The results are in!

July has passed, August is here, and the results of the Great Wargaming Survey are in. The incredible number of 7759 wargamers took the time to fill out our survey, and, as we’ve said before, we are extremely grateful to all of them for doing so. I’ve also sent out emails to the survey prize winners - so check your inbox (and probably spam folder, just to be sure).

We’d also like to extend our thanks to the survey sponsors – 4Ground, Warlord Games, North Star Miniatures, Osprey Publishing, Pen & Sword and Casemate – as well as those bloggers who helped spread the word!

I could (and will) write a lot about how the survey came about, what we did, and why we did it and what we’ve learnt for any future surveys (yes, we have taken note of all the feedback). But for now, I expect most of you just don’t give a damn about any uhm-ing and ah-ing. You just want some of the results. The full set will need some more processing – there are nearly a million elements of data resulting from this survey – and they will be published in issue 75 of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, but here are some preliminaries.

We’ve got a fairly nice distribution of wargamers worldwide with 8.1% from Australia and New Zealand, 23.8% from Continental Europe, 30.8% from the UK & Ireland, and 37.3% from North America. The rest indicated they lived elsewhere. It’s probably no shocking result, but perhaps a pity, that only about 1% is female. 4% indicate they really don’t care what gender the wargamer identifies as.

Now age… Whether the hobby is graying was one of our initial questions, but we really can’t answer that with just one survey. We’d have to repeat this exact question over the next few years and see what changes. For now, it’s interesting to note that 21% is under 30, 22% is over 50 and the rest is thoroughly ‘in the prime of their life’ / ‘middle-aged’ (please circle what is appropriate). More interesting yet is that there are some clear differences per region (as above). Wargamers in ‘the Old World’ (Continental Europe) are markedly younger (30% under 30, 9% over 50) than those in North America (17% vs 27% respectively).

Wargaming is apparently also a hobby that lasts you a long time. No less than 55% indicates they’ve been ‘at it’ for at least 20 years or were taught how to roll dice by Don Featherstone… Not so in Continental Europe though, where 27% has wargamed less than 10 years vs. 20% overall. Almost everyone also indicates they want to keep going (63% “come hell or high water”, 33% as long as they can afford to and life doesn’t intervene, 3% is ambivalent about the hobby and the remaining percent doesn’t expect to).

When it comes to introducing wargamers to the hobby, friends are by far the greatest influence. Number two with some distance is “I started painting miniatures and then thought I might play with them”, very closely followed (with about 1% difference) by magazines (pfew! We still have a role there!).

That takes care of the first set of questions, hopefully satisfies some curiosity and undoubtedly provides food for thought and debate. More later (part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5)!

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