Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hobby Gamers need to stand up and be counted: part one

More and more lately around the Interwebz I keep reading about how the tourney scene needs to start catering to the really competitive gamers. (which is not a slam or a bad thing) They lament about how the current way most tournaments are run is not truly competitive. They call most of the tournaments out there “hobby” tournaments, because they don’t view them as being truly competitive. I get what they are saying; I really do, because I used to be heavily into the tourney scene.

With that said, where the heck are the events meant to cater to the majority of 40k gamers? You know the ones the tourney guys label as ‘Casual’ gamers. (I hate that label by the way) I prefer the term Hobby gamer, you know the type of guys who focus on every aspect of the hobby, including the creative guys who think outside of the box.

A lot if these guys care more about the background of the game and representing that in game, over building a finely tuned list focused on winning.

These types of events would focus on creating a fun flavorful atmosphere to spend a day or two playing games in.

A shining example of a hobby event is the Astronomi-con conventions. This group of Canadian tournament organizers that create special scenarios for each table, allow a lot of out of date armies like the Kroot Mercenaries list and allow pre-submitted approved VDR for custom vehicles. Which is a great start, but I think that we need to organize more events with a similar mindset and format as these.

I have some ideas, for an event I’d like to put together next year, but I will cover that in part two


  1. I like where you're going with this :-)

  2. I'm with Col. Corbane - this sounds very interesting...

  3. Yep. Events don't have to be tournaments. Something like the Tempus Fugitives events would be cool, or just bigger events making different sections for different aspects instead of trying to lump them all together.

  4. Love it and I'll be following this series. My group runs alot of tournaments and we get alot of flack for not being "competative" enough on the internet.

    No one who attends the events ever complains though, it just seems to be the internet surfers who do.


  5. If tournaments were truely competitive all anyone would bring is powertuned spam. And those same people would complain about the fact no one brings any other armies.
    I think sportsmanship is a big culprit. Douchebags use it to tank scores. A simple misunderstanding or wrong word can can cause loss of points. Things get a bit heated and you know their gonna tank your score.
    As for paint, it is a bit subjective. Well since your so competitive, grab a brush and step up your game buddy

  6. and btw, completly behind the idea of "events".

  7. I like it, as everyone else has stated, this is an excellent idea. I also prefer the term Hobby Gamers as opposed to casual gamer.

  8. Hobby Gamers is the correct term. Nothing casual about the gamer that meticulously converts every figure in his army. Or builds a list under the perimeters of a theme of time frame. And I would love to see events focus on this type of gamer as while I love "competitive" tournaments I prefer hobby gaming events. I would rather not deal with some of the people the more competitive events bring out of the woodwork.

  9. I haven't been to them personally, but my understanding is that BoLSCon (which I guess is WargamesCon or something now?) and AdeptiCon are both "hobby" events to a large degree, as are Games Days and (nominally, at least) Throne of Skulls. They feature tournaments as one draw, but they also have extensive non-tournament gaming, painting contests, etc, all of which are clearly aimed at hobby gamers.

  10. My comment, umm, ran a bit long: basically, I agree with you, we need more variety in the event scene (although I'm not sure about this 'stand up and be counted' bit - seems like drama in the making to me).

    Full response here.

  11. Thanks for all the comments and feedback.

    AbusePuppy, I do understand those Cons have hobby events, but I also think that their main drive is for the Tournaments. (again I see nothing wrong with this.) I would just like to see a Con/Event with the focus being on flavorful narrative gaming over the tournaments.

    Von, I read you post, good stuff. I will admit I used some hyperbole in the title to draw in readers.


  12. This is why the group I play with is extremely small.
    I've done 'traditional 'touraments, but there just not for me anymore.

    And personally, I prefer the term 'Relaxed Gamer' in the 'more relaxed about competetiveness' sense... but Hobby-gamers rolls off the tongue as well.


  13. Hey Jim - I'm aware of you "from afar" through observing your most EXCELLENT miniatures and hearing of your tragic army loss.

    I'm not sure if you know who I am, but I'm one of several authors aside from Stelek over at Yes the Truth Hurts, one of the more famous (infamous? :) competitive 40k blogs.

    So, that being said, I totally support this concept. What *I* am all about and what I think many of my fellow competitive gamers are about, is building up the competitive aspects of 40k. Making the competitive tournaments TRULY competitive, and allowing those gamers that really enjoy the list building/strategy/gameplay aspects of 40k to really have a place to go at it.

    That said, it's not a zero sum game, and building up the competitive side doesn't mean tearing down the hobby side or what I think of as more theme based or narrative gaming.

    In fact, I love the idea of one day campaigns, even 2 day campaigns, narrative story arcs, game mastered events, etc. Love it. I wouldn't call them "tournaments" per se, but they are still awesome.

    And I personally consider myself to be a competitive hobbyist. I love painting, converting and fluffing out my army, I just try to fit it all onto the frame of a tough as nails tournament list. I find that makes a challenge of its own.

    In any case, I don't think your intent is to set up any "us versus them" frames, and I really think that the idea of hobby focused events is a great one. Also, don't forget that the NOVA Open really tries to give a good Hobby track and Competitive track within the same tournament, by careful balance and design.

  14. Thanks for the comments. I know who you are Purgatus, I lurk over on YTTH every so often.

    My intent is most definitely not promoting an us verses them movement. I think those types of things are counter productive at best.

    I agree that it would be a mistake to call these events a tournament, hobby or campaign weekend are more appropriate names.

    Thanks again for the comments, I am working on part two and should get it posted tonight or tomorrow.