The answer is 42!
Well, it probably isn’t, but it’s too tempting not to use this number especially since the actual answer range at least encompasses 42. As coincidence would have it, Adam at TabletopMinions published a video a week ago, in which he mused on whether there was an age at which wargamers become more interested in historical wargaming. Obviously, now that we’re running the Great Wargaming Survey for the third year in a row, such a question is too tempting not to try and answer. Not only because we’ve got thousands of responses this year already (if you haven’t yet, please fill it out here!), but because there are two previous editions of the survey to check the answer against as well. As always, the numbers above only say something about the respondents to the survey, but the fact that it’s the same three years in a row, with only about a 50% overlap, might indicate something after all..
Obviously I’ve already given the answer away above, so I’ll just keep it pretty short: it’s very obvious in all three surveys. Wargamers under 30 (between 16-23% of respondents depending on the edition of the survey) prefer Fantasy and Science-Fiction wargaming above anything else, with over 70% indicating they are ‘interested’ or ‘very interested’ in Science-Fiction gaming. Fantasy follows in the high 60s, still ahead of WW2, which still gets some 50-60% of ‘interested’ or ‘very interested’. The interest is thus always there, but non-historical matters take up more attention.
When wargamers hit their fourth decade (ie, they reach their thirties), something odd happens: interest in WW2 declines, not by much, but it’s there, and disinterest increases. Think of that what you will. Once you’re a wargamer and you hit your forties, however, odds are you are interested in the Second World War. In all three surveys, the era catapults to the first place overall and distinterest drops to at or under 20%.
Time to buy plastic and resin tanks, I suppose (I turned 40 last november)…