Monday, 1 July 2013

Winning a tournament by using all available means - Or, why do people hate tournament winners?

Warning! Rage and vitriol in the following text. Read at your own risk. Apologies if I have offended anyone but I myself have been offended and need to vent.

I read today some responses to the tournament I played in and won in June. I was a bit miffed at the attitude towards me about the way I won. First off, I didn’t intend to win, I believed that it was impossible to plan for 4 way games as I’ve seen multiplayer games before and seen the way that players can be ganged up upon. That sort of game can be vicious so I decided I’d be the grey man and just gather a few points that I could, and hope for the best.

I think people don’t like it when they realise they didn’t play the mission properly and someone else did. The tournament had a lot of points available for bonus things, like bringing in units from reserve or having an MSU army. I was the ONLY player who used those fully to my advantage during the tournament. Did I abuse the rules? I don’t think I abused them anymore than people who brought nigh on unkillable units to a battlefield where everyone was limited to 1000 points. People just saw the mission as the Relic mission and thought: “if I get the relic I win”. Wrong. Whoever gets the most points wins. People claimed I had a “technical win”, I dispute this, nowhere in the rules did it say you must claim the relic to win, so a win is a win. I worked my arse off for 2 weeks painting my army to get just 2 bonus points, why don’t I deserve to win?

As has been repeated ad infinitum on the internet about how to win at 40k (or anything in life really); play the mission. The mission of the day was to get the most points to win the tournament. The relic was worth 20 points to whoever had it at the end. There were 2 games to play ergo 40 possible points. There were 3 other players all trying to get the relic too, making you a bit target if you tried to get it. 2 points were available for each kill point. Because of these facts I decided to plan my army around not claiming the relic and aiming to come somewhere near the high end of the middle, hopefully 3rd if I was lucky. I planned to get lots of points for my army list as these were guaranteed points and I wanted the 3 bonus championship points for getting the most achievements for the day. To be honest I expected more people to see these as easy points. In fact people were blinded by the relic and decided to put in really tough big units instead. This lead to armies with few units, which meant few bonus points, which in turn put me at an advantage. I just turtled up in the corner while everyone was frothing over the relic.

Is maximising your points with your army list or by keeping things in reserve exploiting the rules? It’s a tournament! Tournaments are about maximising what you can. If you decided to ignore some obvious advantages for moral reasons then fair play to you but don’t expect to win. Tournaments are the peak of WAAC playing, its like that in every sport and most people congratulate the winner at the end and try to think what they could have done better. I try to think what I could have done better after a tournament and the bonus points are what I have seen used to win before…… by Ken. It was his example last year that lead me to use the bonus points myself. He played for all the little things like a bonus point for infiltrating, a bonus point for having allies, a bonus points for scout moves. People just dislike the fact that I gained lots more bonus points than anyone before. Maybe the rules should be changed to have more focus on the objective of the game but that doesn’t change the rules for the games already played.

At the end of it all it’s just a game of plastic men and nothing to get worked up about. I’m a bit annoyed at myself for getting worked up like this already but I had to vent. I mean no ill to the other players who play in the Guardians of Tyr tournaments, I enjoy the challenge, that’s why I keep going. I could complain about the cheesy armies that they use against me but I’m not going to, you expect that sort of thing at tournaments.

Lessons learnt:

  • Play the mission – all of it, not just the main objective.
  • Expect cheese at a tournament – it’s a tournament, not a fluffy/story-based scenario.
  • If you post it on the internet it will be seen.
  • If you were beaten by someone don’t complain about it unless they cheated. Just up your game next time.
  • Ignore the orks at your peril!


  1. Wotcha fella. I completely agree with all of your points, and can only apologise for some of the comments that my cohorts from the Kettering club had posted. I will point out that the comments concerning 'winning by technicality' and 'abuse of the system' were made by people that were not at the tourney so don't have much gravitas.
    Though I was disappointed not to win, I certainly don't begrudge you - or anyone - their success... I agreed with Barrie's comment that, if I had just concentrated more on killing boyz, rather than on the "big prize" of the Relic, I would have picked up the necessary kill points to have reeled you in.
    Barrie reckons that a lot of the guys have me down as "the player to beat" but you're the one I usually keep my eye on (in a completely non-gay way, of course).
    Anyhoo, I hope that has gone some way to clearing the air in this regard, and I hope to see you across the field of battle in August... I need to put some distance between us, as you've crept too close for comfort (again, no gay overtones) :)
    Ever your nemesis (apparently) Ken

    1. Thanks dude. I don't have any bad feelings about it I just felt the need to vent. Now I'm worried that you'll find ways of getting lots of bonus points now lol. :P