Wednesday, June 3, 2015

40K Hobby: Taking a Refreshing Step Back from Competitive Play


Me and 40K Competitiveness are Separated
 Yeah, I've come to the epiphany that to enjoy 40K, to have real unadulterated fun with the game, one does not need to compete. I have been traveling down this road gradually for the past year and have come full circle from wanting to compete in tournaments to now wondering why in the heck does any player have to compete to have fun in this vast and deep hobby? I've not totally abandoned the tournament scene, per say, as I do enjoy a good competitive challenge now and then but for the most part I am personally done with that. And what a refreshing decision it has been. No longer is there a need to spend hours trying to figure out the latest and best tournament list and no longer is there a need to fret needlessly over buying/painting new and better models for an army. Not only that but games are more enjoyable now. I just don't care if a game is lost anymore, fun is now the primary objective. It is a liberating experience.

What happened?
I place the blame squarely on  Gamesworkshop and it's aggressive marketing. Codexes, models, dataslates, source books - they are all being thrown at us at breakneck speed. It is just too much to take in over the course of a year so I just gave up on trying - and boy did that feel good! I don't blame GW for doing what they are doing, they are a company and companies do their best to make money which I suppose this new marketing strategy does for them or they wouldn't be doing it.

I for one don't care about most of what they release anymore unless it has to do with one of the three factions that I play. Tournament players,  on the other hand, have to ingest everything and stay on top of new information or they start to lose the competitive edge.

That is my main reason for no longer caring about competitive 40K, it is no fun to have to cram new information into my skull every freak'n month. Well, that is not the only reason for not caring, I honestly can't say that I enjoyed the frequent negative experiences so often found in the tournament scene. Some people aren't bothered by that but I am - I want to have fun first and foremost.

GW is not in the business for competitive players.
We keep hearing GW say that they are a beer & pretzels model company first and foremost, meaning they do not support competitive play. I am not sure how much revenue they get from tournament folks but I'd imagine it is a lot. However, I'd also imagine that the casual side of the hobby is a lot bigger, which is the reason that GW continues to ignore competitive style play. So why fight it? Kudos to those that put together formats so that tournaments can be played with the current 40K system, it is a lot of hard work and they should be thanked. But from now on it is just casual games for the author (mostly).

Have any of you guys made a similar shift in your hobby? 
I'm curious to learn which way the hobby community is gravitating towards?

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8 comments:

  1. I've swung through phase of competitiveness over the years. I never traveled or did any of the cool events, just local tournaments. I found the experience of trying to be competitive exhausting and unrewarding. I became aggravated with my games and wasn't having fun.

    I too realized that it's just not worth it if you aren't having fun. Once 7th dropped I just went full-on casual and playing 7th casually is an absolute blast. I can see the mess of it with competitive play but I don't care. To someone looking to have a good time and enjoy their army the way they want to, 7th is amazing.

    Kudos to you for realizing this and acknowledging the solution. Most would rather just dump on GW for an inferior product than realize what the game is and what it is not.

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    1. I do agree 7th is quite a good edition as you can just pick and choose what you want to use out of the rules and what not too use (like do you want to allow unbound or not). Not to mention that the inclusion of maelstrom missions has been a game changer for having more fun. Yeah, 7th is pretty darned good so far.

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  2. I'd highly recommend still trying out tournaments. Just look for narrative or friendly events. I've been doing them and Its been a massive blast! Don't let the internet discourage you, as the internet doesn't attend most events. They stay at home and complain furiously about them! :)

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    1. Oh, I plan on attending some local tournaments now and then when the fancy strikes me but usually I don't like to give up a weekend day for playing 8 hours of straight 40K. And I will be attending a big tournament in October, the Redstone Rumble in Birmingham, AL with my club. It is always a fun time.

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  3. been teaching a couple of people to play lately, so been playing mirror matches or simple games with low points values and not too many special rules or different complex units. 40K played like this is absolutely great, and its really changed how I feel about the game. The game works so much better if you just dial back the power level of the armies and play fun and fluffy units. Takes like minded people obviously, though Maestrom missons help even out the playing field at the expense of randomness.

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    1. Yes, this is what I am talking about - just having a blast. It is so much easier to do when you are no longer shackled by the idea that you must always play to win to have fun. Now if only more people could come this epiphany we might just have ourselves a little golden age of 40K!

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  4. I've often wondered about tournaments, but I don't think it's for me lol. I'm way too laid back to be around dudes who take 40k way too seriously. As far as the GW shop here in tucson goes, 99% of are laid back casual players. Though we are currently in the midst of one fun campaign, every month we have been voting on if we should continue. That way, if it all becomes too serious and strays from the spirit, it ends.

    On a side note, lol my daemonkin destroyed an ENTIRE city of nids and moved into tau territory. Their blood is forfeit! Thou whilst deliver thine skulls unto khorne!

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    1. The larger tournaments, such as adepticon, LVO, Nova, etc have events specifically catered to causal players, laid back players, or even players that just want to drink and roll some dice.

      Heck I brought an army of entirely ork walkers to LVO and had a blast (went 2-2), and that is probably one of the least competitive armies you can build these days!

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