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Women playing Warhammer 
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:03 pm
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Location: England
Greetings all,
My last game I played 2300 points and used my wonderful dark elves to beat some Lizardmen. One of the best games I have played so far, since i have only been playing about 6 months.

But after the game i was chatting with the guys at the club and I suddenly thought that i had only ever seen one other women playing warhammer fantasy.

Now I know I have not been in the warhammer world that long but I was wondering about women and warhammer and thought i would first enquire on this forum, the number of women dark elf players.

Add a comment or two on the thread, do you find the game male dominated? any theories about it? Or just to let other women know that there are others out there.

All post adn comments welcome from anyone.


Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:49 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Around my area there is only one girl I know who plays, and shes the girlfriend of my friend who also plays.

That said, I have played a few in tournaments (last 40k tournement 2 out of 6 of my opponents were girls).

But your right, it is a male dominated game. Most girls think its lame, much like computer games. Its a guy thing. Girls generally have other interests, which at the same time, guys dont want to do the things they enjoy (shopping and the likes).

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:52 am
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We have two girls in our local GW store who occasionally pop in to paint or play, but I believe they only started the hobby because of their boyfriends.

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:27 am
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Cold One Knight
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Well there is some girls in my gaming group, and they are all ether wives or gfs of the guys in the group it makes doubles tournaments interesting
I so far have 1 Xe that plays that I jot in to warhammer and my current gf is starting tomb kings

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:59 am
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There is a girl in my local shop who plays VC and is a pretty dedicated player as well. Also one of the old GW staff members near me was female. But as its already been said though, Warhammer is pre-dominantly a male hobby.

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:10 am
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Slave (off the Altar)

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Thanks for your comments, I will admit, I only got into it through my boyfriend, but I really enjoy the game, Saying that I also play a lot of computer games.

I have found that i really enjoy Warhammer fantasy but maybe only in my older years. As a teenagers I think i would have not found it interesting at all. Funny how tastes and interests change.


Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:07 pm
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I only know one girls who is in the hobby, but I must confess I don't know excactly how she got in. She has always been very geeky, so she might have gotten into this without the help of any boyfriends, though her current bf is a warhammer enthusiast as well.


Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:35 am
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Not many around my area either. There are a few, but most are either checking it out, getting their boyfriends out of the store, or are into Lord of the Rings. Other then that, hardly enough estrogen to fill a thimble.

The Hobby store I go to now is similar, except more girls and they are predominately into Magic and Legend of the Five Rings.

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Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:19 pm
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I know two:
My wife (playing asur (traitor) and skaven) and a friend of hers, playing OnG, Asrai and Dogs of War.

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Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:25 pm
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There is no such thing as women playing warhammer :p

Nah, actually I saw one playing 40K in a shop once, but I had to leave in hurry, because I was overcome by the stench of nerdiness ;)


Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:53 pm
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The Virgin Forest wrote:
There is no such thing as women playing warhammer :p

Nah, actually I saw one playing 40K in a shop once, but I had to leave in hurry, because I was overcome by the stench of nerdiness ;)


Oh, yes: The Fanboy Funk. Keeps women away.

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:08 pm
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For the 4 or 5 years I played, I knew only one girl who played. One year I went to a GT in Baltimore, and I think out of the 1000 people I saw there, there might have been about 5 girls, and I don't know if any of them played, or if they were just dragged along by their boyfriends.

In general, I think it's too geeky to be interesting to girls.

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Arnold Layne
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Interesting question ; if it's not manly to be a nerd, is it even less lady-like to be so?

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Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:01 am
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I've seen a group of guys (15-30 years) painting and talking animatedly at the local GW store, and the minute a girl/woman walked over to paint they all shut up. Quite a funny reaction in a way, but also a bit bad for the stereotypical gamer :)

Anyhoo, I know around 5-6 active female gamers and another 5-6 female hobbyists who aren't very active, but are still in the hobby. Female gamers are a minority, for sure, but at least a slowly growing one :)

Cheers,
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Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:11 pm
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There are a few women who play in my area, there have even been 3 different women working at our GW store, and even more at the local rouge traders.
In general I am friends with 6 women who play (though some one of them just enjoys painting orks... she's only played maybe 5 games in as many years, but has 6000+ points of orks) There are a couple others who I see as well, at tournaments or in gaming clubs from other areas close to our community. Most of the girls who play either play it because of their boyfriends or siblings, but a few picked it up themselves.
female players are uncommon around here, but certainly not a mythical creature.

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Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:44 pm
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Kefka wrote:
female players are uncommon around here, but certainly not a mythical creature.


We have two that paint but none that play. A lot of gamers fail even the most basic standards of dress, personal appearance and hygine, which is the biggest reason I've heard from my own friends who are aware of the hobby but avoid it.

Computer games are a different thing, practically all of the girls i know play to some degree.

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Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:17 pm
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Rabidnid wrote:
Kefka wrote:
female players are uncommon around here, but certainly not a mythical creature.


We have two that paint but none that play. A lot of gamers fail even the most basic standards of dress, personal appearance and hygine, which is the biggest reason I've heard from my own friends who are aware of the hobby but avoid it.

Computer games are a different thing, practically all of the girls i know play to some degree.


Thankfully most of the "regulars" around here keep clean. Most of us realize that this is a very social hobby. That being said, there are still a few stereotypical nerds around (seriously, there is one guy who fits EVERY nerd stereotype I can think of...) I am not sure if I posted my friends warhammer documentary film here, but it shows how social the hobby is and the wide range of people who play it. Out of a tournament of 70 you maybe only see 2 greasy guys.

Video games are very mainstream now, so female video gamers are not at all uncommon. When I think about it, I am hard pressed to think of many women who don't play video games or own a console.Even the ones that don't own video games still come over and play.

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Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:57 pm
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Kefka wrote:
There are a few women who play in my area, there have even been 3 different women working at our GW store, and even more at the local rouge traders.

Expected to find more women at such a store.
Out local gamesstore has women working but only in the comic departement. I haven't seen one in the RPG/tabletop section.

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Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:47 pm
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You have a games store large enough to have actual departments? I'm jealous.

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Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:37 am
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*waves* I started out with HeroQuest when I was 12, then had a big hiatus as none of my friends were into GW. Picked it up again when I met my husband (being into GW himself, I had someone to play with... woot!), and have a Lizardmen army and Dark Elf army that I am working on. Also have a host of Mirkwood from LotR Strategy, but they're sitting unpainted in a model case right now with my unfinished Tyranid and Dark Eldar armies! My problem is I like so much of the minis that it takes me a while to get anything finished. :)

Layne wrote:
Interesting question ; if it's not manly to be a nerd, is it even less lady-like to be so?

Naah, geek is the new chic!


Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:08 am
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yeah there's not many in my area either, none at the local club but we do get 2 - 3 for a big tournament

and most of my ex's used to think it was "cute" that i still played with toys :)

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Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:41 pm
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I know one girl who plays in our small group. Good lass and a good laugh, but collects high elves...

My GF thinks my hobby is lame, but hey, she doesnt need to play so meh :P.


Also, I have to agree... there are some very smell, very unclean people. I know one guy, who stinks, I mean STINKS. His breath smells like a cold one's behind and he himself smells like... well what comes out the other part. I think thats enough to give any Girl the Dry Boke.


Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:43 am
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I think one of the main answers to this question is Canalisation. (See link HERE for explanation).

Girls and guys are brought in line to accept and adhere to societal rules: being a geek has classically been an incredibly bad thing in past imagery: you get bullied, no girls want to date you and its hard to make mates. However a change in popular culture: notably during the last 5 years with releases of films such as superbad (remember kids, if you're not the right age, you shouldn't watch this film!), kick ass, napoleon dynamite and other 'pro geek' films, which are very gradually changing the scene. The introduction of the Lord of the Rings films was a fascinating one because LotRs is the classical inspiration for dungeons and dragons, which initially brought about warhammer and GW. With the change of perception that LotRs is cool (and loads of computer games that go with it), people very slowly are shifting their perception about what makes a geek, and actually wargaming is slowly becoming more acceptable. This allowed GW themed computer games a breather into the market and they took their chances well with money pumped into some very good games: dawn of war particularly proving to be a best seller.

So there is a brief synopsis of geeks in wider society and specifically a case study about wargamers. However the lady numbers, though very slowly increasing thanks perhaps in part to slightly more sociable gamers introducing their girl friends/wives to the hobby, still remain very much a minority species. Certainly poor hygiene and general 'fear' of women amongst younger gamers does not help to change this situation as it makes girls feel unwelcome or outrightly put off from socialising in those instances. There is also the classic stereotype that so many girls feel they have to adhere to about 'keeping up appearances' and that they will be judged for adopting a hobby such as wargaming. Only those girls with a general greater sense of confidence, unconcern for others opinions, genuine love for fantastical themed games and literature (and theres a substantial number in this category) or unfloundered (not easily put off) curiosity would actually stand a chance of starting and continuing to pursue the hobby of their own accord. The note that so very very few girls get into gaming with no help or influence of bf or husband only highlights further the various ways in which girls are turned off from even trying.

Indeed in my humble opinion our society has a great deal yet to learn in terms of womens freedom and slightly feminist arguments that need to be learnt: so many girls for example feel unconfident about leaving the house without wearing make up (thanks beauty magazines, awful celebrity role models and cosmetic adverts), some simply WON'T leave the house without wearing makeup for fear of being disrespected and unappreciated. Though for many girls this is fine and they now actually love wearing make up and looking well turned out before leaving the house, the fact is that they should feel that they have the CHOICE.

Now, there was a reason for me bringing up that topic, because frankly for blokes - we really don't have to do much at all the maintain appearances, and the standard for geeks is so SO much less so (because some people will judge them before trying anyway so why bother?). Thus the horrifically smelly BO bearing fella in the corner whos not combed his hair or washed it in 3 months (there is arguments for anti-shampoo reasons that could be interjected here - but thats off the topic...), or perhaps the dude wearing full on goth style dress and enough dark eye make up to resemble a member of KISS (nothing wrong with this I might add - I think its awesome, but sadly most people in wider society do NOT and are in fact intimidated by this, despite dudes dressing this way OFTEN being the most kind natured and decent people I've ever had the priviledge to meet!

So there we have my small analysis of gender and hygiene roles in wargaming culture and popularity... ;)

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Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:46 pm
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Dangerous Beans, you've hit the nail on the head there! Gender stereotypes are enforced on little people from a young age, and I think it's terrible! All it does is gear children up to become efficient consumers and easily manipulated drones in later life.

I was lucky enough to have forward thinking parents and my childhood was spent fighting my brother, playing with lego, starwars figures, toy knights, and more fighting! As I grew older my dad and I bonded through him teaching me car mechanics. I work as an electrical engineer now.

Thankfully I could choose my own toys, and I recall my mom going nuts one Christmas when an aunty bought me a toy housework set complete with pink plastic iron, brush, and dustpan. She sent it back, and I got a cap gun instead! :lol:

I always loved reading and fantasy, and the Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy books got me into RP. It was easy to fall into GW after that.

I wouldn't think of myself as a feminist but I do get wound up when I see inequality or bad products such as Bratz dolls, bikinis for toddlers, and a sea of pink whenever I see toys specifically marketed for girls.

Another issue, certainly in my locality, is that girls were not allowed in the gaming rooms of GW stores (if they were large enough to have one!). Thank Khaine they sorted that one out. I still find though at times if I visit a GW store where they don't know my face, they assume I'm buying for someone else. I know they have amended their policies and emphasise treating women with equality now, but I have still been met with confusion and even embarrassment by the male clientèle when I strike up a geeky conversation about the fluff or stats when in there. I find it defuses the awkwardness by playing 'em up, there was a very funny conversation about Morathi's boobies, but I won't go there as I'm waffling already. :P

I hope I'm a good role model for my little girl, and will let her choose what she wants when she is older. She already likes the Greenskins btw... ;)

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Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:07 pm
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Whilst I can't comment on women playing warhammer directly (as I am living a fairly isolated existence at the mo), I just wanted to comment in relation to what Dangerous Beans said about the LotR films.

I am from Wellington (NZ), and was still living there at the time the films were being made. It was amazing to see an entire country embracing the LotR. Everyone was loving it. There was no question as to whether it was ''cool'', it was ours. When we hosted the world premier of RotK, there were so many people wondering around dressed as elves, orcs etc. A real festival atmosphere. It was awesome!

I don't know if the change in attitude has endured (i have been away for almost eight years now), but I certainly hope it has. People should be able to enjoy whatever hobbies they wish, without feeling pressured by social stereotypes (so long as it brings no harm to others of course). And I'm planning on moving home at the end of the year, so I'll be a keen observer!

Anywho, just my two cents. Cheers.

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Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:41 pm
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