Taking a break from our painting discussion for a moment, I had the chance to order up some of that Finecast action for myself. I ordered Queek Headtaker and the Wood Elf Highborn with Great Weapon. I also am borrowing a metal Queek, so that when mine gets here I can really look at the differences. I'm hoping to have a great experience, like either of thesetwo.
I started discussing painting scores in Part I, where I discussed the positives and negatives of painting scores in general in war game tournaments. Here in Part II, I'll discuss my thoughts on where and when painting scores are best implemented and the varying weights painting can be given. Tomorrow in Part III, I'll talk about paint judging and how best to effectively score painting in your tournament.
Part II: The Where and the Weight of Painting Scores
You could sum up the entirety of my first post by just writing "know your audience and know yourself". Thus, the two most important factors when determining whether you should consider when creating your tournament and implementing (or not implementing) a painting score are "What are my players looking for?" and "What am I looking for?"
For store owners/managers/employees running tournaments, providing a venue for new players to participate might be something important to emphasize. Thus, I've found that stores are more likely to forgo painting requirements in favor of pure battle scores. Likewise, if you're running an event to introduce new players into the hobby and game, ignoring paint scores and requirements might be the way to go as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, individually run tournaments, especially the two day affairs, will most likely appeal to veteran gamers, and very often contain painting scores and requirements. While there are a few that do not, those tournaments are target towards the "playing only" group of hobbyists, and are in the minority for many game systems.
If you've decided to use painting scores, there are different ways to go about doing so. If you'd like to reward painting without punishing you "playing only" group, a great way to go about doing so is to award a separate prize for the best painted army, while keeping those painting scores completely separate from the battle scores and overall prizes. Otherwise, you'll want to figure out just how much you'd like painting scores to matter in terms of overall score. More "hardcore" tournaments might contain painting as a small component of overall score, while soft score oriented tournaments might have painting as more than thirty percent of the overall.
I've found that the best way to go about calculating the effects of painting score is to look at your battle scores first. Figure out how many battle points a player can potentially earn in a day of tournament play, and then work out how many points painting should count as from there. For instance, if you're running a five game tournament, and players can earn up to one hundred points from battles (twenty points per battle), you might decide that you want painting to be worth about the same as one battle, and award up to twenty points. Depending on your emphasis, go higher or lower!
Over the past few days, I've been attempting to gather my thoughts on painting scores in miniature game tournaments, specifically Warhammer, into a cohesive mass. Soft scores in general, and painting scores in particular, are some of the most contentious parts of the Warhammer tournament scene, so I believe that they deserve a good bit of thought. I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts as well. I'd also like someone to actually show up to a tournament painted as in the picture above.
Part One - The Advantages and Disadvantages of Painting Scores in Warhammer Tournaments
Painting scores in tournaments offer both positives and negatives to players and tournament organizers, and those factors have to be recognized in order to determine if an event should or shouldn't use painting scores.
The main argument that I often hear for including painting scores in tournaments is that war gaming is a hobby, which consists both of playing miniatures and painting and modeling those miniatures. Certainly, the miniature companies push this idea of a "complete hobby", as they produce paints, brushes, and modeling tools along with their models. Games Workshop in particular seems to emphasize this model, using heavy painting scores in their own Throne of Blood tournaments and providing a magazine that heavily features well painted models and tutorials on painting.
While I personally fall into the "complete hobby" category, and really enjoy painting, there are many people who have an equally valid hobby of playing war games, and either having no interest in the painting side of things or seeing painting as a less enjoyable and important side effect of the hobby. From their perspective, playing Warhammer is similar to playing other games. A couple hours of playing Portal 2 on the XBox doesn't require one to slap a coat of paint on the console, so why should playing a miniature game?
A second, less used but in my opinion more interesting argument for the inclusion of painting scores is the idea of immersion. I once had a tournament organizer argue to me that he had players coming in from around the country and from other countries to play in his tournament, and his responsibility to those players was to provide the very best experience possible for them to participate in. This included visually appealing games, both from himself as a TO in term of terrain, and from other players in terms of painted armies. Many players enjoy games on an aesthetic or, for lack of a better term, "fluffy" level, and nothing jars those sensibilities harder than gray or primed plastic, metal and resin across the table.
This picture, for example, wouldn't be as neat without any color.
There are also several valid arguments for passing on painting scores in your tournament. Painting is an arduous and disaster filled learning experience for newer players, and there are already many factors such as cost and assembly that make war gaming (and especially the bigger games like Warhammer) intimidating to new players enjoying the hobby. The idea that players need to buy and assemble two hundred or more models before playing is scary, but then add the idea in that they'll need to spend several months painting before being allowed to show up and play on a Saturday tournament, and you'll turn off many new and aspiring players. The counter to this argument is that in requiring or heavily rewarding painting at tournaments, new players will be drawn in by the good looking armies on the table, and will want to join in on the fun of the complete hobby.
Painting scores may also eliminate or discourage highly skilled players who aren't as skilled at painting or who paint differently from your painting score system from attending your tournament. Often, the argument is that the winner of of a tournament should be the player who performed the best by winning the most games in the tournament. This, in my opinion, can be resolved by offering a "Best Overall" prize which includes your soft scores and a "Best General" prize which does not.
Sometimes, you just want to smash your opponents.
So, in preparing a tournament, I believe that one should look at all of these arguments, and then determine the best way forward in order to both promote your beliefs and ideas as a TO and to reach out and provide the best possible experience for your target tournament audience. Are you personally promoting the "complete hobby" or just the game? Are you aiming to provide a great looking experience or provide a more 'Ard Boyz style experience? Are you aiming to include many newer players, such as in a smaller "newbie" tournament? Who are you targeting as your potential player base for the tournament?
I hope you've enjoyed these initial thoughts, which lay the foundation for further parts of this argument on Monday and Tuesday of next week. On Monday, I'm going to look at different kinds of tournaments and my personal opinions on when painting scores are appropriate as well as why I believe that is true, as well as weighting painting in relation to battle scores and other soft scores. On Tuesday, I'll look into paint judging, different ways of scoring painting, and opinions on how to approach actual implementation of paint scoring in tournaments.
There's a fair bit of hate online for the new Finecast models (or at least the price hike that comes with them), but all I'm interested in is getting my hands on one and trying the new stuff out. Here's my question instead. Will everything that is currently metal be reintroduced all at once in Finecast, or will things come in waves, or will Finecast models only be released for each individual model once that model runs out of metal units?
I know the new Tomb Kings stuff is up for preorder now in Finecast, but I'm very interested to see how the rest of the range is handled. Will some armies still be metal until they're updated 8-10 years from now? I'm looking at you, Beastmen. I'd like to see Finecast spread quickly to all armies, but I can see how metal models currently existing shouldn't go to waste. What's your take?
Here's another blog you folks might like: Sons of Taurus. I think his latest post really shows off the great things about his blog: a great interest in the hobby, well thought out and articulate ideas, and interesting presentation. He's currently working on a The Lost and the Damned Codex, and would love to have some feedback. So check it out!
How could you ever hate the Monopoly man, even though his game is designed to cause anger and misery?
Every once and a while, I look to put down the Warhammer miniatures and get some good board gaming in. Tonight is one of those nights. I'll be taking Chaos in the Old World, Space Hulk, and Battle for Westeros down to Sci Fi Genre, our friendly local game store, to take on some bad guys (anyone playing against me) with my good guys (whatever side I'm on).
It's good to have different games to keep your main game fresh and fun in your mind. Without the board games and the side trips into games like Malifaux and Warmachine, I find myself getting bogged down in Warhammer and becoming frustrated. So try out some great board games (I suggest the D6 Generation podcast for good board game advice) and see how much your gaming experience improves!
I worked this weekend on painting up a proper Beastlord for my army, with all them there fancy lad painting techniques for him like blending and such. The result came out very nicely by my standards, and I'm quite pleased to have him general my unruly herds for a while.
I generally run the General with the 1+ rerollable armor save, along with the stubborn crown and a magic weapon. He goes in a large block of Gor, and along with the BSB allows them to stick around for a while. I try and save my 4+ wards for my BSB and Great Bray Shaman, who seem a bit more difficult to protect. He's done well for me over the past year and a half, so I'm glad to have a great model to represent him.
I don't know how this week turned into some kind of Cryx painting week, but I seem to have been painting away at the little undead buggers, despite not having played a game in a few weeks. The Helldiver, while not the most impressive 'Jack in the Cryx armory, almost won me a Warmachine league by being burrowing his merry way onto an objective and staying put throughout an eight player game of King of the Hill. I tried to give him the look of popping out of the ground in his pose and basing. He's not a great 'Jack, but he's not a bad pickup some days for three points.
A unit of Mechanithralls without a Brute Thrall is like a group of flying monkeys without a witch. There's nothing like having a cheap unit of Mechs, and then have it contain up to three (that's right, three!!!) cheap monsters that can absolutely wreck face. He's a great model too, and was a lot of fun to paint up.
My only concern is that I don't want to have three of the same exact model, and I don't think he'd be an easy one to modify and change the pose on. Does anyone have ideas for good models to exchange him with (bearing in mind that he's about twice the height of a normal zombie/mechanithrall model)?
I've been in this hobby for quite a few years now, and yet somehow there are days where I stumble upon something completely new to me. This past Saturday, I was shocked and awed by the appearance of Zip Kicker in my life. I'm guessing that most other people have run across the stuff, but somehow I had never run across it before.
Anyway, Zip Kicker is an accelerator for super glues. You put super glue down on one piece of a model and then spray the other piece that you want to connect. When you put the two pieces together, there's an instant solid bond. For someone who has been slowly gluing metal models together for years using small strips of green stuff, this is nothing short of miraculous.
So my hobby tip of the day is to run over to your local store and pick some of this crazy stuff up. If you haven't used it before, you'll thank me!
I haven't had a chance to play much Warmachine lately, but I've been painting away at my Cryx. They're a creepy bunch, especially the Mechanithralls. Painting these was fun, as they have a lot of character and are pretty simple. They're a great unit to take in game as well, with a high level of survivability (with a Necrosurgeon), and the ability to hit pretty hard when they manage to hit. They're cheap, too!
I've been working on Cryx lately, but should get back to Beastmen, although a unit of Satyxis is very tempting!
I'm continuing to work away at finishing my Beastman army, and figured out the other day that I had:
left to paint.
I finished up ten Bestigor last night, and recently painted up my Doombull as well.
I waited on painting the Doombull since, like most Beastman players, I tend to run the Beastlord and Great Bray-Shaman instead. The Doombull is a killing machine, but is hard to hide from cannons and the like without a solid minotaur bunker. He is also very expensive, and all three Lord choices can't make it into a game realistically. I do love the games where I run the Bull, simply because he scares my opponents silly, until that sad moment when he gets shot off the table.
I know posting has been off the past couple weeks, as the combined daemons of work, illness, Blogger downtime, and visitors plagued my abilities to get posts up. Not that I'm unhappy with two of the four, though! Anyway, I set up a twitter account for the site, so that I can tweet whenever there's an update or during tournaments and the like. I've also set the account to follow a large variety of wargaming Twitter-type folks, so get over there and follow @quietlimit and friends!
I attended the Heroes Headquarters Warhammer Fantasy Tournament put on by Game On in Mocksville, NC this past weekend. The venue was very nice, the event was well run, and I had a lot of fun. In three games, I lost to a Lizardman Slann army, beat a Skaven army, and barely got a win against some Dark Elves in a wild back and forth game that came down to a 200 point difference. Thanks to all involved for a great time!