So today Rob (Drunkensamurai) and I were chatting at lunch, it seems that the new Black Powder Rules from Warlord Games have his interest. It seems that he is finding the rules rather refreshing and it may be something we both start playing around with.
But one part of the conversation peaked my interest, What sort of gamer are you? It seems there are three types of figure gamers (yes I know there may be more), that most folks fall into. The three types are, the Modeler, the Collector and the Gamer. Now most figure gamers tend to have all three of these types in their hobby makeup and one of these three types is most important to the person. I will try to explain the three different types.
The Modeler - You have seen this guy, he is the one that scratch builds everything and can not leave a stock model alone. This would also be the guy that loves to paint as well. They love everything about the experience of the "Hobby" as long as it fits this part of the hobby. Usually they don't play with their creations and usually build them as showpieces but some do use their creations.
The Collector - This is the guy that buys everything and I mean everything! It does not matter what it is for, they will buy it and they love collecting huge stashes of stuff. Usually the Collector is also viewed as a completest, since he has to have everything. It's the sort of person that would say something like "I am going to build every army from 40K!" and they usually do it. And it also means if someone is getting ride of something they are usually the first ones to grab or buy it.
The Gamer - This guy is the person who plays everything! He will play every minis game out there and most of the time his stuff is either not painted or assembled (which drives the Modeler crazy!). This is the guy that one week will be playing 40K and than a few days later is playing DBM, than Bloodbowl and than... you get the idea, he plays everything.
Now most miniature gamers like I mentioned above have some sort of each type in their gaming DNA. Although some types are more important than others, all of us gamers have these three traits in some form or the other. A example of a gamers DNA will look something like this, Gamer/Modeler/Collector or Collector/Modeler/Gamer or some other form, but you should get the picture. This is what people talk about when they mention "the Hobby" and what is important to them. It's good to understand what is important to you in "the Hobby" and you usually have friends that have the same sort of DNA.
Reason I bring this up is partly due to the conversation with Rob today about the Black Powder rules. It seems that Rick Priestly, Jervis Johnson and Paul Sawyer have a refreshing look at how they play games. They refer to playing "the Game" and not worrying about the little stuff with the rules. From what I have seen and heard from Rob, the Black Powder rules are very straight forward and pretty easy. It is clear that Rick, Jervis & Paul are of the Collector/Modeler/Gamer DNA makeup and you can tell from the rules. They are more interested in playing with their collections of nicely painted up stuff and not worrying about every little rule. They enjoy getting together to show off their stuff and hang out with each other. The "Game" is about having a good time with friends pushing nicely painted minis instead of worrying about all the troubles in the world.
I think this (Gamer DNA) is important to know about yourself and the other folks you game with. For the Rick,Jervis, Paul group, it is pretty clear where their interests are. If you understand how your DNA is it allows you to be able to enjoy the games more. I know there have been times that some folks rub me the wrong way and it was because of one of these traits was different from mine.
Will use me and my game group as another example, I am a Modeler/Collector/Gamer. I like nice looking models and rarely put anything down on the table unless it has been painted (yeah I am a paint Snob!). I tend to try to keep to the same manufacturer on all my builds and rarely mix and match figure companies. I also like having a good time and knowing that little rule that is easily forgotten is no big deal to me. Rob is the same sort of person, we both like the same sort of things.
Now my friend Mike is a Gamer/Collector/Modeler. He enjoys playing a different game each week and buys just about every (I know Mike I am exaggerating!) rulebook that comes out. He also doesn't care if he has paint on a figure or not, he just wants to play games.
Another friend Tom is a Collector/Modeler/Gamer. Tom like to buy stuff and is always working on getting a new something. He has so many trades going on he should be on the stock exchange! Tom likes to paint his own stuff when he has time and it is usually pretty hard to get a game in him since life is always keeping him busy.
So what's the point you ask? Well it is important to understand what each persons take of the "Hobby" is. For the crew who wrote Black Powder, it's about having a good time and pushing lead around. Once you understand your own groups game DNA, you may find you enjoy the games and time with them more.