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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BoLS: It's a game & NOVA Open


After that recent and rather stupid article on BoLS about TLoS they appear to be back-peddling (though I must say I was quite surprised at the positive feedback about my snowmobile...). Check out this post by Mr. Black about enjoying the games we play as...well games. *applause* I agree completely with the core message here, it's a game and we should all remember that and have fun but let's also remember that like all activities where individuals compete within set rules there are going to be disagreements. Whether this is how to take the game (i.e. hobby versus game), rules, paint-jobs or whatever, people are going to argue over it. That's fine as long as it's done in the right way. Here is a great article over on Whiskey & 40k pre-facing the NOVA Open about the divergence in the games we love. A very valid point and something I would like to highlight in what I do and what I appreciate about the game and tying it all in with BoLS's article about TLoS.

People are going to disagree about what units/armies are good and what units/armies are bad. Whilst there is some black & white to this, GW is introducing a huge amount of grey by making their latest books so varied, enjoyable and good. You want to fault them for that be my guest. This disagreement is part of life and something I'm quite comfortable to live with. Hell, I hate comp but if I only get comp tourneys in Australia, I'm happy to go to them with the knowledge all I care about is what people think of my paintjobs (because I take pride in them), my W/L ratio and having a good time (not in any particular order). I'm going to sway some people to my way of thinking when I discuss comp (see: Vinsanity) and some people I'm never going to persuade but that doesn't mean I'm not going to talk to them, talk crap behind their back, etc. In the end as Mr. Black points out, it's a game. Look at Dash and Stelek's game, in the end they are two blokes who have never met and just argued over the internet. I didn't see the game but from what I can gather it was a good atmosphere.

This is what I believe Mike was trying to do with the NOVA Open, provide a venue for competitive gamers to duke it out whilst recognising Fantasy, 40k and whatever other games we play are hobbies as well and this should be recognised. You'll notice here that I've never said otherwise and don't pick on fluffy gamers or hobbyists, I'm an avid painter and converter too and whilst I'm not great by any means, I take great joy in assembling my armies and getting compliments by other gamers is fantastic. Whilst I focus quite a bit on the gaming aspect of 40k & Fantasy, there is a recognition and acceptance of the other side of the coin.

Again, I disagree with changing the rules (i.e. comp, INAT FAQ, etc.) to create a subjectively balanced tournament environment for the 'tournament winner' but that does not mean I do not think awards or recognition shouldn't go to someone with the best army, best paint jobs, best conversions, fluff, etc. and I think the NOVA Open has done this splendidly. We are all part of the community which plays our game and whilst we might get into it for different reasons, we need to recognise we are all playing the same game and should embrace that. If events like the NOVA Open where the winner is based on W/L ratio, paint awards, army awards, etc are handed out and hundreds of games are played by people all over the world and streamed live become common, isn't it best for everyone?

That being said, there are still going to be arguments and quite frankly, I'd be depressed without them. Arguments & debates provide an atmosphere in which everyone can learn assuming the lack of trolls or blind-sided individuals. Furthermore, people are going to be wrong sometimes and without these arguments, no one learns anything from them. That being said e-rage is...well a waste of space. As Brent's Strictly Blogging review of 3++ highlights, the point of my blog is not to tell you how to play or show you what's competitive but to tell you why things work or are good or why things don't work or aren't good. The why is the crux of this blog and something I think is often missing on forums or blogs and that is where I start my arguments. I completely agree with Mike from Whiskey & 40k that as a community we should stop being petty and attacking each other but calling someone out on what they say is still necessary. If I say something stupid or plain wrong, call me out on it. I'm not going to hate you, ban you or e-rage against you and if I think your calling me out is wrong (i.e. I said Orks are bad and you said nah-uh) then we'll discuss it. But when someone says something that is very opinionated or I highly disagree with such as as iamaddj's post about TLoS, I'm going to comment on it and sometimes with derision. If said poster explains his reasoning though, different kettle of fish. There's content there on which to discuss and debate and this is a necessity for improving everyone's knowledge.

Without argument and discussion there is going to be stagnation but let's be reasonable about it people. I'm echoing Mr. Black. This is a game and it's great that we put so much time and effort into it but primarily, we should be enjoying it. I love blogging, sometimes I  just don't feel like it and my post count drops (and I crack the whip) but I enjoy doing this because it helps other people (I hope) by explaining the why. I enjoy painting and gaming and I will continue to do all of those even if everyone else paradigm shifts to "comp is great." I'm echoing Mike. We're all in this together, quit the e-drama but don't quit the discussion. If anyone says something silly or doesn't support their argument/side/stance/etc, call them out on it. If you're stating an opinion (i.e. TLoS is bad, comp is good, etc.) justify and explain why. Support events like the NOVA Open where competitive and non-competitive and everything in-between is acknowledged and provided for.

8 pinkments:

Meister_Kai said...

If by BOLS back-pedaling you mean turning around, giving a half-assed "dis gaem iz fun" handjob, then writing an article (by the same guy lol) about how wound allocation is tantamount to cheating, then....

Seriously it seems to me that whenever people get into an argument about 40K that they can't win they inevitable start blabbing on about how its "just a game". Sort of annoying, sorry about the rant.

As far as the "hobbyist" side of the coin, I somewhat enjoy painting, but I really like reading the back story of most things not Imperium. I just got my copy of "Path of the Warrior" in the mail with the rest of my 2K list, hopefully I should have time to start reading soon.

One thing I will never understand is GW apologists and people who state that things like Nova are killing the game for them and that we should all play for "fun", that we shouldn't pressure GW about tighter rules and that this is ruining the game. I can somewhat understand where this mindset is coming from, but i'll never "get it".

Brother Loring said...

Please don't look on BoLS or Dick Move for that matter. Your pink little heart may just stop beating.

Roland Durendal said...

Agreed Kirb. Posted this over at B&C today, it's along the same lines...

"The way I see it, there are 2 types of 40K:

Competitive 40K, where you make the hardest lists, take the best units and combos, and play the best game of your life and win or lose, have a blast doing it. This is the type of 40K played at most tournaments (and the recent NOVAOpen was a prime example of this style of 40K - very competitive, but extremely friendly and down to earth players playing hard, competitive armies).

The other type of 40K is Hobby 40K. This is where it's all about the conversions, the paint job, what units you "just feel like using", the Army list that is "fluffy", and the army list that plays to a certain theme, regardless of whether it is the strongest/best group of units/combos. This is the type of 40K where it's fine if you don't play the best game of your life - the purpose is more to relax, not compete. This is where most Hobby tournaments fall or where most campaigns fall. Again, this also is where win or lose, you have fun (maybe because it drives the narrative of your campaign, maybe it gives you more material to flesh out your Armies background and fluff, etc.)

The issue arises when these two genres clash. This typically happens at tournaments where either Group 2 type players show up thinking that everyone will be playing "HobbyK" armies and they run into "CompetitiveK" Armies and much moaning arises as they aren't use to that style of play. The opposite is also true, a "CompetitiveK" player shows up at a torunament thinking it will be full of the hardest lists and strong competition and he runs into a bunch of "HobbyK' players. Most likely the "CompetitiveK" player wins the tournament and is then mislabeled a "WAAC", "Beardy", "Cheesy" player, all of which are utterly untrue and unfair labels. He just plays a different style of 40K and showed up to a tournament expecting that style of play. When this happens, no one has fun as they're, in the words of that immortal tome The Big Lebowski, "out of your Element Donny".

In the end both styles are all about fun, it just differs as to the means of achieving that fun. Most players should identify which group / style they predominantly belong to. That way, if you are a Hobby 40K player, you know that when you go to a tournament you might want to adjust your army to fit in with the 40K Style that will be present. And if you don't feel like changing your plkay style, at least you're going into an event informed on how you intend to play and have a reasonable expectation of the style of play others there will be utilizing. Thus, you won't be the HobbyKer caught off guard, surrounded by a bunch of CompetitiveKers at a tournament. You'll be the HobbyKer who knew what he was getting into and figured, "Why the hell not. Let's see if my Catachan Jungle Fighter fluffy list can hang with some of the hardest lists out there." I guarantee if you go in with an attitude like that and with that knowledge, you and your opponents will have fun, and they will more often than not, talk to you after the game about your army and how cool your conversions/paint job was and how you did it, etc.

Me personally, I like to think myself as a perfect blend of both. I like playing competitive 40K and making strong lists (usually my Space Wolves) but I also love map and narrative campaigns and making thematic/fluffy armies (usually my IG). With that said, I don't think I'd ever bring my IG army to a tournament for I'm so use to playing it in campaigns and in a relaxed atmosphere, I don't know if I could handle them well in a more serious environment. Yet if I did decide to bring it, I'd go in with the full knowledge that it may not be the strongest list out there, but I like it and have fun with it, so who cares if I win or lose."

Roland Durendal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirby said...

Ironic I guess what happened next. There's far too much divide in our community and hopefully tournaments like NOVA Open will become more popular and show the nay-sayers we can co-exist, go to the same tournaments, have fun and not want to kill each other.

Darkwynn said...

Sorry but What naysayers from Bols? Myself and Jwolf haven't posted anything or really care and most of us our working with people in the community to build things. These conclusions that people are coming up that we are upset or trying to work the line to divide is silly.

If you are going to argue that Tastytaste is the one posting stuff he is Blood of kittens that is it he is not Bols and Mkerr is Chainfist he is not Bols. You guys are doing more harm then good and just trying to stir up drama or divide the line.

Kirby said...

Where did I say nay-sayers from BoLS?

If this post is drama, well color me silly.

chaosgerbil said...

Great post Kirby, I have been meaning to write something along these lines for a long time but it looks like you already took care of it.

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