So, I have had little time to do 40k. Working, wife taking weekend college courses, kids extracurricular activities, and the rigors of military leadership off duty have certainly taken their tolls. However, we all have things that eat away at our time schedules and so that it not it entirely. No, the larger issue was interest. I was spoiled by an outstanding community of gamers at Crossroad Games and surrounded by colleagues with similar hobby interests and goals as me. Many of those same players I follow online, such as Creativetwilight, Thin Your Paint, and Defenders of Calth. However, I have found that the “play for playing” attitude is pretty rare and those that play at that store, though you have some WAAC and really competitive players that don’t like comp scores or fluffy tournaments, are lucky. Every store since then has had knight-dar and daemon summoning lists that are built by players who regularly go to the ETC and ATC. Players who have spotlessly airbrushed lists that are the definition of min-maxed. Guys who run summoning lists and tack on invisibility psykers and then look at you like your an idiot when you show up with non-optimized units that you “like”. It was a drag frankly. Tournaments here have zero comp scores, zero painting or sports scores. It is the quintessential “top 3″. By the way, those top three last tournament I saw (several months ago) involved some of the greatest hits of cheese: A Mechanicus and Knight list, a Knight-Dar list, and a Riptide-Knight list. Yeah…you see the similarity. All had at least 2 fliers, all had at least 1 knight, and all had at least 1 formation. The 40k scene I had stepped into I just could not keep up with fiscally and playing became a chore of simply setting up and taking down models. I realized that it had gotten no better as I watched a 5 knight list that operated as a single formation obliterate a player with a solid list, shooting down fliers handily (used to be the knights weakness) and having buffed shields due to their forgeworld knights or formation.
However, I got a chance to go to an actual GW store. It radically changed how I viewed things and re-invigorated my interest in the hobby. I took part in a tournament that had no games. In fact, it was a painting only tournament. You brought in a model to be judged (one part) and then you had to open, assemble, and paint 1 large (60mm base or larger, non-vehicle) model and that is then judged at the end of the day. In fact, they had an entire series of these tournaments. One, you could only use 5 colors to paint your model with. Different sizes or number of models, all with two sets of judging (pre-painted and painted there).
Then the staff. Not sure if all GW store employees are like this, but they were freakin’ awesome! He knew pretty much every army, had books unwrapped there I could peruse prior to buying. I was looking for a box to buy and was talking about my army and he offered suggestions. Mind you, not “buy this big thing” suggestions, but “Hey, get this smaller box as it has better bitz, will look cooler in your army based on what you’ve said, and it will save you money” kind of options. The kind of options that you get from someone who enjoys the game and hobby and isn’t just trying to sell a product. SO, I sat and painted with guys who ranged from novices to amazing experts, chatted, learned, and while I did not win anything I had a ton of fun. Probably more fun than I have had since my last major tournament in Maine.
Alas, that said I have started painting and playing with renewed vigor. I also managed to get in a game as well that I will get a battle report for eventually as well as some of my finished minis.
Thanks for reading,