13JUL2015: Graph update note:
Having received a handful of profiles, I updated the earlier graphic to reflect these actual data points. Refinements to the graph also included. Thus far, participants are all above average with respect to Historian v. Craftsman. More data please!
Below is the original posting.
For example, under the classification of GAMESMAN, Rank 4 "Plays Often," Haskell correlates playing one game per week to being a Rules Lawyer, playing for fun in a competitive setting, and using complicated Combat Resolution methods. Does playing frequently necessarily lead to the other attributes?
I follow what Haskell attempted but each of these attributes could be independent in my mind. Does a Rules Lawyer necessarily game more frequently than others? Does a RULESMITH Rank 5 necessarily prefer day-long games as opposed to those of lesser ranks? I think not!
In the interest of dimension reduction and my inability to visualize five dimensional data in two-dimensional space (I do manage visualization in four, though) as Haskell's classifications present, my focus will be on classifying what I consider the Holy Trinity of the wargaming hobby. That is, gaming, history, and modeling. To use Haskell's convention, that trio translates to Gamesman, Historian, and Craftsman. To me, these are the essential components of our hobby. Each wargamer likely brings a different mix of each of these components into their make-up but most touch all three.
The Craftsman aspect of the trio encompasses the artistic efforts. For me, these activities center primarily on painting model soldiers, constructing vehicles and weaponry, and building landscapes over which our soldiers will march and fight. Some may add figure conversion or sculpting and molding their own armies. For this exercise, I rate Craft on a scale of 1 to 10 with a '1' being "I cannot be bothered with such labors" to '10' "I must do it all and perfectly!" Of course, most may fall somewhere in between.
Gamesman classification could carry many attributes. After consideration, I have narrowed Gamesman down to the frequency of game participation. Also under consideration was a game complexity continuum but was shelved. Does the wargamer prefer simple or complex games? This attribute would help define the wargamer's preference on the Playability vs Simulation continuum. I may add this attribute in later.
For now, gaming frequency is allocated in discrete counts with the value in games played annually. These counts will be aggregated into 'Weekly', 'Bi-weekly', 'Monthly', 'Bi-Monthly', 'Quarterly', 'Infrequent ' buckets.
The Historian component wraps up all of the reading, research, and project planning necessary for forming a well-read wargamer and successful period immersion. Battle and uniform research, and period readings would be included. Rules writing and scenario design could fall under this broad classification too.
Like Craftsman, Historian is qualified on 1-10 point scale. '1' is associated with the "Who, me read?" while '10' could represent the professional historian at the top of the scale.
Finally, I will sneak in one more dimension into the profile. That dimension will identify the Collector attribute by counting the number of painted figures one possesses. This Collector Rating is qualified on a '1' to '10' scale. Distribution of the Collector ranking is:
- Less than 100 painted figures
- 101-500 painted figures
- 501-1,000 painted figures
- 1,001-2,500 painted figures
- 2,501-5,000 painted figures
- 5,001-10,000 painted figures
- 10,001-15,000 painted figures
- 15,001-20,000 painted figures
- 20,001-25,000 painted figures
- 25,000+ painted figures
Number of distinct projects might be another useful metric as a measure of a wargamer's collecting status. The problem with using number of distinct projects is that a wargamer specializing in one or two periods may feel under-represented. This could introduce bias. For now, I stick to number of painted figures. Since the Collector attribute is an augmentation to the Big Three, I will keep Collector as a secondary metric.
For demonstration purposes, I put in my own data (JRF) and then added five random wargamer profiles to populate the graph. Raw data below:
User History Craft Game_Freq Size
JRF 7 6 6 9
WG01 5 8 12 3
WG02 3 4 26 6
WG03 4 1 52 8
WG04 2 9 4 1
WG05 6 5 2 4
For JRF, I plugged in the following values: History=7, Craft=6, Game_Freq= 6, Size=9. My rationale for each rating is,
- History (7) - consider myself an above average history buff with a large library, curious mind, and good research skills. Would not consider diving into a new gaming period without hitting the books first.
- Craft (6) - I enjoy painting and modeling and prefer doing it myself but results are not to the level of museum quality that many of my colleagues produce. Quantity has an edge over Quality.
- Game_Freq (6) - while I would enjoy gaming on a monthly basis and often average 12 games per year, six games per year is more realistic.
- Size (9) - with a collection of about 22,000 figures, I fall within the '9' category.
I think an interesting exercise would be to have readers submit their Wargamer Attributes as specified above in the dimension-reduction exercise. Then, this collection of gamer attributes could be appended into the graphic. I, for one, would be curious to see where others place themselves within the broadly defined spectrum.
If you want your profile data anonymous, submit your attribute ratings to me directly via the Contact Form. I will anonymize your data before presentation.
Like so much, this exercise will remain a work in progress as refinements are considered.