40K: Don’t Give Up On Tournaments

Despite some iffy press, tournaments remain one of the best ways to experience the hobby.

Tournaments, and tournament players get a bit of shade thrown at them now and then. The stereotypical Win At All Cost (WAAC) player has long been considered a blight on the game. Because of this kind of stereotype, tournaments and the players who frequent them have a bad rap in some circles. They are often seen as the driving force behind a lot of the bad elements in the game. However this reputation is in large part faulty, and tournaments are actually a great thing to experience. Lets look at why.

An Apology to Warzone: Atlanta

Last week I wrote a bit of snark dealing with how I feel about competitive lists. Now because I used lists from Warzone: Atlanta some people took my article as an attack against the event or the organizers. Many of these players were upset that I could criticize the event without having gone and went on to talk about how great a time they had the event. Here’s the thing, I never said a bad thing about the event, only the lists. And I never once meant to insult or its organizers. While it’s true I did not attend from everything I’ve heard it was an amazing event, perhaps in spite of the lists taken.

I hear Atlanta is a real ball. 

In fact I’m indebted to Warzone: Atlanta the fact that they had all the lists available to the public ahead of time, and not on some app, shows that they are clearly a well run event. The fact that these lists were so easy to get is in actually why I wrote about the lists from their event in the first place. So look, if you went to Warzone: Atlanta, or were involved with it, I truly am sorry if you felt I was insulting the event itself. Hopefully sometime I can come out to Atlanta and have a blast with ya’ll.

Events Are A Ton of Fun

You could even end up winning 

I have no doubt that if I went to Warzone: Atlanta I would have a ton of fun. I’ve been to a large number of events all across the US over the past 15ish years and I’ve had a blast at nearly all of them. In fact the two major events I didn’t have fun at weren’t even 40K events (and I even won one of them, so it wasn’t due to losing). You see playing at tournaments and conventions is actually a ton of fun. Aside form the games themselves, there tends to be a certain pageantry and atmosphere at event. From a host of beautiful armies (and no matter what the painting requirements  there will be a couple amazing armies) to the party like vibe that pervades many events.

Aside from that playing new players and meeting new people who are as zealous about a hobby as you are is always a good time. So while I may not the meta or the some of the hyper competitive aspects I, and you, can still have fun at events. It’s all about being with people who love 40K (or whatever game) as much as you do. It’s about sharing that experience.  Moreover, if a normal event doesn’t draw you in, try joining a team tournament or one of the other more fluffy events that a lot of major tournaments have started running.

Don’t Hate The Game, Hate The (bad) Player

The Ultimate WAAC player

As much as we hate to admit it, some players are jerks. While I think the WAAC stereotype is over played and not as common as some would have you think, those players are out there. So be warned, if you go to a tournaments you might play a jerk. However, for every jerk you meet, there will 10, 20, 50 amazing fun players. For every game you play against a unfun list you’ll probs play 3-4 games versus fun lists. If you do end up playing only the toughest lists is most likely because you are winning the event, and for that I have little sympathy.  At the end of the day, 40K is a lot like life, there will always be a few jerks out there, but you can’t let that ruin the whole game for you.

So Give Tournaments a Try

Face the challenge head on. 

At the end of the day I would encourage every players to go to at least one tournament, local or large. If you have the means to I would strongly encourage you go to a major event at some point. Heck, don’t go for the games, go for everything else. For the pageantry, the party and the camaraderie. The truth is that most players who got to events have no hope or expectation of winning. And yet these players go to events over and over again, and come back talking about how much fun they had. You need look no farther than the comments people left in my article talking about how much fun they had at Warzone: Atlanta. There are plenty of reasons, side from the hyper-competitive aspect that people like tournaments, why don’t you see for yourself?

Tell us what you think of  tournaments, down in the comments! 

  • Randy Randalman

    Jeez, BoLS is toxic. Don’t give up? Who’s giving up on tournaments when every single tournament organizer and FLGS is reporting bigger turnouts than ever? Players are reporting better experiences, rounds ending in less time than ever and judges having far fewer rules questions. It’s already the least broken meta in 40k history and continues to be tweaked better and better.

    This site just can’t help but do everything possible to keep the negativity alive and well. Yes, this “encouragement” piece is operating under the guise of the game somehow being in a bad state.

    • Sparowl

      “…least broken meta in 40k history…”

      I see you set the bar on the floor. Or did you dig a little to really set the difficulty at the correct level?

      • nope nope

        Perhaps he should have said “recent history” 8th is far more balanced than 5th, 6th, and 7th.

  • Marco Marantz

    The game produces such players. Write some proper rules and those WAAC-tards will be unable to ply their trade. As for Warzone Atlanta. Harden the hell up. Im sure what went on there happens at almost every tournament. No need to get all emo about it.

    • Zingbaby

      Exactly, a bunch of manbaby WAAC-tards cried and complained about his last piece so he caved and flipped.

      • David

        How toxic

        • ZeeLobby

          GW games have some truly nasty people, on both sides of the competitive fence…

    • zeno666

      Well said.

  • Karru

    Here’s the thing about tournaments, while the WAAC people and “That Guy” are usually a major part of them, it is common sense to understand that not everyone there plays like that. What is an absolute fact though is the competitive nature of both the players and their lists.

    While possibly not going for a min-max list with only the best units chosen, no one will come into a tournament with a list they know they are going to lose with as that would be a massive waste of time and money. They will always opt for at least optimal list, maybe they try to shake the meta, maybe they have found a tactic that they utilise very well. No matter what the case is, these players know their thing and came there to win. Disclaimer, I am not saying that they didn’t come to have fun either, but still, you join a tournament to play in the said tournament and I am pretty sure no one signs up for one going “I’m just going to meet people and get my *ss handed to me, that’s going to be so much fun!”

    Thanks to the horrendous balance in GW games, the unfortunate truth is that the army lists you’ll be facing will most likely be only slight modifications of each other. Maybe one person has Lascannons instead of Missile Launchers on his Tactical Marines, maybe someone brought 2 Basilisks instead of a couple more Infantry Squads. The main point is, your only hope of getting “different” games is to get different factions as your opponents.

    This is where my issue with Tournaments come in. I don’t like playing either competitively nor against the same lists over and over again. Heck, I don’t even like playing the same list myself twice in a row. One of the main reasons why I got more than one army is for that reason alone, so I can switch armies after I play with one for the next game.

    Nothing against those people, except WAACs and “Those Guys”, but then again, so does everyone for a good reason. Being highly competitive isn’t an issue as long as you can differentiate between “Casual” and “Competitive” when you are no longer in a tournament, as it is these people that will start driving newer players away real fast.

  • David

    I always find it weird how whenever you go to events for other games be that a sport or a ccg it’s considered normal to try and play competatively. Not everyone can win at a given event but no one is going to have a go at you for trying to win and people playing to win does not stop you just playing for fun.

    You don’t here outrage because someone tried to win an MtG tournament with a competitively built deck. (How dare they use Islands what a WaaC player)

    It’s been been my experience that WaaC is an entirely toxic term exclusively used by hypocritical bad players. Who are both desperate to win but not prepared/willing to do the legwork to design/playtest an effective list. So instead of trying to get better blame others.

    Im not saying you can’t find tournament players who are bad sportsmen but everyone I’ve heard use the term WaaC as an insult are invariably bad sportsmen and as a community we should all disprove of its use whether you play competitively or just for fun.

    • Heinz Fiction

      Well maybe those other games and sports were designed for competitive play while WH40k clearly wasn’t and still struggles to be…

      • David

        Absolutely not mtg at a competitive level has often only had 2 or 3 good builds just look at top 8 std lists throughout the years. It’s not an issue of game design it’s about the social acceptability of insulting other players which seems exclusive to 40k players

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean 40K tournaments are packed because 40K has existed for 20+ years over other systems. It’s the most commonly found and supported game system in gaming stores. And it is one of the easiest systems to find communities and discussions for. If 10% of all game communities are competitive, and GW’s is 1000x bigger than those communities, there will always be more players at events. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good tournament system though (it’s downright dreadful compared to some others). That said, they’ve been improving their reaction speed at least.

      • ZeeLobby

        Ding! Agree with this. GW doesn’t try to make competitive games (excluding maybe shadespire and verdict is out til some results are in). Their motto has always been: “play with all your toys”.

    • Sure

      I occasionally play at tournaments and I do not go to win. I build the list I want to play and have no problem going into the losers’ bracket. I play the game to win but I don’t bring an competitively optimal list. By doing so I am not really playing to win.

      • ZeeLobby

        Ditto, take highlander lists to many events, and sometimes do pretty well.

    • James Regan

      personally, my issue when i played more was always that i didn’t have the time, funds or interest to chase the meta- I did go to the odd tournament, but always preferred narrative/campaign games etc. because, counter intuitively, they tended to be more balanced than competitive matched play at a tournament. Obviously, the reason was because no-one was bringing optimised tournament lists, and that got round the fact some of us couldn’t bring optimised tournament lists.
      I suppose what it all comes down to is often being told ‘tournaments are the way to experience the hobby’ when, to me, the hobby was painting and collecting miniatures. Tournaments do not encourage me to spend more time painting (I don’t think i’ve ever painted something below a 3 colour and based entry requirement, and it’s a weekend in which I am generally not painting anything due to being camped in a hotel/on a mates floor), and they don’t encourage collecting of models you like, unless you’re that guy who had a painstakingly modelled penal legion army when suddenly conscripts got good this edition.

  • robert-reynolds

    There are very few waac players at tournaments most of the time opponents are cool and you have fun, enjoyable games. Complaining about the lists players take is non-sensical the idea is to bring the best army you can, of course highlight units that need modifying in order to balance them but criticising tournament players for taking good lists is like criticising a doctor for presribing the correct medicine!? 🙂

  • I_am_Alpharius

    I have to disagree that competitive tournaments are: “one of the best ways to experience the hobby”. They are certainly a way to experience wargaming. Yet they are far from being one of the best. All the best experience are the ones that involve your players that are simple playing to enjoy games (any game) for they are. Games where you get to: have a laugh*; enjoy the moments when the dice gods cause something to happen that should not happen; and not worry if a rule or such is gotten, in the moment, slightly wrong – rather than combing through every word of every rule looking for that thing you can exploit and getting fastidious that 1″ is 0.016″ smaller than 25mm bases…

    *thats not to say gamers don’t have a laugh at a tournament, but I often feel they are laughs from gritted teeth.

    • Karru

      Exactly. The best way to experience the hobby, for me at least, is doing with a group of like-minded friends that enjoy the game for laughs. Assembling and painting together and then getting a few games in, trying to one-up each other with dumb ideas, laughing when hilarious moments happen thanks to dice.

      Tournaments are the best way to test your skills in gaming, that has always been my view on it.

    • Domenico Malavisi

      “one of the best ways to experience the hobby” you are correct that is a subjective statement-each to their own. however then you became a hypocrite and STATE “All the best experiences are the ones that involve…” again another subjective statement. For example i recently went to a tournament and my best game of the day was when i vsed magnus, loads of brimestones, demon princes and 5 malefic lords. I honestly greatly enjoyed having my opponent throw his absolute best at me, and try to win even tho i was the underdog (although to be fair i wouldn’t like to vs that list all the time). I usually like and support your comments @I_@I_am_Alpharius:disqus, as they tend to be logical and agree with my line of thinking, however in this case you seem to just be denying someones elses view and replacing it with your own, because you disagree with it, rather then calmly and logically talk about it.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Oh for sure, it is objective. Here, I would defend that, in terms of tournaments, there is a huge difference in the atmosphere at an event run in a local store or an gaming group compared to the large, for want of a better word, “ticketed” competitive events lNOVA or WZ:A and GW GTs etc… I don’t think the latter is “one of the best experiences”

      • Legitimancer

        Yarp. The only tourney games from my past I actually have good memories of are the ones where neither me or my opponent have a chance to win and are just messing around like a normal game.

    • ZeeLobby

      Man, I dunno. Every event I’ve gone to about 80% of the field is usually laughing, and in some cases, pretty intoxicated. I don’t think it’s as bad as people assume that it is.

    • dark-tadpole

      I think the best way of enjoying any game is subjective to the person playing.
      I enjoy playing in my dining room with a mate while having a couple of drinks. A tournament player may prefer the face stomping games (receiving and giving) in a tournament, probably while still having a couple of drinks.
      Neither of us would be wrong. As long as you’re playing with likeminded people that’s generally the best way to play.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Oh for sure, it is objective. Here, I would defend that, in terms of tournaments, there is a huge difference in the atmosphere at an event run in a local store or an gaming group compared to the large, for want of a better word, “ticketed” competitive events lNOVA or WZ:A and GW GTs etc… I don’t think the latter is “one of the best experiences”

  • quaade

    No one plaues a game to lose. The best stories are of succes, especially when the narrotor first fails and then the endevour somehow still ends in succes.

    • Mr.psyker

      Word! Never give up. Everyone needs a good montage.

  • Defenestratus

    First off, don’t apologize. Your post last week was perfect and needed no qualifications on who it applied to. Tournaments and “competitive” 40k is toxic to the game. That’s all there is to it.

    I gave up on the idea of 40k as something worth being a competitive endeavor decades ago.

    • Zingbaby

      This is exactly right.

    • David

      Statements like this that basically say – How dare people have fun in a way I don’t it ruins the game are toxic play the game the way you want don’t have a go at others

    • Karru

      Now that is being too harsh towards the competitive scene.

      While WAACs and “Those Guys” are a problem, competitive scene is not to blame and certainly not tournaments. Tournaments are one of the driving forces these days to make an attempt to balance the game, something GW would never, ever do on their own. This was shown with 40k 6th/7th edition when balance became so bad that if you played certain armies, you lost by default no matter how casual the game. Now with the tournament scene constantly pumping out the problems with the system, GW fixes them, or at least tries to. We don’t have to wait 4+ years to get a new rulebook that fixes this stuff any more thanks to tournaments.

      While the Tournament scene isn’t for you and I know for a fact that it isn’t for me, I don’t trash it. I acknowledge it does good for the game currently. Casual crowd would never be able to fix the game as a whole. Sure you could say “Oh, but our group has a bunch of house rules in place to fix all these problems”, that’s great to hear buddy, but what if your group can’t suddenly play any more for various reasons and now you decide to hop into the local club to play for a change. These players play with the core book which you now realise is completely unbalanced mess because nobody is doing anything to actually try and fix it and GW can’t do it.

      Now, the problem is highly competitive players that cannot differentiate between casual play and competitive play, but that is another story. This doesn’t mean that every single competitive player is toxic, just a few.

    • Mr.psyker

      The only thing toxic here is the hidden reptilian overlords defending the nonsensical paradigm of a compitative 40k scene. Is this the NFL? Do we need to just take a knee while all these good ole boys sing the same song. This is about making money off conventions and selling a pyramid scheme. The earth is flat. You know the NFL really took off when wemon started buying tickets to games. Employment doubled in this country when wemon started working… maybe the reptilian overlords are behind this whole recent feminist 40k thing. What if it’s all marketing?

  • Drpx

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  • I don’t honestly get the appeal of playing in a GT, I did it once and it really made me wonder why anyone would enjoy the game those players play, eldar allied with daemons, that sort of stuff. Even narrative events are tenuously fun a lot of the time, because fitting all the players into teams leads to bizarre alliances and conflicts that make no sense. Really, the only kind of event I’d really enjoy would be some kind of structured narrative where one side plays all chaos or orks er , and one side the forces defending a sector. Doesn’t mean I won’t play in the NOVA narrative again, but it does limit my ability to enjoy the game.

    That said, I love going to Cons, of the last 3 NOVAs, I’ve been to all of them, but only played in one

  • euansmith

    I found that there can be a spillover effect from the serious gaming scene. Although I’m not a tournament attendee, I did use to attend a club where the players always seemed to be tweaking their lists for the next big tournament. It was possible to get the occasional “fun game”; but, generally, I was playing against the latest flavour of face-punching meta list.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah, killed our local PUG scene.

    • EmperorOfMankind

      I’ve been playing off and on since 2nd edition, that’s the way it’s always been, and why I really don’t bother with tournaments.

      • Zingbaby

        That’s not true at all. WAAC was definitely not a thing in 2nd and 3rd edition tournaments. Really in 5th it found its sad stride.

        • EmperorOfMankind

          2nd edition Ork vs Chaos. Chaos has every greater daemon what are Orks going to do?

  • ZeeLobby

    Personally, I love tournaments. Just depends what you plan on getting out of them. I’ve met some great people at every event I’ve gone to. That said, I enjoy other game systems tournaments much more than 40K ones. For some reason the imbalances and spammability of broken units in 40K just brings out the nastiest players. That said, in a 100 table tournament, only the top 20 tables will really have those people (and then only like 2/3 truly unbearable people), the rest are truly a blast to play. I usually take some kind of highlander list and have a blast playing the lower half of the pack.

    They are some of the rare opportunities for my local group and I to spend a weekend traveling to somewhere new and hanging out, getting in a good 5-6 games, and generally just blowing off steam.

  • dark-tadpole

    I don’t understand why people use the term WAAC players for tournament players. In my head WAAC would mean that they are willing to do anything including cheat to win as they are willing to do anything to win even take the risk of losing if the chance to win is greatly improved.
    I don’t believe that the majority of tournament players would cheat as this would take away from the satisfaction of winning for most. I think that most tournament players could be categorised as power gamers which is not a bad thing. If I was going to a tournament this is what I would expect, people to bring their best list (regardless of narrative) and play the best they can.
    This all my thoughts coming from a narrative playing background, I’ve been to two local tournaments and even though I’m a narrative player I thoroughly enjoyed them.

    • ZeeLobby

      It’s because for some people if you try, you’re trying too hard, lol.

      • dark-tadpole

        Ah, luckily I don’t try. I just do or do not:)

        • euansmith

          This is not the meta you are looking for 😉

    • David

      It’s commonly just used as a gratuitous insult by toxic people

      • dark-tadpole

        That’s why I don’t like it I suppose.
        Some people probably are WAAC players and these are the players who should be avoided and barred from events, but I imagine this is a very small minority.

      • HeadHunter

        Right, the people who actually want to play a game for *fun* instead of being cut-throat, are apparently the “toxic people”?
        Your fluency in Newspeak is delightful.

        • Mr.psyker

          I use to work at the ministry of truth. Now I just troll on Belloflostsouls

        • David

          People who have fun playing competitively are ace
          People who want to have fun playing narratively are ace
          People who want to use there own house rules or restrict there list building are ace

          People who tell others what is and isn’t acceptable as *fun* and insult people for having fun the way they want are toxic

  • Davis Centis

    Something I like to do when running a tournament is to offer a “competitive” and “non-competitive” bracket. Have players rate their own armies out of 10 on the competitiveness scale, and add it as a decimal to that player’s total points at the end. This allows you to pair people up right out of the gate with people their own skill level. Competitive players will realize that giving themselves a score of “10” will mean that if they go undefeated, they’ll win over anyone that scored themselves a “9” or lower, and so will be inclined to pick “10”. So long as the tournament is large enough, this also prevents anyone for achieving anything useful by trying to low-ball their competitiveness rating in hopes of winning easy games. You can also quickly review the list and change its competitiveness score when it’s obvious that the list is NOT really low.

    With the competitive crowd playing against each other, there’s no one being sour that they went up against a Spam list, because these players are there for the competition and KNOW that a spam list is a totally legal and competitive way to play. The non-competitive crowd won’t go up against spam lists and will go up against stuff that better suits how they play. In this way, nearly every player in the tournament will get to participate in the tournament they were hoping to play in.

    • Mr.psyker

      Yes but then what do you do with all the money

  • LordKrungharr

    I like to go to tournaments because I can get three games in a single day.

  • MVBrandt

    The tournament scene is growing at the fastest pace in years because the tropes about WAAC players and cheaters are by and large wildly inaccurate. Appreciate the positive tourney post, but the only people discouraged from going to tourneys are those who don’t know much of anything about them, or who got extremely unlucky with a “that guy” on their first go.

    I expect we’ll have even more people than ever before socializing and gaming for charity at NOVA next year.

  • Sbatragno Sbatragno

    this ediction suks.
    dosn’t exist any form of strategy, just shoot more, shoot hard shoot first!
    many games ends at first turn.
    i stopped to play becouse it’s ridicolulus just play to this mess.
    20 years. i spent 20 years gaming and playing whit friend.
    long game play but sitisfi.
    but now, this….it’s just another form of market just to sell miniatures to the little crying children.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I lost quite a few games of 40k in the first turn back in 7th…

      • E65

        I remember getting first turn curb-stompings back in 2nd.

    • BadMrPumpkin


    • HeadHunter

      I’d say if you’re losing in the first turn, you wouldn’t know what strategy is anyways.
      Fight like a soldier, and you might get a few more turns out of the game.

    • Mr.psyker

      If your playing a guy with loaded dice the strategy is to just concede and live to fight another day. Not crying children… They are marketing to marketers. Why do you think they have introduced so many reroll mechanics to the game. I think it’s smart for GW. They already have made it clear in warhammer stores the objective is for people to buy the product and take it home to the kitchen table. That’s why warhammer stores only have 2 tables. The year old warhammer community site is the contingency plan for when events start to lose credibility. GW can swoop in and save the day. They are creating a problem they can solve. They want to get rid of after markets and third parties and regain control. They have a hand in all the events but complete deniability if anything goes wrong. They are the tabletop Illuminati. The truth is out there. The eight worst words in a email are ” I’m from GW and I want to help.”

  • Gamecock13

    Huh…maybe I should give it a shot! Let me just bring my index army to the next closest tourny. What? You say I’m completely out matched and the winners of these affairs strongly favor specific armies as demonstrated by trends??

    Remind me again what makes these fun and how I’m going to partake in it?

    Someone wake me up when Dark Eldar are competitive again.

    • David

      Playing games is fun try and be the highest placing de player or look into options like ynnari and see if you can up your chances with minimul additions

      It sounds like you only care about winning but your unprepared to put in the time or effort to do so

      In any other gaming hobby you would expect to change strategy in a new edition. Be glad you dont play mtg you would have to change every 4 months

      • Gamecock13

        Hi David,

        Thanks for the response, but keep in mind your response is synonymous with “get better”, imply all else is held equal. It also suggests I have an interest in playing as Ynnari. I do not. I am interested in playing Dark Eldar. I didn’t get into the game 22 years ago for the purpose of playing eldar or Harlequin, or space Marines..I got into because I love the dark eldar lore.

        So back to your initial statement about only caring about winning but unwilling to put in the time/effort… My comment was a thinly veiled jab at GW for their marketing strategy of dragging out the codex process as opposed to delivering wholesale. With codexes have come point reductions, stratagems, traits, new models, etc…of which, Dark Eldar and 10 other armies, have seen none of yet.

        I’d very much like to know why you’re going to a tournament if not for the chance to win (generally speaking, competing is the point of a tournament).

        If you look back at my post, you’ll see I mentioned how there are trends in the tourney scene supporting certain armies are better than others…either that or by your implication, all dark eldar, Tau, necron, etc… Players are just awful in 8th edition.

        Changing strategies, is the fun of the game, inability to be competitive due to rule discrepancies is not.

        • derekmackinnon

          Hey, first he has a point, it’s why I’ll never play MtG, the editions change too fast, and except in some minor formats you cannot use your old cards.

          Also I just have to point out a minor point but one that bugs me: you cannot have played Dark Eldar for 22 years; they were only release at the star of 3rd ed, which was released in 1998 (was also when I stared collecting, so something I remember really well). Has no real bearing on your argument, or my response, but was just really bugging me.

          That said, I totally have gone to tournaments for years to play and just have fun, knowing I didn’t stand a hope in hell of winning. I have played Ultramarines since I started and can remember editions where we got nothing “honor the codex while everyone else gets a free rule”. I also personally hate the Centurion models, so wile I know Tiggy and Cents have been competitive, I couldn’t ever bear to buy or play with them. So I know where you’re coming from with wanting to play with the stuff you like. (It is also great that my army is great now, and I’ll add that before people comment on that- I know, I’ve got a great Big G and Devi list- doesn’t change 19 years of gaming exp).

          That said, you have to understand, as I learned years ago, that that is hindering you and your ability to win. That is not GW’s fault, your opponent’s fault or anyone but yours (and players like us that do that, and impose background restrictions on what we are playing because we want to play it that way). I still went to lots of tournaments, I played against ‘blue Blood Angel’ players who were confused as to why I used an inferior book, I played against lists build to salughter MEQ armies with tons of rules who’d laugh at what I put down, but you know what, I had fun, because that was my goal. Did I win occasionally, yep, but I took the lists I wanted to play, got a bunch of games in against some (usually) pretty great guys, learned a lot, but didn’t care I wouldn’t be top. If I was lucky I’d get a set of dice (for being the worst), I’d win best sport, or as my painting got better, occasionally best painted (I’m still more of an average one, but when the better painted armies win higher prizes, anything can happen). Does it suck that what I chose to play wasn’t great, yep, but it didn’t stop me. If I wanted something truely equal, I’d play chess or checkers. Anything with more complicated units becomes that much harder to balance. GW has never been great at it. From 2nd ed Vortex bombs/detonators (I didn’t ply then, but still read a lot), black book Stealer hordes, 3rd ed RavenSwarm, 4th ed I can’t even remember, but it was there…. the ‘meta’ will always be broken. Some companies are better at giving more ‘competitive’ options, (though they usually also have far less options to go with in the first place) but there are always things that are superior, and things that never really work. Does that mean you don’t take them? Not necessarily, but it means you’d better know what you’re getting into. That you’re going to go, push some lumps of plastic with some more plastic on them around for a day and have a blast. Or that you’re going to complain that you can’t win with what you’ve got, stay home and not play.

          As a final note, I’ve had great games against Tau, and Necrons in the current ed with me running a decently optimized Primarch list (though not totally optimized I’ll admit). They been nail biters on each side, and win or lose, came down to a few rolls and points. Can’t speak to Dark Eldar, as our player who used to play them sold them years ago as he had too many armies, but index lists can still work if you look at trying to really play to their strengths.Or, as I said, you can chose not to. That’s the beauty of this hobby, you can take whatever force you want, so long as it fits the rules you agree with your opponent. Just don’t be surprised, like I wasn’t for 18 odd years, if by choosing to hamper yourself, you don’t do as well as someone who didn’t, as that choice was yours.

  • frank

    Played in a tournament recently using harlequins managed to win two out of three games. tau were annoying and so were the guard but was a lot of fun. I’m mostly a casual player but was real fun to see how my list did against more competitive lists.

  • Koonitz

    So, from what I read: “Events are fine, competitive people suck.”

    So maybe stop going to tournaments and start encouraging less competitive, perhaps more narrative, events. From personal experience, as soon as you add a tournament to the mix, you change the attitude of the person, where winning is more important than anything else, because there’s a practical and financial benefit for doing so (prizes). Who cares about the narrative? It won’t be remembered, but that $150 box set I’ll get if I bring the beatiest, most abusive list and win, will definitely be remembered.

    Perhaps more people need to encourage more narrative styled events or get-togethers, themed around casual narrative, no prizes, no benefits beyond telling a great story and having beer and pretzels fun. Sadly, it won’t draw as many people, it won’t be financially viable, and, as such, no one wants to make it the primary, or only, focus. Tournaments, competition, and prizes bring people, and make money for the event. Like everything else in the world, boiled down, money drives the event.

    To each their own, though. I won’t bash people that want to play competitively. You can have your events. In the end, they’re the ones that GW will use to determine what is OP and needs FAQing/Chapter Approved fixing.

  • memitchell

    There was a time right after the Earth cooled when no one had ever heard of the Internet. Or, the word “Meta.” Back then, you could innocently go to a local tournament (which you learned about from a flyer on a bulletin board at the game store), play some fun and often challenging games against different armies, enthusiastic players, and maybe the odd jerk. Yes, the most hardcore players had probably worked out the best army combos (Eldar Jetbikes). But, it was all for fun. Innocence is bliss. Now, on the Internet there is an often toxic group think. Which comes to absurd conclusions. Such as only the player who wins the tournament is truly the best at the game. Everyone else is also ran, and should not have enjoyed the experience. I’ve played in local tournaments where instead of desperately clawing my way to the top by dominating all opponents, I was coaching a newb opponent on the finer points of the game. And, loving it! Seriously, there’s a bunch of things in life that are way better and much more esteemed than winning a miniatures tournament. Like teaching your son or daughter to play catch.

  • BillyBillstone

    With this dumpster fire of an edition tourneys have become unbalanced, alpha strike throat punch events that have very little to do with anything remotely resembling a positive gaming experience.

  • GrenAcid

    TL:DR Give up, its full of:
    SPAM, Try Hards, Cheaters, Toxic people, Boring Lists.
    There are of course good folks but dont expect playing games with them.

  • Spacefrisian

    I think its funny some expect a friendly list for a tourney you pay for, even when its a 2 day event and you had to book a place to sleep cause travelling 100 km isnt a good idea so early or late.

    And thats not even touching on the part of the challenge.

  • HeadHunter

    Don’t apologize – the comments section proves what you said the first time around.
    Look at the lengths people will go to here to defend their way of treating others.

  • Legitimancer

    GW doesn’t make rules that jive well with an ultra-competitive environment. I much prefer playing as intended in more casual and narrative groups. There’s much more refined mediums for strategic competition, and for that matter, ones designed specifically for competition, not story.