Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Response to Tasty Taste at Blood of Kittens, Liars are Liars; Bring the Hobby as a Whole Together, do not Divide it Further

Tasty posted a large article that is primarily full of lies and false assertions about the NOVA.

While we take constructive criticism very seriously, and will spend a great deal of time addressing those concerns about the NOVA brought up, the facts do not lie about the real response and experience people had, or about how our format and system works.

As such, I've copy and pasted my reply here, because Tasty's own words cannot stand up to facts and reality, and I want to ensure they are properly read.

As a disclaimer, while I care little for Tasty or BOK, I care greatly about those who might read his blog and look no further, and thus not know any better.  This response was primarily for them.

Tasty's article: http://bloodofkittens.com/blog/2011/09/12/meat-for-meta-when-dashofpepper-wins-best-sportsman/comment-page-1/#comment-13129

My response:


Tasty is one of the largest fools on the planet, because he is incapable of admitting he was wrong, or is wrong.

The NOVA specifically caters to the “average” gamer … the format is designed for it, which is why our strongest responses came from our most average or below average players in the overall competitive/skill front.

You’re embarrassing yourself, Nick. The vast preponderance of facts all stand in stark contrast to your statements, and you’re not even good at spin. Constructive criticism arose, and a TINY fraction of attendees flat out didn’t enjoy themselves … better believe I’ll be spending a good portion of my life this year on addressing even those concerns, for nothing but the betterment of attendees … certainly not for profit or personal glory.

Brandon Vallee, of the White Scars blog, was one of only two people to give a below average rating to the NOVA on our survey, out of every single player surveyed. His close compatriot, blog-mate and co-attendee Eric (who Brandon stayed with in the DC area) had naught but fantastic things to say. That’s also where the strength of it all comes in – while you have a handful of bloggers to point at, or commiserates … I have a detailed survey done of the ENTIRE ATTENDEE BASE, to include now over 180 responses (204 40k GT players, to show you how comprehensive a response it is) and rising. You are a complete failure, while the NOVA will continue to succeed.

Why? Everything we do is geared, planned, constructed and driven toward the constant goal of improving the experience of *every single attendee,* while providing a FAIR environment in which competitors, hobbyists and simple attendees alike can win prizes, fun, and friendships. This is why people who went 0-4 on Day 1 won prizes for generalship. This is why a random attendee got lucky and won $1,000 cash. This is why attendees have said things about the NOVA such as:

“NOVA has set a new standard for the social aspect of the tabletop wargaming hobby.”

AND this is why the NOVA will continue to be a success, and leverage facts and a staff comprised of fundamentally good human beings toward the betterment of our hobby as a whole.

To those who would listen to Nick without investigating the facts or sharing your concerns with the actual organizers, feel free to post here or send me an e-mail – I’m happy to correct any  misconceptions, and will use only facts and data to do it … to show you a format designed better than almost any to reward and encourage participation in ALL style of hobbyist, and to show you a budget and plan oriented entirely around the joy and satisfaction of those people who bless us by attending. Do not buy lies, deception, and outright slander. For instance: his statement above that people left on Sunday after losing a game, b/c they had nothing left to play for. Nick has NO IDEA what our format is, our bracketing system on day 2, etc., and thus is completely unaware of the fact that everyone’s records were wiped clean on the 2nd day, and even the 0-4′s competed only against their peers for generalship prizes on Day 2, as well as constant raffles, etc.

Of our $30,000 in prize support (almost exclusively from sponsors), $2,500 went to the Invitational Tournament Champ (5-0), Invitational Renaissance Man (50% appearance, 50% competitive), GT Tournament Champ (8-0), and GT Renaissance Man (50% appearance, 50% competitive). The remaining prize support went exclusively to raffles (tickets awarded by LOSING games, presubmitting lists), cash raffle (tickets awarded by staying at the Hyatt), and all of the other events, including bracket winners within the 0-4, 1-3, 2-2, and 3-1 record sets on Day 2. The Invitational had 32 attendees, out of 400 total at the event. That’s 8%. It received 8% of the prize support. Tasty is a liar, or simply ignorant.

I care little for Nick, who I have e-mailed in the past to ask for a more positive relationship (to no reply). I do care greatly for those of you who read his posts and simply do not know any better … take a path of positivity and openness, and of connection in our hobby … not one of divisiveness and shitting upon the hard work of others.


  1. OH, and Tasty has also claimed I paid for Stelek of Yes the Truth Hurts' airfare and accommodations. This is also a completely fabricated lie.

  2. This is the e-mail I wrote to Tasty on August 2nd, to no reply:

    "Been keeping up with your rumor posts, which ... two thumbs up. Also seems to be less vitriol. Each their own style ... all rights to yours, just didn't appeal to me (As you know, and hell, my own styles may not appeal to you).

    If you'd like to mend fences a little, would be happy to crack things open more for you to cover NOVA. Entirely up to you, but I figured I would contact you and offer it. I know Dan Oppedisano will be helping me out as one of my Invitational refs, and all that.

    - Mike"

  3. The worst part about your responding is that you gave him more site traffic with your link.

  4. I am alright with that. I will not have the hard work and good will of myself, my loved ones, and my friends shat upon.

    Nor will I see our hobby divided by a sophomoric ass.

  5. Soooooo...what it boils down to at the end of the day is that you MVBrandt are running a tournament that is now becoming a yearly thing where this year you had more money in prize support then I earnt in the past 2 years (students, we're awesome!) and 400 players rock on up for the event...and tasty has done the equivalent when?

    Sounds like a nice bout of jealousy.

    Are there plans to expand the player numbers next year by chance?

  6. It's really too bad. :/ At the end of the day, our hobby is way, way to small to be striving to drive people away from it. Myself and many that I know have invested thousands of dollars into enjoying it, and seeking to tear any aspect of the hobby down does nothing but degrade the value of that investment. I'm not really sure how the NoVA is anything but positive for the entire hobby just like any other major GT and certainly not deserving of some sort of weird, political editorial. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the NoVA doesn't view itself as some sort of political banner either! But, then again, I'm not really hip to this whole "internet sensationalism" thing either above and beyond the need to draw attention.

    So, anyways, I'm sort of slack jawed on this one.

    Keep up the good work Mike (and crew!), and thanks for building the (now second largest, right?) event and for all your effort, time, and money that goes into supporting the hobby. And thanks for helping to build the community UP.

    See you in 2012 if not at the BFS this year?

  7. I'm going to try to come down to the 11th Co Tournament as well, Neil ... though room may not be left to actually play ... and I'll be at the BFS for sure.

    Do you need terrain for the 11th co event? I'm happy to throw a couple boxes of hills in the car (am bringing 3 boxes of them to BFS).

  8. Im going to have to mirror what Neil has said. TT's site is drivel and barely worth any attention. The attacks on the NOVA are proof of how most of his so called facts are second hand nonsense. I used to check out his site from time to time but after realizing how "out of touch" the guy is i havent looked in quite some time.

    BTW Neil are you and Steve doing the Team tourny on friday ? i think its going to be a ton of crazy fun.

  9. We got 5 tickets left as of this minute. I'm going to be back in the hotel measuring that conference room again to try and squeeze in a few more tables so may get more. Hoping for 6 so I can make 7 even brackets on Day 2.

    I'm good on terrain for the moment. I've got a crew (and my mom of all people, but that's no shocker for you) that have been working on it for months. They are supposed to have enough for all tables by this weekend. And I'll be building some extra. I appreciate the offer and will let you know.

    Also, on the subject, any changes you are rolling around for 2012 to the missions, scoring, etc.?

  10. More time, thinking about adding a 3rd day in the form of Friday evening for the first 2 rounds, etc. etc.

    Contemplated making it straight KP as a tiebreaker, prior to VP ... or some other thing to more evenly satisfy the KP crowd.

    Contemplated adding back VP-by-250 and a couple others as goals so that there's a little more variety.

    Contemplated further changes to sportsmanship.

    There's a lot of contemplaterating going on.

    OH, it would do to talk with you on the phone about pairings and bracketing and how and why and all that, if you have a minute to call.

  11. We aren't going to make the team tourney on Friday. :( we actually won't be arriving at the airport until midnight, Saturday morning! I am going to be sending Bob an e-mail here shortly to see if you guys are interested in building a rig for some live streaming. I can certainly bring cameras, know how, and potentially some equipment, but that PVC rig that built won't fit on a plane.

  12. I can call this evening. It's a little to conspicuous to be on the phone at work. :) If you come down, I'll show you the software I built to manage the tournament. Almost done with it. Just debugging now. yeah, that's right... I geeked out about that.

  13. Software? Call me tonight fo' sho'!

    The most important thing to BS about is bracketing, how and why we did it the way we did it on day 1 (vs. random pairing within w/l record, and vs. seed/score-based-pairing, both of which are ... well, bad in comparison).

  14. yea Neil get in touch with Bobby if you give him the specs on the rig and everything i can build it.

    - Ed

  15. Tasty's the 40K blogoshere's attention whore.

    There are few sites I won't waste my time trying to peruse. BoK is one.

    I'm always still a little stumped why Dethron's there, Honestly. I've also wondered who Tasty trades explicit favors to to get his secrets. It's only a matter of time until GW fires them for leaking (unless it's a sanctioned leak, then he's just another tool of the man).

    You guys did a good job Mike. Even if SandWyrm's still upset the terrain didn't favor his army build. ;p

  16. Sorry to hear about this, Mike, and sorry that I couldnt help out this year. I got your back next year, dude. Keep up the good work! NOVA open is much more grander and blood of kittens is too small and insignificant in the long run to be wasting time and calories on douchebags like Tasty-face. After all, when was the last time they organized a major event like this, when the vast majority had a grand ol' time? I want you to read this quote from ol' Teddy Roosevelt, (yes hell must be freezing over because I am quote a republican.)

    "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

    "Citizenship in a Republic,"
    Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

  17. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, go by names like TastyTaste or however it spells its pseudonym. 'Twill be interesting to see TastyTaste's tournament won't it? a Paradigm of Perfection, to be certain.

    Now Mike, I am quite angry with you. I actually looked at that blog because of you. (Blood of Kittens is it. A bit in bad taste, that name, if you ask me. But better bad taste than no taste at all, eh?) You owe me several gallons of eyewash and a large quantity of beer as way of apology ;)

  18. I think that Neil makes a really good point: Our hobby community is pretty small, and it's too bad that there's this kind of negativity out there.

    I can understand MVB's frustration that this kind of unbiased criticism can drive people off. I know quite a few players that don't consider going to GTs because they're too competitive. While there are a number of competitive players, just about every GT I've gone to is a hell of a time.

    I'm in Upstate NY and game with Da Boyz all the time. Their GT has gotten some nasty flak over the comp system on the internets, but when you talk to one of us it turns out that we're downright reasonable humans. The internet amplifies the hate and gives it a forum to grow. Luckily, I think through actions like these MVB, people will see you're working hard. Good luck in the future.


  19. I have to admit, the value of the blog-o-sphere over that of forums is evident where a tournament organizer can refute the accusations of a loudmouth nobody in his own words. Shitting over stuff is what BoK does. Fortunately we don't need to bother reading it.

  20. I have to agree with those that have said that people should not try to divide our hobby. If you don't enjoy an event, don't go.

    The problem of course is that people who have issues are always the loudest voices. The other 200 people who loved the event don't go raving on line about how great everthing is.

    I have to say that having been there Mike and his staff were genuinely concerned with everyone having a good time. For the TO of a large tourney to actively seek me out after a contentious game and see if everything is going ok, was very meaningful, because he doesn't have to do that (especially for those of us who ended up in the lower bracket) he chose to do it.

    For a tournament that apparently does not care about the "lesser" or average gamer, this seems to fly in the face of that. On top of which all of the players I played on Day 2 seemed to be having a a great time, and I think that there is no way to prevent people from dropping (unfourtuantely), but the rebracket day 2 certainly helps

  21. Seriously just look at day 2 of the GT and tell me NOVA is all about competitive gamers. NOVA implemented a bracketing system that essentially breaks down into 16 mini tournaments on the second day where you are virtually guaranteed to be playing at the skill level/desired army level.

    For everything else being said:

  22. That was the first and last time I will read Blood of Kittens.

  23. /Facepalm again

    You two need to resolve this in person.

    I love ya, Mike, the few google chats we had this past year while I got ready to run the Bugeater were invaluable, and I check this blog constantly as I try and improve my own GT in its second year ... but be the bigger man, if you think he's being a small one. People who think you ran a shitty event b/c of what TastyTaste wrote are going to think it one way or another. People who don't, well, don't.

    Stand on the pedestal of running a massively successful tournament 2 years in a row that is respected and emulated by the community (including myself), and leave it be at that. This type of stuff is just annoying.

    See what I did there? :) This is your own personal Dash v. Stelek feud. Let it go, Tasty is a small man who projects his lack of self confidence by attacking others. Nothing you say or do will stop him. Just let the overwhelmingly positive press shine through - hell the vast majority of the posters on that article are going after him for that bull crap. Don't drag yourself down in it.

  24. Brandt why would you give Tim and every one else your balls. Ick.

  25. @ Jawaballs

    This emoticon <3 means heart/love.
    I think the one to which you refer is -8, or --8 for 'manly' men, unless the person has peyroni's syndrome, then it is ~8. In the case of a certain troll referenced throughout these comments, the correct emoticon is -:

    Helpful? All intended in good fun ;)

  26. I'm with Geoff on wanting the ten minutes I wasted on BOK back.

    I disagree with a lot of people who have posted that our hobby is too small or weak to support divisive views. Disagreement is often a road to better situations down the road.

    What I --do-- disagree with are things like this Tasty troll guy has done. Attacks for the simple expedient of trying thrash up some muck and generate traffic. Unresearched or already corrected "facts," bile and no attempt whatever to improve anything with his post. This is the same sort of behavior we saw in the paparazzi when Princess Di was in her fatal car crash. Lots of them called their editors, but none of them called 911. Rodents.

    This is how I see Tasty. A lot of work goes into these tournamanets, and a lot of community. Our friends from all over came and applied thousands of man-hours to building tables and terrain. 40K clubs donated tables and terrain and advice. My point here is that building a tournament itself helps build community. I see nothing in Tasty's case except a desire to poach a little petty and fleeting internet fame by throwing matches at the community-building of others.

    I want Mike and the rest of the crew spending their efforts striving to improve the NOVA for our attendees and provide the best time we can. I really don't like to see any energy devoted to debunking bigfoot hunters like Tasty. If he reads this, and I doubt he will, I hope he manages to grow a bit as a person by this time next year so he can actually contribute to this hobby instead of just trying to piss on it for what has to be a really small reward of attention. I mean really, this is all this guy does? Does he cry himself to sleep each night?

    Joe "shed light with a match, not burn a book" O'Malley

  27. The guy's a waste of space. Frankly, I'm disappointed his subsidiary authors haven't abandoned his worthless (but well laid out) site in favour of pastures new in protest at his constant bullshit.

  28. Awww...someone wanted attention. Tasty is a troll of the lowest order. Always has been. I don't think anyone would really take him seriousally...and if they do it's not like it's the type of people you want to really be involved with.