Hate the Game Not the Player…

There’s a lot of people in the world and some of them unfortunately are assholes…

…and even more unfortunately some of them make a home in this hobby of ours….

This douchebaggery takes a number of forms from the relatively minor ones like constantly waffling on about how some edition of a game from a decade ago was the best ever (probably because it’s the only one their army worked in), hanging around in the hobby store taking up a seat while not actually doing anything (all bloody day), laughing annoyingly after everything you say or chipping into conversations uninvited, etc. through the more annoying ones like attempting to play some-ones game for them, constantly borrowing other peoples stuff (“You forgot your glue, activator, hobby knife, paint and measuring tape…again?”) or asking for list building advice that you then ignore…

…both equally annoying…

…to the most severe ones of being a cheating fuck (there’s a lot of sub-divisions to that category such as mis-interpreting the same rule in your own favour despite having had it explained to you already, overmeasuring, etc.), stealing other bloggers articles and pictures without giving credit (it happens a lot….), borrowing stuff without fucking asking at all, not having washed for a week and the most severe ones of all…screwing over people who are meant to be your friends (rip off trades, putting your own agenda above other peoples in ‘joint’ projects, giving bad advice so you can win games, etc.) and trying to convince me to play Firestorm Armada…..

I’m sorry if your a fan but this is still what Firestorm Armada looks like to me…..

Now I’m sure your own list of pet hates may be prioritised differently than mine and the above lists are no means exhaustive but you’ll notice that there was a behaviour that is in many peoples lists and that is conspicuously absent from mine…and that is ‘people who bring broken/cheese lists in every system they play’.

The reason that it’s not in my list is because at it’s most fundamental level it’s not a problem at all…I should probably explain why or this is going to be a short article…

Competitive behaviour exists in us all to one extreme or another and if any interaction in which you engage has two or more people involved and one of them is going to ‘win’ and the others are going to ‘lose’ then inevitably some individuals are willing to go further to get into the ‘win’ category than others and believe me I’ve seen people cheat at the most trivial and unimportant of activities…

How did that get there?

Though to be fair Monopoly is probably a bad example…

The most patient person in existence…..

There was a recent incident in the world of 40K where a gentlemen won a tournament with an Eldar list that exploited pretty much all the issues with both that codex and the allies rules. It had the now mandatory unkillable, re-roll-able save equipped ‘death star’, an ally unit there simply to give a unit a rule it probably shouldn’t have, it was very fast, had a formidable psychic phase presence, has a lot of cover ignoring torrent of fire and shitloads of scoring units. This made several people very angry and also got the owner of the list a fair few negative comments because apparently winning using the rules is somehow an issue.

It’s here if you’d like a look…

However lets look at the facts.

It was a ‘tournament’ so by it’s very nature it was a competitive event and was advertised as such. It’s not like it had ‘fluff bunny lists only’ on the brochure and even if it did the 40K universe is more than big enough for some of the most unlikely partnerships to be justified *cough* Blood Angels and Necrons *cough*.

Even taking this into account the list itself would pass the ‘fluff test because the line between Eldar/Eldar Merceneries/Eldar Pirates/Dark Eldar Raiders/Dark Eldar is somewhat subjective. Coordinate a paint scheme and many units can pass for others in the name of theme should you so desire to use them together.

It’s also not like any of the competitive ‘tricks’ he used are exactly revolutionary. We all know about them so if you really wanted to pretty much any-one with even the most cursory knowledge of 40K could have done the same thing. The simple fact is that Warhammer 40K (and Fantasy) is not balanced and to be honest never really has been (5th edition got pretty close but even that was full of holes if we’re being realistic). There’s just too much of it, written by too many different mind-sets, with inadequate play-testing amongst a whole host of other faults for the system in it’s current form to ever be balanced and fair. Eldar are currently ‘top-dog’ in no small part due to re-rollable saves but there have been many instances in the past of a single exploit fucking over the meta-game and tournament scenes completely and I have no reason to believe that some other rule combination won’t pop up in another codex in the future and do the same thing for some other race.

I doubt any system can claim to be truly balanced and fair. Malifaux is pretty close but there’s still some optimal crew configurations, Warmahordes has the odd list here and there that are staples of the tournament environment (that dual Stormwall one for a start) and even my current favourites Deadzone and Mutant Chronicles Warzone Resurrection have the odd wrinkle here and there. However the main difference between the ones that don’t work and the few that are damn close is adequate play-testing or extensive beta-testing.

However if your personal preferences are for a less confrontational style of play…

…there’s more than one way to ‘win’ at a tournament. In my experience though I can appreciate a well crafted (and well played) list, it’s more often than not the awesomely painted and converted ones that I remember. As the meta game moves from Grey Knights to Eldar via Necrons or whatever it’s still the amazingly painted army or the thoroughly nice and personally engaging opponent that make up most of our “remember that time when…” tournament memories though admittedly “Do you remember that asshole…” probably comes up quite a lot as well…especially if you played against me…

A Brief Conclusion.
I think we need to stop blaming the players who use the rules to win games and start looking at the game companies that can’t be fucking bothered to do their jobs properly…but what do you think?

Is there a balanced system out there somewhere* that I’ve overlooked or another way of making things fair**?

* Infinity isn’t balanced either, before SinSynn chips in…
** ‘Comp’ tournaments get broken as well just in different ways so don’t bother suggesting that…

This article also lacks any kind of pictures involving hot girls in their underwear for which I apologise. I’ll make up for it next week…

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My Facebook page also has regular posts on a variety of things ranging from the obligatory amusing cat pictures to the occasionally profound conversation starter and for more of my barely coherent rantings feel free to check out my blog here or my twitter feed here where you can join my gigantic army of twenty seven…count them…TWENTY SEVEN, Twitter followers…surely my world domination plans are nearing fruition, lol.

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