A couple of months ago we launched the 2022 FOW Survey, as laid out in the article here. We had an amazing uptake with 874 responses. All the results have been sent to Battlefront who have been keen to see the thoughts of their customers.
So without further ado I shall pick some of the more interesting questions to delve into what the results show.
Where are you located?
Europe (excluding the UK) is the largest player base within FOW (33.5%) with the USA second at 32.4%. The UK represents 16.8% of the player base, which is considerable given its population is ~6 times smaller than Europe’s and ~5 times smaller than the USA’s. Now, we must be careful about any audience induced bias, as this is a UK blog. However, the survey was pushed globally (on social media and via the Battlefront website). I was expecting a little bit more in Asia, however we should be conscious that some markets have limited access to social media and/or don’t use those which are as popular in the ‘West’.
What other Battlefront games do you play?
You need to be careful with some of these results because some questions allowed multiple responses, therefore you cant take the raw %s from the chart above. In actual fact 55% of players play Team Yankee which I find very surprising. Purely from a UK perspective we have little to no event scene for it (bar a small group in Cardiff and Edinburgh). It certainly shows that it has come a long way in a short space of time and it very important to Battlefronts revenue stream. There is also a massive jump down to the next most popular game (FOAN) with 16% playing it [Despite it being the best game BF make – Lee].
Do you play any non BF games.
Bolt Action is the most popular non-BF historical game and is played by 30% of respondents. The other two main competitors are Games Workshop at 47% and Star Wars (Legion, Armada, etc) at 26%.
I would still love to see a partnership between Fantasy Flight Games/Disney/BF to produce FOW Star Wars. I mean, imagine the Battle of Hoth Starter Set with speeders and AT-ATs. Clone wars would be perfect as well with little Jedi command stands.
GW isn’t surprising except that it isn’t more. In my gaming circle (which is pretty broad due to the website) there are very few players who don’t have some type of GW game. While I don’t play them much I do find painting some GrimDark(TM) future models is a good painting pallet cleanse between FOW armies.
What Era(s) of FOW do you play?
95% of players play Late War showing just how popular the period is and the importance to BF sales. It is very much the period you need to get right (perhaps why it was left until after MW in V4). MW still has a very respectable 76%. The conversion book version of EW is surprising high at 25% and shows there is still a lot of interest; here is hoping we don’t have to wait to long for the V4 (or maybe V5!) reboot.
Where do you play FOW?
Over half (52%) play games at home which is about what I expected. It somewhat destroys the myth that gaming is focused on LFGS with only 37% playing there. Anecdotally I wonder if this is more of a North American thing, certainly in the UK there a few stores that have gaming spaces (the cost of spaces that size are considerable with our land values). Club gaming is similarly popular with 38% playing at one. There is an anomaly in the data; only 30% say they play at events and tournies however in a later question over 50% of players say they play in tournaments. I therefore wonder if some respondents didn’t know they could put multiple answers to this question?
Do you play Table Top Simulator and does playing FOW online interest you?
Firstly if you haven’t come across Tabletop Simulator (TTS) have a link at the article here. The results show that few (7%) players are using it to play games. However 44% of people are interested in playing FOW online. Many games produce official mods for TTS so that people can play their board and wargames. BF releasing such a set, perhaps with a nice terrain pack (maybe recreating the sample tables in the books), would be a fairly easy, lucrative and risk free product.
Do you play in FOW tournaments
This is quite an interesting result. More people play in FOW tournaments (54%) than don’t. This debunks the statement I have seen from many people that tournie play is a minority. Given that a game that is balanced for tournie play is also balanced for casual play, it just adds weight to some of the results later regarding balance and the need for regular points updates.
How important is FOW’s ‘balance’ to you?
It is abundantly clear that players value the need for balance in within FOW. While 46% of players dont play at tournies the result show 75% still feel that balance is important, i.e. this isn’t just a beer and pretzels game (as opposed to something like Battlegroup that stresses this approach in mindset). Only 11% really just want to to push models and throw dice without too much of a worry of outcome and balance.
Would you say that MW & LW is well balanced?
Starting with MW, the majority – 53%, feel that it isn’t balanced. I am not surprised by this and we have already seen an experienced group of players produce a new set of tournie points know as BiG points which have already been used at events across the world. Further testing is being carried out by groups including ETC teams with the likelihood that they will replace the ‘vanilla’ MW points at the 2023 ETC, unless BF release updated points.
For LW the picture is somewhat different. 65% feel that it is balanced which shows that BF have developed their methodology as V4 has matured. From a personal perspective I would agree that MW needs an overhaul whether as LW is more a case of a few units and cards needing tweaking (well and most of the Soviets!).
That is the end of the 1st part of the results. I think some of the outcomes have cut through some myths about our gaming opinions and preferences. In the next part we will look at 3D printing, balance of armies, army construction and manufacturers.