the most popular games that people are playing.

    I want everyone to feel that their favourite games are welcome as indeed are they.

    Diversity is key, as the hobby caters to all manner of people playing all manner of games in all manner of ways.

    To not care about what is popular and to not be diverse would I feel, be incredibly remiss of some one in my position.

    #123470
    irishserb
    Participant

    I’ve always wondered about this, mostly because I run into gamers all of the time , and most of the mechanisms that I’ve encounter yield a very small community, and also exclude me and most of the gamers that I have ever regularly gamed with.

    For example, some years back, the sales numbers of Napoleons Battles were used to estimate the size of the historical gamers community, but of the 12 regular members of my first gaming group, none of us ever owned a copy of the game, so we didn’t count as part of the measured community.  Also, of that original 12, I know that 9 never owned, and at least 8 have never played a GW game (I’ve lost touch with a couple of the guys).

    I also find that gamers are everywhere, for example, my employer has approaching a 100 employees and there are are at least three (other) gamers and have been as many as seven gamers employed there at any one time.  Additionally a couple others have spouses that game.  That is a surprisingly high frequency of gamers in a random population.

    Additionally, I stumble into gamers through work and elsewhere with a surprising frequency, usually finding that they are solo gamers or that they gamer at home with one of two other gamers.  Over the years, by far, the most popular periods mentioned have been WII and the ACW.  More recently, I’ve bumped into a couple of guys that play Star Wars games, though GW players have been exceedingly rare among random encounters over the last 30 years.

    Gross sales tell you little about number of gamers for a lot of reasons.  I still game with miniatures purchased in 1982; they last forever.   A FOW tank costs as much as three Gaming models tanks of the same scale, so gross dollars indicates neither the number of miniature, games, and active gamers.  And buying doesn’t equate to actively playing.  I gamed more, when I had far fewer miniatures, and my purchases vary radically; in the last 15 years, my purchases have range from 70 to 1599 figs in a single year.

    Most popular is a hard to qualify, for example 40K involves one rules set, while WWII involves all related rules sets, it would be an apples and fuel injectors kind of comparison.  My experience in my random encounters has been the WWII dominates, ACW and ancients follows closely, Napoleonics chases at some distance, and sci-fi overshadows fantasy, but both are behind historical.   WHile helping to organize events at conventions, the most popular periods were consistently WWII and ancients, usually followed closely by ACW and Napoleonics, with colonials usually rounding out the top five.  The order could change a little some years, but those were pretty consistent. At the multi-genre cons, sci-fi and fantasy roughly equaled historical.  This was based on frequency of events submitted, and monitoring number of players in the events, which still doesn’t tell us the primary preference of gamers in general.

    At the local hobby shop, the most popular games are either cards or collectible miniatures, the events for those have far more participants than 40K or any other miniatures heavy game.  Additionally, if you take a sampling from there, there would be no historical gamers (they don’t sell any historical games, FOW bit the dust), and fantasy is out numbered by sci-fi in the miniatures realm.

    All of this is only the experience of one gamer in a very little bit of one country, so it would be silly to try to draw any conclusions from it.  But over the last forty years, my experience has been that there are a lot of relatively isolated gamers out there; gamers who would be missed by most of the attempts to count us.  While many may not “give a damn”, I am still curious to know how many gamers are out there and how many share my interests.

     

    #123475
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    To not care about what is popular and to not be diverse would I feel, be incredibly remiss of some one in my position.

    Mike, a question for you: do you think that print and social media coverage of gaming, especially miniatures gaming, is skewed towards historical gaming and away from fantasy/SF gaming, given the assumptions made about the numbers of people playing?  I don’t mean “disliked” or “ignored”, just that the percentage coverage doesn’t reflect it.  Or is it that there is a ton of fantasy and SF stuff out there (magazines, blogs, social media stuff) that I am just not seeing?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #123478
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I don’t know about globally, but I would guess 40k is the biggest.

    I think the question should be put in terms of what is being played right now, as there seems to be 2 types of gamers:

    1. Those who play what is new/hot and currently being pimped by stores and magazines (usually competitive tournament games)
    2. Those who game as a hobby and have interest in specific or varied periods and genres.

    The first sort will be playing what is en-vogue at the time and then usually sell-off the stuff when interest in the game flags or it is discontinued and move on the next big thing.  The second type will keep their collections and use them for decades.

    To answer Whirlwind’s question that was aimed at Mike: Yes, except for instances where a new Fantasy game is The Next Big Game from Big Name Game Company (like Warlord, GW, or CMON).  The vast majority of magazines (and “independent” websites) nowadays seem to be devoted to a specific company’s games as though they are a sort of mouth piece for that company, thus enlarging the coverage for that company’s games.  Independent and minor manufacturers will not be spotlit, especially if they cannot be found in gaming stores or on Amazon.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #123480
    willz
    Participant

    I have no idea what wargames area is played the most be it historical, fantasy, science fiction, imagination, collection toy soldiers, using 2mm to 120mm size of figures,  Flat figures, round figures, paper figures, blocks of wood, plastic, resin, using board games, solo gamers, cards or computer wargames to simulate and stimulate our hobby.

    This blog advertises 1500 wargame blogs, maybe a trawl through this and similar areas may come up with a count / survey

    http://wargamesblogs.blogspot.com/

    However what about the gamers who do not have a personal blog or are a member of a forum.  I suspect in our hobby there is a large selection of hobbyist / gamers / collectors who do not frequent the blogo-sphere.  so our survey count would not be accurate.

    An imponderable yet interesting question.

    Happy gaming everyone.

    Willz.

     

    #123481
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    My experience is almost the diametric opposite of irishserb’s. I regularly meet people in non-wargaming-related contexts who turn out to be 40K players. I overhear random strangers on trains and in coffee shops and libraries discuss 40K in a way that implies they’re players of it. It’s always 40K in these situations.

    I’ve formed the impression that the “hidden numbers” would tip the scales heavily in favour of 40K, especially when taking into account children and teenagers where I suspect there’s a much higher incidence of miniatures wargaming than in the adult population (even taking into account that the adult population is larger), and where 40K is the natural gateway in modern times.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #123494
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Mike, a question for you: do you think that print and social media coverage of gaming, especially miniatures gaming, is skewed towards historical gaming and away from fantasy/SF gaming, given the assumptions made about the numbers of people playing?  I don’t mean “disliked” or “ignored”, just that the percentage coverage doesn’t reflect it.  Or is it that there is a ton of fantasy and SF stuff out there (magazines, blogs, social media stuff) that I am just not seeing?

    I will attack this from a few angles.

    Print:

    I suspect, (cba to check tbh) that White Dwarf alone has more circulation than magazines like WSS, MW, WI et al put together.
    That is of course fantasy/sci-fi so it seems to me that fantasy/sci-fi has greater print reach, but it is in house and content specific.
    So whilst print may have more sci-fi content, it is not broad like the historical coverage of the others.
    I have not bought any magazines in quite a while, but when I did, I don’t recall seeing any sci-fi/fantasy in any of the mags other than MW, which has to the best of my knowledge had something non-historical in every issue for yonks.
    So my gut says that print reaches more sci-fi/fantasy if you include WD and their branded games.
    However if looking at independent not obviously affiliated magazines, then it seems to me that historicals get way more coverage than sci-fi/fantasy.

    Online:

    My main haunts are here (obvs), twitter and FB.
    My twitter feed for TWW is just TWW Traders, I use it to keep tabs on their news and post here if they don’t send news in, so that is not a fair gauge of what is out there.
    My twitter feed for Crom’s Anvil however is more personal, having said that I just unfollowed 500+ followers on my Crom’s Anvil account as it was mostly 40k, and DnD.
    Twitter from my view is mostly fantasy and sci-fi, and the vast vast majority of the sci-fi is 40k.
    I have people I follow with 1000’s of followers that are all mad for 40k, and those followers oft have 1000’s of followers themself. (though it stands to reason there is some significant cross over)
    My feed before removing those 500+ people was constantly updating on my screen with new sci-fi content, literally changing before my eyes.
    So my experience of twitter is there is a shed load of 40k there.
    Reddit also has a lot of 40k, as does FB and all the various social media platforms.
    I don’t look for it, but I am seeing it everywhere, if I actively looked for GW stuff I suspect I would drown in it.

    I have to echo Rhoderic and say that out there in the wider internet that 40K seems the most popular.

    I’ve formed the impression that the “hidden numbers” would tip the scales heavily in favour of 40K, especially when taking into account children and teenagers where I suspect there’s a much higher incidence of miniatures wargaming than in the adult population (even taking into account that the adult population is larger), and where 40K is the natural gateway in modern times.

    On a day to day basis, 40k seems the most talked about.
    I am in a few FB groups that are not gaming related, but when anyone in those groups talks about miniature gaming it has always been AoS or 40k.
    Many of these people are not aware as such that they are talking about wargaming, they know only GW.

    When I explain to people what I do, a blankish look can often be removed by saying, ‘you know like Warhammer’, then the penny drops.

    #123499
    Devon Start
    Participant

    sci fi and fantasy are likely the most popular. just look at what you actually find in stores. if you go to any FLGS in the US or UK you are going to find a lot of gw stuff, reaper stuff, star wars games etc.. you rarely see historicals,

    if you wanted to know what game is most popular i have no idea. but i have a good idea as to the genres

    like isaid, first its probably sci fi, then fantasy-but in the 80s and 90s i would have said it was the other way round, with fantasy being the bigger. then its the historicals. I would say in that over all genre, napoleonics and ww2 are likely the most popular. WW2 maybe being bigger with games like bolt action being pretty big, but im not 100% those are two genres i have only passing interest in.
    then i would say ancients, those are pretty damn popular with a lot of games coming out. Thats another way to tell, you have a lot of new games for those three genres.
    then i would have to say stuff like 7tv and where heros dare and pulp alley.. that sort of o movie based stuff that really only gets a lot of play with historical players(or so it seems, ive never seen a pulp game at a regular gaming con that i didnt run myself, but i see them all the time at historical cons.. i think its because stuffy historcal wargamers can convince themseles its not sci fi/fantasy becasue its loosly based on history)

    #123500
    Mike
    Keymaster

    i think its because stuffy historcal wargamers

    Steady on old sport.

    #123501
    Devon Start
    Participant

    To not care about what is popular and to not be diverse would I feel, be incredibly remiss of some one in my position.

    Mike, a question for you: do you think that print and social media coverage of gaming, especially miniatures gaming, is skewed towards historical gaming and away from fantasy/SF gaming, given the assumptions made about the numbers of people playing? I don’t mean “disliked” or “ignored”, just that the percentage coverage doesn’t reflect it. Or is it that there is a ton of fantasy and SF stuff out there (magazines, blogs, social media stuff) that I am just not seeing?

    hey whirlwind.. you must just not be looking. if you think its skewed toward historicals, that because you are in the historical bubble.  Sci fi and fantasy makes way more money.  for instance according to this site gw will make about 175 million this year. for comparison we have warlord games(probably the biggest name in historicals at the moment) they are going to make less than a million.

    links below to check my work
    https://www.owler.com/company/warlordgames

    https://www.owler.com/company/games-workshop

    #123502
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Plus Marvel Comics have teamed up with GW to make GW comics. They must have a pretty big fan base to get that done.

    #123504
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Plus Marvel Comics have teamed up with GW to make GW comics. They must have a pretty big fan base to get that done.

    Got to think back when I first REALLY noticed GW – as I found the White Dwarf (German edition) in a local super market. Must be in the early/mid nineties. In fact it was the only hobby periodical to be found in local stores. That alone has given GW a headstart here back then.

    Something similar happened with Battletech around 1989/1990. A large publishing house brought the Gray Death trilogy on the market and they became an instant hit – in fact the publishing house earned more with the BT novels as with the rest of their complete program for over a decade. And I think Revell´s Robotech Defender kits, which looked similar for non initiated, from the mid eighties helped a lot in this case.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #123506
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    hey whirlwind.. you must just not be looking. if you think its skewed toward historicals, that because you are in the historical bubble. Sci fi and fantasy makes way more money. for instance according to this site gw will make about 175 million this year. for comparison we have warlord games(probably the biggest name in historicals at the moment) they are going to make less than a million.

    That is exactly right, I’m not looking.  I do play SF and fantasy, but not as much as I play historicals.  I know that GW, FF, WotC and Privateer Press etc. are much much bigger than anything in the industry concentrating on historicals: that is why I asked if there were certain parts of the media that didn’t reflect that split.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Whirlwind.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #123515
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I had a 1/72 tank on my desk* for ages. I kept getting asked ‘what’s the Tank for?’

    When I was browsing a Wargames Website (I won’t name it 🙂 )  at work I had two different people  go ‘ooh do you play 40k?’

    Similarly, my hopefully future son-in-law bought a 3d printer, and showed me his first home-sculpt – a Not-Space Marine.

    I really do get the impression that 40k, or more substantially, former 40k players – are the only  part of the hobby that could be called ‘common’

    Lastly – back when I worked for GW, a fascinating fact was revealed at a conference – every 3rd figure they sold was a Marine with a Jump Pack :0

     

    * long story

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Sane Max.
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