Tuesday, December 20, 2011

40k: Beer & Pretzels or WAAC - is this the same game?

After tearing through the forums for the last 6 months I have come to this conclusion. There seems to be two crowds forming in the Warhammer 40,000 playing community.

The first crowd, let's call them the Beer & Pretzel players, or "BP". Now BPs are the type who tend to play the game for pure entertainment. They couldn't care less about winning or losing, but instead want to get together with some friends, throw together an army list, and roll some dice. This is usually how all of us begin our career as players of this fine game.

There is a second crowd, who need to Win At All Costs, so we'll call them "WAAC". These are the kind of people who would never throw a list together, but instead carefully design lists and most often only take the most optimized choices from each codex. These players must win, they are not concerned with having a good time or making friends. Their good time hinges on victory and victory alone.

I, personally, am somewhere in between, walking the line. I love to play Warhammer 40,000. Period. I love everything about the hobby, the fluff, the collecting, the painting (though I don't do enough of it), the bitching, and most importantly playing of the game itself. Now, I also have an analytical mind, I enjoy pouring over the codexs, discovering new tidbits and combinations. I also deeply enjoy competition of any sort. I hate losing, but I am a good sport (or I try to be) and give credit where credit is due, when I lose. I always try to find the reason I lost and devise a good way to counter it for the next battle.

Having said this I have discovered that this disparity can be evident even in the smallest of gaming groups. Sector 420 is host to several players, all of which fall into one of these two categories. This isn't a problem, the problem as I see it, is when two people from the opposite spectrum of enjoyment come together to play a game.

You see, when you agree to play against someone, you agree to have a competition, a match between yourselves and the forces which you've created, to see who can take the day. 40K, much like any other dice based game, has a tremendous amount of chance involved, so it is really an "any given sunday" kind of mentality. You can only prepare so much. You can only pour over lists so much. You can only submit your lists to the online community (read: WAAC - for the most part) for review for so long, and then you actually have to play the game... and this is where things fall apart.

Now, without going crazy with detail, I think we all know how this plays out, one guy is way more serious and then suddenly there is a rules debate and our friendly gaming night turns into defusing arguments and preventing debates from escalating into a verbal conflict.

My point is this... We are all wargamers, 40k Players to be more specific, but wargamers is a much better tag for us. We know how these games go, we know that the dice gods are truly in control of any fight, but somewhere we lose this. Maybe it is the hundreds of dollars we spend collecting and assembling and painting, before we even field these dudes, who knows, but we need to band together again. We need to ensure that when you are lining up your next bout that you and your opponent understand what is expected. Making sure that each player is having fun.

In the end who wants to spend hours and hours of their time and piles and piles of their money to play a game, or involve themselves in a hobby which brings nothing but anger and frustration? No one. So do like we try to do here at Sector 420 and keep the lines of communication open. If I am testing a hardcore tournament list and I plan on taking out some of the aggression from my week on my friends army, well as long as he knows he'll be removing a lot of dudes due to your firepower, then it's all good! lol

Game On!!!

-The Overlord

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