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40K: Don’t Give Up On Tournaments

5 Minute Read
Nov 24 2017

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! 

Author: Abe Apfel
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