Sunday 21 January 2024

Is historical wargaming elitist?

Is Historical Wargaming Elitist? This week's video challenges the assertion of a non-historical player and asks, what do you think?


  1. Howay Lee, you've been to a few wargames shows. Elitist? I would argue that the opposite is true. Strange probably. Sometimes downright eccentric. But elitist, never. Back in the 1950's when flats were the thing, collected by very rich people then I suppose the charge could be levelled at them. Except of course they never saw themselves as wargamers, purely collectors.

  2. It of course depends what one describes as "elitist". Intellectual elitism? Social elitism? Elitism within the wider gaming hobby?

    We have to admit that historicals are not as easily accessible as SF/F. The big commercial SF/F titles probably do attract a lot of (younger) wargamers who stay in the hobby for perhaps a few years and then fade out. Historical wargamers often are those that have been in the hobby longer, and know how to navigate the often somewhat confusing landscape of hsitorical rulesets, miniatures, etc. So in that sense, it might seem somewhat elitist to those who stick to the bog commercial SF/F titles. But's is not elitist in a pejorative way. As you say, wargamers are often very eager to help out any newcomer who's interested.

    As for other forms of elitism (intellectual, social, ...) I would say that's not the case. Of course, historical wargamers have an interest in military history, so they might be more in the segment of the population that is drawn towards reading and studying, but that doesn't necessarily translate in certain 'elitist' professions. In my own gaming group, I count a professor (me :-) ), 2 IT support people, a car mechanic, an HR professional, ... One thing we all have in common is an interest in military history and a love for toy soldiers.

  3. Good post, as usual, Lee.
    In short, no. Like you my experience in the hobby is positive and one of generosity. Certainly the gamers I know come from varied background. No elitism socially, intellectually or otherwise.


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