Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wargaming Smallmindedness

One thing that wargaming never seems to be short of is bitching, whining and petty jealousies. I guess that part of it is a reflection of the passion people put into their hobby but a big part seems also to be that wargamers as a whole are a mal-adjusted lot (obviously yours truly excepted).

Saw another example of it over the weekend at the Auckland Battlecry tournament. One of the locals Charlie St Clair (Proximity on a lot of forums) took up his Orks to compete in the 40k tournament. Now Charlie is a competitive gamer and has played the army to death. I'm guessing that he must have played over 300 games with it in the past 2-3 years. And he wins tournaments - as you would expect if you've put that much time and effort in on top of being an excellent gamer. Clearly Charlie is the best 40k player in Australasia having been ranked #1 in NZ the last three years and having been NZ Master two out of the three times it has been run.

Charlie is not your typical WACC gamer. His armies are painted beautifully - see his Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children in The Warhammer Forum Glass Cabinet's Hall of Fame - he is a nice guy to play scoring high sports (which against the backdrop of his record is a real tribute) though he does take tuned armies (as 99% of successful players do). He is always helpful to both people he knows and also strangers - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he ran a homeless shelter for sick kids in his spare time. You get the picture - credit to the hobby.

Prior to the weekend there were stories circulating that a group of players were trying to get his army vetoed - not because it was too hard but because he had won too many tournaments with it. Then at the event he plays six games and scores 88/90 Battle Points, the next highest being around 72. The results are read out and Charlie has finished 2nd, the first place getter coming through on a better comp score.

Now his finishing second is not my snitch. The TO obviously decided how he was going to award comp - as his his right - and decided that the disadvantage the other player had in list strength relative to Charlie was large enough to get him over the line.

My beef was with the reported response of the other players. When Charlie's name was called as 2nd there was a loud cheer. This apparently was clearly not a "Well Done on Second" cheer but rather a "Ha! We glad you didn't win" cheer. Now this is truly sad and a real testimony that Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well. Rather than try and get better people would prefer to see somebody fail (through 88/90 BPs, full Sports, 19/20 for painting and Second is hardly failure). Some people need to question their motivation when they get enjoyment from such an instance.

If you can't beat someone, don't denigrate their efforts....Next Time Play Better!


  1. The response by those players is disgusting and all it does is harm the hobby and 'spirit' of it. That will put players off going to that tournament in the future and sadly the same kind of attitude is being exhibited on certain forums in regards to HLoT in Sydney this year. I'm glad I've not been witness to it yet but maybe the tournament environment I've played in is a little bit better than others.

  2. Thats appalling and not something I would ever had expected from the gamers I have met at the few WHFB tournaments I have been too. Given the depth of feeling you get on the Cityguard forums maybe its just an Auckland thing as I have never seen it at a Lower North Island event

  3. I was more upset that he DIDN'T win. I think it's a real reflection on the state of comp when someone can paint and play near perfectly with full sports but be comp-smacked so hard they can't win the tourney. I can understand that the tourney set out its comp structure beforehand and that if you want to aim to win you have to take comp into consideration but I think in Charlie's case his comp score can often be a reflection on the handicap they want to place on him because of his ability rather than on his list.

  4. I have my doubts that the Composition Structure was set out clearly and completely beforehand or that if it was then it was followed consistently. What will be interesting is to see whether the 1 point he was docked for painting had an effect.

    However that's not real issue for me. It's the attitude of the gamers present who wanted to see him "fail".

  5. It's typical NZ fare though, not something I like at all, but we kiwis always cut down our best and finest for no reason, hobbyists included.
    It's a really poor showing, but very difficult to weed out when it's so endemic in a culture. At the very least all we can do is support all our players equally and try to discourage that kind of behaviour when it crops up.

    (Also, how does one dock Charlie 1pt in painting? I wish I could produce stuff like his..)

  6. wow, thats just.. shit.

    one of the key reasons i have stopped giving a crap about tournaments. no matter what you do, if a couple of people decide you don't 'deserve' to win they can screw you over.

    but to actively cheer someone not winning is the worst i have seen in a long time.

  7. I wonder how the guy who came first feels about it... It is a crap call by a few in Auckland, could end up coming back to bite later on...

    Come visit us in Tauranga in March and we won't discriminate... If charlie wants to come up I would host him for the weekend


  8. From my experience of Doug when he attended FOB last year he's a nice guy and a good hobbyist. This is not a discussion as to whether he deserved to win....clearly under the scoring used, he did.

    My concern remains what the situation Charlie is now in where it's clear that people begrudge him further success.