On All This Internet Advice (and New Years Reflection)

I normally don't do it: provide analysis on armies or units, I mean.

It's not that I can't, it's that I'm not really suited for it.  You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

(A quick note: I started this article intending it for Bell of Lost Souls, but pretty quickly decided it wouldn't work.  Those things which made it interesting weren't appropriate for the main page, like the sidebar rants and personal reflections... not to mention the YTTH links and the Not Brent rant!  The readers here might be interested, but I can't pretend the Blogosphere at large would.)

Brent's We Need a List, List: May I Waste Your Time Too?
*...and key music*
  • Others already do it (better).
  • The Blogosphere only pretends to embrace opinion.
  • Who reads between the lines?
  • What works for one...
  • It's best to come by knowledge through hard work.

Let's break it down!

Others already do it (better).

Writing game theory is easy... writing game theory worth reading is hard.  I can't sneeze through the nostrils of my Empty Blue Digital Headache without showering snot on a blog giving advice on How To Build a Better Listtm - from God's lips to your ears, right?

/sigh Lord, but it can make a (men) tired!

Stelek and Yes the Truth Hurts garners a crap-ton of flack... and with good reason, methinks... but it's hard to deny the impact the blog has.  I'm of the opinion Stelek didn't just catch wave of the Competitive Tournamenttm but was out there actively blowing on the water.  Maybe it all started in forums but it got legs in blogs.

Thing is, if you'll look around with a discerning eye, much of the 'advice' the small blogs dish is retread-YTTH; some ZombYs can't wait, but rush out there and cut'n'paste the blue background right out of their latest article!  I much prefer dudes like GMort and Messanger of Death, who credit YTTH but add their own thoughts or twists: that's proper scholarship!

A Not Brent Mini-Rant (Sidebar 1)

Stelek is only one dude, and while he's never been unwilling to share the stage with others that's always had mixed results.  Lately Purgatus has stepped up to try and help, and he's certainly the best in a long line of disappointments.

This isn't really topical but I've long watched the Co-Author drama on YTTH with a bit of wonder and disappointment.  Where are all these dudes who 'founded' the site with Stelek... and why didn't they put forth a better effort?  St. John flutters in from time to time and Stelek seems perfectly content to embrace his authority - why?  Here's a dude who started his own blog rather than post on the runaway success this is Yes the Truth Hurts...  Seriously, what the hell?  Then comes the 2nd string of 2nd stringers, most of whom can't be bothered to post more than their intro before disappearing whilst others use their status as writers in the Big Blue Shark Tank to push their weight around Vassal.

It makes no sense... which means there is more to the story.  Is Stelek one of those dudes destined to be let down by those he embraces in friendship?  Or (and I find this likely) does the lack of accountability in blogging lead to lazy writers?

I'd love to know more but it doesn't seem likely.  Stelek won't dish; he remains loyal, even when those to whom he gives loyalty prove feckless.

(I lost some time there: moving on.)

A more recent example of a tactics and strategy site worth reading is 3++ is the New Black.  I've long supported the Pink I have!  Kirby actively recruited worthy writers... and just as importantly has them writing!  AbusePuppy, GWvsJohn, BroLo - these dudes and more help contribute to what I consider the best pure gaming advice blog on the 'Net.  What I find interesting is how it's all more than the sum of its parts.

Most of the dudes I've just named could (and in some cases, do) write blogs of their own, but they wouldn't come close to reaching the audience 3++ does... nor would Kirby, without them.  It's by far the best example of a Collaborative Compendium Blog I know.

I shouldn't need to say this, but I will - just so there is no misunderstanding: there are plenty of good blogs offering sound advice.  I just believe they are the minority.  Usually these blogs will stick to one or two armies or topics; specialist blogs, as it were.

A Brief Regarding My Formula (Sidebar 2)

As an aside, Kirby has repeatedly tried to recruit me to write for 3++ over the last year, a compliment I genuinely appreciate and continue to turn down.  Frankly, I think I would disappoint him - and the reasons are all wrapped up in this article but boil down to this:  I'm not normally inspired to right the type of articles that make 3++ great.

You have to do what you enjoy.  Over the last two years I've stuck to my guns, writing the type of articles I'm known for, and achieved some modest success.  In the early days I tried to add contributors to Strictly Average, but it just didn't work out.  I decided then to keep this site as my private playground of the mind while trying to expand my influence as a freelance, Gonzo Journalist in the Blogosphere at large.  I've been privileged to contribute to Bell of Lost Souls, House of Paincakes, Blood of Kittens - and even an item or two for Yes the Truth Hurts!

Not that I intend to stop there... Jawaballs, whom I've been Stalking Since 2009, added me as a contributor to his site a few months back, and while I didn't have the time I couldn't resist agreeing - I mean, Jawaballs baby!  How could I refuse?  I'm working up a series appropriate to his blog now.

And I've even got an article Kirby may be interested in - just as a guest post!

2011 promises to be a good year. :)

So while the first half of this article was more Sidebar than article, it remains to be said regardless:

To Be Continued!


Kirby said...

I don't recall repeatedly asking you... but that sounds like a great idea?

Want to write for 3++ Brent?
Want to write for 3++ Brent?
Want to write for 3++ Brent?


How about now?


I'll stop :P.

You certainly have you own unique style Brent and it does you well! Keep it up :).

fester said...

One thing 3++ does well is allow the authors to argue amongst themselves to better see the light, as such.

We also do it in a way that doesn't make any of us feel belittled :)

Saying that, I'd love to have you onboard as the resident Chaos Daemons guy...
That's the reason I started following your blog originally, and well, the Empty Digital Headache got to me :)

Brent said...

Kirby: Well, repeatedly sounded better than 'once and a nod' - but I kept the email so you can't wiggle out of it!

Fester: You touched on something there; really, there are only a few armies I feel comfortable giving advice on - obviously Daemons is the big one.

I'm okay on theory but that ain't good enough when you have to defend a position. I feel comfortable defending Daemons...

...'cause, you know - I'm right. :)

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

What the hell are you trying to say?

That is 3 minutes of my life I will never get back.

Dethtron said...

now stop me if I'm wrong, but did you seriously just quote Green Day?

Black Blow Fly said...

I have found that Kirby has quite the ego... it is his way or hit the proverbial highway. Also Abuse Puppy is a real PITA. Seriously.


Von said...

I honestly think we'll all end up writing for 3++ in the end. Certainly seems to be Kirby's standard operating procedure...

Holding out for expansion of the rest of your points. There's certainly some interesting stuff there, and to be honest, I think I'm in your shoes: I probably wouldn't write advice posts on a particular unit (although I might do so on a particular system or playstyle, and I'm much more inclined to write RPG advice posts when I write anything about RPGs at all), simply because it'd be so much hot air coming from me.

Brent said...

MM(esno): It's not like you were doing anything important with them anyway.

DT: If so, I missed it. By the way, I've been meaning to ask, do you scorn Rock Band drummers? How pathetic do you think (I) they are? :)

GBF: You think? One of the reasons I love Kirbs is his openness to input. Hell, even his authors don't always agree with one another!

Black Blow Fly said...

I find him much like Stelek when it comes to him and how he thinks the game should be played. He has some really whack ideas like Blood rodeo that just never panned out either.


PS ( I sent ya an email this weekend... did you get it ?)

Dethtron said...


somewhere around :40 in- the 1/2 time bit at the end of the chorus

also, I have nothing against rock band drummers- as I am an avid guitar hero. I'm terrible at the drums for some reason, though... it's that tendency to want to play what you're hearing rather than what's programmed, I think. A lot of guitar players have the same problem with the guitar parts, but I think it's worse for drummers, because you can pretty much play songs as written using the 5(6) buttons most of the time.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

Does he have to limit himself to "rock band drummer".

Can he just scorn people at will?

Black Blow Fly said...

Passive aggressive people dont have any balls yah know !!



Kris said...

That's kinda the reason I don't try blogging myself - I just don't have enough new insights and inputs in general to build up much of an audience. I'm certainly competent (at least in my eyes) as a player and list builder, and a reasonable painter, but I don't have anything that really sets me strictly apart, at least as I see it.

Also that I don't have the time it takes to devote to it, but that's another topic entirely! So until then, I simply jump in on the multiple forums and blogs with comments here and there. It's enough for me, for now.

Black Blow Fly said...


(PS I hurd peops in India type in the Word Verifications words !!)

The_King_Elessar said...

I don't know what I want to say, except that I enjoyed this, as ever, and await part two.

I find it frustrating in a good way that I often find myself unsure what to type about Brent's posts.

It's as challenging as a good game of poker.

Da Warboss said...

So Brent, how about this list:

x11 Bloodletters (Chaos Icon)
x11 Bloodletters (Chaos Icon)

x6 Blood Crushers (Fury of Khorne)

x2 Soul Grinders (Tongue Maw Cannons on both)

x4 Screamers of Tzeentch
x4 Screamers of Tzeentch
x4 Screamers of Tzeentch


Black Blow Fly said...

Hey everyone !!

I am rocking out to KISS Alive I today... I love that drum solo on One Hundred Thousand Years !!!


Wyatt said...

I have a test that I used to determine if the tactical minds of a certain blog are worth reading. I check their opinion on Thunderfire Cannons.

Black Blow Fly said...

(1) Most people just are repeating what they heard elsewhere.

(2) Most people are not open minded and feel threatened when they see anything that does not jib with their preconceived ideas, whatever they might be.

(3) Most of the top gamers dont share their ideas on the interwebs.


Wyatt said...

Hit the nail on the head GBF

Overwatch said...

So to get a "shout" out on your site, or I guess any site in particular, I must berate you and deride your existence!? Why hasn't anyone told me that the interwebs worked that way?!

Brent said...

Wyatt: I took a swing at Thunderfire Cannons in the followup post. :)

Overwatch: I'll end up doing a shoutout at some point, since I've been enjoying the great Warmachine articles on Capture and Control.

(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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