From Anonymous ...
So, what's the problem here? Are these players just not "competitive?" Are they brilliantly good gamers who simply refuse to use the "cheese?"Here's how it goes down. They get beat on a bunch by better players who also take better lists. They think the lists are the devil. But finally, guiltily they steal a "net list" thinking that now, in some sort of Faustian exchange, once he has the power list he will auto win. But they still lose. So they get frustrated and swear up and down they are just not "competitive" and go back to aiming for best painted. It's the way it always goes. And when you try to help them, they get upset, and say that they know how to play, they just refuse to use the "cheese." And I feel bad. Because I see this cycle clearly, and these are my friends. And I would love for them to be able to participate in the WHOLE hobby Gameplay, Modelling, Painting. But they choose to opt out of gameplay.
No, in fact, while not necessarily full of shit, they're very wrong about themselves.
Anonymous largely hits on it in the first sentence - they get beat on a bunch by better players who also take better lists.
So what's the solution? Should these player types - and it's really the majority of the country I think - quit game playing at 40k? Should they accept that some people are just going to always whoop their butts and take weaker lists as excuses? Should they focus on painting only? Are they actually not competitive? NO to all of the above.
This is actually going to tie a little in with the Incidental Comp bracketing format for the NOVA Open GT next year, where people with same records and very similar battle point accurals will play only amongst each other through the 4 rounds of Day 2. The most important thing in the game of 40k is not so much to be humble, but to certainly not be too proud. Like all activities in life, we all possess differing aptitudes for different things. Believe it or not, when you blame someone's victories over you on their cheesy tactics and powergaming lists, you're actually competing to win still - you're trying to win off the table, in a different fashion, by sniping at the person's integrity and the fairness of the playing field. You might even win, if the person in frustration actually decides that's a fight worth participating in. You're actually being cheesier than your referenced opponent, in fact, by competing entirely outside the rules of the game and the boundaries of the codices.
Regardless, the solution here is to be honest about your own capacity with the game. If you can't grasp the intricacies of the movement phase and the intricacies of thinking ahead on missions ... you need to do one of two things. 1) Compete with people who are the same rough skill and list level as you, or 2) Honestly admit that the people beating you are currently BETTER THAN YOU, and even though you know "how to play," you don't know it as well, you don't take advantage of it as well, and you could get better ... and then, get better. This game isn't rocket science. The "average" intellect of a human being can attain a level of competitiveness with a strong list that he's fluid with ... that will enable him to compete on the dice and the razor's edge with most people - especially outside of national tournaments with a high concentration of 40k geniuses.
This ties in with so many other articles I've written, about assessing your own needs and personally seeing them fulfilled, about how to treat others within the same very small hobby ... it bears repeating and it bears belaboring. Everyone plays the game at a different level; everyone is possessed of a different aptitude level for the game. It doesn't speak to your quality as a person that you aren't as good at it as someone else.
BUT, it does speak to your quality as a person when you brand the superior painting, or gaming, or whatever skills of someone else with extremely negative connotations and terms ... just to feel better about your own limitations. In fact, it speaks very poorly about your quality as a person. Honest self-evaluation is a difficult thing ... it can lead to ego, to bragging ... lord knows we all can struggle with that in fields we excel in. Regardless, it is just as much a struggle to admit your limitations, but speaks so much more about you, and can lead to so much more happiness and a much stronger ability to co-exist with those around you.
Truth of the matter is, less than 1% of us 40k gamers aren't competitive. Put any of us in a dogfight with an opponent of similar skill and list, and you won't see ANY players who literally don't care and are trying to lose. EVERYONE enjoys a close, fun, competitive game. That's where the fun is at, right? Not blasting someone vastly inferior off the table, but tangling to the bottom of 7 with a peer. If you're in a gaming club, play with people who are your peers, and RESPECT (don't insult, disrespect, classify as "cheesy," etc.) the people who aren't your peers. You wouldn't compare your excellent pro painting skills with a brand new painter, proclaiming your awesomeness and his weakness, and a brand new painter wouldn't look at your excellent pro skills and call you a cheesy powerpainter. Why would you do this with the gaming component of the same hobby? If you want to play with a wider group of people, IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS BY HONESTLY ADMITTING THEY AREN'T "FINE." It's easy to play down to someone's level by taking a weaker list, or playing more casually, and still netting competitive games. It's impossible to play up unless you're willing to flex that amazing human brain of yours and pick up your game. Same applies to painting, converting, and everything else in the hobby.
Our hobby will benefit from more people treating others as peers by attaining similar levels of play, painting, etc.; our hobby will benefit even more if those who are not at the same level as others are honest enough to simply admit that, and not attach branding, criticism and intense negativity to the difference. Partisanship was opposed by George Washington for our country, and we see where it gets us all the time. It's an inevitability, often, that people will create and choose sides ... but can we knock it off a little? Our hobby is too small to suffer it, but small enough to actually do something about avoiding it.