Monday, August 10, 2015

Wargamer Profiling - Results

(Note: two more data points added into analysis 11AUG2015)

Last month I proposed a notion of classifying or profiling wargamers' attributes based on four criteria.  Those criteria consisted of ratings for Collector (size), Historian, Craftsman, and Gaming Frequency.  For a detailed explanation of this survey and its motivation, see Wargamer Profiling.

My goal was three-fold:
  1. Attempt to reduce the dimension of Haskell's classifications
  2. Qualify myself based on these revised classifications
  3. Draw out responses from readers to build a multi-dimensional profiling snapshot
For this exercise, I had 17 brave souls step forward to be counted in profiling their wargaming attributes.  Including my own data, that totals to n=18 participants.  Still a very small sample and self-selection might bias the results but an interesting picture nonetheless.

If a mean or average rating is 5 (over 1 to 10 scale) in the Craftsman and Historian attributes then most participants are above average.  Average Craftsman and Historian Ratings in this survey came in at about 7.50 each.  For most, both the wargaming craft, itself, as well as the history component are important facets of the hobby.  On average, respondents hold a collection totaling 5,000-10,000 painted miniatures and game roughly one game per month.  Of course, wide variety existed among the participants.

What can be inferred from these limited results?  For one, there appears to be a general linear relationship between Historian and Craftsman attributes.  That is, higher ratings for Historian tend to correspond to higher ratings for Craftsman.  Examining the Attribute Correlation Coefficients Table, the only significant relationship is between History and Craft with a positive Pearson Correlation Coefficient of 0.56107.  Still focusing on the correlation coefficients, Nate asked if an inverse relationship existed between Craft and collection Size.  A slight inverse relationship exists but not in a statistically significant sense (p=0.5320).  That was a good question!    

Attribute Correlation Coefficients
As the Scatter Plot Matrix below suggests, relationships between variables appear weak.  Looking at the correlation between History and Size, considering oneself a historian has no bearing on collection size.  What does that suggest?
Attribute Scatter Plot Matrix
Second, about half of the respondents clustered around Craftsman = 8 although there are a couple of outliers.

Of course, the sample size is quite small and the ratings are arbitrarily measured but, for me, this was an interesting exercise and helps place my own attributes into context of a few peers.  Response rate has been low.  To improve any potential inferences made, a larger sample size would be beneficial.

For any reader wishing to add their profile attributes into this survey, please add your attributes as a comment or send them via email.  I will gladly add your data into the graphic.  

Thank you to all who have already contributed.


  1. I don't recall seeing the initial post, Jonathan. But in any case, I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring. I'd say the following:

    Gamesman - hopefully at least a 5 - I was a late bloomer in this category, and still avoid games that can't fit their rules on an 8X11" sheet :)

    Craftsman - probably about a 7.5 nowadays - hard to even pick up a brush.

    Historian - probably a 7.5 again (have an undergrad in History - heavily in military history - but mainly the superficial/visual stuff, like uniforms, armor and bombastic speeches before battle :)

    Gaming Frequency - about a 5 - although I like to host games when I can get folks over.

    Hope I did this correctly.

    1. Thanks for participating, Dean! You mentioned being "incomputercado" recently. Maybe the earlier posting coincided with that?

      Anyway, three of the four look good. "Gamesman" and "Gaming Frequency" are the same attribute. What I need is the current number of total painted figures in your collection. That will quantify your Collector Rating. After that, your data will be added into the graph.

    2. Oooh, That's something I've never done before - kind of shied away from it, like David counting his fighting men. However, I will do it as they are only toys :)! Hope to have a number for you after I get home tonight. BTW, not only was I busier than normal at work, my off-time was filled with yard work!

    3. An estimate works too! Get the yard work done today before it heats up tomorrow. We will see temps above 100F on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    4. Okay, I just finished the count - I might've missed some, but I have at least 2,600 painted 28mm figures ranging from Trojan War to WW2. I also have quite a few 120-200mm figures, as well as only 1 DBA army in 15mm. It was cool to have the count as I now have it cataloged by period/genre. What seemed a bit off was counting larger single figures like the Empire General on a Griffon and War Altar, as well as ships. But I just counted the human figures :)

  2. Quite interesting. It appears that the bigger bubbles (collections) rate themselves lower on the craftsman scale. Is that showing a preference for painting for volume against painting for craft?

    1. That is a good question and a discerning eye. See the expanded analysis above. While there is a slight inverse relationship between Craftsman and collection Size, it is insignificant in the statistical sense.

  3. Sorry I also missed this originally Jonathan.

    My scores would be:
    - Craftsmen 7
    - Games monthly
    - Historian 8 (reckon I might have more books than painted figs ... just kidding a little)
    - Size of collection 10k +

    Hope it is useful

    1. I appreciate your contribution, Richard!

  4. It would make sense that there might be some negative correlation between collection size and "craft; if it takes less time to paint each figure, you can paint more figures in the same amount of time. However, there are obviously many other factors at play. For example, painting at all is a big commitment of time and effort, and especially as the collection grows (and you've had more practice and are fully committed) you may care more about quality than you did earlier on in your days in the hobby. Also, I suspect bloggers are more likely to care about quality("craft") as their work is on display in a fashion that the actual figures are usually not, and they are constantly exposed to fine painting by many other bloggers!

    1. Impeccable logic, Sir! Our hobby does require a large time commitment and a lengthy lead time from concept to deployment for battle. The other factors may be what confounds the negative correlation between collection size and quality. I do know guys who can really crank out high quality figures at a sustainable rate.


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