Thursday, September 2, 2010

Circle of Happy + NOVACALYPSE Test Drive, Brought to You By - ADEPTICON AND WARGAMESCON! Wait, what?

So, it should be no surprise to anyone who reads enough that the respective top dog types from Adepticon (Matthias) and Wargamescon (formerly BOLSCon ... Jwolf), are people I often speak with about various things.

We don't agree on all components of the hobby, we don't all agree on what a tournament should be, but we've been working together to improve all things convention/tournament-related.

To that effect and in support of that, when a bunch of us decided to "test drive" the NOVACALYPSE team campaign notion on Saturday, 9/11 at the usual site of Whiskey40k nights, I went to JWolf and Matthias asking if they'd be willing to donate about a net 20-30 minutes of their Saturday to remotely play the roles of Overall Commanders for the events.

I'll have more of a briefer on what the test drive will look like soon.

IN other news ...

Negativity is rife in the blogosphere. Stelek can't praise Adepticon or BOLSCon or whatever without a little bit of a back-handed tripe at what they "used" to be like ... Mkerr can't play nice with Stelek, and targets the Open with BS. So does Tasty. Stelek's supporters snipe at them, they snipe at Stelek's supporters.


Every event should be run how their event organizer wants.

You have no goddamned say in what was done "wrong" or "right" at an event if you weren't there - seriously, you don't.

Contribute CONSTRUCTIVELY and POSITIVELY to the future of that event by offering helpful advice while realizing that if you don't structure your words carefully, all you will do is offend the people who put in the time to run it, and they'll shut you out. Seriously, choose your words carefully or you're just another fucking retard who doesn't know how to be heard by playing nice on the internet.

You notice how the guys who run NOVA, Adepticon and Wargamescon are not just getting along and coordinating, but are even PLAYING TOGETHER despite the geographic distances? Yeah, do you think any of us are fully behind ya'll's bullshit?

Knock it off. Until you play nicer, you're going to keep getting left more and more out where you've placed yourselves - on the goddamned poles. Hope you dressed warmly.

This right here, this is the line and the olive branch - post and promise to consider structuring your words and actions more carefully, and with more deference to the fact that other people see things differently, and different opinions MUST be respected for YOUR opinions to even be heard.

No international house of paincakes, no BOLS vs. YTTH, no bullshit like that. Our hobby is tiny. You bitches are trying to start a civil war in South Dakota. The population can't tolerate it, and largely doesn't even know you're doing it. You don't matter. Try harder, nicer, and you will matter.

Oh, and stop using my event as a tool in your little wars, either to support your cause or to target someone else's, with how good or bad you think it was. That ain't cool. You don't own it, you didn't put the time in to run it.



  1. The HOP isn't about puerile stuff like that. We're reaching out to all the community, we just like using swear words :P

    Otherwise yeah, I feel you on this.

  2. Hey Mike, I put up a Nova Review on my blog. I tried to focus on the positive, and put up some constructive but helpful criticism... as if you need more. But truth be told I really have very few cons to offer and the ones I did are an easy fix. :) A truly neutral review would not be accurate without pointing out pros and cons. If you would like I would be happy to discuss my opinions privately. They are a dime a dozen! Jawaballs

  3. Jawa, not at all - this was certainly not aimed at you :)

  4. PS Jawa - Great article, I appreciate everything you wrote.

    People should take a note from the book ... those of us who run these things invest so much in them; it is hard to take criticism, if it isn't framed from the point of view of a) someone who was there and fully understood the event / cared about it, and b) someone who is considerate of / well-meaning toward the TO and staff.

    Jawa's post is awesome, useful, and helpful - a lot of the things he mentioned may be already on our radar, but it's irrelevant; what matters is that we have input from someone who actually enjoyed it, attended, and wants to come again as to how it can be better enjoyed ... rather than shameless jabs by people whose only real motivation is that they didn't like one of the people who attended and helped promote it.

    Thanks Jawa ... perfect article; honest, open, critiquing where necessary ... and from someone who was there to know :)

  5. Ok, so I would like start out by saying I agree with most everything heres.

    The reason for this, imo, is about 2 or less years ago. Our hobby was in a "pause" state. Nothing every changed. Most events still ran comp, sportsmanship and all the like. Any attempt at talking about the competitive side of the hobby got quickly stomped on and yelled down by the community.

    Even Dakka (not a shot at you guys, I just am on your forum more than others) the most competitive friendly forum, would constantly get posts of cheese and the like in the deck discussion pages. Most attempts at becoming competitive were quickly stomped out by "the old guard" (note the old guard is a way of thinking in this idea, and not an actual group of people I am calling out).

    So the problem quickly became that their was no way to really communicate. A few of the people who truly wanted competition were either banned from forums or they just kinda faded away.

    I'm not going to lie. I very well could have quit this hobby a year or 2 ago. But a competitive website called YTTH finally popped up and brought me back. Now, I am not crediting YTTH with being the original or sole competitive place but it is the one I found. Back in those days there was lots of yelling and loud individuals supporting this movement. It was really the only way to be heard without getting stamped out by the old way of thinking. Creating drama and being loud and obnoxious (while a bad way of doing it) was one of the few ways to get people to even read what you were trying to push.

    Slowly this idea that competitive can still be fun has taken off. And the ideas of "the old guard" are being left by the wayside. However, people don't change easily. I am still a sucker for trolling. And old habits die hard. So while people slowly accept that they got just what they wanted. They are still having problems with moving forward and forgetting the past. Plenty of grudges are still being stubbornly held onto from those days as are the old ways of communicating. Luckily it looks like this is getting better and moving forward. Hopefully soon, most/all is forgiven between these people and we just move forward with our hobby. I am thankful to many of the people who helped make this change possible.

    But now that you got what you wanted its time to make the change. The thinking has evolved and its time for people to change with the times. I understand it doesn't come easy, (and it shouldn't, we are all just human) and I know there is past hurt feelings on both sides.

    Hopefully all sides realize this and continue to make the effort to move forward.

    (come on giant post don't get deleted)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Man, I would really like to know what HOP did to get sucked into that rant.

  9. I should clarify that more - the House of Paincakes is cool. It's not relevant to whether or not we should all be "together."

    I really don't know what else it has to do with anything. Kind of a half component.


  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. A simple rule I usually have for myself is that I'm not going to criticize what someone did unless I both have a suggestion for improving, and present that suggestion.

    It makes my posts long and weird sometimes, but I hope the spirit I mean it in is taken.

  12. Stelek enjoys his holy nerd rages too much sometimes. The internet persona is on a crusade.

    But great article that had every right to be said.


  13. "Seriously, choose your words carefully or you're just another fucking retard who doesn't know how to be heard by playing nice on the internet."

    Did the Kettle just turn black or is it just me?

  14. If only we could harness this energy and use it for good.

    That's really all there needs to be said.

  15. I'd say it's just you Tasty.

    Interesting article overall Mike. It's said that the hobby has become to polarized and neither side is truly willing to listen to the criticisms and comments of the other. It seems that when criticism is cast out, it is not well received and is usually returned in kind with personal attacks and vitriol, further fueling the divide. Which is sad because this is supposedly a game we play to enjoy and have fun (whether that is in tournaments and for competition, or in your friends basement for a uber fun map campaign), yet all we ever really is the bullshit. Hell, NOVA got slammed afterward by certain groups who just wanted to be overly critical and offer no true constructive advice. Why? Who knows, but for a first time tournament that was entirely grass-roots to come up like it did and do exceptionally well, really all that was warranted was praise for the TO and positive feedback on how to tweak it for next year, not "OMGz that list was illegalz and the whole tourney is a farce and LoLZ it's not competitive either"

    My $.02 anyway

  16. Roland more or less has the point.

    We'll be having much stricter rules and processes in place to prevent what happened with Tony's list going forward. Harping on the past is pointless, unless you're one of the people who just want to tear it down.

    For example, one of the guys on Dice Like Thunder urged me to "go fuck myself" recently in a podcast. Certainly the kind of human being who doesn't belong in a hobby too small for that kind of strife.


    I've never even met or spoken to the guy, or even forum posted at him. Strangers :)

    I just don't have the patience for it. There's a lot of POSITIVELY framed critique that came out of the Open, and it's all been / is being addressed for next year. Tony's 3 points, for example, was not something we adequately addressed preventatively and with rules in advance - hence, improvements for the future, and in retrospect we made the best decision for results / with the facts overall that we could, given there was no concrete rule in place to manage it.

  17. Hey Mike I noticed over Rankings HQ that the BA player is listed as having won NOVA.


  18. I'm not sure how the rankings were reported; gotta chat out the deets. That may be intentional. Danny is listed as the overall winner, however.


    OK yeah THAT is all messed up. Will have to get on it when I'm back in town.

  20. "For example, one of the guys on Dice Like Thunder urged me to "go fuck myself" recently in a podcast. Certainly the kind of human being who doesn't belong in a hobby too small for that kind of strife."

    No joke. The gaming community is such a small pond...when one person shits all over we are all semi-forced to taste it. Just ignore that kind of bullshit and keep planning on making next year's Nova even better.

  21. I can't stand this negativity about negativity! It has to stop! :)

    >>post and promise to consider structuring your words and actions more carefully, and with more deference to the fact that other people see things differently<<

    I always put a lot of effort into the words I use - especially when I am critical of someone else's work.

    But I agree to re-double my efforts to respect other viewpoints. Even when they are wrong. ;)

    Olive branch accepted.


    >>Why? Who knows, but for a first time tournament that was entirely grass-roots to come up like it did and do exceptionally well<<

    EVERY SINCLE independent event out there started off as an "entirely grass-roots" event. That's what independent means.

    The best example of a community built event in our hobby is Adepticon, which was built by a handful of friends in Chicago almost a decade ago. They've grown to over 1,300 players -- and are the largest 40k event in the world.

    >>all that was warranted was praise for the TO and positive feedback on how to tweak it for next year<<

    MVB got plenty of praise from the community, before and after the event. I completely respect him for his efforts -- and I know exactly how much work it takes to put one of these together.

    But with all due respect for different viewpoints, a winner advancing to the Vegas GT with an illegal list is a serious problem.

    A reasonable number of people in the community have an issue with this and feel that it was a bad decision. We recognize that it was MVB's decision to make, but feel it harmed the NOVA players, the NOVA event and the community as a whole.

    And the cool thing about a community like ours is we get to talk openly about the things we like and didn't like. Hopefully we can keep it civil, but the answer to this problem isn't turning a blind eye -- it's turning an open ear.

  22. @ Mkerr - I fully understand that ALL Indie tournaments began as grass-roots. That's a given. Yet as a fellow former grass-roots tourney organizer, shouldn't you laud and encourage MORE events like MVB's and help others do the same as opposed to allowing dissenting opinions to diminish the event and his efforts? Why weren't more people from the Non-competitive Stelek crowd rising up to be like "Hey guys, knock off the bullshit and give Mike props. Yeah they were some mistakes, but they've been addressed. Let's move on already."

    I agree that Tony's list being illegal sucks and in some way has a negative impact on the tournament. My big issue though is how that ONE thing got twisted and contorted and became some ugly out of control beast. It became the SOLE focal point of critique and people latched onto it feverishly in an attempt to either discredit the event, or to hold it up and say "So what it made no difference". Outside of MVB, few people were willing to let it go and accept his apologies that it slipped through and will be fixed for next year. People were/are hellbent on bringing it up to, in some ways, demean the tournament.

    That's my issue. Did/do people do it to Adepticon and other tournaments? Sure. Is it warranted? Not always. What this episode truly came across as is members of the old Indie Tourney crowd trying to discredit a new model of Indie tourney, as if the two forms couldn't coexist. It became the rallying cry for the Competitive 40K crowd and became a point of derision from the Hobby crowd.

    People need to take a step back, accept constructive criticism (and not just be like "oh ok sure yeah we'll fix it next year..." and then never do anything about it) and realize that competitive and hobby can/do coexist.

    Anyway MVB, expect me at NOVA next year. I'll be back from Iraq and flush with all that deployment money to spend :)

  23. Suck it up with pride Mike. The controversy over NOVA is a symptom of it's success. It means that people care about what you did. :)

    I'll be there next year, which is the best compliment that I can give. I'll be going to Adepticon as well. Their new format may not be perfect, but it looks like a real improvement over what they've had previously.

  24. Can you tell me what podcast number and approximately what time meter they said that Mike? It's not that I don't believe you, it's that I need to hear it for myself.

  25. Out of the blue...

    @ Mike - Have you considered some sort of online submission of tournement lists in advance of the event?

    In my mind, if this were to work, the staff could review the lists, return lists if problems are found and then have the staff have the lists ready when the contestants register for the tournement.

    'Time' would be your enemy. At the last moment and it won't work. Too early and contestants will want to change their lists.

    Just a thought from the corner...


  26. I've posted about crabs pulling each other down when one tries to escape the boiling pot.

    I'm not going to defend Tony's 3-points-over list. It is not defensible. But also, nobody is trying to defend it. Mike made the call to let Tony keep his laurels for the tournament. It is what it is. It was judged to be an honest mistake that had no meaningful impact on any of his games.

    It also amounted to, and this is my thought and not Mike's, less than 0.2% of his army total. Yes, it was over. Seriously, guys, this is the best thing you have to talk about?

    What did you like or not like? What would you like to see next year? What might have worked better, and what wouldn't you change? These are valuable feedback items, not crazy-rude disparaging comments from a pack of crabs that we've never met and who weren't at the event.

    It's fair and I would think expected for people to dissect the issues they had with an event, just like they'll point out the parts they liked. Just try to keep it level. Guys with personal agendas trashing tournaments just encourage people not to start them, or to tune out the worthless whining and miss whatever arcane point lies at the center of your diatribe.

  27. MVB, you really don't need to insult the whole blogosphere because you don't like what some people have said about you or your event.

    Try putting your money where your mouth is and be the leader in civility.

    Nova seemed like a great format and a great event but you come off as belligerent.

  28. Hold it, "go fuck yourself" doesn't count for constructive criticism? There goes the rest of my post.

    Seriously though, I agree with you. All of the bitchiness is bad. I really wish people could just be the bigger person and ignore some of the shit that is post, although it would be nice if others were big enough not to post it in the first place.

    As where where on the DLT podcast they talk about the NoVA, it starts on about minute 31. Not exactly sure when the "go fuck yourself" occurred, and I don't really feel like listening to it again.