For those of you who may not be aware, Confrontation was (is?) a skirmish game created by Rackham Miniatures, a French company, created for their line of fantasy miniatures.
Rackham minis are by far my favorite - they put everything else to shame. That said, there are more and more start-ups all the time producing really awesome stuff, including the designers that made Rackham so great.
Confrontation was a religion around here. It was, and still is (not bad for a dead game, no?) the all-time favorite game for such Strictly Average notables as the Master Manipulator (every store needs one), Little Barrera, and Evil Homer.
So how come I hated it?
I can admit it now: I hated Confrontation. I didn't enjoy it at all.
I tried to like it, but I played it out of a sense of loyalty to my store. If that was the game being played, I tried to support the community by playing it as well. That meant losing 10 bucks each month in our local tournaments, but whatever.
So now we're at a bit of a stall in our local gaming area. We just spent 6 months playing high-level 40K practicing for Hard Boyz, and then most of us couldn't go because GW scheduled it on the Saturday of college graduation. That was a let down, let me tell you. So we're tired of 40K, for the nonce, and there is no point playing Warhammer Fantasy with a new edition right around the corner. So everyone is looking for something to do for 2 months; thus, Confrontation was broken out again.
I can understand the impulse. You should see Little Barrera's game room - it's like a shrine to the game. It's crazy. It also turns out we were both Ebay bidding for the same miniature, which he won. I hope I ran the price up on him.
Dutifully, I tried to get excited about the game. I went to the store last Friday and played Evil Homer...
...and promptly got my teeth kicked in. I didn't enjoy the game at all. It was time to either give up or try to understand why.
I spent that Sunday relaxing, with plenty of time to pour over the books and cards. (For those of you who remember, my Sundays are terrible affairs. My wife likes to be left the hell alone to unwind, so I'm sent packing to my brothers or my gameroom. It's a hard life.
Anyway, by the time Evil Homer sent me an email on Monday to touch base with me about the previous butt-kicking, I'd pretty much analyzed what had happened. Here was my response:
It's not you mate, it was me. You're playing like you always do, which is at a high level. It's why I call you my nemesis in 40K, because win or lose you're always my toughest challenge. I really enjoy that.
In Con though, there's a twofold problem. The first is I'm not at your level of expertise, and the second is I've not ever really hit my stride with the game.
That said, I did learn quite a bit from Friday's game. I've been thinking about it all weekend and I came to this conclusion:
1) I've never really tried to excel at Con. I'd just put together a list and play. I wouldn't do that with 40K, so I'm not sure why I expected it to work in Con.
2) I needed to put some effort in to more than painting the models. I needed a strategy and some tactics.
I've spent all weekend studying my book and cards. I've got 3 different army lists to try out, each with a plan of action.
I'm excited about playing the game now. My expectations were off on Friday - how was I going to have fun with a bang-together list?
Do you see how that applies to any game in our hobby? I know most of my readers are here because of 40K, so let's relate it to that.
How much of this Fluff vs Competitive stuff we read about on Ye Ol' Blogosphere have to do with assumed expectations?
One player is setting down for a friendly game with a thrown together list of his favorite models while the other is testing a tournament list he plans to take to the next big event...
...someone's going to be crying in the bathroom with no one to console him, while the other someone's going to feel bad about clubbing a baby seal.
Unreasonable Expectations. Get that tattooed on your belly as a reminder that most hurt feelings anywhere happened because one two-legged mammal was needlessly thoughtless towards another two-legged mammal. Your big brain developed as a response to social pressure, does it shrink when you fail to use it to solve such?
I played a game of Confrontation over at Little Barrera's house last night. I had a blast.
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