Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bitter and Salty - Need to improve my hobby

Its been a rough month since the last post, and I am working to push through and find the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Since the last post I have:
  1. Started on the Lentrel Prime campaign at the local GW
  2. Played in a 4 round (1 day) outdoor tournament
  3. Started painting my Tank Bases and Magnetizing my Tanks

Today reached the middle of Round 1, Week 2 for Lentrel Prime. So far I am 1 win, 3 ties for a record, and my Hero has died 3 times. My 5th game against Jay (an opponent I enjoy playing) was not able to complete due to store closing, so we will revisit the battle on Friday.

I also attended the SGi Outdoor Charity Tournament in Franconia VA last weekend. This tourney was 1 day, 4 rounds, played outdoors with a mini cookout (hot dogs, burgers, soda, water). The idea of an outdoor tourney is something I really appreciate. I ended going 0 wins, 1 tie, 3 losses for the days record. Through the day I played Tau, Nid-Zilla, Space Wolves, and IG.

This brings the armies total record to 3 wins / 12 losses / 5 draws.

I found myself in a strange situation leaving the tourney on Saturday night. I was extremely "salty" over the tourney and not making "consideration" in any of the additional categories. The awards given out at the tourney were:
  • Renaissance Man (Overall)
  • Win At All Costs (Record + VP/KP/Sportsmanship)
  • Heart of Gold (Sportsmanship)
  • Greater Than the Sum (Army Theme/Paint/Convert)
  • Well Beyond Crayola (Best Painted Model)
  • A Miniature Frankenstein (Best Converted Model)
  • If Mission Didn't Matter (Highest Battle Score Sans Record)
Clearly with my record I did not make it close to the first two awards. In fact, I ended up 26th out of 29 total players. Not a big deal there, I have lost Tournaments worse and still enjoyed the games.

I feel that I am a good sport when it comes to gaming, and especially tournaments. I am not a "joker", putting on a show during a game and I focus on the game while playing. At the same time I think I am fairly easy going, open to quick and friendly dispute resolution, and really out for making a game enjoyable. In the past I have won best sports in a couple tourneys I have attended, and generally rank highly. Not getting an award here did not bother me much as there were several great sportsmen at this tourney, and the scoring was a bit different. What did surprise me (after the fact) was that I only scored 63% on my sports score, which means I came in a solid average game for all 4 of my opponents.

Painting, I am very aware that I am no where near a Golden Daemon painter. The model that won best painted was a beautiful Wraithlord model and looked fantastic. I thought that I may have a chance to make final cut here as there were several unpainted armies, but I did see at least 3 other armies I thought looked very nice on the painting. A little salt but nothing overwhelming.

What really hit me hard was "Greater Than the Sum" and "A Miniature Frankenstein". I did not even make final consideration for these two categories. I found that this really started getting under my skin after the tourney, putting me in a fairly foul mood overall. For conversion, I entered my Warp Spider Exarch (see below) and thought it would at least make consideration for the award.

Especially when compared to the stock Warp Spider Exarch:

In addition to that, I did not make consideration for the Army theme award. This surprised me as I had groups of people at my table during 2 different games commenting on my models, my army, and my overall army theme. Each time there were judges in these groups and in my first game some of the spectators even went and brought other people over to look.

Even now I do not want this to be complete sour grapes. The winner of the best converted is a blog that I follow: Tau of War and his model is very nice. (See Old Shatterhands here) I do think his conversion is very good and do not take anything away from him winning the trophy, it is well deserved.

Overall, I find myself in a very discouraged and bitter state of mind toward the hobby. I certainly need to improve at my game, as I am growing tired of losing. There is only 1 game from the tourney where I can clearly identify where things went badly, and I made big mistakes in that game. The other games just did not go my way, but I was tabled in 1 and nearly tabled in the second.

As for painting, I know some of the areas I need to improve on my painting. Slow down and use thinner layers is a big one. When it comes to conversions and theme, I am at a loss. One rumor I heard was that all the armies that made consideration for Theme at the tourney had display boards. This is something I will need to put time into. Outside of that I am unclear how to improve this area of the hobby and that disappoints me with the effort and energy I have put in.

At this point I am continuing to plug along and trying to pull out of my funk. I am playing in the campaign games and will be taking my army to Seattle with me (hope to get some games at the Seattle Bunker next week). In addition, it looks like I will be headed over to London for a business trip during September. I play to take a day and head up to Warhammer World in Nottingham while I am there. At a minimum I will down a pint of Bugman's XXX XXX, get a mug, and pick up the Bugman's exclusive model.

For those reading regularly, I mentinoed in an earlier post some outstanding items I would be putting up. Two of those (My time with the DLT crew) and (Games Day Chicago Review) are going to be summarized and skipped.

For the DLT guys, they are a great group of guys! I look forward to syncing up with them next time I am in Chicago and will probably be going to Adepticon next year, partially to hang out with the guys again. For those interested in podcasts, I crashed onto their podcast while I was in town. Listen here: Dice Like Thunder Episode 50.

Overall Chicago Games day was as good as Baltimore Games Day from 2 years ago. It was not great but was far-far-far better than Baltimore Games Day this year (2009). This is both promising and disappointing to me. Promising in that GW admitted (in a round about way) they made mistakes with Toronto and Baltimore, but disappointing in that Baltimore was so bad and Chicago seems to be on the decline.

Lastly, pictures will be slow between today and the end of September. I will get them up as I am able but work travel will be impacting my hobby time over the next 6 weeks. I am currently working on my Tank bases, and my objective markers. My plans are to focus on my Avatar, Wraithlord, Dire Avengers, and 4th Wave Serpent as my next projects. Even though this is not listed to the left, those projects listed over there may slip behind these. I also have some Blastscape terrain I plan to paint up.


  1. I can totally understand what you are going through with regards to the hobby. It can take a termendous amount of effort to really dig in and become excellent in all the aspects of the hobby (modelling, painting, and of course competitive gaming). I would almost recommend taking a strategy of "divide and conquer". Pick an aspect of the hobby that currently appeals to you the most, and focus your efforts into improving that one area until you feel that what you have accomplished meets your personal expectations.

  2. Hey dude, I briefly talked with you at the SGI Tourney. I'm sorry you left the tourney feeling in a funk. I certainly loved your warpspider conversion. Unfortunately the pics I took ended up all blurry so they didn't make it to my blog. I have to say, The Dead Tau Project is an awesome theme. And funny too. I must say I was a little hurt by sight of so many of our finest Shas'La scattered at the feet of your warriors. Such bloodshed will be forgiven by simply laying down your weapons and pledging your alligence to Ethereals, taking your place in the Intergalactic Tau Empire.
    It's just one tournament, we go for the fun, the games and the company more so than the awards. Your army is rad no doubt.

  3. Hey, This is the guard player from Round 4. When we were playing I noticed the Dead Tau name on your foam so I searched out your blog.

    Sorry that you feel that way. What I do, is I don't keep a tally of my games. Of late I've wanted to, what with the new codex and all, but then i'd feel obligated to count up the crushing number of defeats i've been delt. (many of them as the hands of Tau, so i especially enjoyed your theme.)

    As for your sportsmanship score, don't sweat it. SGi rates on a relative scale. and just about everybody I played was great, so I had a very hard time ranking my opponents (one of the things I don't like about SGi).

    I could make some suggestions to changew with your army, but you seem to enjoy your army with the fluff, so i'll keep my mouth shut. (Though you could do a cool looking cult of the bloody handed god as a seer council).

    Good luck with improving your record!

  4. It is a bit odd to not see you get theme consideration. I mean, damn, you've got a hefty theme going.

    Though, I think I'm with the suggestion of 'don't keep a record.' On one hand, I think it's good to figure out where you did well/poorly in a game, but on the other hand, looking at a large 'L' tally is disheartening. I lucked out and broke a 2-month losing streak to Guard (well, it ends up being 6-10 games or so to my usual buddy). Even then, it was ass dice that broke it.

    All I got is to hang in there, one way or the other. Take it a game at a time, ask yourself what went wrong. Be honest; sometime the dice really DO just flat kill you. Other times, it's errors you made, stuff the opponent did that you didn't take advantage of, and if all else fails, try switching up your list heavily. Sometimes the biggest refresher is some distance and a different look at stuff.

    The display board is probably not a bad consideration. You could get functional as well as neat out of it with some work, and there are plenty of tutorials out there.

  5. All, thank you for the support! It is especially heartening to see comments from the folks I played in the tourney.

    Tracking W/L/D has not really brought me down until this tourney. Even then, I feel the Losses are a smaller piece combined with the non-consideration in the 2 categories. The toughest part is working out what kept me from consideration so I can resolve that before I play in a tourney again.

    @Old Shatter Hands - I think we must have spoken away from your army. I did not realize it was your model that won until a local at GW Sterling mentioned it was you. The win is well deserved, and I have been following your blog for a while so I happily mention and link to it.

    @Cyclonus - I would be interested in feedback and suggestions on how to do better. I am not convinced winning is all in the list, and your correct, I do like my fluff! At the same time, I have a whole lot of Eldar left to build so adding units is not a problem. As your in the area we need to plan to play another game when I actually have my brain in my head! Hopefully I will give you a better game and challenge!

    Pushing on, I need to get pictures of the first Tank base onto the blog. After painting it up (and I ended up basing with sand to match my army)and putting the magnets in, it looks pretty good!