Poll Results: Next Steps for The Wargamer

By Joe Robinson 24 Jul 2017 1

Hello everyone! We're interrupting your usual programme today to talk about the recent poll we just ran. I've been in-post here for nearly 13 months now, and I felt it was important to give you guys the opportunity to provide feedback and get a read on how we're doing. It's certainly been interesting, let me tell you!

There were a lot of elements to the poll, so we won't be going over all of it, but here are the most important points.

Favourite Genres

This was in-line with what I was expecting – Turn-based games getting the lion's share, with Operational besting out Tactical/Skirmish games. Fewer than I thought picked Real-Time, and 'Grand-Strategy' is the second highest pick.

GenreVG

This isn't going to have a huge effect on editorial policy, although we'll monitor things like FPS coverage for the moment. We've got an FPS Review in the form of Rising Storm 2 due next week and there are of course hyper-realistic games like ArmA III & Squad. If you guys have any thoughts on this, let us know.

GenreTT

On the table-top side, WW2 was the overwhelming majority in terms of top three picks and most favourite. Historical (Gunpower), Historical (Antiquity/Medieval) and Cold War/Modern are basically joint second/third, with Cold War being the second most top pick. Speaking of table-top...

Table-Top Content

This section was incredibly illuminating, but also a bit contradictory. To provide some context to why we started table-top content in the first place – when I got here, I recognised quite quickly that there are only so many videogame wargames release, and that there are only so many articles you can write on existing games. Further to this, I let the writer's lead in terms of what pitches they send me – there's no use me forcing someone to write about a game they've never played or aren't interested in.

Given that we're called 'The Wargamer' and not 'The PC Wargamer', I felt there was little reason for us to NOT cover table-top coverage, and thus Bill's weekly column was born. Since then, I've also experimented in more mainstream table-top coverage when Martynas was hired.

TTContent

In terms of the core table-top question, over a quarter of you want to see less or no table-top coverage. Half of you are happy with the current policy, and roughly 12% want to see more. Further to that though, in the sections where you were allowed to give comment, there were a lot of things along the lines of “less table-top coverage please”.

Looking back at some of my past scheduling decisions, there have been a few weeks where there's been a lot of table-top content. The main reason for this is that I felt that it was important to try and give you guys one article a day, five days a week. We budget for that, and I feel it's important for the longevity of the website we keep up with regular posts. Unfortunately, stuff happens: we work with a small pool of writers, sometimes they aren't always able to submit articles when we're expecting them too, usually I have back-ups I can fill in with. This can lead to weeks where we have a lot of table-top coverage. It can also lead to weeks where we have zero TT coverage.

I will try and make this more structured from now on, and cap the amount of TT coverage in a week.

Feedback & Next Steps

All in all, you guys seem happy -- which is great. There are definitely things we can improve on; quite a few of you wanted to see more historical articles, for example. You think our reviews library is the strongest section (our specific coverage of Matrix/Slitherine games is second strongest), and 55% of you were originally brought to the site via a review.

23.2% of you discovered The Wargamer after July 2016 started, with 63.9% finding the website anytime prior to August 2015. This question was mainly for me, to see whether I'd brought in many new readers since starting.

In the short term, here are some next steps we will be looking into:

  • More visibility on The Wargamer in terms of accessing the other sites in our network. (Pocket Tactics & Strategy Gamer)
  • More structured table-top content, limited to once a week. (twice in an emergency/Important Thing)
    • I will work harder to maintain a balance of the things we cover, as well.
  • We'll start looking back at older games a lot more, as well as looking at periphery content around PC wargames (analysis, research, theory etc...)
  • We currently have a volunteer program running over at Strategy Gamer – we will probably open that up on the other sites as well. Watch this space!

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who took part, as well as thanking everyone for their feedback. Positive or negative, it was all helpful, and hopefully I can make this  an even better site for you. If you have any specific questions, feel free to let us know in the comments! 

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