GW Grognard: There is always an exception

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to to throw words on the wall and seeing what sticks!

Just as good as an Apple watch

If you read the previous week’s article, I talked about how we need to preserve and nurture the baby seals in our community in order to allow the community to grow. As with may rules, there are exceptions. Now, I did say we should shy away from laying into new players to the game, as it would deter them from continuing their journey into the game we loved called 40K. However, there is a place where you are relatively free to roam and, should you come upon a “baby seal”, are normally not shunned for laying into them with your ultra competitive army, Tournaments.

This happens a lot

As you well know, I enjoy tournaments a lot. I normally don’t recommend tournaments for people that are just starting out, but sometimes you just have to jump in the deep end and either sink or swim. In a tournament setting I don’t want to say”all bets are off”, in regards to how much to step on the pedal when playing someone, but in this instance, that really is the case.

Unless otherwise stated, when a player signs up to a tournament they sign up knowing that the tournament is being run to establish a winner among all the participants. By attending a competitive tournament, they are allowing themselves to be in the cross-hairs of some of the more cutthroat lists that they may not have encountered yet. Although this may seem bad, at first, the baby seals should use this opportunity of being slaughtered to learn the games that they play, and hopefully grow from it, and decide if they want to continue down the rabbit hole of competitive 40K.  You can almost think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff for future 40K competitive players.

Its is very important that the baby seal is aware what may happen at the tournament and what they may encounter. If they expect it to be like when they play their buddies in the garage, they will have a miserable time. You may hear comments like, “Why did you bring that army?” or “Why are you such a bad person?” (These are actual quotes). These are comments indicative of someone that was totally unprepared for what awaited them in the tournament scene. One of my first tournaments was the first Los Angeles Grand Tournament in 2000. I didn’t do well, but I learned a lot and, although I got worked, I was hooked and have been playing competitive ever since. So, get out there with your clubs, and get those furs for your new coat!

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any stories of either you “teaching” a baby seal in a tournament, or if you were the baby seal, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is one of the head judges for LVO and other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

5 Responses to “GW Grognard: There is always an exception”

  1. Alpharius Walks July 14, 2018 8:24 am #

    “You may hear comments like, “Why did you bring that army?” or “Why are you such a bad person?””

    I personally like the variations on “that army is rough, no one brings that to my FLGS game night.” Well yes neither do I but the purpose of this event is not replicate Saturday night at the FLGS.

  2. Yakhunter July 15, 2018 9:23 am #

    I still use ‘Why are you such a bad person?’ at tournaments, sometimes when referring to myself.

  3. Zweischneid July 16, 2018 6:03 am #

    I disagree.

    The argument might fly for invitationals or events selecting participation to experienced “competitive” players such as the ETC.

    But if there are no tiers or leagues that separate the “pros” from the “I haven’t played in three years” people, tournaments are often the least competitive places as well, the places where people play who don’t have a FLGS close-by or a regular gaming group where they can lay into their regular sparring partners.

    Trying to justify toxic behavior and the neglect of all the social-contract-issues that are inherent to the any game of 40K simply by the fact that there is a winner at the end is the very foundation of why a lot of bad rep about “competitive players” is sadly justified.

    If you want “tournaments” to be a pro-only free-to-play-as-hard-as-you-can-zone, you should separate it more clearly from the Open-for-everyone formats like the LVO.

    An NFL linebacker can go balls-to-the-walls if he knows everyone on the pitch is a pro (e.g. something like ETC). An NFL linebacker going balls-to-the-wall in an event for everyone, where he might face Soccer-Dad, who hasn’t played in 10 years and his 10 year old son” (e.g. the LVO equivalent) is among the most despicable humans imaginable.

    • Agent X July 16, 2018 9:28 pm #

      I am one of the new baby seals you are referring to.

      Due to a change in work schedule for my family I am no longer available when my FLGS has the 40k league (they hold it Mon evenings).

      To find time for 40k elsewhere I plan to do exactly what you are describing above and use tournaments nearby.

      I went to my first 2k ITC tournament on Sat and got my teeth kicked in game 1. I lost a close match round 2 and then pulled out a satisfying win in round 3.

      I enjoyed every minute of it and I knew going in that tournament play is more hard core and competitive.

      I know I am a new baby seal in the 40k world and I’m fine with tournaments being no holds barred. As a space wolf player with no gdamn codex (looking at you GW) it is even worse when stratagems come flying at me left/right and I have nothing at my disposal.

      That being said my opponents were friendly and kind. The list I brought may have had 0 chance against their streamlined death machine but the player’s own behavior is the greatest variable that they control. The players I faced were not A-holes during the course of the game. There is a distinction between playing to win and being an A-hole to somebody.

      The reception I got from the players there means a great deal to me and I will definitely be going back b/c this location holds monthly tournaments that fit my schedule.

      FLG and the Chapter Tactics podcast repeatedly uses the term “ambassador for the game” and it really nails the point of this general topic.

      I wish everyone would keep it in mind when dealing with opponents.

    • abusepuppy July 16, 2018 11:04 pm #

      Playing to win is not toxic behavior. That you equate the two really only speaks to your own mentality about the game, not about how anyone else actually plays.

      Also, your NFL linebacker example is absurd. Would we expect the linebacker to lose, or even have a reasonable chance of losing, his game against the soccer dad? Is that somehow a reasonable outcome? Players with vastly disparate skills being matched against each other certainly isn’t ideal, but in 40K as it exists now there’s no real way to avoid that- and we shouldn’t expect the higher-level player to artificially throw the game out of some kind of misguided attempt at “fairness.”

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