Sunday 8 December 2013

Time Spent on Wargaming

This week I have spent a lot of time pondering wargaming uneven battles again.  

I raised the subject on TMP hoping that someone might have experience of a set of rules which worked, and which I could then adopt to my own house rules.   I got quite a few replies but all telling me that it happened all the time, and it should be easy to include in a wargame.   But none suggesting how it might be done, or at least not in a way I could use in my own games.

Then someone asked how long I spent each week wargaming, and I replied about 8 hours.   He seemed unable to accept that it was possible to spend so long and still live a normal life.   He was even more unconvinced when I told him I also spend about 12 hours on the PBEM campaign.   This had not seemed to me to be an excessive amount of time.

We wargame most days for an hour or so.   Usually we aim at two moves each time, or three if it is a small game.   Then I spend about two hours each day working on the campaign.   Total more or less 20 hours a week.

This doubting response made me wonder whether I am excessive in the time I spend on wargaming related work.    So I asked the question on TMP “how long do you spend on your hobby”.   I cross posted it to all of the different period forums.  I was a little disappointed only about 50 replied.  I was quite surprised that hardly any of them reached, let along exceeded, my 20 hours a week.   Most seemed to manage about 10 hours a week, some much less.

It was even more striking that most of those who contribute most to the long winded posts along the lines of “Was Napoleon more kind to children than Wellington”.  These run up tens, or even hundreds, of comments.   Yet few of these posters wanted to share with the wider world how much time they actually spend on wargaming and related subjects.

It made me realise what a time wasting pasting reading forums can be.   Like everyone else I am fascinated by the explosive “flame wars”.   I would not dare to offer an opinion for fear of them turning their hate on me!   But it is absorbing to read.  Much like the crowds who gather at a traffic accident.   Not to help, just to watch.

But back to my 20 hours a week.   It would seem that I am very much in a minority in spending so much time on my hobby.   Or it may be that those who spend as long, or even longer, are too busy painting and wargaming to follow TMP.


  1. Paul, although I am note retired (yet), for a person in retirement, 20 hours per week wargaming does not seem excessive to me. If you consider the switch from a 40 hour work week plus commuting time to 20 hours wargaming with no commute, ample slack time is available. Consider time spent wargaming as a part time avocation.

    I might claim 10-12 hours per week now devoted to active gaming related activities. Of course, additional time is spent thinking about wargaming related activities!

  2. I will add that I missed seeing your original survey request on TMP. I had to do an author search to find. Not show how your request slipped through the cracks.

  3. too busy to waste time on TMP

  4. I saw your post on TMP and the responses, but this is the first time I've had a chance to ponder. I spend about an hour and a half painting after work in the evenings in a normal week, so that's seven and a half hours, plus maybe around the same amount of time spread over the weekend - fifteen hours in total per week. Plus a bit more if I have a game scheduled for Tuesday evenings, which at the moment would probably be once per fortnight. Twenty hours doesn't seem excessive to me - why should it anyway, it is your choice!? I'd quite happily spend at least that on gaming related activities if I could...


  5. I don't frequent TMP, mainly because I get all the inspiration(often too much) from all the blogs I follow which I check each day over breakfast.

    As to time spent, I probably average 5 hours a week on an actual face to face game. Probably the same on painting and the same on researching. So I would say 15 hours a week. If you include computer games, that would be another five hours.

  6. I know what you mean, but its a little like pressing your tongue against a sore tooth - painful but hard to resist !

  7. As much time as possible Paul. People are probably a bit envious of you!
    I like to do a little bit of hobby-related stuff each day (painting, blogging, reading, scenario-design, general planning) but it does not always happen, so the time spent is 'lumpy'. We usually have a game a month, which is a long day entirely devoted to wargaming. I call it my 'religious day. The time devoted goes in cycles around the games and prep. for them.
    My 'time wasting' goes on blogs, a most pleasurable and addictive activity. I often find good links and leads to topics on TMP when I am searching, so am pleased that others post and comment there—ignore the 'debates' though!
    I always enjoy your musings Paul, thanks.

  8. Hi James

    Thanks for your comments. Its always nice to receive feedback. I would think that one full day a month wargaming is not that unusual.

    I know what you mean about "wasting time" on blogs and forums. We really are spoiled these days, and don't even realise it. Way back when I first got involved we had Wargamers Newsletter once a month, and that was it. With so many good blogs around these days I am surprised that there is any market for professional wargame magazines at all.




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