Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tournaments Pt. I

Warhammer 40,000 is an incredible game. It has a great back story, fantastic miniatures range, and fun rules. The painting and the fluff provide a lot of enjoyment to the gamer, but at its core, 40k is a game, and it is this experience that is the culmination of all of the elements that make it great. Tournaments are a great way to see new things, learn new tricks, and make new friends. They bring people from miles around to one place to share in the enjoyment of their hobby with others of a like mind. 

There are people out there, however, who have sworn off tournaments, who feel that they will never play in one for one reason or another. These gamers are typically classified as "fluff" or "noncompetitive" gamers, players who build armies strictly based off of units they like or adhering to a strict theme. Some look at tournaments as a personal attack on their views and look at the players as people who cares nothing about the experience,  and only build lists to "Win At All Costs". Any gamer can gain from going to a tournament, regardless of their play style.


1. Meet new People

40k - Requires more social interaction than WoW
Warhammer 40,000 is a game that requires more than just one person to play. You can't do it all by yourself (well you can, but it is not near as much fun, I've tried it). Tournaments provide a place to meet new people and make friends. At a tournament, you have between 8 - 108 other people who all enjoy the same hobby you do. A certain camaraderie can be felt, and you may find new friends with which to play against.

2. See New Things.

The cool thing about our hobby is that everyone looks at things differently. When building lists or modelling units at home, often you do things similar to the way you have always done them. When you go to a tourney, you get to see how other people view the same thing. There may be 7 Space Marine Players there, but each list is different, and each paint scheme unique. You will see people run units you never gave a second glance, and often see the unit in a new light. You will see combinations you never thought of, and see ways to improve your builds.

You mean I shouldn't just throw my
Tau Suits at Ghazghkull? Astounding!
The tactics will also be different. You may find new ways to run your favorite units, or see how to overcome your biggest obstacles. Sometimes other peoples' perspectives are necessary to pull you out of your gaming rut, and allow you to play up to your potential.

The third part of this is the painting/modeling aspect. I have learned so much about painting and converting/modeling from the people at a tournament. 

By walking around and looking at others armies, you can see how others have gotten certain effects, how they were able to model something, or how they represent that character. You can learn from others experiences, as well as mistakes. That one color you couldn't ever get right, that one model that wouldn't ever stay on his base, many people have had the same issues as you, and have come up with creative ways with which to solve them.

3. Play more games.

Even The Dude plays in Tournaments
Think about it. How often do you get the opportunity to play against 3-6 good opponents and fully painted armies on actual tables with good lookin terrain within a 24-48 hour period? Unless you are at a tournament, then I would dare to guess not very often. 

Tournaments are a good way to play more games, and by doing that you become a better player. Now here in the United States of America, we are born with a few country-specific traits. One of them is hating to lose. I don't care who you are, where you came from, how much of a "fluff" or "noncompetitive" gamer you are, no one likes losing every time. Ya gotta win one every now and then. By going to tournaments, you gain the experience to know how things work and what to and what not to do. How does getting your butt kicked every game make you a "fluffy" or "themed" gamer?

Tournaments are a lot of fun, and have something for all gamers to enjoy. Join me for Part 2 of the series where we will discuss the ways to avoid First Tournament blues and fatal rookie mistakes.

So, what have y'all learned/experienced on the tournament circuit? How has tournament play changed the way you game?

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