Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Competitive play vs Just for Fun play

Title of this post could also be "Tournaments Some Do, Some Don't" or "Just for Fun Play Some Do, Some Don't."  To me it seems there's an arrow of playing 40k.  Arrow starts at "Just for Fun" and goes to "Competitive Play."  Kind of like time it's difficult to go backwards.

Since May 2010 I've been taking 40k more seriously.  Learned a lot from Natfka's blog.  Specifically from his Dark Eldar tactics.  It allowed me to think differently about the game and how to approach it.  My lists have become competitive.  Well, more competitive.  Still not very competitive.  Guess I lack that edge or demand to win.  Might have something to do with my desire to paint and model more than play.  Though I'm thinking about making play more of a priority and hence build stronger lists which may allow me to place in tournaments.

Something I've learned over the last year is that everyone has their way to play the game.  I rarely see the same people at tournaments also play just for fun.  To be fair there are several other gaming stores those individuals regularly play at and talk about games there.  So they may only do Fantasy Flight for 40k tournaments.  There are other players that only go on about their competitive list and how it will defeat any other list on the table.  Perhaps they are talking big game or show boating.  Really can't say.

Something hinted at earlier is finding your niche.  The thing that gets you going in whatever it is you do.  This occurs across all hobbies.  As we know 40k, and other like games, has its just for fun players, competitive players, that guy, hobbists, collectors, painters, list builders, onlookers, etc.  You find your niche and rarely stray from it.  Doesn't mean you don't enjoy other aspects of the hobby, but it is really where you find the most joy.  A good buddy of mine, Lane, isn't a fan of tournaments.  He doesn't find them fun.  Bryan does.  Here are two people that view game play differently.  Neither is wrong.  This leads to my next point.

Or rather a point from a buddy Simon.  We were at Olde Chicago after a game talking about 40k months ago.  Someone mentioned how everyone makes competitive lists which gets boring to play against.  Simon chimed in that 95% of 40k players play at home.  I retorted with, if we only play against people at the store, [sic] Fantsy Flight, where other competitive players play then it doesn't matter how everyone else plays.

Granted not all stores have the same type of players.  This is something I read on Tallarn's blog sometime ago.  He returned home after being away for several years and showed up at a tournament.  He had the only painted army at the event.  Other players arrived late.  Some didn't care about their models at all.  His last opponent left before the third game because the tournament wasn't turning out the way he expected.  One of the players even told him that he has to use GW miniatures.  Tallarn had a fully-painted GW army with some conversions.  It blew him away.  After the tournament someone walked up to him and referred him to another store where there were gamers more his speed.  That may be the case with Fantasy Flight.  They do hold 40k tournaments somewhat regularly.  To be fair I've only played at a couple other stores and only with a buddy.  Never with the stores crowd.

There's an appropriate question.  Do players only go to stores where the atmosphere is more competitive or just for fun?  I can imagine they do.  Please share if that's the case with you.

Speaking of which.  I'm certain that stores gather particular types of players, birds of a feather.  Curious if that's reason why others look for other stores, because stores atmosphere doesn't jive with them.  This may be the case with Fantasy Flight.  Perhaps I should start looking at other stores for different crowds.

slainte mhath


  1. In my neck of the woods it's a mixed bag. There aren't too many turneys, but they do fill up fast when they happen. I avoid them. The reason? I don't play enough to really know the rules and if it's an event where people pay to play I don't want to ruin some ones good time with my full on suck ;)

    1. HAHA! Zab, that is funny. Seems only one place runs tournaments that are free. Others. Universe Games, Legion, Tower Games have a 5-15$ charge with all money going to prizes. Different strokes for different folks.

    2. From experience, competitive players in a tournament have no patience for a lesser skilled player (me). I just wanted to see what it was like and get some games in (I figured I could get 3 games in in 1 day vs more like the normal 3+ weeks). I was a bit sick that day and taking cold meds, played too slow for my opponents (the games were very time constrained), and even knew basic rules that one of my opponents had no clue of.

      In the end it did show me that I really have no interest in playing competitively.

    3. Great point, Suijin. I agree from my perceptions as well. Competitive players in tourneys have no patience for someone of lesser skill. Especially as you've said, slow play. Funny though as you said. I've encountered more tourney players that don't the rules as well as casual. Think that issues with our local crowd. Didn't have that issue at FOYCON. Imagine other tourny scenes are far more forgiving.

  2. The evolution of WAAC in my group has killed the game for me after 20 years. Last weekend I lost all desire to play this game anymore. It's pretty depressing. It's funny too, because I started playing my weaker lists/armies because I was trouncing everyone every game. I don't care to win or lose, but the arguments are too draining. I'd rather just paint now...

    1. I've been on that side of the coin, Drew. I only hope the arguing for WAAC doesn't drain the life of this game from me also.

      Hope you don't mine me asking. Was it a steady death of the desire or did it just fall on you all at once last weekend?


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