Sunday, 15 January 2012

Occupy wargaming!

A recent post/discussion made on the scottish malifaux players group got me to thinking about the average gamers perception of what exactly competitive gamers are.   The more I thought about it the more I realised that I was being stupid for taking the meaning of words literally, much like hacking is used by the mainstream when they actually mean cracking, competitive has become a synonym for arsewank.  Its time to take the power back.  There is no dichotomy between "hobby" and "competitive" outside of GW.  Its all hobby, its all fun, even in a competitive setting.

The overwhelming response to an innocent question on Rankings was not, as a I may expect, "oh, rankings?  cool, dont matter to me either way", but a rabid frothpit of "NO DOOMDOOOM!  THE HOBBYKILLERS!  THEY COME! THEY COME!"(editors note: it was actually a reasonable discussion between adults that respected each other, but that doesnt fit this particular narrative, drama added for comic effect only).

Which leads me to my main thrust here.   If you dont like competitive play, why do it?  Why not just not show up, and continue in your smug belief that everyone who wants to measure themselves against their peers is doing it in relation to penis size?   Not everything in this fucking universe was made for you, and not everything that you have no experience of is how you think it is!   The world outside of Games Workshop is not full of absolute cunts!

I have met people at GW tournaments that I would not shit on for money.  I have met people at GW tournaments that are complete and utter, irredeemable cunts, with absolutely no saving graces at all, people I would gleefully stab to death becaue they have that weird, GW centric world view where every little thing has to be picked and prodded and nitpicked until the fun is so drained from it that its dead.  The people who talk through and down their fucking noses, who fester in the GW shop and put anyone off going in.  Little, self-important wankers who use their own lack of social adjustment as an excuse to fail, who never get the fuck over themselves and get out and try to be nice, wankers who are just *hard work*, they always know better, always had one bigger, or seen someone do it better/faster/bleh.  The people, in short, who will kill this hobby stone fucking dead.   
Get them tae fuck.

Now, on the flip side of that, I have met people at gaming clubs and warmachine tournaments that I would cut my own balls off for, that I wished I could go back in time and meet them when we were younger so I could be their best mate for life because they were so fucking awesome.  People that you would meet in any workplace, pub or street.  People who make the effort to be polite and practice basic social ineraction (relatively speaking, they are still, like me, socially retarded, painfully shy, geeks). 
People who try and work even when they hate humanity(again, like me). 
I have never met a hypercompetitive wanker, hobby killing fuck outside of GW, in 25 years of gaming.


Now why do you think that is?  I may have just been really lucky.   I may have even been "that guy" ( I know I'm not, I'm nice to a fault at tournaments, even helping my opponents win when it makes a cool story).  I reckon its the same reason you dont get into fights in a rock club.  Its the same reason you dont see many fights in any alternative scene actually.   
This may be obvious to you, but to some it is not.   If you dont exclusively play GW games, you are in fact, not one of the arseholes mentioned earlier.  What is more, if you do play smaller games and want to play in an organised setting, you *have* to be reasonably fragrant, personable and ok to get along with, or you will have no one to play against.  The tournament scene for smaller games is self-selecting, and selects for the desirable social traits in almost all settings.   The very things that drove you away from geedubs and its denizens are the very same things that most of your new peer group also left for.  They hated those bastards as well!  And lets be honest, if your reading this far then you also hate that our entire hobby, in all its infinite diversity, is characterised by those snotty little pricks that fester and seep in that fucking shop.
WE ARE THE 99%!  

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Losers always quit, winners do the prep work then quit.

It was with a heavy heart that I sat across from Jim, I knew I would lose, the interesting part would be in the how.  Let me tell you how I got here...

You see Jim is the best player in the UK, he has won masters on several occasions, being beaten by the slimmest of margins and strength of schedule alone at this years event., and I...I'm a noob who has played for a year and a bit.  In fact, let me go back further, let me qualify that, because Im a Noob who has played around 50 games all told, with a 50/50 WLR, and a declining form.   Why is my form declining?  Quite Simple...Gamer ADD has made me go full fucking spastic when it comes to WM(DISCLAIMER:  Spastic is not really used as term of denigration in these parts any more, its just a nice shorthand way to say fucking idiot)
I first experienced a tournament last year, almost 14 months ago now, and instantly fell in love with the whole format and experience.  I didnt do too badly either, 2/2/0 and a respectable attrition rate on the losses.  I got better after a couple of months and then fucked it all up by starting to play "other" games:  Malifuax, Infinity, Memoir '44 and C&C:Ancients being the culprits. 

My WLR started to skew toward the loss, and week after week I would be playing a boardgame or a cardgame and then every so often a tournament would come up and I would take to game 3 before I remembered the rules, let alone the plays.

Multiple invites to mates places to play the game went by as I spent week after week in a job I was fighting to keep, missing all the fun and games and the weddings of good friends.  The only thing that kept me going through the last year(as must be the case for so many of you) was the thought of our wonderful hobby and the friends you can make through it. 

The Tuesday nights away from reality, pushing pieces from one side of a board to another kept me sane frankly.  This dripped and dragged for a year, and there I was, across the table from the best player I know or that I am ever likely to meet, and in all previous encounters before the year of toil, I would fight Jim to a close win(for him), and yet on that Tuesday, I wasted his time with unprepared and unplanned mish mash of a list.

  So how do I turn this around and make myself someone worth playing against?  
One simple thing that can improve anyones life in any area.  Prepare. Nothing more, nothing less, just prepare.  Heres my own plan for whats left of January: 
  • Create a list and stick to it, change what doesnt work one thing at a time.
  • Paint the things I will use most often, not the random shiny
  • Make a concentrated effort to play games more often and against as many people as I can.
Sounds simple enough, and points 1 & 2 are easy.  
The only one that will need more work is point 3, between The Job ( I fully plan to find a job this year that lets me have at least one weekend in 52 off...) and my lack of driving ability, getting games whenever and wherever is a push.   I can deal with the driving part in an achieveable and managemable way, it requires time and money, but if I dont spend money on toys I cant use I can spend it in a way that allows me to use the toys I have.
So in this obligitory first post of the yearm I have a resolution of sorts, finish my driving lessons before I hit my next birthday and get the fuck out and play more.
I hope, sincerely, that you all have a good year, that the holidays were fun and that this year you get out and make some new friends, put yourself out there and get it done.  Its up to you.