On the Way to a FNIF, I Wrote This. News and Daemons at 11.

Caption Contest or What?
This may be the strangest article to come out of my (divided) digital mind to date.  I was trying to write a Friday Night Internet Fight, since Dethtron has a paper that's due, but I just ended up writing a long opinion piece.  I'm back to the drawing board, but you get to suffer through the scraps.

There's a lot being said online about Daemons right now.  Some of it I can understand, even if I don't necessarily agree.  Some of it's just ignorant; here's my favorite!
I'm pretty sure I'm drawing the intended conclusion.  Namely, that the Daemon Codex (or Necrons, or Orks, or...) is so poor that any success with it automatically renders that success suspect.  That the gap between Daemons and the competitive Codexes is so great that only poor event format, poorly skilled opponents, or blind luck can account for any success, even in the hands of a skilled player.
Lordy, but that's genius ego on a whole new level!  I literally laughed 'till I cried.  Still, as much as I thought some of the comments were ignorant (and written by Yes-Men), the same can be true on any major blog or forum... except my articles, of course!  Here's the original article on Yes the Truth Hurts, which is worth a quick once over:

It references some other Daemons-related articles, and my name was even mentioned it one... nothing came of it though.  Here's the best line:
So your army is awesome, but a new army book comes out and maybe you won’t play yours? Then, it’s probably not an awesome army…
I don't buy the premise 100%, because new books always come out and shuffle the meta around... but there is a point here that jives with my thinking recently.  Namely this: am I going to play my Daemons once the Grey Knights get their collective feet under them?

Not sure.  Let me let you in on a little secret - nobody knows just yet what kind of army is actually going to hit the scene.

There are some builds in the book that will make playing Daemons very, very uncomfortable... but I have my doubts they'll see tournament play.  Quite simply, the builds I'm thinking of wouldn't do well against Mech Guard, Mech Wolves, and Xenos Hordes.

To my mind, those are the three types of armies you have to prepare against, the first two because they're the toughest builds in the current best Codexes and the last because if you can't deal with it as a part of your strategy you won't make it to the final round.

My point is Grey Knights won't be preparing to face me, they'll be knocking out builds capable of dealing with their more likely opponents.

And I think I can compete against that - but the jury is out.  We haven't yet seen what will actually hit the tournaments, so it's just speculation.

...what?  I can hear a comment from the peanut gallery:  "Brent, you're saying the Imperial Guard and Space Wolves Codexes are the best?  I thought you didn't believe that!"

Says who?  Of course they are!  Honestly, I've given serious thought to building one or both of these armies just to make my life *SELF-EDIT* easier.  That way when I win it wouldn't automatically be discounted as luck.

I've played Daemons against top competition - as defined by competing against players who attend and are successful in regional and national tournaments, 'cause how the *SELF-EDIT* else can you define it?  Saying the only two competitive events ever were the two that used the Nova format is prejudiced thinking.  

I think this calls for a dictionary definition, the laziest in lazy thinking!

Competitive:  of, pertaining to, or decided by competition.
Competition:  a contest in which a winner is selected from two or more entrants.

So I did well in a 256-person tournament, and a winner was ultimately selected.  It was governed by consistent rules and everyone played under the same conditions.  Like it or lump it, I was competing in a competition; I was engaging in the act of being competitive!

Stelek's done the same thing, playing in numerous GT's and such.  If it's his opinion that the Nova format is the most competitive around, that's a valid opinion.  Stating anything less doesn't qualify as competitive play at all is an opinion with less merit.

I respect Stelek's opinion, for the most part, despite now being associated with the enemy.  (Bell of Lost Souls, in case you're wondering.  And yea, they all suck hard.  I don't care for them, but then I don't like you either.  Your sister's hot, though.)  I was a Blogger blogging on his blog long before I was a Flylord with the T-Shirt and everything, so I have a soft spot for it.  I also respect many of the opinions of ZombYs associated with the site, now or in the past - I was one, after all.

It's just I have less respect for the Yes-Men.  Get off his *SELF-EDIT* already!  (Why don't I have Strictly-Men?)  (They're called Stalkers.)  The man can speak for himself.  Here's my favorite example:
Stelek is not saying the Daemons players only win because
Oops!  Stop the presses!

Not sure you need to see the rest of it.  Point is, I love the comments that start out, "What *name* was saying is..."

The dude doesn't have a problem speaking his mind, so if I want to know what he said I can read it, right?  If I'm reading your comment, all I'm getting is what you thought Stelek was saying.

I'm interested in reading your opinion, but I'm not interested in reading your opinion of someone else's opinion.

Here's an opinion right now.  Convenient, no?
Most people who play this game aren’t competitive players, and will never be. They don’t even desire to be competitive, and view all of us who want to improve our game as WAAC assholes with poor sportsmanship, which is obviously far from the case. This includes tournament organizers, who usually are egotistical jerks who want to enforce THEIR view of how Warhammer 40,000 should be played, and are deaf to constructive criticism. This is the reality of the game we play, and the reason why Stelek made this blog to begin with.
I don't agree with much of this, but it's certainly more worthwhile than, "God said this, and because I want to be associated with God here's what he said."

Shit.  (Escaped the Editors?)  I just insulted the Prophets, didn't I?  The good thing is I'm Catholic and good with guilt.  The bad thing is Nuns are much scarier than Sisters of Battle any day of the week.  Especially Sunday.

Most people:  Have you met most people?
They don't even desire to be competitive:  And you know how..?
Which is obviously far from the case:  Obviously!  Why?
This includes tournament organizers...:  Most of whom are top players.
...who usually are egotistical jerks:  Who have you met and where?
And are deaf to constructive criticism:  As evidenced by.... what exactly?
This is the reality:  Reality is subjective.
And the reason why Stelek...

...and you lost me.  You weren't there, you don't know, so you had to have read it - meaning you were about to launch into your interpretation of what the ZombYe Master thought when he launched the Big Blue Shark Tank onto an unsuspecting Blogosphere.  Thanks for that, but I'll pass.

Thing is, there are a ton of assumptions in there.  The writer is asking us to take at face value the suppositions he starting with.  And while we all do it, to a certain extent, because that's how human knowledge works, it does kind of get away from you when there's so many to start with.

I don't think this dude has met most players, I don't think he knows what they're thinking or feeling, I don't think he's met any of the TO's in person, I don't think he's talked to any of them in any fashion, I tend to doubt he's offered constructive criticism if he did, and lastly... I don't think his reality is my reality.

There's no real neat way to tie all this in a bow and end it elegantly.  This is yet another salvo in the long line of opinion pieces making up Ye Ol' Blogosphere - and as most of you know I tend to avoid these type of fights as being a waste of time.  I do, however, come by my opinions the hard way.

Through effort!  This blog has practically every tournament game I've played in the last few years.  There are countless examples of big wins against competitive armies and/or competitive players... and some losses, too, because I learn more from those, usually.

What I don't have is... and I wasn't aware this was a problem until yesterday... I don't have THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE!  (Saving the best for last, is he?)
He’s not saying that the Daemons players are bad people who are poor generals and make up for it with luck and cheating. He’s not going to break into their house at night and pee in their cheerios. He’s saying that their wins are on weak ground because if the people they played against knew THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE they would start to lose almost every game and Warhammer 40K would stop being fun for them.

It's going on the Wall of Shame!


Tenzing said...

Awesome closing comment.

Have to give you respect Brent- you've been a good sport over all the crap that's come your way from being a good gamer.

oh, and congrats for the wins with the Daemons.

Mace said...

I bought "THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE" out of the back of a comic book once...all I got was some broken X-ray glasses. Stupid Secret Knowledge.

Mace said...

Oh, and I just looked at the picture of that Tyranid at the top, and I have always wondered where Everlasting Gobstoppers come from. Who knew that Willie Wonka was a Genestealer Magus?!?!

Forty Three said...

Can I be a 'Strictly-man'? Although I'm not sure, it makes me sound like a homophobe.

That was a really nice little piece - I really enjoy your more tangential posts, and this is a perfect example of them.

43, the Strictly-Man (tm)

Nikephoros said...

Awesome post. The simple fact is that the gulf between the strongest and the weakest codices isn't so wide that it can't be bridged by skill and luck. There are no "auto-wins" and "auto-lose" between two opponents of equal skill.

Steven Morrow said...

I guess I would be classified as a fan of this site since its one of the reasons I play daemons now. Uh, go figure. I also skim through YTTH but the black and white "this is the best everything else sucks" viewpoints limits my interest

Krisken said...

Well now I know what the comment in the other post was all about!

I'm surprised by how many people still underestimate Daemons. I admit they are a tough army to get a grasp on but once you do they can really do some damage.

In 5th, there is no such thing as an autowin.

Emerald Rose Widow said...

Yeah, I have little respect for anyone who thinks in such black and white means. There is no black and white, there is much grey area. If this person could pull their head out of their ass a moment before making prejudgments, then maybe they could understand this.

Very concisely and well written brent, I always enjoy reading your blogs. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one.

Papa JJ said...

What Brent is saying is that THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE is priceless, so it must be guarded jealously or else 40k will stop being fun for us.

What Not Brent is saying is that your sister is hot...

Great post, Brent. :)

Mace said...

Haha, I don't know if this was intentional Papa JJ, but your commement about "What Brent was saying" had me laughing pretty good to myself when thought of in context to this article.

Keith N said...

I agree if somebody knows I am playing demons and builds a list to beat me. I will probally lose 90% of the games.

does that make them weak? no as Brent said you can't build for demons. if you prepare, to defeat demons you prepare to lose to guard.

Redbeard said...

I'm not sure that's right. I've played some playtest games with daemons against grey knights and my experience is that warp quake will ruin your day if your opponent has more than one squad with it, and will force you into unwinnable positions if they have interceptor squads with it.

It really only takes someone running a few such squads, and the knowledge of how to deploy them for maximum coverage, to ensure that the daemons are mishapping on any scatter, and are forced back into a corner.

I wouldn't call that 'gearing to fight daemons'. PAGK are not a bad unit at all, and outside of Corteaz or Crowe lists, aren't we going to see basic troops out there?

It's not even so much a matter of being competitive versus the rest of the codex, or about them gearing up to stop you, it's about the fact that if they go first, you don't even get to put your models on the table. And I wish this weren't the case, as I've got some 20,000 points of daemons painted. But this is the epitome of an auto-loss matchup.

Brent said...

Warp Quake worries me the most - no getting around that.

I'm not blindly holding gripping the army to my chest, determined to play it no matter what. In fact, I'm currently playing 'Nids.

'Cause I'm a sucker for punishment!

Still... if I'm wrong, and the GK start punishing the scene and with builds I can't compete against...

...I've got a super-secret army in the works.

It's an ugly, ugly thing - all beat-face with no nod at Fluffy the Painted Puppy.

It's my secret weapon.

I hope I don't have to use it!

(PS: thanks for stopping by, Redbeard!)

Messanger of Death said...

I had a moment of clarity while reading your excuse of an article. It's possible to think of tools in a list like risk factors and protective factors... some lists have more resilience to "stress" than others.

All those lessons on the Stress-Vulnerability Model have actually amounted to something of interest.

We love you, Brent!


The Antipope said...

As with everything else in this world (politics, religion etc) there are no absolutes and no authorities in 40K. After all's said and done is a matter of personal choice.

And what's with the "THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE"? Is it a Chaos thing? I don't get it :(

Brent said...

THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE opened my eyes.

It's a thing now.

I didn't come up with it - some dude on YTTH did - but it's a genius metaphor and I'm going to push it!

Keith N said...

I hear you make secret knowledge in your basement and sell it on e-bay

Krisken said...

'Making secret knowledge' sounds like a euphemism.

I'm sure I'll be playing against a Gray Knight soon who thinks it is super funny to take every anti Daemon power in the book. That's when I'll pull out a different army.

Mace said...

@ Keith N, I made secret knwoledge in my basement once, and now I have a kid. So my question to you is this: is there some super secret way to sell your children on ebay? If so, let me know, I need money for a new army.

Bodiless said...

Look ma, I'm famous!

As the author of your highlighted comment, I just wanted to make something clear. Maybe this is clear to you, but I don't think it comes across in your post...

That was my summary of the argument Stelek and his legions were making, NOT my opinion. That since he has declared from on high that Daemons are not competitive, then this is the only explanation he can give for any success they have.

I think this opinion is ridiculous and logically indefensible, which is the point I was trying (apparently with less-than-perfect success) to get across...

Brent said...

Bodiless: Actually, I missed that the first read-through! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and clarify.

That's proof of how easy it is to misunderstand someone's intention, though.

Still, it's a worthy paragraph; my favorite part was how well written it was (the paragraph in question), so in a way I'm happy to hear the backstory here.

Take care man - Brent

Anonymous said...

I am glad I now have a title. Strictly Men. I like it.
I trust you received my email the other day? We'll be seeing echoer very very soon.

Bodiless said...

Glad you appreciated the turn of phrase, I had fun writing it. :)

I eventually had better things to do than keep up that argument, but I don't think anyone successfully disputed that this is what logically follows from declaring Daemons 'uncompetitive'. And since it is ridiculous, it sort of implies something about that 'uncompetitive' label....

(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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