Friday, July 22, 2011

Cold Hard Facts - WHY Do You Attend a Large Tournament?

In a little over a month, 256 40k players are going to compete in the NOVA Open's 2nd Annual Warhammer 40,000 GT.

Within 2.5 hours of the start of the GT on Saturday morning, August 27, 128 of them will have lost a game.

How many of those players do you think are attending with hopes of winning it all?

The day before that, 32 players who have all WON OR PLACED HIGHLY in GT's and highly competitive RTT's around the nation will compete in the NOVA Invitational.  Every last one of them wins most of his games at home on a daily basis.  Every last one of them has some major tournament chops.  Sixteen of them will lose a game by 10AM on Friday morning, August 26.  One of these illustrious tournament winners will lose 5 in a row to start their NOVA Open experience.

It's easy to attend a GT and win.  It's hard to attend a GT and lose.  As I prepare, I don't have as much time to write complex blog posts as I'd like ... or to put things out there in the blogosphere that really get reposted over and over and make a splash.  What I CAN do, however, is continue to share the thoughts that really stick out in my mind as I prepare.

It KILLS me as a TO and a [hopefully] relatively nice guy that half of my attendees will lose right off the bat.

But will they?  Will you?  I think what's important when you attend something large and competitive and full of players ... is to keep in mind that you're at a large, competitive event full of players.  While only a single person AT MOST will go 8-0 at the NOVA Open GT, every last person will get 8 great games of 40k against their hobbying peers.

Why are you attending?  How will you feel if you're the one guy who goes 0-8 at the NOVA?  How will you feel if you're the one Invitational attendee who goes 0-5?  "There can be only one" goes both ways ...


  1. It happens Mike. Best that you can do is offer other prizes and, more importantly, give people other stuff to do. Don't sweat it.

  2. Losing is part of the game. Without that possible outcome, there would be no joy in the wins.

  3. Mike, I think you you said it best. There will be 256 players there. That, above all is why I am going. I go to socialize and have fun. (Fun NOT playing 40k). I enjoy the time spent after hours chilling, buying beers, and sharing stories with the likes of Ted Nagel and Alex Fennel. I was happy to meet Stelek and Dash last year. (among many others.) I look forward to relaxing and drinking some 12 year old scotch with you and all the other survivors Sunday night.

    Lets face it, highly competitive 40k GT games are not the most fun. I try to have fun with them, but that does not always happen. That is the honest reason why I decided to not play in the invitational. While I would have definitely enjoyed the challenge of testing my metal vs some of the best of the best, I think that Friday will be better spent socializing in the Trios tournament. Having beers and sharing jokes.

    I think that most guys who go to these things get it. Even the top competitors. While I am hopeful for a Renaissance Man finish, or at least being in the running, I have no delusions of Nova Win. But since I will have already gotten an overdose of why I am really going to the Nova before the winner has been decided. That is ok with me.

    You are providing the venue for people to go do with it what they will. For that, I thank you.


  4. Hey, I win if I win, and I win if I lose. It's a win-win situation. Both losers and winners get prizes.

  5. To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women...

    but besides that to have fun. I have fun regardless of my win/loss ratio, as just getting exciting and interesting games in with good people is always a blast.

  6. "Every last one of them wins most of his games at home on a daily basis."

    Who on God's green earth plays 40k on a daily basis?! I mean, I may think about 40k on a daily, hourly, minutely basis - but I certainly don't have the time for that many games ;)

    Mike, you know me... I go to hang out with other dudes (and dudettes) that are just as cool as I am!

  7. Austin you are a miserable troll and I hates your faces!

  8. "Austin you are a miserable troll and I hates your faces!"

    Sing me a tune I haven't heard before! What am I like Sybil now?! "The Many Faces of Morgrim"

    Ah well... obvious troll is indeed obvious... you know its all from the <3

  9. I used to go to GTs with a pack of friends. It was instructional to see see the different motivations we had, and the face that was put forth.

    One guy, we'll call him the hyper-competitive one, was there to crush opponents and scarf up awards. He earned what he got--he spent months painting and (having us) modding minis, made a diorama, wrote a backstory to explain his hideously min-maxed orc army, even had labels made up for beer bottles with his warlord's name on them. We had fixed army lists half a year before the tourney and played ruthlessly with strict tourney rules that entire time, 2 timed games each per game night. That was competitive guy pushing that. By the tird month I kinda wanted to play cards or Vampire or something.

    The rest of us had other ideas. There was super-casual guy, just there to hang out and have fun. There was theme army/lore guy,there to prove that his unconventional army could still be fun and kick ass. Then there was me, the "would love to stomp all over my opponents but just am not that into it so I'll win what I can and have fun with the rest."

    A lot of different mindsets there. The two "best" guys were the casual guy and the theme guy. Theme guy didn't like losing but he was always friendly and enjoyed his matches, and especially enjoyed the hanging out part. Hyper-competitive guy would be super friendly and helpful until he perceived a risk, then would go silent and be very unfun to play. His recollection of the rules, normally razor-sharp, also had a tendency to go a little fuzzy about this time, especially when it was to his advantage. Anyone who has been to a tournament or two has seen the table near the last round, where two of these guys go head-to-head. The table is quiet, they both have their arms crossed, and the air feels a few degrees colder around them. They typically will both be playing very defensively (points denial) while looking for a weak spot that might never come. And at the end of that game there will always be a caveat from the loser "would have won except for.."

    I don't know about you, but I never really wanted to be at one of those tables. Hell, even watching it wasn't fun. Participating would be like paying someone else to roll cacti over the soles of your feet for two hours. Bleah.

    Last year at the NOVA we didn't have this on the last table. I'm not going to say it had a warm and fuzzy feeling hovering about it, but the game was a real crowd-pleaser (the part where Mephiston was kept running for half the game while picking off things with his plasma pistol the whole time was awesome)and everyone was still friends when it was done. These guys weren't hostile--just very focused.

    From my point of view that beats the hell out of the hyper-competitive mindset. Sure, go to win. But don't wrap your whole experience in just that one objective.

    p.s., my google account isn't loading, so I'm posting this as anonymous instead of kazzual...Joe

  10. I sure as heck don't go expecting to win. I go intending to show off my army and have a good time (which is why the occasional rotten game is especially unpleasant).

  11. I want to win, plan on winning, but not every game. It would be nice to go undefeated the whole tournament but that requires a lot of luck and all the planets to align in just the right way while you stand like a tree. Finishing in a certain percent is more realistic.

  12. I'm attending because the missions are well-done, I like the tiered format for ensuring everyone has a good time, and because I had FUN last year!

    Certainly, I can hope for the best, but the dice won't always go my way (especially when the whole game comes down to a single roll!). So no sense in getting too butthurt about it all. It's certainly disappointing, but such is life. And the swag makes up for it, at least. :D