Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Voices of Authority (and why they aren't healthy)

Hi folks, this is going to be a rare departure for me as I am not going to be talking about painting little men but rather about this grand ol' hobby of ours in the round. You see, I spend a lot of my time these days in hobby cyberspace as you can imagine and I've noticed some trends that are starting to bother me. For a long while I just ignored them but recently they've annoyed me more and though I am but a minnow in this sea of hobby I thought I'd toss my two pence worth into the debate.

Many of you know that I spent a considerable proportion of the last decade working in games workshop stores up and down the country. While doing this I had the opportunity to watch gamer psychological dynamics at close quarters and how cliques and opinions form. See if you recognise this scenario from your younger days in the hobby:

You are talking excitedly about your latest doodad or project idea. Some kid who has been doing the hobby longer (usually about a couple of months longer, oh the experience) comes over and tells you in dense, jargon-heavy language why what you are doing is wrong. There will be declarations about how this unit and that are "pointless" and you've wasted your money. There will be references to rules pulled - usually - not from the book open in front of them but from their living brain (gasp). Clearly this person is a hobby god. Your opinions are meaningless; your shiny doodad is a waste; maybe you should just do what he says and be a better gamer.

Now that was a very sarcastic paragraph but I think we can all remember those times and maybe for a while we were "that kid" until someone open our eyes to how ridiculous it all was. Some of you might be saying "so?" right now but the internet is rapidly becoming "that kid" - what am I talking about, its always been "that kid". This I genuinely believe is creating a damaging environment on line for our hobby and especially every new hobbyist entering cyberspace. Why? I'm glad you asked, let me expand:

1) Credentials established by confusion.
This is a jargon rich hobby, all of them are really, it's kinda the shibboleth by which we recognise a kindred spirit. There are thousands of named weapons and rules, weird terminology and dense passages of rules. You should see a parent's face in a game shop if you forget yourself and use even a term like 40k. Blind, panicked, confusion. So in the face of all this jargon, why the hells do we feel the need to complicate it further? Abbreviations, named army builds, oblique nicknames for units? We all do it to a greater or lesser extent. When it is just between you and your gaming buddies it doesn't matter. It becomes a shared cant that binds you rather than divides. The problem is when these same linguistic tics are used with strangers. Not being able to understand the local jargon puts you instantly on the back foot and allows someone with no more experience or understanding of the hobby in general than you to sound authoritative. I've been doing this hobby for twenty three years. If I can't understand you then you are using a smidgen too much jargon.

Example: these are CSM termies with MoN, 2 PF, CF, PW and PLC. Ranged: 2SB, Combi-melta and a RAC.

 So when we start to debate (and isn't that a misnomer on the internet, argue then) hobby on line we will run in to these people who can sound terribly authoritative and don't actually know any better. As a result, it is these opinions that will be listened to. Now, here is a central tenant of this hobby. You cannot be truly wrong. You can be mistaken in your understanding of a rule. That is about it. There is no army build that is "wrong", no means of playing that is "wrong", no paint scheme, dice rolling method or victory dance that is "wrong". What there is, however, is wrong for you. Any advice for example that comes from a dedicated tournament player for whom the win is their enjoyment will probably not work for me. Some of my advice probably won't work for you. The problem is that there are people who set themselves up as the experts, their shining pedestals not the commitment of rules to memory of the playground. No, it is a big shiny blog to speak from. Clearly they must be worth listening to, not just anyone can have a blog right? Oh, wait, yeah we can.

I think the central summing up of point one is that we must be careful not to be "that kid". To use a spurious bestowment of authority to shout down others and their opinions. You all have the right to your opinions. Just as I (and you obviously) have the right to disagree. That doesn't make either of us wrong. Just different. That brings us neatly onto...

2) The polarisation of Tournament vs. Fluffy play.
See what I did there? Jargon. Fluffy is a term used - incorrectly, I think - to mean someone who plays for the story rather than in a competitive fashion. These two groups, on line at least, have become as polarised as Republicans and Democrats in the United States. You have to believe in one of those philosophies on line, declare your allegiance, NOW! This is complete nonsense. Wargaming is a spectrum of opinion and styles of play, not some battleground divided into camps.

From the oftimes excellent Bunny webcomic
We all, all of us, play competitively. The only way you can play cooperatively is if there is someone on your team! The two camps and the array of styles between should be characterised not by how they play but what they get out of the hobby. The tournament player likes the win. If they haven't won it is not really going to be a good game for them. There is an art to playing the rules not the game, looking for weaknesses, exploiting them. It just isn't for me. I'm pretty much the opposing camp, I play for the story. Win or loose it has to be a cool game for me to enjoy it. It's why I mostly play with friends, I can rely on them to provide that. There isn't really a lot more to say about this other than. C'mon people, give peas a chance. They're good for you.

3) Math-hammer.
Oh, dear, god. Now we've strayed into crazy-making territory for me, I will be deleting a rewriting sentences regularly to remove vitriol. Math-hammer is the term I - and lots of others - use for the practice of using statistics or just the bare rules to judge a unit. In other words, declaring it's worth before it ever, ever is used on the table. A typical mathhammer opinion would sound like "yeah, but you're going to get twenty shots, half will miss, you'll only wound a third and two thirds of those will be soaked by armour so at most you kill one marine".

There's a lot wrong with that statement. First the words "most of the time" have to be added regularly. This is a hobby where dice are involved, where luck plays a role. People will tell you that it averages out. No, it doesn't. Not in one game. That unit will act, at most, six times. That is not enough for randomness to be shaken out of the equation. Ask scientists why, we'll tell you, really we will. Secondly, that is a space marine we are talking about. There are nine codexes out there that are not space marines. The only time that it matters to talk that way is if you are trying to guess what your opponent will bring and thus beat them.

Me and my boyz is about to become a case in point see...

There is a bigger problem than those, however. That is the assumption that our hobby is a game of World of Warcraft, where all that matters is damage per second. That is ludicrous. Lots of people have told me that Ork Kommandos are worthless because they won't survive long enough to kill enough things to "make back their points". As though that is how we should judge a unit. Ask the people I play with Orks. Dayum they hate those Kommandos. They are a little bit to strong to ignore but not so expensive that I won't sacrifice them. They tie up a couple of units killing them for a vital turn or two while the rest of my under armoured bullet magnets run into position. Their worth is not in what they kill but in how it allows me to influence my opponents actions. Ork players will know this, so how can a dedicated Tau player who has never fielded Orks in his life tell me that they are worthless? The answer? They can't. There are NO worthless units, just ones that don't have a place in your strategy. Please, I beg of you, if you regularly mathhammer. Put away the forums and play some games. Your opinions will improve because of it.

4) Homogenisation
A big complicated word for everything kinda becomes the same. Ask yourself why handmade food tastes better than pre-made in a factory. Go on, think. The reason is because the pre-made stuff has been made to offend the least amount of people. Its all about market share. Companies who don't care about the quality of their product would rather have 90% of people think their product is "alright, nothing special" than have 25% LOVE it and another 50% think it is "alright". In their deluded minds this is better. Its a capitalist model, market share equals power. But it means that everything winds up tasting "alright", nothing is stand-out, nothing is delicious.

Where am I going with this? If everyone winds up agreeing with a few authoritative talking heads then everyone gets the same army, the same build, plays the same game. I'm yawning as I speak. Worse, it can have a toxic effect on anyone whose instinct is to go another way, isolating them. It works for painting too. Look at Cool Mini or Not, it started as a nifty idea but has turned into its own Voice of Authority. There is one style of painting that gets results there. Non metallic metal, over blended cartoony. That is what is considered good. This may sound like sour grapes "aww, whassamatter Jeff, the nasty people on CMoN didn't give you marks?" but I don't care about that. I like my painting. Not everyone does, when people say "oh, that's a bit dark" I say, "yes it is!" not "oh, is it? I'd better repaint it.". There is not One True Paint Style any more than there is One True Game. But listen to the intertubes and you would never know it.

Where am I going with this? Well there is one central point to consider when it comes to Homogenisation = Bad. Almost everyone complains that there are too many space marines out there. Usually while owning two power-armoured armies themselves. Why are Space Marines so ubiquitous? Because when we were young some Voice of Authority told them that Space Marines were best. So they bought them. This sets up a loop where demand drives supply. Whose fault is it that there are so many Space Marines? Not GW's, it is ours.

So to sum up...
And that is it. My four bugbears associated with the Voices of Authority. Why does this bug me so much? Because our hobby is tough enough to get into. It is complex, expensive and intimidating in the number of skills you have to learn. Why do we then also make it Clique-ey? Why do we put up barriers to understanding? Why, oh, why do we tell people that their opinions are wrong? It can only be to make us feel a little bit important, an ego stroke. If you think this I am overstating the impact this can have consider this. I do not attend any gaming clubs in a city the size of Cardiff. There are loads of them. I avoid my local gaming store (not a GW) if I can possibly help it. Why? Not because of the staff, not because of the stock. It is because every time I go in I feel like a stranger in the room, an unwelcome intruder. The few loud people holding court and declaring their superiority. They drive me away. I've been doing this twenty three years. Imagine how a kid would feel, with all those hormonal brain wonks telling him he's worthless anyway, imagine it. Walking in to an established clique and then being told his ideas have no merit.

Our hobby is a niche in a niche. In a world where entertainment can be found at the push of a button ANY new member who is willing to sacrifice the time to paint and game is precious and shouldn't be shoved away. We can't take responsibility for every new player, and they don't need baby sitting. They should be able to find their own way. It is up to us to make sure we don't abuse our positions as apparent authority figures and allow them to have their own way. Even if it bugs us.

Here endeth the ramble. [edit: Now read the comments, I know this is usually the point where your eyes begin to bleed on the intertubes. Comments have become a CAPS LOCK shouting match between trolls, not these ones, the debate continues...]



  1. Wow. That's the closest you've ever come to ranting.

    At the risk of setting you up as a voice of authority, I agree with what you say. But I expect you sort of knew that already.

  2. I also do agree for most of your stance.
    But I think you are going too far.

    1) There are people worth of respect. As you might know, it's almost the same guys that always win tournaments, same for Golden Daemons.
    Someone who have years in the hobby, who played and won some tournaments, or whose painting is appealing are always worth to listen.
    And the Internet is full of this guys, they might be sometime annoying, but they are not totally wrong, their experience proved it.

    2) I do not have the feeling of this polarization.
    I really never see any argument about it.
    There are the fluff guys who mostly talk about painting and fluff, and the other players who talk about competition.
    If someone want to be part of both, I never saw any "You're a fluff guy, you can not understand strategy" stuff.

    3) Math works. Playing W40K without knowing your math, is bad.
    Yes, there is luck. But you also have to do your homework, if you plan to kill Terminators with lasgun, better to know that you have to bring an average 18 guardsmen at 12" to kill one.
    You might be able to come that close and kill 2, or you might be killed before.
    But at least knowing your math will help you to choose the good tactics.
    All units do not need that much math, especially if you use them as bait, or for point capture, or provoke some reaction from your opponent, but if their role is to kill something, please do your math, that will never be wrong.

    4) There is no such things as Homogenisation. 6 month ago, it was all about Blood Angels and Grey Knights, now Tzeentch Daemons are the new trend. But between that we had the Njal Imperial Guard Deathstar, the Necron Flying Circus (sorry for Jargon). Every 2 months or so, there is a new best list.
    And even inside each codex, there are new "best list", every month.
    But there are also the bad list, a 10th company (full scout) list is bad, if someone plan to do it, especially if he wants to win with it, it's better to tell him, it's a no-go than let him invest that much money and be disappointed.
    Regarding painting, the vast majority of hobbyists are far from posting on CMoN and also far away from your level. That's why CMoN can not be called Voice of Authority, 99% of people do not even try to copy CMoN models, most people try to at least paint their whole army.

    1. yes, I probably did, emphasis through sarcasm isn't always the best way, but...

      1) You have kinda missed my point (and if you did others will so here goes clarification). There are people worth listening to. of course there are. They are not "right" they have their way, if it matches up with your way then so much the better.

      2) I'm glad you haven't felt this way. I have, maybe I'm over sensitive!

      3) We disagree here. I'm just gonna leave it there as we both have the right to our opinions.

      4) Just because it is rapid doesn't mean it isn't homogeneous. If six months ago it was "all about" then by definition... ;)

      Regarding painting, I'd wager the vast majority of hobbysits don't dare post on CMoN. My point was not to declare Voices of Authority. The opposite in fact, to warn against becoming them!

    2. Oh and if there is a new "best list ever" every couple of months then this surely kills off the concept that there can be one? And a couple of months is far too short a time for even me to paint an army (and I am freak fast). This means that either the army is not being playtested, or that it is some tinboy/proxy monstrosity that has no place in my little bubble of hobby.

    3. Thank you for your answer.

      1) What I meant, is, yes they are a little bit "right".
      Guys who won tournaments or have awesome painting skills, even it does not match my way, they are really worse of listening.
      I do not mean "copy those guys", but at least listen to them and if they say something against your way, re-think your way is not always bad.
      For example, if you think a 10th company theme list could win in a tournament, and the best SM tournament players do not even put 1 scout unit in their list. You might be doing something wrong (may be not, and you are a genius that did find the new "best" list but well...)
      Of course, if you do it for fluff, it's another story, but if you want to be competitive, read about high rank players will for sure give you some good idea.

      4) We do not have the same definition of homogeneous.
      A constant changing environment, that change faster than one can not adapt in time, is not for me homogeneous.
      As you said, if someone want to copy the "best list", the time is models dried, he will be screwed by the new "best list".

      3) I really do not get your point. If you read codex Imperial Guard, you could have the idea that Sgt Harker can kill in close combat a Tyranid Ravener (it's in his background). Yes, it can happen but I really do not recommend to try to do it, especially if you want to win.
      Would you say to a kid who want to do it and win and has been told that in terms of odds it's really unlikely to happen: "People do not understand sample statistics, try it, luck can happen"?
      "hard" statistics are really simple to do, yes, they are not super accurate due to the sample. (Even if with Imperial Guard or Orks, samples start to be quite representative)
      But they give you an idea, if what you want to do can happen.
      You can choose to try something that can happen once in a while with some luck, but if odds are really against you, better to not even try.
      And saying "Luck IS a factor", is exactly doing your math.
      Assaulting the Ravener to kill them with Harker is assuming that you will have that one chance on 70 (not the real number but a good idea of it).
      So, really people should do their math if they want to try something new and assume that they might need a little bit of luck to do it.

    4. This is a subject that's really close to my heart, so I was going to avoid making a comment in case it got me on a soapbox, but I'm going to have to step in and say my piece.

      I think the key factor that seems to be causing disagreement here is a different expectation of what you want to get from the hobby. Being another person with a worrying number of years in GW retail under my belt, know all about the great rainbow of hobbyists; the army painters, the collectors, the master tacticians, the storytellers, the demagogues, the bewildered new folk... different people want different things from the hobby, and that's fine. That's great, in fact; it's why I love it.

      The thing is that there's a very vocal minority that's tipping the needle in favour of mathsy talk, stat-bashing and planning your army based on a "build" you found on a forum. I think it all comes back to Jeff's original point about "voices of authority". Hear me out, I might be onto something here.

      If you go back a few years - funnily enough, before the mass appeal of the internet - people on the "tournament circuit" were a fairly insular bunch, discrete from the regular mass of gamers. You used to see them in the shops occasionally, but normally they spent their time gaming with their similarly-minded gaming buddies, trying to think up new ways to bend the rules and come up with the beardiest cheese-fest this side of Bavaria. Thing is, they were in a minority, and they were happy with it. Everyone else was happy with it. It was fine! Occasionally they'd pop up in White Dwarf and give tactical or composition advice, but it was usually presented in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, or came with a "don't use this in friendly games!" disclaimer.

      Gradually, the internet became a huge breeding ground for the hobby, and why on earth not? It's a great way to get in touch with like-minded people, and it's been a key factor in the explosion of niche hobbies over the past decade. Unfortunately, viewing anything through the pages of a forum, bulletin board, newsgroup or whatever else is always going to apply a filter, and that's very true of the hobby. A lot of the things that make tabletop gaming so much fun just don't translate that well to a flat screen. I'm sure we've all known miniatures that look awful in picture form but jump to life when you see them in person. (The Warhammer Giant had that effect on me when I first saw pre-release shots of it - then, when I opened the first kit I got my hands on, I almost did a wee with excitement.) That same thing applies to a lot of the other - usually more subjective and emotion-driven - parts of the hobby. Trying to convey excitement about an awesome climactic assault phase, or explain something funny that happened mid-game, or obsess about why you want to collect one of every boltgun model thats ever been produced, struggles when exposed to the cold vacuum of a forum post. Oh, and like I said, it's subjective.

      That subjectivity makes it very hard to win arguments and show off knowledge, which - unfortunately - is one of the main forms of online communication these days, especially in niche circles. It's in no way restricted to this hobby. Have a look at a forum on fly fishing and you'll have people waving their fists in the air and screaming in FULL CAPS that anyone who uses a an orange boobie rather than a cat's whisker is doomed to failure, and a complete moron to boot. Objectivity is king on the internet; "This unit will kill three marines according to mathematical average" is a lot harder to argue with than "I love this unit because it's got a lot of character". Making yourself sound authoritative by quoting stats is just another way of winning attention, and it ties directly in with what Jeff was saying earlier. [continued in next comment!]

    5. [Continued because I waffle like a waffler and NO COMMENT BOX CAN CONTAIN ME!]

      Unfortunately, because so many people look at the hobby through an internet filter - it's their primary method of communication with other hobbyists, as well as their primary source of hobby information - they only get a narrow view. They see more and more people talking in an objective, stats-laden fashion and they start doing the same thing. Before long, the language of the hobby changes to accommodate those acronyms and build names and shorthand descriptions. Then, regular normal people (the ones who actually do play games rather than just talking about them on forums) pick up those expressions because they're so prevalent, and those weird practices - playing the game solely for the purpose of winning, building an army around a list you found online, thinking people are stupid for adding a beautiful-looking model to their army because its rules are sub-par - find their way to the gaming table and the gaming club and the gamers who don't even touch forums., my invective's really built up over the past couple of paragraphs. Forgive me!

      Anyway, I think the point I was aiming for was that this hobby isn't just about "what can kill what". It's an emotional, visceral, tactile experience. I once got told that i was a fool for converting bigger Ork trukks (back when the "Gorkamorka Warboss Skateboard" was the standard) because it would be harder to get a cover save. That person missed the point of why I love the hobby. I think a lot of people would do well to put the internet down for a month and spend that time painting and playing with an army that they love the *feel* of. It might be a more fun experience than they expect!

      And yes, my take on it is different from everyone else's, and I'm basically ranting about why I'm right and why everyone else is wrong, and I'm using objective fact-based examples to prove my point, so I'm just as guilty as anyone else. But if I don't do all of that, how am I ever going to become a voice of authority? ;)

    6. Hi zero, glad you responded, promoting debate rather than proscription is exactly what this article was for!

      1) Yes, absolutely, you are right, there are people "worth listening to". My point, as it has been throughout, is to use these people exactly as you describe. I do find the notion of "ranked" players slightly laughable as I would find ranked pokemon players but we do the hobby for different things. I do look at golden demon painting and read and admire the blogs of those who do it. I have though been doing this long enough to know what advice to pick and choose! What is beyond me. I suspect we are iterating to the same ground here. There are people worth listening to, if you feel you need a crutch then base your hobby on their advice. Just make sure it is still "your" hobby at the end of it.

      4) Well, I'm not going to get into semantics as that is how all internet debates go. Interestingly your answer illustrates one of my points. We both know that none of these people touting the best list of today can possibly have created it. How on earth does the new player know this?

      3) Happily Charlie - down the page a bit - made my point better. "Anyone using maths to try and convince someone not to try something new" is my problem. Of course there is an element of math in warhammer, of course there is. But seriously zero, people kid themselves that you can accurately predict any damn thing in this game, the sample sizes are just too small. Yes, you can absolutely play the game your way, it is your right, nae obligation, to do so! It is your hobby. But here's a thought. Most of my best gaming stories have come about from stuff that "shouldn't" have worked. The one guardsman falling back that I would have normally removed as pointless snapping off a shot from his lasgun and felling the terminator lord who had been whittled to one wound. Unlikely but cool. And cool, as I pointed out in my article, is where I get my jollies.

    7. And battlesandbiscuits... damn straight!

    8. If I need to justify myself a little, I have played to WFB then W40K from my 15th, with a huge pause between 23y.o. and 30y.o.
      And much before my first modem, I was doing my math and was telling all my friends to do so.
      So, it's not Internet or whatever that made me do it.

      It's just so logical to try to predict what will happens.
      It is called making a strategy, a game plan, it's what Wargame are for.
      I totally agree with you that no math should prevent you to play a cool model but someone who plays a Wargame and do not make a strategy, I think, misses the whole essence of this game (I wrote "game", not "hobby")
      I hate WAACers but I do neither like to play against someone who do not want to win, it's frustrating.
      Yes, Miracle and Disaster happens, so you have to adapt your game plan and redo your math during the game.
      There is no bad model (GW is not perfect, but all models can do something in most game, and luck balance things), but there are models better at doing some stuff than others.
      And you know it by experience, but you can have also an idea with math or reading other people strategies.

      I can understand your anger about people that use math in not appropriate manners, but dismiss Math as one of the best tool to make a game plan or adapt a strategy, is a little bit too much.

      I may be a little fond of math (that's why I prefer Horde Style which make sample sizes big enough to be quite accurate) but I really recommend every people who are in the hobby to play a wargame to do at least some simple math prediction.
      It can fail but it's never a total waste of time.

    9. I don't think you need to justify yourself. The entire essense of me point is that you are entitled to your opinions.

      I've said a few times that we're gonna disagree here buddy, our styles are different. That's fine too. But I feel you are starting to take this personally, it isn't. No one is attacking you or indeed your point. You have simply found yourself a minority voice in an online debate and it can feel like being under siege. believe me, with my opinions, I know how it feels.

      I think at this point we need to nod respect at each others points, shake metaphorical hands and leave it there.

  3. You've managed to put into words a bunch of stuff that has been bugging me for a while...

  4. Great article. I very much agree with what you've said. I too worry about the way a large portion of the online community is adversely affecting our hobby. It seems to me that a lot of the so called 'problems' with GW games come from received 'wisdom' found on the internet and not from actual experience.

    1. Hear hear! The phrase 'netlist' makes me sad. "I wanted to collect Imperial Guard, and these really friendly dudes on a forum told me that the only way to collect Guard was to build a 'Leafblower,' even though I wanted to do air cav instead."

    2. Yeah, I shudder when I think people are so poorly invested in their choice of army that they will just pull one off the internet's dimly lit shelves. When you are going to spend that much money and time surely you should be doing what YOU want? Surely?

  5. Reading this post gave me a dirty feeling when I remembered how polemical I got about "fluffy" gaming in the Oxford community. I hoped that by over-compensating, I could make it clear that tournament-style play wasn't the only option for people, and in over-compensating, I became the very thing I hated. For shame! It's like the plot of a bad movie.

    This is all a very long-winded way of saying that was a great post. I think Math-hammer is the closest you come to something which is subjectively rather than objectively true, which of course is fine, but I can see what Zëro's getting at; as an experienced player, I suspect you're weighing up the mathematical probabilities on a near-instinctive level, whereas other gamers may have to weigh up their chances on a more conscious level. However, I got the impression that your bugbear wasn't "raaaargh statistics" so much as "raaaargh using statistics to prevent yourself or other people actually trying something new on the tabletop," in which case I wholeheartedly agree.

    1. I should have read this before I posted above. Charlie, you word-ninja, you. You've summed up my point in two paragraphs.

    2. no, no, you're points were good too, slightly different flavour. And as a fellow waffler, high five!

  6. I think that the 'bad' thing about Mathammer that Jeff is alluding to is when someone takes a codex and retreats into their near autistic world* to run all the possible sums for all the unit combinations against all of the other unit combinations (or at least the common builds)in the other codices. Their list then is not based on any peice of backstory that captured the player's imagination, not chosen on the cool miniatures he really likes, the army is not picked because he can blend and highlight that colour on the figures. Nor even on a particular tactic that the player thinks is clever and/or perhaps novel/inovative; It is based purely on a number crunched list designed to WAAC.

    This is not the same as 'knowing' in your head that guardsmen should outnumber Termies 18:1 within rapid fire range. It's not even the same as looking it up and deciding that its a smart/dumb move to bayonet charge the Termies.

    In my limited expereince, these are the people who seem to struggle in all sorts of ways when their deathstar unit gets wiped out by your speedbump unit in one turn of freaky dice lovliness.

    Apologies to Jeff if I've read this wrong. And apologies to any autistic people who might be offended by my post.

    1. Nope, you've got it right. I think Charlie's point on stopping people doing new and shiny things with dubious maths is the nearest the mark.

      I still maintain my point that people who talk about "hard" statistics in wargaming are misunderstanding how sample sizes work. Seriously, with the small number of actions a unit will take in a game you cannot, simply cannot assume an even distribution. Luck IS a factor and no amount of maths will change this.

  7. I agree wholeheartedly with the content of this article. One point I will add is the constant negativity of the internet to gw products and rules, even when we are all playing the same game. Surely if you hate the game so much why continue to play? It would be far healthier for the person to take a break and do another hobby for a while. Just my 2 cents :)

    1. Damn straight! I hit on this extensively in: so if you want more pseudo-viking ranting on being nice check it out!

  8. Nice article.

    Also cool to see a blog written by someone from Cardiff, I'll have to keep an eye on the site to see what you say about the local scene.

  9. Great article there, pretty much sums up how I look at it these days.

    Who can forget the cries of "it thethifically thateth in the rulebook..." in the old Swindon days?