So I was chatting over on 3++ Is the New Black earlier, and shared in conversation what I saw as the perfect game (at a tournament, or anywhere) ...
Bottom of turn 7, game about to be decided by a single dice roll on a single dude on a single objective.
Two players started the game not really knowing each other, and are now talking to each other like old friends.
Lists are strong, but instead of "cookie cutter" are custom tailored to each player's strengths and preferences.
Both players are using ALL components of their rules affably, but to the max ... movement shenanigans, perfect model placement, ANY LOS = LOS, even interleaving models for cover before that was changed. No avoiding rules of the game, but no belaboring them either, with no antagonistic view of them from either direction - simply playing the game.
Both armies are fully painted to the best of their operator's ability (if he's a crappy painter, they look crappy, but they're still fully painted).
The majority of the game is the two players speaking together, laughing, joking, talking, etc. ... not silent-pants angrypants "super serious" pants 40k.
This is my perfect 40k. What's more, if it's a tournament, the VERY NARROWEST of victories does nothing to harm the winner's chances of advancing, and the loser isn't all upset or pissed off about it.
In my opinion, tournaments that encourage and reward mismatches, massacring people, etc., DISCOURAGE the above game from occurring (they don't prevent it from happening, mind you, they simply discourage it). Same can be said for checklist sportsmanship, where players are simply trying to "game" the system to guarantee the checkboxes are filled out instead of actually trying to be good, affable, memorable human beings.
A lot of the NOVA, at present and in the future, is designed toward achieving games like the above ... not achieving seal-beating massacre-oriented activities ... not checking boxes and moving along ... but encouraging close, tactically deep games where even when it's not "super" close players are able to force ties down to tiebreakers and have "closer" results ... and where friendship and camaraderie and experiencing all of the hobby takes precedence over sullenly pursuing one component.
Hobbyists who only want to game, and don't even try to paint their models? This is a hobby, not just a game. Don't play 40k, play a computer game or Risk or Magic. that said, it's your right to consider the painting/modeling not a mandatory part of the hobby ... just respect and appreciate that NOBODY has to agree with you.
Hobbyists who only want to paint, and like to belabor people that bring strong lists? This is a hobby, not just artistic expression. Don't participate in 40k, just paint 40k miniatures if you really like them. That said, it's your right to consider the gaming not a mandatory part of the hobby ... just respect and appreciate that NOBODY has to agree with you.
Hobbyists who are incapable of appreciating and respecting those who enjoy the hobby in different ways, who can't treat their opponents with respect and the consideration you would show a peer ... you don't belong in the hobby at all. Seek a social life that will teach you the skills you require to properly interact with others.
Everybody gets into the hobby in their own way ... but seek to advance your skills and love of the hobby to an embracing of ALL of it ... that's what 40k is ... it's not JUST a game; it's not JUST a painting/modeling activity, and it's above all a SOCIAL experience. You can play computer games facelessly over the internet. You can paint in the privacy of your own home not talking to anyone. You can't really participate fully in 40k if you only participate in tiny components of it, or if you eschew the social component.
Food for thought, I suppose.
In other news, my buddy John who also is my floor boss for the Open (and one loud, big dude) is selling his large Sisters of Battle army. It's a fair bit off the going rate for this much pewter; take a gander, if you're of a mind or happen to be looking: http://cgi.ebay.com/Warhammer-40K-Sisters-Battle-Army-/320646032603?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa7fe2cdb