Saturday, January 30, 2010

What type of FOW player ar e you?

There is a plethora of threads and topics on forums and blogs which ask this question to start a discussion. All too often people have a natural instinct to categorize and define. It's perfectly reasonable to want to put people, places and things into neat little compartments. Life is a little easier when dining utensils are located in the same drawer. Going another step, it's even nicer to find that the dining utensils in said drawer have been separated into utensil trays. Who wants to fish in a large pile of forks, knives, spoons?

Yet, we're all unique in our own way. We don't all fit into neat little compartments. Our government seems to think we do. Just wait until a 2010 Census form (or person) arrives at your doorstep and you get to the Ethnic section. I bet you'll find 20+ choices to describe your ethnic background.

What? There isn't a box for Eskimos of Polish descent? Outrage!!! What about the Polish Eskimos! They can't be left out! They MUST be counted!!

Okay, I'm lucid again. My warped sense of humor takes odd tangents at times, usually unexpectedly.

But you get my point. All too often we try to classify and define people in a One Size Fits All box or an overwhelmingly abundant selection of boxes.

Having said that, allow me to list a series of categories that may apply to FOW gamers!

Casual Gamer: Most if not all of the FOW gamer fits into this category in one shape or another. Most of us started putting toy soldiers and tanks on tabletops, basement / garage floors and in backyards with our group of friends. Gamers are social animals. We enjoy being around our friends and fellow gamers. Yeah, we might wear 101st Airborne uniforms and shout "Death from Above" before our paratroopers go in for assault. Yeah, we might use too many quotes from our favorite war movies. Kelly's Heroes is a favorite (A DEAL, deal! Maybe the guy's a Republican. "Business is business," right?) We're likely have been nerds and still are. Yet, we still arrive at our LGS or gaming night with miniature cases, dice, a bag of chips, drinks and a good attitude. FOW is likely not our only wargamming interest.

Tournament Player: This FOW'er specializes in tournaments. Army lists are designed to maximize the number of 6-1, 5-2 victories and avoid the dreaded 4-3, 3-4 and 1-1 results. The player has the stamina and intensity to focus on playing 3 games in one day. They also may need to do some research on their force if the tournament has points for Best History. For the larger tournaments, the player's concentration must be just as sharp for the next day's 2 or 3 battles. There is a bit of ruthlessness and blood thirstyness in a Tournament Player. They have to. To win a tournament, you strike hard and fast. That being said, I find that most Tournament Players are very friendly to first time tournament players. Some of the FOW Community's most intellectual contributors are Tournament Players.

Power Gamer: This is person who gives the hobby or game a bad name. The Power Gamer feeds on the blood of novices and newbs. They will Min-Max an Army List, squeezing every last bit of firepower and point efficiency so they boast how quickly they can vanquish an opposing army. The smile after a game is not one of happiness for playing such a great game of FOW, but by the number of smoke plumes from the other player's decimated army. Here be PzIVH's plowing the frozen fields of 1942 Russia. Power Gamers can be fun to play with after you smack around their Pet Army List. The whining, complaining and bitching alone can make it worth while. Every gaming group has at least one Power Game, probably more than one.

Historical Nut: Your Army List is wrong! The 502nd Schwere Panzerabteilung didn't have Hello, Kitty decals on the sides of its King Tiger tanks! This guy picks an army unit and researches it thoroughly, taking advantage of the books and web material available to him. He will do his best to ensure that the unit is represented accurately. He'll be on the Forums complaining if a source book is incorrectly organizing a unit or if a piece of equipment is missing. The example I gave is an extreme one. I fit partially in this category, since I chose 11.PD because I read Panzer Battles and wanted to model this German panzer division. I did the research, changed the army list several times, until I settled on a list that I think fairly represents the 11.PD during the winter of 1942-43. Others do the same with their army selections.

Where do you fit? I'm sure I am missing other categories. In the end, it really doesn't matter what type of player you are. Just have a good time (win or lose) with your fellow gamers


  1. Can I be a mix of casual gamer and historical nut? I really enjoy researching unit histories, numbering, and camo schemes. However, you won't see me giving other players crap for their non-historical lists. When it actually comes to game time, I'm the guy that LOL's when his 3 Tigers just got killed by a lucky artillery strike. You can also find me giving advice to my opponents (when they want it) on how to best destory said Tigers. ;)

  2. I am a casual player who's primary goal is to have fun, which doesn't mean that i don't play to win. Further i like to find out as much as possible historically about the army's i play. With my 101st Airborne as primary target.
    I try with my army lists close to historical but most of the time it just isn't possible.

  3. GeekEGuy - Yes, you can be the Casual Gamer / Historical Nut. =) I am too. Many FOW'ers like history, or at least military history, or we wouldn't be pushing toy tanks around.

    Hein - Winning is fun too. I don't enjoy getting my head kicked in again and again and again. Especially if it's to the same PowerGamer who's been a thorn in my side for years. Yes, I'm looking at you, Keith! =)

    If everyone fit into just one box, it'd be a pretty vanilla and boring world. =)