Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who I Am and What I Do

Or, "Why the hell should I read your blog, Purgatus?"

Well, I have been playing Warhammer 40k, technically, for a little over a decade. I remember the first box of GW minis I bought was some warriors and a Necron Lord when Necrons had JUST come out and were still "White Dwarf rules" only. So that was, what, sometime after January 1998. So I've probably been playing for about twelve years, and technically since the end of Second Edition.

But you know how it is. When you are a kid you love the game, you play a bit (badly), paint a bit (badly) and you have a blast. But then you get a bit older, figure out that there are such things as girls, guns and booze, join the Marines, and become "a man." Lol. Well if you're awesome like me that's how it worked.

But then, the renaissance. At some point, often in your early to mid twenties, after having settled down, gotten married, had a few kids, you "rediscover" this great hobby of ours. And while you may have lost some of the childish wonder, you have other things that more than make up for it. Mostly money and your own car to get to a game store. Lol.

I figured out that while this hobby is great for youngin's it's really best enjoyed as an adult. There are whole new levels of painting skill, tactical accumen and appreciation for the game that you can enjoy. The opportunity to go to large tournaments, buy the actual models you want for the army instead of using kitbashed monstrosities (no knock on converting, but you've all seen the 12 year olds with the chaos marines that look like they literrally dunked them in a bottle of plastic cement before rolling them around in a bin of bits and just letting whatever stuck there stay there) etc make this hobby, if anything, even better and more fun now than when I was a kid.

So suffice to say that I have been playing 40k "for real" for about 3 years now. My first real game I got my ass handed to me - badly. The other player was using a pretty strong IG list and was even fudging some rules pretty badly. I was using a TERRIBLE Grey Knights/Sisters list.

I resolved to improve myself. And I did.

I found Yes the Truth Hurts. That was the beginning of the end. I started improving my lists, and more importantly, learning HOW to improve my lists. I gained experience on the field and I was getting better and better.

Eventually I was invited into a gaming club called the Dead Body Crew. This is a great group of guys, very much in the "old school" vein. They were more concerned about having good looking armies than crushing face. I respected that, but I didn't lose my own desire to be competitive. What I did gain was a desire to have great looking armies, and a group of dudes who could teach me how to get there. That and hanging out with guys that are passionate about the background of the game and the universe sort of infected me with that outlook a bit too. Yeah, they all still call me a cheese-eating beardie WAAC jerk, but it's all in love. Lol. And the truth is that I have a much greater appreciation for the fluff now than I ever did before.

In 2010, something in 40k changed. The NOVA Open was announced, planned and then executed virtually flawlessly. I first began talking with Mike Brandt, the TO of the NOVA Open. Before the NOVA, I had been very much in a "competitive" vs. "fluff bunny" mindset, with me very firmly on the "competitive" side. While I was getting a greater appreciation for the hobby side of the game through my gaming group, I still felt like ultimately you had to choose a side. Mike showed the way forward in healing the rift in our community between hobbyist and competitive player. The NOVA successfully brought together all types of gamers under one roof - and no drama resulted!

Mike showed that our problem is a structural problem, very much related to the way that traditional Battle Point tournaments operate. The nice thing about structural problems is - you can change the structure and solve the problem. I think all across the country and indeed the world that is happening right now.

That brings us to today. I believe in a "whole hobby" approach. I believe in competitive play, tactics and strategies designed to put your opponent (and yourself) through the intellectual wringer. This is a strategy game, and we should learn to play it well. I also believe that this is not chess. A great portion of what we get out of this game can come from the wonderful stories that we weave into our armies and the hours of work spent creating beautiful and unique models. Not only do I believe that hobbyists and competitive gamers can coexist, I believe they can be one and the same thing.

I am a competitive hobbyist.


  1. I'd be a douche if I didn't drop by and go ... AWWW, THANKS PURGY!

    No, but seriously, good job gettin' your blog going ... your prolific posting on YTTH deserves its own outlet as well.

  2. Good to see you with your own blog! You definitely come across as a complete hobbyist, not something the majority of the community cares to pull off.

    I salute you for that. I will be following along closely!


  3. Soooo....this is gonna be a 'Nids Blog, right?

  4. Oh. Yeah. Exclusively. *eye roll*

  5. (That eye roll was for SinSynn, lol).