Brent's We Need a List, List: the Strictly Average Edition
1) It's not entirely positive. I always strive to stay positive and avoid the tar pit of negativity. I stopped writing gossip posts ages ago and never regretted it.
(So, in a way, this is all about me.)
2) Writing this will solve nothing. Those folks willing to take a cheap shot will always take a cheap shot.
(And aren't there a million bad jokes to top that line with, such as, "*SELF-EDIT*?" I know, that was bad.)
3) Ron From the Warp will probably have to remove it from his blog list. You may not be aware, but Ron reads literally every post from every source in his links, screening them for family friendly hobby content. I admire this greatly, which is one of the reasons I self-edit and avoid unnecessary, non-hobby content here. When I'm compelled to write it, I'll do so in the House of Paincakes.
Further, I hate the idea of causing anyone any extra work, so on the few occasions where I thought the post would grate I've emailed Ron in advance, warning him to take a look. I don't like doing that.
So, What's the Problem?
That kind of things cuts down the ol' hobby time.
Anyway, I was catching up over on Yes The Truth Hurts when two things happened; first, the article in question referenced my article over on Bell of Lost Souls, and second I was being insulted in the Chatbox.
So, I Grabbed the Chatbox - gotta love a Mac. :)
I logged in and wrote something like, "Poor Brent nothing, I'm fine with all of it," but nobody took the bait. Frankly, that's probably for the best. Arguing rarely solves anything.
Neither does writing a defensive post, but at least that's entertaining!
(If you're reading the box be aware it goes from the bottom up.)
Hod linked the article, which is cool by me. I write the stuff so it can be read. Further, I never expect agreement or adulation - if you read my stuff consistently you'll find I always leave room for conversation and healthy disagreement.
What irked me was the easy dismissal of, in fairness, a few. The insults are secondary; the implication here is they skimmed the article, got a few surface impressions, then ran off at the mouth. It's an example of lazy thinking, and I just can't stand that. Still, as I go on be aware: I realize this was a Chatbox. I'm sure these dudes are fully formed people and all that; still, they said it and I'm commenting on it... but it's not personal.
A better example is MVB's comments; in fact, they're pretty spot on, though I don't completely agree. I appreciate that dude's rationality; he's always fairly consistent. In fact, I emailed him to say so and chatted with him briefly.
Still, I recognize there will be a core of self-proclaimed experts who see some 'pathetic gaming with two pathetic armies.' What was the other? 'Two crap lists with one guy being amazed he lost to crap.'
That last is pretty funny, actually, but is it accurate?
A Comp-Heavy Event
Da Boyz was a Comp-Heavy tournament; without scoring at least a 65 or so for your army composition, you simply weren't going to win the day. Both armies have to be analyzed with that in mind.
I alluded to this in the article, but didn't say so straight out. MVB said he thought I should have done so, but even after giving it a good think I don't think so.
The point of the article was to see what you can learn from a loss. I deliberately chose to keep the analysis as generic as possible so it would appeal to as wide a readership as possible.
There are folks who will tune out anything they perceive as WAAC; the flip is there are those who will do the same for anything they believe is FAAP or simple not competitive.
The ZombYs fit in that last crowd; if the event isn't the Nova and the army isn't optimized down to the last point, there's an immediate move to discount it.
Feel that? Did your eyebrow raise a bit? That last, ladies and gentleman, was a gross overgeneralization. There are plenty of dudes in the Big Blue Shark Tank who understand and can speak on every aspect of the game. Thing is though, the competitive lure of the site also attracts plenty of wannabes who don't know as much as they think.
The wannabes have blinders on; that limits critical thinking.
Stelek's take on it was fine - I had no problems with it. Reading between the lines, he chose to keep his comments limited to the Footdar list...
...and I'd be the first to agree it won't win an event where soft scores aren't used to decide the winner. In fact, I said that in the article.
The argument you'll hear most frequently is Footdar can't compete in a pure competitive environment, to which I'd say, "Isn't that a contradiction in terms?" Any tournament is by definition a competition, where the eventual winner has threaded any number of challenges to emerge victorious... not least of which are the other players! A better way of putting it is the Footdar probably wouldn't win a No-Holds Barred competition, where any list is allowed and the scenarios from the book aren't much changed.Stelek is never interested in talking about Comp-Heavy events; in his mind, they're a broken example of the Bad Old Days. There's nothing wrong with that. I think he's also a big part of the reason the Indy circuit is changing, but that's a topic for another day.
Nor is there anything wrong with writing about a game from an event that is, on a site where such a subject is appropriate. My article wouldn't have worked on YTTH but was fine on Bell.
As an aside, I sent Stelek the armies and the mission. If he's going to write about it, I'd rather he have the best input.
The Reason for the Season
At the core, the problem I have with lazy thinking and surface impressions is they really don't help. A better comment is something like, "Comp armies suck."
There! It's an opinion with a reason.
Or even, "Brent's play was pathetic because he should have figured out the terrain earlier." I wouldn't agree, but it's an opinion based on something concrete.
I said this in the article, but the Footdar list is designed to Comp well and win scenarios. It's important for players to understand the distinction; some lists are designed to destroy their opponent's army, but some are designed to avoid damage and win the game by winning the scenarios.
That's not only a viable strategy in the current tournament scene, it's superior.
Folks like Stelek and MVB are championing change... and let's be honest, I fall among the group of players that embrace the competitive event. (I just don't spit on the validity of others - to each their own.) Right now though, the route to victory in tournaments is maximizing the Battlepoints through all possible means.
It's one of the things Sandwyrm and the gang have been talking about on their blog, the Back 40K. Purgatus also wrote a superior article on the subject recently.
Here's an example; ever heard of slow-playing? If my Daemons can only win by killing units X, Y, and Z, I need the game to go on through all 5+ turns. The Footdar, on the other hand, can camp objectives and allow the opposition to slow dance his way to a loss.
I give that as an example; please don't take it to mean that I advocate for the Footdar as a build - I don't. I'm simply pointing out why it's taken the top spot at any number of events. Greg Sparks knows his army - but don't try this at home, kiddies!
Nothing But Love for Bell...
I've only been writing for for about 4 months, but I've been a regular on YTTH for two years. Ah, how soon they forget! My 'competitive chops' are gone; I've joined the enemy.
Goatboy and some of the guys warned me this would happen, that the moment I became associated with Bell of Lost Souls that folks would develop some notions about me. It is what it is, and understand this clearly:
I love what I do. I'm far more aware of the heat my articles will generate than anyone else can be; it's a byproduct of my writing style, as well as what I try to accomplish for the community. I never pretend I know more than I do, nor do I think I'm always right. At times, I've taken a position because I knew it would generate a buzz, but I've always tried to stay true to myself and my love of this hobby.
Nobody likes losing, but how many of you would have posted such a beating for the community to see... and many of them to snicker at? I wasn't at all unaware of some of the negativity, but I stand by the article.
I'm a better player or embracing my losses and trying to learn from them. That's the larger message - it needn't have been about Comp or Competitive.
I'll end with Hod's very nice, and very appropriate, comment:
Its a shame you lost. Better luck next time. Contrary to what many people may think, player skill and setup can turn a game around. You made the most out of what happened but I know you are a very skilled player (after what I heard from Ken and a few others). Thanks for giving insight into the game. It was very illuminating.
"Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes." - Oscar Wilde
NOTE: When I went back to YTTH to get the correct links, Stelek had posted my email. Here's the link. I'll leave my comment there, because now that I've written this I'm pretty sick of the subject. :)