Upcoming North Carolina Tournaments

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Camp Fire - Fluffing It

Kuffy over at The Trading Post sent out the following questions:

How important is fluff to you?  Do you base an army around the fluff and make the looks/minis suit the background you have for them or is it the other way around?  Do you use units that would never fight alongside one another fluffwise?  Do you care for the fluff or is it all about the rules for you?  Do you write fluff for your armies?

As a tournament player, this is a pretty common set of questions for me, because the fluff debate at tournaments is ever present.  So here's my take.

The importance of fluff is a personal thing, and is an important part of our hobby.  Done well, fluff can be used to bring an army to life on the table and in your mind, but "fluff abuse" is also a thing that we see around the area from time to time.  I think there are two keys to being a fun and fluffy player.  First, do what makes you happy.  Second, use some moderation and remember the other hobby aspects.  For me, fluff is a great and wonderful thing, but shouldn't dictate your fun.

Doing what makes you happy with fluff means different things to different people.  For some, playing their army as a certain faction, such as a Nurgle Daemon army or a Khainite Daemon army is the way to go, and so they limit themselves and build accordingly.  When I build an army, I love to have a theme or idea in mind, but I want to make it more big and general, because I want to use everything in the army book.  For instance, I always think of my red and bronze Dark Elves as a desert raiding force, plying the wastes to loot and pillage.  A little bit of everything shows up in the army, as each Dark Elf faction is represented and vies for glory and reward.  In this way, I enjoy my personal fluff without giving up some of the other things that I enjoy, such as collecting and painting.

My big joy is playing the game, mostly at a tournament level, and so I do notice examples of fluff gone too far.  There are two offenders that are related, and I call them the Intentional Gimp and the Hidden Cheese.  The Intentional Gimp is the player who intentionally makes his army terrible in order to make it what he or she considers "fluffy", and then complains about getting beaten by all the other armies.  While it's one thing to have a fluffy army, don't be a bad sport when you lose because you ran a Bretonnian all Peasant army.  On the other hand, the Hidden Cheese hides his cheesiness behind fluff.  When he shows up with your 25+ power dice Vampire army, he should still get a terrible composition score even if you painted your army to look like Necrarchs.  A cheesy army is a cheesy army, even if it has a great theme.

Finally, and this is my big offender, is the Fluff Nazi.  Don't be this guy.  Your opinion is your opinion, and while it's cool to share, don't condemn the guy who doesn't think the same way you do, or has other priorities with his army.  I'm going to play in a doubles tournament next month with my good buddy Lon.  We're running Beastmen and Lizardmen (or "Blizzardmen" if you will).  We both realize that it's not fluffy, but he's playing his army and I'm playing mine.  I'm okay with this combo because I'm going to the tournament to play Warhammer and to hang out with my friend, and that's my priority.  Years ago, when my brother and I started 40K, we were almost kicked out of a doubles tournament for bringing Space Marines (me) and Tau (him).  We had just started, and those were the only armies we owned, but we had to talk our way into being allowed to play.  My priority there was to go to a tournament with my brother. 

So like all things with the hobby, I guess what I'm saying is that you should be happy with what you do, and let others be happy with their hobby as well, be it in painting, modeling, fluff, or anything else.  I look forward to playing you with my Eighty plus power dice Dwarfs soon!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Ben. I am all for fluff, until someone tries to tell you their 2 Stank w/Walter army is fluffy or a Tz DoC army that has fleshounds painted blue. It is people who fly the fluff banner while hiding their cheese that I don't care for.

    When I design an army list I try and go for some sort of theme. My fantasy Chaos were always based on 40K Word Bearers, that is undivided with daemons. This is of course is hard to do with the current WoC book and to make my list somewhat competitive I have had to mix marks and shelve the daemons.

    In a doubles tournament I could care less about fluff. If you can spin it into your list great, if not, not a big deal.