Criticism And Commentary

Well, I caught some pretty pointed criticism about my most recent video battle report, which you can still find in my last post.  I gave two seconds thought to pulling the video and perhaps re-editing it, but I don't want to run from my mistakes.  So, what was the commentary and where did I go wrong?

I sent the video to Stelek at Yes The Truth Hurts, primarily because he's been the champion of the idea that 5th Edition style lists completely over-match 4th Edition style lists.  He posted it pretty quickly; you can find the thread here.  I'm aware you, the reader, may not want to wade through the entire thread, so allow me to quote some gems...

Scott Megimose said:
Strictly average blog, strictly average battle report sadly.  I'd rather watch a bols batrep where they attempt to explain tactics and strategy, rather than snarky comments from someone who likes to talk a lot.

Ouch.  Okay, I opened myself up to that in a couple different ways, but it's a fair point.  At the time, I didn't think there was much in the way of tactics or strategy to offer, given the nature of the mismatch.  Looking back on it, I didn't give it enough thought.  The jabs have wounded my ego a bit, and I've found that's sharpened my thinking some.  Obviously, the Other Other Tony is a new player, so how would an experienced player, like I claim to be, have played differently?

chris.bibliophile said:

At the same time, Tau have trouble on 4x4 boards, and missile pods really don't like AV 12 spam armies that stick together like that to cover each others flanks. Bad matchup, an imperfect list, and an obviously large tactical error is staying so concentrated vs a list packing two manticores, but hardly 5th v 4th.

This was really sound commentary.  I had the same thoughts at the time (and am ready to get off the 4x4 boards) but didn't give voice to it.  I'll have to consider how that bit of laziness has cost me credibility.  In fact, I may need to rethink my approach to blogging.

Freefall said:
Listen to the tone of your voice during the battle report - its pretty hard to listen to it (yelling) during the game.  (and)  Finally, i feel you attributed the loss as much to the codex as you did to player actions.  This really doesnt help your viewers - returning to point above - because it promotes the whole woe is me my codex is old syndrome, and only the new condex's win games.  It promotes self pity instead of self improvement.

Freefall's comments were perhaps the hardest to read and the most useful for improvement.  I wasn't aware I was coming across as yelling, nor did I intend to give any traction to the Old Codex Syndrome.  I do think there's something to be said for a 5th Edition mindset, but in most cases games will come down to thoughtful lists and sound planning, not to Old, or New, Codex Syndrome.

So, where will I go from here?

I've always avoided discussions of tactics, strategy, and list creation... very deliberately avoided it.  Why?  Well, I'm a very good player, all bullshit aside.  I've played this game since 1992, when I was 16 years old; prior to that I played every other strategy game I could lay my grubby paws on, chess being the biggest example.  (Hell, I'm a Class C, rated chess player.  Sexy, huh?)  I've won or placed in more than my fair share of tournaments, large and small.  Still, I've always thought the subject too subjective.  What works for one may not work for another, especially given the various environmental factors an author may know nothing about.  Terrain is the example that first jumps to mind, and that alone can drastically change the nature of a game.  I won't beat the point into the ground.

So I've tried to make this blog a diversion, an interesting recreation to visit between trips to Bell of Lost Souls or Yes The Truth Hurts... basically, a niche blog.  And it's been successful, all self-depreciating humor aside, it has a large number of visitors from around the country and - in some cases - from around the world.

But it's time to move on and try something new.  I need to grow and improve or start spending my time on other pursuits.  I know how to win games, and while I don't mind sharing my losses, I haven't spent enough time lately talking about how I play for wins. 

I'll have to give that a try.  Please feel free to leave comments.


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Jwolf said...

You owe me a new keyboard, Big Whit. And a replacement nose, since I laughed and exploded my nose with Coca-Cola (ruining the keyboard, too).

Big Whit said...

Sorry Jwolf, how about a complementry dice cup? I have a bunch of Tau that won't sell thanks to Brent's crappy battle report.=)

Brent said...


You're on a roll, sir... on a roll!

Herr Fernseher said...

:D I was going to leave a serious comment, but after these other comments, I am completely unmotivated. This blog IS diverting...
I can't help it--I'm going to have to click one of these links and just hope my virus/scumware protection is up to snuff. (Ok, hopefully not literally snuff-films, but who knows; I don't read Chinese.) Wish me luck!

Green Blow Fly said...

I am not a fan of video batreps. They aren't a good substitute for a well written report that helps players to gain more insight into tactics. You say you are a good player so show us, telling us you are good means nothing really. To me this blog is certainly popular but I think that is because it's pretty much a gossip column for 40k in the US and you have done a great job cultivating that one aspect. I would love to come here and read some great articles on tactics. I would love to see you get back to the basics. I think you can do it but it will require you to focus. Can you do it? Only time will tell. Good luck with that.


(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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