Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Gentleman's game

By now I'm sure you're aware that I play the games Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. 

Today I want to discuss competition and sport.

Now, to begin:

Both of these games are meant to be competitive, one person should win.  However people need to pay attention to their competition.

First, an example:

Imagine; the 49ers of the Joe Montana era are considered by many to be some of the greatest teams of all time.  Would you think more or less of them if they won 10 championships?  Probably most people would say they would think more of the team. 

What if they won their championships against the other greatest teams of all time, like the 70's Steelers, the Lombardi Packers, or Johnny U and his Colts?  Again you would probably think more of the 49ers.

Now suppose that the 49ers won their championships against the Peoria Panthers youth league, would you still feel that the 49ers were so great? 

Probably not. 

But Crazy Guy what does this have to do with Warhammer?

In the tournament scene today the prevailing view is to build the most powerful list and crush all that are in your way.  When you win you will be showered with adulation and applause!

But do you deserve it?

Where you the 88 49ers playing against the Steel Curtain Steelers or were you one of the greatest teams in history playing against a bunch of eleven year olds?

I know what you'll say next:  "Crazy Guy, I don't know who I'll play in a tournament, I have to play tough."


I have several answers.

First, consider your tournament.  If you are playing the super competitive 40k team tournament at Adepticon or at a tournament whose objective is to win at all costs then you can use whatever list you want.  These tournaments are all about coming up with tricky combinations.  in fact it is downright expected.

Large tournaments, play an average list that is representative of your race.  Space Marine armies based off Battle Companies, Imperial Guard armies that actually aren't all just veterans.  Empire armies with bunches of infantry and no hordes, Ogre Kingdoms without units of twenty ogres.  Play "meaner," against opponents who have experience.  If you lose, so what, nothing of consequence is at stake.  If you win what title do you get?  King of the dorks?

Small local tournaments are another proposition.  Yes, it is quite possible you will play against an opponent who uses a hardcore list but if you play a balanced list and win, that means you are all the better player for it.

If you lose, so what?  No money is at stake, you aren't going to get signed to a professional contract where you will earn millions of dollars.  You'll be out a trophy and maybe, if you're lucky, a prize or two of a nominal value. 

While I'm at it, you really should consider your opponents skill level when playing at your local store.  Sure, if you are playing against your buds that's one thing.  Against new players maybe a different tactic is needed.

Another story:

Once upon a time the Crazy Gamer was a young lad.  He went to his local game store and played a game against a regular from their Warhammer group.  The regular used his baddest toughest list and won the game against young me.  What did he get?  He won one game.  Guess what else?  The young me never went back, neither did my young friends.  The group that was at that store stopped playing and then they died.  Okay, so they didn't die, but their game group did. 

If you are playing someone new, now isn't the time to crush them.  Push yourself.  Play using the Dark Vengeance miniatures, but play Chaos and don't use the Hellbrute.  You'll challenge yourself while giving the other player a fighting chance.

But don't forget, if you lose, tell your opponent good game.  Don't complain and say "you only won cuz I played with less points," or other similar statements. 

Challenge yourself!  You'll become a better player, more people will want to play against you, and most importantly; you'll be a true gentleman. 

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