View Full Version : Gamer or Collector ?

22-10-2015, 14:22
On a recent visit to a London GW store I was told by the manager that 80% of GW customers are only collectors! And don't play the games.
This was obviously a number he'd just made up on the spot OR been told by GW HQ. In my gaming group, none of us are collectors and all gamers.

So I thought i'd create a poll to see how accurate that was...

Only click collector if you never game, otherwise you're a gamer.

22-10-2015, 14:55
I've yet to meet anyone in my time with 40K who is a collector (though I'm sure they exist). I think GW has a very loose definition of one when they say that. Either way, I feel that 40K's success is based on the foundation of it's ruleset and if that goes away or degrades significantly sales will definitely suffer.

22-10-2015, 15:21
Collector. Well, painter of things already collected / dust collector.
Not GWs idea of a collector though as I don't buy things. I bought things when I played regularly, and now I don't.
(besides i've got literally every model they have ever released for my faction - all 67 of them...)

The 20% number of gamers seems to come from here though : http://www.iii.co.uk/news-opinion/richard-beddard/games-workshop-agm%3A-relentless-profit-machine

22-10-2015, 15:34
I don't think the criteria for the poll is reasonable (sorry OP). You might as well say 'Have you ever bought a miniature and not played with it? If so, you are a collector not a gamer!'
(Incidentally this might be GW's definition of a collector, in which case IMO the 80% figure is a massive underestimate . . .)

I think it has to be up to us to decide if we are a collector or gamer. From my POV I would have to say I am currently a collector. I used to game, but I don't have time at the moment (new baby), but I am still painting and building because I can squeeze those activities in. I have played . . . once in the last 8 months?

If you would have asked me a couple of years ago I was a gamer. These things go in cycles.

22-10-2015, 16:41
I picked gamer, but only because of the wording of the poll. I don't get to play nearly as often as I want to these days (Engineering classes take up a lot of time), and spend far more time painting than I do playing. But over the last summer I played at least 2 games a week, and sometimes more if I had the time and energy. So it really depends on life circumstances for me. Though when I do play, I almost always have fun (Barring a Knight at 1k, that game sucked)

22-10-2015, 16:49
I am young and have alot of free time and I enjoy the gaming aspect more than the hobby side (although this is slowly changing) so I'm a gamer

22-10-2015, 18:00
You can't be both? Everything I buy I have the intention to use at some point, sure there are many times where I don't even use said model but the original intent was still there. I don't buy a model if I don't intend to use it simple as that and if I don't like the rules/look then I look for an alternative way to use it.

Although realistically, most of the time I'm more of a modeler and painter, I'm at the point where I just build what pleases me now and sometimes in the blue moon I get a game in. I'd like to get more games in but that's not always a option.

22-10-2015, 18:24
used to be a gamer, but current real life issues of family and such mean that i havent been a gamer for the last couple of years....i still buy and build models and paint them and formulate armylists....i just dont get the chance to deploy them.

22-10-2015, 20:19
I play myself, but have several models that were purchased which don't ever see the table top. My scourges for instance, or one off models that were purchased like Nagash and Arkhan the Black (I don't play fantasy or AOS, just really liked the models). I have almost 10k in Black Templars, do I play with them? Not really, one off games here and there and definitely not 10k at all. I do play the game, but not with every model I've purchased. I own 2 Imperial Knights, one of which has never been fielded and the other in a handful of games. I own 3 Riptides. Do I use 3 Riptides? Not often. I also own 7 Broadsides but hardly ever use them. Am I a gamer or collector?

22-10-2015, 20:32
By your black or white definition, I'm a gamer. But I play 40k less than once a year, so by any sort of reasonable estimation I'm probably just a collector. But I play greater than "never"!

22-10-2015, 21:00
I only play a few times a year, but i collect to game (even if most of it never gets a game!) - without the game there would be no point. I'd just buy piles of star wars lego instead.

23-10-2015, 01:49
I think the definition of collector here isn't the definition that GW would use. I think when they say 80% are collectors they mean people who may game occasionally, but for whom lack of time means they are largely aspirational gamers. These people may get a game or two a month at best but are mostly buying to collect and paint ready for this mythical time when they have time to indulge their gaming (retirement maybe?).

I would think when GW talks about "gamers" they mean people who are regulars at wargaming clubs (maybe multiple) and attend tournaments whenever possible. I think with this definition the figures are far more believable.

Buddy Bear
23-10-2015, 02:26
I buy models because I want to use them in a game. Not because I feel the need to cover my shelves at home with useless plastic knickknacks which do nothing but collect dust.

Bob Hunk
23-10-2015, 09:47
I voted gamer, and I think that's going to be the overwhelming answer, as this is essentially a 'gaming' forum. :) Although there is a strong 'collector' (i.e. painting and modelling) community on Warseer it's hidden away down the bottom, while tactics, rules and army lists are near the top. So I'm not sure the results of this poll will be valid in supporting or disproving the "80% collectors" statement. :)

23-10-2015, 10:01
Bob's right, while I LOVE playing, I don't play the current editions and most often have nothing to say in the 40K and WHFB threads...so I'm most active in the painting threads.

My story:
*got into HQ/Space Crusade/40K back in the early 90's, bought stuff which was either badly or not painted and sat in a box for about 20 years
*got back into it six or seven years ago and picked up where I left off- finally getting stuff painted and playing games like it was 1994.

I guess "collector" is the shoe that fits best, but that's just because I don't have the time to play more than I do.

23-10-2015, 10:23
Your wording is not going to make for a dependable result in a statistical sense.
I had to chose gamer, even if I do NOT consider myself a gamer. I'm a collector. I collect armies and the fast majority of my models never see combat, many have never seen it and have been phased out by GW but they are still in my armies.
I'm a typical collector I guess.

Still, I love playing a friendly game if there is time. There is no monopoly etc. on our game nights ...

23-10-2015, 19:29
As noted by others, the poll wording needs work. I voted Collector even though I do play, simply because the vast majority of my interest and time spent is on the hobby side instead of the game side.

24-10-2015, 12:57
Yeah I agree, that poll is worded in a way that forces a lot of people to choose 'gamer', both by inflating the definition of a gamer and excluding a lot of non-gamers (most of whom would not say they are a collector - and would still play occasionally).

Most everybody is a mix of both. You should have asked what is their primary interest.

I buy things with the intention of playing, but my opportunities are limited and I get more enjoyment out of creating - list building, converting, making terrain, painting, inventing my own chapter / Craftworld / warband etc. I would definitely not define myself as a collector.

But I'd If someone said I had to give up either creating or gaming entirely in order to remain in the hobby, I'd give up gaming.

28-10-2015, 21:52
As you can tell from my forum joined date, I've been collecting and following 40k for a while. In that time, I've played 4 games total. So I can't claim to 'never game' as the OP specifies. I guess I have to click gamer? ;-p

28-10-2015, 23:14
The two choices are too confining. It's like asking, Carnivore or Vegetarian? I do not play 40K or AoS, but I do play Necromunda, Mordheim, Space Hulk, and Advanced Space Crusade. I like to paint (in small amounts), and I can usually convince myself I can find a need for a model I want. I usually buy off ebay. Ironically, the stuff that gathers dust is my old 40K armies. So, neither fish nor fowl, collector or gamer. I do little of the former, and not enough of the latter. I'd call my self a Lamer* instead of gamer.

*Lamer = Aspiring Poser.

Spiney Norman
29-10-2015, 00:30
Neither, I don't buy to play games or out of some kind of desire to add models to my collection. I'm first and foremost an artist, I buy models I want to paint, not because I want to game with them.

If that makes me part of the collector bracket then so be it, but 'collecting' is not my primary motivation any more than 'gaming' is.

Dark Primus
29-10-2015, 11:03
I was a gamer and now I'm neither.

Lord Damocles
29-10-2015, 11:07
I play almost every week, I go to tournaments from time to time, and I buy models specifically to play with.

BUT The majority of the models I own have never seen a table, and likely never will, I own forces for games which I've never played, and I also buy models specifically for background reasons.

So I'm both.

29-10-2015, 11:16
I guess I'm a gamer who collects models. I only ever buy models that will fit into my armies (Renegade Guard and Word Bearers). I don't play as much as I'd like to due to balancing life, kids and work but when I'm not playing I paint/model as much as I can. In that sense I'm a collecter who sometimes games.

29-10-2015, 11:31
I haven't had a chance to put my Fantasy or 40k models on the table in years. I would if I could, but right now my gaming time is taken up with better games. I do still pick up the occasional Fantasy or 40k model though. I don't think it's wrong to consider me a 'collector', though I would definitely switch to gamer if the rules were better and I had more local opponents.

In my gaming group, none of us are collectors and all gamers
You don't say...

29-10-2015, 13:50
I clicked gamer, but I'm a collector too.

Some of my models have yet to make it into a game; others I've bought because - I just like the model. I like horde armies, but I've only ever fielded my 260 necron warriors together once. I have ridiculous numbers of gaunts, but I still look at the tyranid horde box, thinking "I want...."

I'll also disagree slightly with Buddy Bear: I agree in that I buy models because I want to use them in a game. However, if I've enjoyed building and painting a model, then it's not a useless knickknack, even if I never field it (tho I field most, sooner or later)

29-10-2015, 13:51
Collector here. I'm in for the miniatures and fluff only, pretty much.

Flame Boy
29-10-2015, 13:54
I would consider myself as a collector. I have a vague intention to start playing at some point in time but I concentrate on painting models to a standard I find acceptable. I find the satisfaction of completing the paint job on a batch of models lasts considerably longer than the fleeting glory on the gaming table. At some point I intend to pay more attention to the rulebook but for now I've got a daunting backlog of models to catch up to so I'll be holding onto brushes instead of dice for the immediate future.

29-10-2015, 17:26
I play regularly, and I built my current army to play. If I was only a collector I'd have fewer models.

30-10-2015, 19:25
As has been said, an important question is: How often do you have to play to be considered a "gamer"?

All I can say for now is that I have to consider myself a gamer, even though it's been a while since I had a game, because I certainly would not buy GW minis, however nice, if there were no games, and will not buy anything WHF until AoS is fixed or replaced.

(And, I should say, am now a bit reluctant to buy 40K models on the off chance that 40K will get the AoS treatment, even though I think it's not very likely.)

30-10-2015, 21:58
Definitely a collector. Never played a game of W40K since RT days so no actual W40K, but have thousands of models. I like to get into the background of an army and make my own conversions of stuff which would never be allowed in a codex. I do always ensure that I have a core army there that would be codex legal but to date I have never had the inclination to play.

02-11-2015, 20:29
What the staffer could be referring to as gamers could be those that clearly buy and play in store, it wouldn't be hard to guesstimate the sales to them vs sales to everyone else ratio.

As for myself i:'d like to play more but my hobby budget and time constraints have left me without a playable army as codexes and editions have gradually changed. So in effect I am a collector, but not an avid one buying everything in some vain crusade for completionism, I'm also moving to the concept of: this would be a cool model, stuff the rules when it comes to new (sub) projects. I'm unlikely to get to a point of regular gaming any time soon, but if I did I would be aiming for games with folks who would be amenable to the odd non-standard but fair unit.

02-11-2015, 20:37
Collector, but unfortunately for gw it's mainly oop stuff on ebay I collect.

02-11-2015, 20:56
In my gaming group, none of us are collectors and all gamers.

Well yeah, in your gaming group, I'd expect to see gamers. Collectors have no reason to join gaming groups.

Honestly I don't know how we (or GW) could ever accurately judge this one. This forum is probably not representative of the hobby as a whole. I've heard that 80% of GW's collectors don't play but I honestly find that weird.

Could be that 80% of the stuff I buy doesn't ever make it to the tabletop... but I don't like to think about that!

02-11-2015, 21:55
I used to play regularly back in 3rd Edition, but that tapered off. Since 4th Edition came out up until now, I've probably played a grand total of 3 games over all those years. But I always get the latest rulebook and the latest codexes for my armies. I also regularly buy new models, because I enjoy assembling and painting them, and I do some minor conversions (like the bird-faced Tzeentch Soul Grinder I'm currently working on). I am currently expanding my Grey Knights and Chaos Daemons armies. I would consider myself more of a collector than a gamer, because I regularly buy and paint models, but I play too infrequently to really be considered a gamer.

02-11-2015, 23:00
Fantasy Collector (see my blog), 40K Gamer (Since my initial purchases, I haven't bought anything 40K without the gaming aspect in mind).

So Both!

03-11-2015, 01:32
I couldn't imagine spending the money on GW models if I didn't play the game. Many different nice models out there now a days that aren't just GW and less expensive/better company to support.

So, Gamer, even though I admit it is far from my ideal game.

03-11-2015, 09:45
Collector, but unfortunately for gw it's mainly oop stuff on ebay I collect.

If only they sold even half the models they have made over the last 30 years *sigh*

Oh well, like yourself, my money goes to ebay on OOP citadel.

04-11-2015, 17:55
What kind of question is that?!? I probably put in 15 hours a week at the painting table, and play maybe 15 games a year, of which 5 would be over one weekend at a tournament (so one "episode" of gaming per month), but by your criteria, I'm a gamer, not a collector?!? I have 7 armies between 40k and WFB, of which 3 have seen the tabletop in the last ten years...but I'm not a hobbyist, I'm a gamer? C'mon, man!

04-11-2015, 23:02
For, like 9 years :D, I've been almost 100% gamer, not colector. Sure, I really enyojed converting models (mostly to cut costs. Guard ein't cheap :p ), but I was, and still I'm a abysmal painter.

But recently I starded to think about going out of gameing. No, I won't sell my models, I'm preety attached to them :p, but... Firstly 7th ed just isn't for me. I love some of it's concepts, but in general it's just a terrible mess of tons of rules without any major thounght behind it other than "money makeing". Also, my gaming group it's really competetive. Well, I can't blame them, it's small but one of most well established wh40k clubs in my country with 20+ years of history (with me beeing involved in just less of a half of this ), so they regulary go on tournaments. Sad side effect is that they bring stuff like knights or centurion star even into "friendly", unranked games, simply because they no longer remeber how to play otherwise ( despite beeing overall very nice people ).

And as much, as I despite the rules and GW $#&^%*#!@%^& policy, models they ceate are just so damm amazingly beautiful. Even some less succesful (Taurox, I'm looking at you ) have this kind of "awkward charm". True fails happen, yes, but are quite rare thankfuly.

Yet still I can't shake feeling that doing so, abbadoning gameing for beeing just a colector, would be Games Workshop ultimate victory. That their way of thinking (we sell models, not games ) it's actually right. And that though is repulsive to me.

Tl:dr - I'm hesitant if I belong to any of these categories :p .