Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What About Fun?

So with my Ideal of the "Competitive" gaming environment, is there room left for "FUN" games? I say yes. why? Well, while this may be a rant, if you have the patience, please read on...

Fun games, at least to me, are not dependent on the army lists that are taken at all. Fun games, at least to me, are far more dependent on my opponent and my own outlook. If I go into a game with the thought that I am going to win this game, well, let's just say that I usually don't. I get frustrated, distracted, angry, and it gets ugly and not fun for anybody. I figured this out about 10 years ago. Yeah, 10 years ago puts us in 2nd Edition. Since then I've always tried to go into games (weather they be a tournament or just a pick up game) with the attitude of "This is going to be a great game". Are they all? No. Do Occasionally pull "That Guy"? Yes. Am I occasionally "That Guy"? I try not to be. I've been that guy in the past. not fun for either player. Do I have fun? Almost Always.

So, First off we need to have an attitude, as gamers, that we are going to have a fun game.

Next point, on to the "Killer List". Are these fun? Well, it gets a bit murky here as the "Killer List" has many iterations. Some of which are fun to both play and play against, others are more of a laughing stock to both play and play against.

I see lots of "Net Deck" armies around. These are the armies that are put out by Bell of Lost Souls, Yes the Truth Hurts, Librarium Online, etc. They are meant to be the epitome of greatness that nobody can beat. Examples include "The Leafblower", "Nurgle Lash" and the ever feared "Fate Crusher" lists. One thing that they all have in common is weaknesses.

Every Army has weaknesses. no matter what the build is, the only army that I have ever seen with no true "Weakness" are the completely balanced lists. These usually end up being Space Marine lists as they are the easiest to balance. Decent Shooting, Decent Assault, Some Mech (Tanks), some decent heavy support, and some support HQ Units.

An Example:

Space Marine Captain on Bike w/ Power Weapon
Space Marine Librarian

1 Terminator Squad
Land Raider

2 Tactical Squads in Rhinos
2 Biker Squads with an Attack Bike

1 Land Speeder

3 Predators

given this is a quick example, and not detailed as to wargear, but you get the idea.
this army gives you 4 scoring units, a hammer unit (terminators)
decent mech capability
Support in the form of the Librarian
Speed in the form of Bikes and the Land Speeder.

You look at the list and say...... MEH!

I look at the list and say, Who is the General?

The general can make or break this army. The army has all the core needs of a balanced list, but none of the trademarks of the "Killer List"
The question becomes: Can the balanced list kill the uber list?

The simple answer is yes.
The Long answer is yes, by making sure that the general knows how to play his army.

So, when I bring the above army (or an iteration of) I can reliable know that unless i come up against a "Stacked" army, i should reasonably be able to at the very least, pull a draw. Even against that Nob Biker list.

We've gotten a bit far afield, but now back to the original question: What about fun. I guess in the end it is all what you make of the game. Fun can and will happen. You play this game for a reason. It really is not to make money at it. Play the game for what it is, a hobby. If you're there to beat face in and make people cry, join the military. If you want to spend your evening and weekends playing with little plastic figures that you've lovingly painted and converted, and spending time with people like you, well, you've found a home.


  1. Well said Steve, couldn't have said it better myself.

  2. Well stated, I have been having this issue since my last game (2 days ago) I find myself so wrapped up in building this perfcet killer list for tournament that I find myself getting angry and frustrated when it doesn't work. And then I look back and say, Did I have fun? I want to win at tournaments but at what cost. I really liked your article, the lsaat paragraph says it all, and yes I still want to win but this is my hobby for fun, not another work project.
    Thanks man.


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