When you are playing in a big Warhammer Fantasy GT do you ever wonder how much of the room is really top shelf competition? If your going for Table 1 you need to think about what kind of players you might face on the road to the top and plan accordingly.
Out of a 5 game GT you will probably only face two players of your skill if your a contender. Most GTs attract a variety of different kinds of Warhammer players. There are 4 basic categories of players at a GT:
The New Guy: This is the guys first GT or he is just for fun player. He has probably played 1/10 of the games you have played and let alone practiced with the events scenarios. Its a gimme game and basic tactics are all you need to get through this game. Remember that as a more experienced player, you are setting the standard he may look up to, so be an absolute gentleman no matter what happens.
The Average Bloke: This guy plays a game when he can or is a fluff guy. He might think that his dragon in the front of your static 8 grave guard was a good charge. He might think goblins with no magic and no Orc characters is the right way to play his army. Its a gimme game ,but, you might need to pull out some advanced stuff for the big win.
The Big Fish-Little Pond Guy: This guy is hot dung at his game store. He might tell you nobody has beaten his list or what kind of win streak he is on. He is probably using some uber unit of death or Hotek Dragon build and plans to charge you for the win. Use solid mistake free gameplay and stick to your overall plan and give him a big 0 for battlepoints. He will either bow to your superiority or whine about some random dice roll.
The Serious Competition: These are the guys you talk to on forums across the world. These are the guys that you hear about winning tournaments in their backyard and beyond. Your going to need skill, luck, and maybe a good match-up to pull anything but a draw. If you win the game you feel you truly accomplished something. If you lose you are disappointed but can learn from your mistakes. There will probably be 2 of these games if your going for table 1. Usually round 4 and 5. However, sometimes you will get lucky, or unlucky depending how you might see it, to draw real competition earlier.
How is the competition at your big events? Do you fit into one of these categories or did we miss one? What level of responsibility do you think should go along with these categories as players move up through the ranks as they become more experienced players? Remember that folks go to tournaments for different reasons, so never make the mistake of thinking that any one category makes for a better or worse person sitting across from you at the tabletop.