Monday, July 30, 2012

The 40k Community Has a Loser Mentality Part II

In my previous angry rant, I went off on some BoLS commentors who are clearly idiots.  It isn’t just that they have strong ideas about what the game should be, it’s that they feel that their ideas are superior to everyone else’s’ and consequently anything contrary is to be dismissed, and dismissed with maximum indignation.

WhenI talked about scrub mentality on 3++, I was NOT talking about them.  As I admitted in that article, I have my own self-imposed rules and limits about what kind of army I would play.  These rules do probably limit how competitive my armies could ever be, but there is always a chance that my rules would happen to coincide with what’s good, and I could end up playing a hyper competitive army.  But really, the point is, my rules are for me, not anyone else.

Unlike these BoLS commentors, I don’t think the type of lists I prefer should apply to everyone else.  I don’t think that the level of competitiveness I prefer to play at is the only level everyone else should play at.   I cannot fathom being under the delusion that my happy medium is what everyone else should be forced into. 

So this brings me to my conclusion.  The scrub mentality is completely different than the loser mentality. 

A scrub would say: I only enjoy playing foot lists, but I try to have the best foot lists possible and I love smashing people’s mech armies.

A loser would say:  Full mech armies are WAAC garbage and if I see my opponent put down 8 razorbacks I’ll pack my army up and leave.

I have no problem with the scrub mentality, and I’ll admit I have strong scrub tendencies as do most competitive players in the hobby, simply because aesthetic appeal of the armies and units is a strong reason to play a particular army.  Playing an army you hate aesthetically just to be as competitive as possible seems really rare in the 40k community. 

I have a big problem with the loser mentality.  Whether they use fluff, or “what the game designers intended,” or claim to not be competitive, they are similar to the scrub.  But the scrub holds only himself to these rules; the loser tries to hold everyone else to them.

The 40k community is, in fact, a community.  The key to being a member of a community is understanding that people can hold incompatible ideas to yours, but rather than “packing up your army and leaving” you learn to coexist.  If you don’t like playing against hyper-tuned competitive opposing lists: don’t play against them.  Find members of the community with a similar interest to you, and play against them.  There is nothing wrong with asking your opponent before the game whether he is bringing a tournament testing list or a fun list.  Packing up your stuff and leaving is a sign that you are not ready to be a member of the community, and it’s seems clear to me that if you’re that upset you should probably avoid playing publicly. 

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?


  1. I'm still a scrub though...

    I have enjoyed your articles on this subject. It helps me clarify my attitude towards things in our community.

    I'll be in the corner now eating cookies...


  2. "Packing up your stuff and leaving is a sign that you are not ready to be a member of the community, and it’s seems clear to me that if you’re that upset you should probably avoid playing publicly."

    I think that this sentence sums up the whole article nicely. :)

  3. I'm a hobby snob. I suck at playing and kill at painting but I turn my nose up at bare plastic when it sits across the table from me - I'll still play them (and probably lose) but it chaffs me if they just don't try to even paint the army. I get having a few units you just can't wait to play with but I see a lot of people in my area who just build and play build and play with not effort to making the army look good or even just fair. Again, I don't pack up and leave but I'm pretty sure I make an "I smell poo" face on reflex.

  4. Of all the non-special characters models that Citadel or Forge World have released in the 24 years or so that I have been playing this game, my favorites are the Mordian Iron Guard infantry and the Leman Russ tank. Just after the release of 5th Edition, I finally had the resources and free time to build myself a massive collection of both. I built myself an Armoured Battlegroup from IA Vol One, but with a few careful alterate uses of this or that model, it could be used using the "straight" C:IG.

    14-16 Leman Russ variants, 30-35 Mordian infantry. All painted to the best of my admidtly average ability, but with full unit markings, kill tags, squadron badges, freehand banners, and a lovingly converted tank commander in the cupola of each squadron's lead tank. And enough personally written fluff to choke Dan Abnett.

    The guys and girls at my regular, local shop, who watched my build and learn my army LOVED it. It took a bit of convinicng for them to let me use it in our first in store tourney, but they let me, and I went 3-2-1. After that weekend, I probably averaged a mere 50/50 win/loss ratio - they got over the fear of a FW list and realized just what my weaknesses were, what the limits to my stengths were, and started to beat me. More importantly, they knew that I had built the army out of genuine love.

    Sadly, I had to relocate far from that home store. In my new city, the only local game venue isn't as conveintent and I am now an infrequent visitor not a weekly regular. My beloved 17th Mordian (Lancers) Armoured Battlegroup has visited the local shop once... even running them in their neutral C:IG 2k point form, two opponents LITERALLY packed up and refused to play me after I finished my deployment.

    I cannot wait til they learn my backup army is Deathwing.

    1. I don't get why they would refuse to play against a normal codex army?

    2. Aparently, building an army with nine Leman Russ, three Chimera, and 30 infantry is being a "douche." Which,near as I can tell, means I have put together a list that doesn't conform to their expectations of how the game should be played.

      They've mostly fallen into what I have come to think of as the "Warseer Trap." The internet has told them that 'mechanized msu marines' are the only way to win. So they all play 'mechanized msu marines' (or a xenos or guard list that emulates it). They only know razorbacks, autocannon dreads, and meltaguns.

      Nine Leman Russ tanks (3 Vanquisher, 5 Standard, 1 Exeterminator) pretty much laughs at this set up: slag the APCs, make the meltaguns walk, pound any Devastator-type squads into paste. Bring Chimeras out of reserve at last possible minute. I've been practicing this stratgery for five years and have gotten pretty good at it.

      Now, throw me up against a balanced army with a good player (or a S8+ assault army: Deathwing, Tyranid MCs, etc.) and I am going to have to work very, very hard.

      But, because I don't play RhinoHammer, I'm "doing it wrong."

    3. Maybe those folks at the new venue just misinterpreted what "any fight you can walk away from is a good one" means?