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CJPT

Unsure about my approach to tournaments - help!

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Hi everyone - this is an open question from someone pretty new to the tournament scene. Generally speaking I'm very much a narrative player and a painter, so I've never played Age of Sigmar particularly competitively. I picked my army - Tzeentch daemons - because I love how they look, and it was Silver Tower that got me back into the hobby after a long absence. Then the Battletome and new range came along, and it felt like the stars had aligned.

Since then Tzeentch has obviously gone on to be a big force at the top of the competitive game, although that's very much not my area of expertise - I've got Flamers and Burning Chariots instead of Skyfires.

However, I've found that I don't enjoy the reception that my Tzeentch army has sometimes received when I go to events (and I've only done a handful.) There's a (reasonable) assumption that I'm playing the strongest possible stuff, and usually a few heavy sighs when I explain Destiny Dice and spells and so on. I play Warhammer to have fun, and I don't like feeling like I'm ruining someone else's fun just by showing up.

Important point of clarity: I don't think Tzeentch is inherently a negative play experience, and I think all players bear some responsibility for giving their opponents the benefit of the doubt. But it's left me unsure about the right approach to take to tournaments, and with LondonGT coming up I want to figure it out.

I'm torn between:

  • Adapting what I've got into something competitive - probably a Changehost, given how many daemons I have, but it wouldn't just be comprised of horrors. Aim for the upper tables and players who know what to expect from that kind of army.
  • Do the opposite and run something fun and fluffy - probably a generic Chaos army with a mix of Tzeentch, Khorne and unaligned stuff. Roll around the bottom tables delivering (relatively) wholesome experiences.

I genuinely don't know. Ultimately it's a decision I'll need to make for myself - and soon - but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who also worries about these kinds of things.

Edited by CJPT
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I understand your pain, I run Kharadrons and not many people had played against them so were concerned when i said what i had despite my list not being what they might expect. All you can do is be a good opponent, explain what your stuff does, maybe go further and give tips or explain the key combos or tricks you can pull. Its up to them to engage though, 9/10 you will end up with a fun game if you are open and honest and have fun yourself, which it sounds like you are.

I do choose my lists to make something thats fun to play with (and that does often include toning stuff down so you are not repeating the same formulaic 'optimal' moves every game) but id not change list purely to avoid upsetting the easily offended.

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I agree with @stato, seems like you are a good sport and not a netlister who needs to win no matter what so it would be a shame if you have to change your list because people assume the worst. 

I would suggest experimenting in how to communicate that before a match and see what sticks rather than experiment with your list to see what supposedly offends’ less

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7 minutes ago, Kramer said:

I agree with @stato, seems like you are a good sport and not a netlister who needs to win no matter what so it would be a shame if you have to change your list because people assume the worst. 

I would suggest experimenting in how to communicate that before a match and see what sticks rather than experiment with your list to see what supposedly offends’ less

I agree with this. I haven't played in any tournaments yet, and only recently played in my first shop-based escalation league. I bought my first models about 18 months ago, but only recently started painting and playing a little. Thus, in my naivete, I played something approaching a "netlist" at the 1500 point week, modified by the number of points and the models I actually owned, and fielded a "Kroaknado" list, unaware of its notoriety. It worked way too well, but luckily, the guy I played was experienced and nice and knew I was new, and we had a long talk afterward about when and whether those kinds of smash-face tactics are appropriate (a friendly, low-key game in a shop league not being one of those places!).

I like playing this game a lot, but I'm as interested in the social/cultural aspects of it as I am in the competitive side. Right now I want to improve my play skills, certainly, but not as much as I want to improve my painting skills, and neither as much as I want to meet new folks and make new friends. There's a lot to learn and know, especially at this exciting point of a rules upgrade, and locality plays such a big part, too. I've been listening to a lot of Australia and New Zealand based podcasts, and in that part of the world, it seems like netlists are absolute anathema. But you read about other tournaments where it seems like the top tables are dominated by just four or five very similar lists. I'm trying to navigate all that, and, to wrench this too-long comment back around to what Kramer so wisely said above, communication is key.

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My advice is you play what you want to play. People will moan but if it's a fun game they will usually stop moaning. Majority of the moaning will be tongue in cheek anyway ;) 

This is advice from somebody who ran Double Stonehorns when they made people cry and I won a Sports Award at an event with them ;) 

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I can understand people being wary of hyper-competitive lists, but ultimately it's a tournament - if you can't be competitive at a tournament, where can you be? As long as you're a good sportsman and you're not bending the rules, I can't see how anyone can legitimately complain no matter what army you set up on the table.

I say play as competitive a list as you want to play and don't worry what others think. If you're a nice person to play a game with, they'll soon get over their negative first impression, and honestly if they really can't handle playing against a strong list, what on earth are they doing at a tournament in the first place? What did they expect? 

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Thanks for the help, everyone! Really helpful. I think I'm going to go with a Changehost, but include all of of the models and paintjobs that I really like rather than fully min-maxing it.

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If people give you grief for showing up to a tournament for either: 

A. Not knowing what YOUR army does

or

B. Bringing a very strong/competitive/optimized list 

Then they need to stay at home/safe space. Its a tournament. The point is to win. Obviously its a game and fun is meant o be had.. but when I show up to a tournament I am there to win! Being competitive isn't the same as being a ******. Some people are both and thats why there is soft scores/sportsmanship scores. But if anyone shows up to the table, looks at your army and gives you guff for bringing tzeencth tell them to suck a lemon.  It is also not your responsibility to explain your army and how to beat it. They have every right to ask for what traits/artifacts you rbough and what they do or what your command ability does .. basics like that but if they start asking for a breakdown of every unit.. I point at the clock and remind them the app has all the warscrolls for free. I have all mine printed out and just hand them over. I cant stand when people show up to a tournament and expect to play garage hammer. 

Edited by sal4m4nd3r
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On 5/16/2018 at 9:16 AM, CJPT said:

Hi everyone - this is an open question from someone pretty new to the tournament scene. Generally speaking I'm very much a narrative player and a painter, so I've never played Age of Sigmar particularly competitively. I picked my army - Tzeentch daemons - because I love how they look, and it was Silver Tower that got me back into the hobby after a long absence. Then the Battletome and new range came along, and it felt like the stars had aligned.

Since then Tzeentch has obviously gone on to be a big force at the top of the competitive game, although that's very much not my area of expertise - I've got Flamers and Burning Chariots instead of Skyfires.

However, I've found that I don't enjoy the reception that my Tzeentch army has sometimes received when I go to events (and I've only done a handful.) There's a (reasonable) assumption that I'm playing the strongest possible stuff, and usually a few heavy sighs when I explain Destiny Dice and spells and so on. I play Warhammer to have fun, and I don't like feeling like I'm ruining someone else's fun just by showing up.

Important point of clarity: I don't think Tzeentch is inherently a negative play experience, and I think all players bear some responsibility for giving their opponents the benefit of the doubt. But it's left me unsure about the right approach to take to tournaments, and with LondonGT coming up I want to figure it out.

I'm torn between:

  • Adapting what I've got into something competitive - probably a Changehost, given how many daemons I have, but it wouldn't just be comprised of horrors. Aim for the upper tables and players who know what to expect from that kind of army.
  • Do the opposite and run something fun and fluffy - probably a generic Chaos army with a mix of Tzeentch, Khorne and unaligned stuff. Roll around the bottom tables delivering (relatively) wholesome experiences.

I genuinely don't know. Ultimately it's a decision I'll need to make for myself - and soon - but I'd be interested to hear from anybody who also worries about these kinds of things.

F**k'em. They came to a tournament, they can deal.

Besides, most grumbling is just people venting, not to be taken seriously. No one who is worth your time is complaining about you taking 'cheese' to a competitive event. If they complain about GW being bad a balance or at the match-up that has nothing to do with you.

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If gaming groups work like any social groups, and I think there is any arguments to think they are different, your own perception what the your army is or isn't is unimportant for others. If tzeench armies are viewed as OP and linked to negative player expiriance, then they will react if your army was the most OP of OP armies, no matter what is actually in the list. And if they played a tzeench list and got a NPE, or worse did it multiple time, there is nothing to do about it. They will percive tzeench players as bad, even if tzeench armies some day get nerfed.  And if they have one or multiple expiriances where a tzeench player or tzeench army stoped them from something they really wanted, or the social interaction with a tzeench player went the wrong way, like for example the tzeench player not only beat them, when they wanted to win, but also publicly made fun of them, the only thing you can do is force them to not show signs of open distaste when facing a tzeench player. 

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Play what floats your boat and try to be the best sport you can and give someone a fun time playing with their toys.  People should be able to win or lose gracefully and still enjoy the process.  If they cannot then that is not really your fault.

I would not change the faction that I prefer due to someone elses tastes.  That said, some armies certainly have the ability to field some soul-crushing and unpleasant lists, but every army should have the ability to field lists that lead to enjoyable games for all players.

As far as a tournament, people should know that one of the reasons people are there is to win.  If you make the choice to go to a competitive event then it should be par for the course that your opponents are going to bring things they think give them the best chance to win and some match-ups may be very difficult.  That's what you get at that type of event.  That still does not mean the games cannot be enjoyable.

Just do your best to be a good sport and have fun with your opponents and things should work out for the most part.  In addition, Tzeentch will not be ascendant forever.   It is the nature of GW games that given time someone else will rise to the top of the pile.

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Lots of people go to tournaments just to spend a weekend playing warhammer, meet other gamers and fight against armies they might never get to see otherwise. 

Even so I find it amazing that there is anyone out there that needs someone else to explain to them what destiny dice do!

I think everyone should accept that people will try and take a strong build to a competition - particularly a GT. I think the problems come when people take those builds to a local store tournament or something that may involve inexperienced players or just a greater range of ability. If you never play against competitive builds and playstyles then the first few times can be a bit of a negative experience. generally people know what they are getting into though so i'm actually surprised you have had some people making comments etc.

 

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1 hour ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

Even so I find it amazing that there is anyone out there that needs someone else to explain to them what destiny dice do!

 

Raises hand. I didn't know about destiny dice until just this week when I bought and read the Disciples of Tzeentch book in preparation for playing against a Tzeentch army tomorrow. There's always somebody new around, whether you're at the local shop or, presumably, at a tournament. I've played maybe a dozen games of Age of Sigmar, all in the friendly and comforting environs of my local Games Workshop location. I know my own army pretty well, but other than that, little except some details about the mixed Death lists I've faced most often. I'm trying to correct that by buying and reading other Battletomes, and by reading these forums, but it's a slow process.

As I've read this thread I've grown more convinced that what I've seen called "cheese" and "broken" lists and tactics are more of a problem with the sportsmanship of the person using the words than that of the person running the lists, but I still think it's a more nuanced issue than can be dealt with by simple dismissal. Social contracts really do exist. Context really does matter.

That said, inspired partly by the original poster here, I've pulled the trigger and registered for my first two-day tournament. I'll be going to Nashcon in Nashville, Tennessee, USA the first weekend in June (and have a lot of painting to do before then). We're required to bring two lists and one of mine is something very much like an infamously "cheesy" list, but an older one for which there are many counters. I'll be playing in a one-day local game day (three games) the Saturday before, though, and there, I won't be using that list because a different set of social expectations hold. Plus, I'll get to practice my other, less optimized list, as at Nashcon I'll have to play with it at least once.

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Play the lists you wanna play, with a spirit of sportsmanship. As a Khorne player, I find Tzeentch terrifying, but also a great opportunity to learn. Maybe people need a little whine sometimes to get over nerves or pressure. Don't put up with ongoing toxic behaviour though mate.

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Baffles me that someone would turn up to a competition and complain someone has taken a competitive list. 

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