Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Internet Forums

What is it about wargaming forums? IMO they seem to be becoming more irrelevant and in some cases counterproductive.

I'm sure that I've probably got rose-tinted glasses but that didn't always seem to be the case. Certainly 8-9 years ago the various forums I belonged to seemed more helpful, more collegial and generally a wothwhile use of time. Yes I can rant about the youth of today or rednecks insisting on their right to free speech but over the past couple of years (especially) it seems that there has been a rise in the number of internet warriors and a decrease in the signal to noise ratio.

Forums used to be the place where you asked for assistance, discussed lists and tactics and you could be pretty secure in the knowledge that you'd get the required help. Now any kernals are buried in chaff, people use them as an outlet to whinge and moan and to point score off people they haven't met or aren't likely to meet.

It's all a bit pathetic really.

I can understand why those that do have knowledge and experience now avoid participation on various forums given they are likely to be countered by somebody who has no experience of the topic massaging their e-penis.

I now frequent very few forums whereas 3-4 years ago I saw them as a key part of my hobby.

I wrote the above almost four years ago. Since then I've revisited the topic in "Forms vs Blogs" which remains one of the most visited posts on the blog.

The passage of time has not changed my view virtually at all. For me blogs and podcasts, rather than forums remain the "better" info source. 

The forums I do visit has changed a bit over the past few years but remains pretty limited:

Warhammer Forum - ETC WHFB, and Fantasy

Dakka Dakka - Dakka Discussions and News & Rumours

Interestingly the one thing that has changed over the past four years is the rise of Twitter. Here you can comment and get instant feedback. The difference here is that it is surely between a group of "friends". Be warned though -"There Be Trolls". The circle I move in certainly has contenders for Throgg's crown - not me obviously, I am paragon of virtue. 


  1. I think the forums have crashed and burned of recent regarding new posts and topics etc. Twitter and podcasts having risen along side this - but Twitter is a snapshot, and podcasts encourage celebrity-hammer and are more of a soap box than a healthy debate.

    However I think there is another reason too. Late 7th ed you would still get massive threads on rules queries, and when 8th dropped (and the awkward silence before the first armybook came out) the forums were a hive of activity discussing/trolling rules debates/rage quitting etc etc. But as the new books came out there was less and less to discuss. The biggest thread I've seen in ages was on duplicating Wood Elf enchanted arrows (and even then that was grasping at threads with a massive consensus very quickly appearing).

    Sure there have been other issues (eg the Empire forums were neck deep in threads trying to understand the detachment rule + steadfast until GW' 3rd FAQ/Errata on the topic finally clarified it - never made the "main forums" due to applications of the rule not being needed for WAAC/netlists), but on the whole there is just simply less to discuss...less grey areas (and those that exist are from older books and have archives of debate on them).

    GW tightening up the leaks has also meant there is less to discuss. wishlisting, leaks etc were a massive generator of "Buzz" I barely notice when something comes out.

    Personally I still prefer forums to twitter, podcasts and the like because they are an open forum for debate and new theory. In practice these days you only find this on race specific forums (and with very little input from "big name" players).

  2. I get most of my warhammer conversation with people in the warhammer youtubers group or people in real life. I only look on wargamer AU for the painting and modelling, The rest is just rubbish and usually the same people dishing the same soap box prophecies of doom and eternal damnation.