Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, January 24, 2011

A traitor emerges...

Kirby's going to write for someone else a very irregular basis! You wish to know whom right?

Guess what, you can't! Well I'll tell you in a second (*pauses as a bunch of people scroll down*) but for now we'll look at the logic before we get to the answer... I'm sure a lot of you have heard me talking about being a competitive gamer of the system(s) we enjoy whilst also getting great enjoyment out of the hobby aspect. I like to call myself a...(imagine a loud, echoing voice)

Competitive Hobbyist

And rather than using good old English to make that sound like I hobby competitively (i.e. paint and model) we're going to add a little colloquialism to it. I enjoy playing 40k competitively. I also enjoy painting, assembling, converting, writing up stories/fluff and generally engaging with my models. These two aspects of the system we enjoy are not mutually exclusive. Notice how I've used the word system rather than game or hobby. Both of those words have connotations attached to them in how 40k is viewed and it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing in which came first. Games Workshop has obviously flourished as an excellent hobby company producing many excellent plastic kits and running that part of their business very well (get over the prices people; they are expensive). Was this the way the company founders saw their company going or was it more of a gaming company which produced great models? I don't really know and frankly I don't care (sorry guys).

A few years ago Games Workshop realised they were losing massive market share to up and coming companies like Privateer Press, not because of their models or universe but because of their game. PP have released very tight rules and importantly, they are free. Add in they regularly update their rules and FAQs on their website and there is a standardisation and feel of being cared for as a customer across the board. Not to mention their systems are lot cheaper to pick up and start playing. A lot of people moved from GW systems to PP systems for these reasons.

When we compare just these two systems we could call the PP systems gaming systems and the GW systems hobby systems. Whilst both have elements of gaming and hobby in each of them, PP are better at producing concise and tight rule sets and updating them with proper FAQs/erratas. GW on the other hand has a much better hobby base with hundreds of multi-part plastic kits to choose from. However, both PP and GW are moving towards the middle with PP expanding their range of minis (which are really good btw) and heading towards more plastics whilst GW for all of 5th edition has made a very strong effort to make 40k as balanced and tight rules-wise as possible. Personally they've done a pretty bang up job. There are many steps left to go (can they maintain it through to 6th? Faster FAQs? Actual erratas?) but 40k has become a lot tighter because of this.

So where's this all going? On the blogosphere and forums there seems a pretty clear cut divide between hobby and competitive 40k. It...I'm trying to be polite here... annoys me to no end; it grinds my gears. What I'm going to do with my authorship at this new place is write a series of articles surrounding this topic. I'm not going to be naive enough to believe I as a single entity can bring about the inclusion of most people in our system (there are always some rotten fish) but there are others out there like me. Purg and MVB are prime examples. Brent from Strictly Average (and btw, stay away from competitive hobbyist; it's mine!) and Kennedy all seem to get kicks out of the hobby and gaming side of 40k. These are the type of guys who generally aren't flaming someone else and talk about 40k in a constructive way. That's what 3++ is all about. There is obviously a competitive bent to it but we also understand people who ask for advice or come here aren't always trying to be the best they can be and you know what? That's okay.

Anyway, I hope these articles and with the support of other bloggers and readers we can limit the emoness on the Internet concerning 40k (and Fantasy). I know expecting it to be removed completely is unrealistic and I don't expect us all to hold hands and sing along. Look at Nathan Fluger and 3++ (again). He disagrees on how good Orks are (he thinks they are great, we think they are okay and have serious issues) yet he is able to come here, have rational discussions on both sides and in the end everyone benefits. I want this to happen with everyone regarding the hobby and gaming. It's okay to be a hobbyist or a gamer or even both and no one should insult you for doing so. When people come to 3++ they know we are focused on competitive gaming but they can ask for semi-competitive help or even fluff help and we're going to help. That's what the community as a whole needs to do and encourage tournaments which encourage both hobby aspects and gaming aspects (i.e. NOVA/Centurion).

And where is this all going up? bell of Lost souls.

Ya. I went there.

P.S. 3++ isn't changing just so we're clear and this won't take time away from what I do here. 3++ is more important to me so nothing is changing other than we might get some new readers and you might have something good to read over there. At most I'll do an article a week there. I've been asked to write some tactics articles over there and whilst I'll write some since they asked (I think 3++ is the better place to come for that since that's what this whole blog is about), I'm primarily using this opportunity to engage with a different audience and bring more level-headed discussion into the blogosphere. This is based around the above concept I outlined and will hopefully lead to less e-drama.

Please don't hurt me :P; I swear I'm not a traitor! Blame fester. He said he'd help with the articles. And Brent. Pick on them not me!

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