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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Does It Mean To Be Truely Competitive?

<-- Firefly is awesome. If you look up awesome in the dictionary you get Firefly and stuff about this land and inevitable betrayals. And cool stuff. Firefly. 

I wanted to take a moment of your time to define what it is to be competitive within a game system, specifically Warhammer 40,000. The reason being is that with Comp and Non-Comp based communities out there and many of those members viewing this blog regularly, you get a constant stream of Non-Compers yelling at predominantly Comp players in the comments and mostespecially the chat bawks and telling them that no matter what, the tournaments and the players in them can't play truely competitively if you play exclusively or even partially within a Composition based system. this annoys me no end. So lets take a step back and define what it means to be competitive.

In the context of Warhammer 40,000, the term 'Competitive' falls under a few definitions.

i) The first type of Competitiveness is that of LIST BASED COMPETITIVENESS.

When an army list is competitively balanced, we tend to talk about a list which can take on all comers and emerge victorious 60-80% of the time as a minimum regardless of the environment of play and as such, based in a non-comp and thereby no restrictions on the army, environment.

But that's the narrow-minded view because it specifically takes the codex as GW wrote it without any restrictions placed on it. An army list that is designed to be competitively balanced withoin a specific Composition-based environment such that it wins 60-80% of its' games minimum all the time, is also competitive. It is just competitive within that environment, because more often then not, such a list can't compete with a Non-comp based competitive list build.

However, this isn't always the case, as occasionally, people will break the composition system in question and unleash all sorts of shannanigans such as those which fall under the classification of 'stealth cheese' and those which also utilise multiple force organisational based redundancy in unit choices to achieve similar effects of a purely non-comp based competitive list.

ii) The second type of 'Competitiveness' is that which is defined as COMPETITIVE GENERALSHIP.

A players skill at playing a game determines ultimately whether or not they win or lose consistently. It is common for people to take a 'net list' to a tournament with which they have not played before but which is considered dominant in a non-comp based environ,ment and thus is truely competitively balanced, but due to lack of skill and experience at running the list, they get beaten by a less competitive list by a more competitively minded general.

Competitive Generalship thus plays a huge part of List Competitiveness as without the skill and experience at playing on a competitive level, by understanding the rules, by undertsanding your army, overall strategies and turn by turn, phase by phase, tactics, a player as a general is uncompetitive.

In either a comp-based or a non-comp based environment the Competitive Genertal is the one which ultimately wins all their games, or at the least that 60-80% minimum at a time, because to be truely competitive as a general you need to be competent in building a competitive Army list. Without those skills to understand how everything meshes together without it being spoon fed to you like a child from the internet, then you can't rise up to the top as a Competitive General.

The really interesting thing when you consider the term 'Competitive' in the above two contexts is that people who play exclusively in a comp-environment or exclusively in a non-comp environment (both in tournament and casual play) usually fail and fall on their arses when they try to be Competitive in the other environment of play. It is quite rare to see players who play both in a Comp Environment for tournaments and a Non-Comp Environment for tournaments and consistently win 60-80% of all their games mimimum across both settings. If you can turn around and safely manage that, then you can lay claim to the title of being a truely competitive player at Warhammer 40,000.

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