Monday, November 29, 2010

Powergamers - A second opinion

by Anonymous Foodie

As some of you know, I tend to shy away from the tournament scene.  I did make a trip down to Bloomington recently, and may jump on the bandwagon a bit more to try for some store credit toward a few new DE minis, but overall, I vastly prefer the friendly setting.  With beer, if at all possible.

Let it not be thought that I don't enjoy winning - I consider myself to be a decent player, and can generally give most a run for their money.  But I've never built a list that throws out the element of fun (for both players) in order to squeeze in that last drop of Win.  Yes, I want to be competitive, but honestly I'd rather walk away from a well-fought tie game than a win where my opponent felt utterly crushed to the point of not having a good game.

Because as far as I'm concerned, that last word is one of the most important.  Game.  We're playing with little toy soldiers here... let's try not to take it *too* seriously.

According to Uberdark the idea of hating the power gamer for being what he (or she) is, is wrong.  If you can make your list better, you should.

I think there's a dividing line between being a Competitive Player, and being a Hardcore Tournament Power Gamer.  I will not throw down a unit that is bad on the field just because it looks cool.  I will, however, try to vary my selections to make an army that is not only effective, but looks cool (overall), is fun to play, and to play against.

I will depend on the tactics that I have developed over the years, rather than simply taking the biggest, meanest, nastiest thing, and spamming it until all you can do is groan when you see it across from you.

I will never, and I think this may be the biggest factor, expect a unit to win the game for me.  I will expect myself to do that, thank you.

I would never tell Uberdark (or any other Ork player that I meet) to not take Nob Bikers "because they're busted".  Same with Thundercav, Manticores, or anything else.

But if you show up to a 1k game with 2 Biker Bosses and 20 Nob Bikers, don't expect me to act friendly.  Because you already aren't.


  1. I know where you're coming from, as I've the same opinion on the game (although I might be a little farther slanted away from the hardcore power gamer than even you). I wind up getting frustrated by people that consistently take the same "uber units" time and again, and then rejoice at their victories. I guess I almost feel like it's an unfair advantage they have over me, since I won't "stoop" to playing the power gamer role--though in all actuality, that's a restriction I place upon myself.

    I like a lot of what you have to say here: especially the paragraph that begins with "Let it not be thought..." That's really spot on.

    Though if you're open to a little constructive criticism: It does sound like you're trying to vent here, and I'm sure you don't mean any disrespect to anyone, but it might come across that way (despite you explicitly stating the opposite). To be on the safe side, it may behoove you to remove specific names from the post.

  2. Ah, Uberdark and I get to bash each other as much as we want - we're soon to be roomies. I have to get my licks in before he can sneak into my room to get his revenge.

    I'd hardly call Uberdark a powergamer - sure he uses Nobs, and they tend to be a large unit, but it's more about the way he plays than the unit(s) he takes. As a whole his army is pretty well balanced and fun to play against.

    I think the one thing I would stress is that it's the attitude that makes a power gamer (for me) un fun to play. It's playing a game with someone who isn't there to have fun, but rather there to try their best to massacre you, period. Beyond that, it tends to be done by nature of taking "the best", rather than playing the best. I'm not going to say that none of them have tactics, but I would venture so far as to say that more than most rely on the units stats to do the job, rather than a well thought out battle plan.

  3. to foodie: 1.just because i take nob bikers i dont feel it makes me a "power gamer." im just learning new things about my army. others play just to win. and that in fact is a "game." i dont know many people who play a game to lose. i play to win AND have fun. but i dont care how much fun i have, when my army loses 1o games in a row, yeah the fun has left. if ya dont like powergamers then dont go to tourneys. if i go to a tourney and get trounced firmly then i feel a challenge coming my way and go back home to work on my army list. unlike magic: the gathering, 40k does not just remove whole races and units........ <----blatant sarcasm. but i digress, you have that happen a lot less. new codexes come out all the time and it changes how you play your army. all of a sudden everyone freaks, like dark eldar, "omg how do i beat it?" then after a bit ppl calm down. if i go up against a tyranid death star, i fight it or work my army around to not worry about it, which can happen. i think in the end its not about point sink power gamers, but about how well you play tactically.

    a few years ago ppl freaked and were very upset about mecha based armies. then guess what happened? new codexi came out and people learned how to combat that.

    plain and simple: foodie and i have different opinions, and neither one of us are gonna change the others mind, both are valid points and both have good arguments. ill leave it at that.

    p.s. imagine what happens when foodie and i move in together next summer. the 2 am fluff talks will be epic!!!

  4. There's a way to beat everything in this game. You just have to find it. I don't like fighting Nob Bikers or Fateweaver any more than the next guy. But the time to hash that out is before the game starts. Don't agree to the match and then complain afterwards. It's poor sportsmanship.

    Losing to the best combos hurts, but it'll also force you to question your assumptions sooner and grow as a player. I personally look at losing as a gift for the focus it brings.

  5. To Uberdark: 1. I already said you weren't a power gamer. Great reading comprehension though ;)

    I think we probably agree more than we think, but we just put it differently. To an extent.

    Like I said, I'm here to win too. I don't make stupid choices for my lists, I work on my tactics, and do what I can to learn from my losses.

    That said, one of the most fun games I have ever played, bar none, ended in a loss for me. The game went back and forth from probably turn 2, was incredibly hard fought, and literally came down to a single die roll (to see if there would have been another turn).

    To futher extend my definition - to a Power Gamer, winning tends to be *everything*. A loss is less likely to be something to be learned from, and more likely to be something abhorrent and disgusting.

    I try to cheer my opponents good luck, not his bad luck (as much as possible, anyway, I do have my moments). It's really annoying for me when someone gets excited that I just rolled 6 1's. It's frustrating enough to have such horrid luck without someone jumping up and down about it.

    In the end - is it fun to win? Absolutely, it comes with both pride and accomplishment that you did well. Is it fun to be the guy who tabled the newb because he brought 50 naked Guard and a lone commissar against 3 Wraithlords and a slew of Wraithguard that can hardly be touched?

    Not so much.

  6. Sandwyrm: You make the point i would have made.

    Uberdark: Mecha armies is a great example to compare to power gaming. Marines don't need to mech up to win everyone knows this but to win on a constant basis it really does help.

    Foodie: The rest is in a response to what you said, in no way is this a direct attack on you, if I mean to directly attack you I will come out and say it. If people want to complain about "power gaming" don't play that person! Do I power game? hell yes I do because I go to tourney so often and need to try out my list against as many people as possible. Now on friday nights if i want to play a game with a buddy I whip out the ridiculous units like warriors, ravenors, or even rippers.

    I believe if you go to a tourney and you don't power game you have no-one to blame but yourself for losing. Its like taking a test and not studying before hand OR better being given the answers and leaving them at home. If I'm going to pay 10 dollars to go to a tourney I want my investment back. I can play friendly games any other time I feel like it.

    I ask all of you if you go to a tourney do you go to play nice? I don't, I'm nice to my opponent I'm friendly talk about sports with them or their awesomely painted army as I blow it off the field but I refuse to drop my pants. My point is there is a time and place to power game. Every once in a while in a friendly game to test a list yes. At a tourney, of course. Every day of every week is completely uncalled for and if someone has a problem with it you can do one of three things.
    A: What Uberdark did, fly someone in to beat that annoying power game and put their face in the ground. Make them humble and realize it is just a game.
    B: Form your own list to beat them and power game the power gamer, yet again making them humble.
    C: Just don't play them, problem solved.

  7. Powergamer....? I have been told this description fits me. I have been told at times that my lists are too tough to deal with or too powerful. Am I a powergamer at heart? The answer is yes. I enjoy winning. Not at all cost, but winning yes. It is the same way I enjoy being the best at work, to my kids, try and be to my wife, etc. It is who I am. I also care for other human beings and do have to catch myself sometimes, but being a powergamer is ok as long as we don't let it alter our judgment and make stupid choices and decisions.

    Each Codex has the ablility to be something. Yest some newer ones are better at this than others but, if you don't like your army or codex, change it! I bought 50 terminators to play Deathwing before I realized how they are not effective for me. I used them to trade and bought regular marines. Games Workshop developed a game system to have a level of equality and parody. It is called the Force Organization Chart. If there was anything wrong with using 15 Thunderwolf Calvary or 20 Nob bikers, then we wouldn't be able to use them. There is a reason why we cannot take 10 landraiders.

    Have fun! Try to win!

    and if you don't....

    go back to the drawing board, look at your weaknesses, re-evaluate your priorities, and make a change.

    But it all starts with the "Man in the mirror"

    Get it? :)

  8. After Blood Angels, it's just the points limit that prevents anyone from running 10 Land Raiders.

    Within the standard FOC, Blood Angels can hypothetically run 17 Land Raiders--one for every single slot.

    Quick, someone buy 6 Land Raiders and run them at 2k!

  9. Spaguatyrine said...

    "...Games Workshop developed a game system to have a level of equality and parody..."

    I think you'll agree that's Parity, the parody bit goes like this:

    I'm Starting With The WAAC In The Mirror
    I'm Asking Him To Change His Game
    And No Blogger Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The Game A Duller Place
    Take A Look At Your List And Spam That Win....


  10. Or maybe the first comment was right.

  11. @dodger3. Yes and you can take 24 bloodcrushers if you wanted. Ok, fine take them. But if I don't account for what you can bring than poop on me. If I get my head bashed in everytime I play you and keep coming back for more with the same army then that is my fault!

    Shamoooooooooan! Chaaaaaaangggge!

  12. HEEEEEEAHIIIII ... I just wanna say, it means so much.

  13. HAhaHaHA!

    comments like this are why I love having a blog:

    "I'm Starting With The WAAC In The Mirror
    I'm Asking Him To Change His Game
    And No Blogger Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The Game A Duller Place
    Take A Look At Your List And Spam That Win....



  14. But even a list of 10 Land Raiders has serious weaknesses that can be exploited using an all-comers list. They're not auto-win.

    And given the fact that it tends to be middling/bad players that go for such gimmicks, it becomes all the easier to deal with if you know how to play the movement phase. Not just shooting and assault.

    A squad of Nob Bikers is a good addition to an all-comers list, and serves a purpose. Whereas you don't see armies of Nob Bikers anymore because such one-dimensional spam is actually pretty easy to deal with once you figure them out.

  15. sandwyrm: i totally agree that nob bikers are not a spam unit anymore. ppl know how to fight em. just like a tyranid death star. same thing, just work around it. :)

    and btw: foodie and i posted at the same time, so foodie i did read your post.....just after you wrote it. :P

  16. To a point, Spaguatyrine (Did I spell that right? I didn't cheat and scroll up ;)), you're right.

    By and large, nothing is overpowered in and of itself.

    But what about the guy who brings 3 Wraithlords to a 500 point game? Or, if you can't do that anymore (don't have the Eldar dex), it at least used to be possible. Would it have been fair then? Is it right to say that any given 500 point army should be able to deal with that threat?

    I'm not telling people that they shouldn't take certain units, or how to play as a rule. But I think there is a definite line where it stops being fun, stops being simply competitive, stops being good natured in any sense, and just starts being a jerk.

    Can I not go to tournaments to avoid it? Sure. And as a rule, like I said, I don't. But can I stop a guy from bringing it to the store? Not really. 10 times out of 10 I don't demand to see a full breakdown of the list before I agree to a game. Most of the time I don't know what army the guy (or girl... in theory) has brought (if they're new) until I've already said yes.

    Can I not play that person in the future? Sure, but there's going to be a bad taste in my mouth from the guy who brought that list to a friendly game night. I play to hang with my friends and have fun... it's kinda like that guy who goes to laser tag, hides in a cubby hole, and snipes the whole time.

    Good job, kid... you just got the high score over a bunch of 16 year olds because you sat in the corner and shot through a 4" peep hole. Congradulations?

  17. I think the best thing you can do is to be honest with the other player about what kind of game you want to play. I for one love a good fight, but if you don't want the full monty, then just say so. Most folks can adjust to that, or just decline the game.

  18. I agree with Sandwyrm. I also agree with an earlier comment about being a powergamer and playing the same list, spamming the best units. Well, I have changed my tournament space wolves list almost every tournament. I have added new units and taken out others. I also wrote about play testing Njal as a different approach to my army's abilities. I haven't even begun to look at using Logan yet. There is a difference between a tournament and a pick up game. At a tournament I am much more into winning than a pickup game. Unless I get challenged and well, all gloves are off!!! :)

  19. It's part of why I bring a whole lot of lists to play on Wed. nights.

    not because I'm trying to tailor my list to win or gain an unfair advantage, but because I want to pull out a list that won't effortlessly curbstomp a kid (and then I do it with an IST and GK force, d'oh!)

    for a while, I was letting people pick which of my forces they wanted to play, and what point level they wanted me at. I had lists drawn up ahead of time for 1000pt, 1500pt, and 2000pt of WitchHunters, DaemonHunters, and Imperial Guard.

    I'd ask straight up what people wanted to play, and warn them that WH was my tourney force.

    in the end, catcalls of powergamer still get thrown around. I chuckle when I go to tourneys and people lick their chops while we set up. I get comments like "ooh nuns with guns, this'll be easy, they're an old, bottom tier army". Then after we play, I get called a powergamer, because I kicked the Flavor of the Month Marines in the jimmy. with my 'girls' ;P

  20. Your girls can kick my jimmy anyday Farmpunk! But I like the blondes!


out dang bot!

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