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Immediate Corrective Measures Taken

March 6, 2011

You find yourself wondering, is it me or just the die?

Maybe a new army will solve your dilemma?  A new build?

It surely isn’t me.

You can deny it all you want, blaming an old codex, lack of investment, whatever you need to do to get by.

But just the fact you found my corner of the web, tucked in so close to all the “expert” blogs that serve you a steady pile of quick fixes and list building, all covered generously in MathHammer (nay, “Statistical Analysis”) to give it a sheen of authority, the reality of the number of games needed for those statistical models to be relevant always ignored.

Lists and new army builds are the Sirens of 40K, MathHammer their song, enticing players towards the W.A.A.C. vision of the Golden Fleece, the rocks of wasted money spent and time lost never seen until too late.

See? I can make it sound like so much more than it is, when it’s a hobby, not a career, and I hope my initial post didn’t give you the wrong impression about me or my concept of the game’s importance.

It’s supposed to be fun and even though my first post seems more H.P. Lovecraft than H.R. Puff’nStuff I actually do have fun with 40K.  I get slaughtered, my attempts at figure painting routinely a source of comedy that only my completely tenuous grasp of the basic rules of the game can outdo,  yet I keep coming back through all of it.  Yes, I did total a car, I did change from Ultramarines to Black Templars solely based on the fact I used black as a base coat to paint (meaning unpainted units merely needed some details to be complete, a lie I am continuously happy to tell myself) and I did quit playing Battletech after 8 years immersed in the universe for reasons that seem absolutely insignificant, even petty,  compared to what I endured in my “Year of 13 Months” starting 40K.

I couldn’t be happier with that decision, either, because Battletech had stopped being fun, so much so I knew I was close to hating a universe I still love to this day.

The reality, that we can’t all be champions of the National Tournament, much less even win an Independent GT, is hard  for many people to take, their egos continuously stroked by their sycophants on blogs where their “celebrity” depends on publishing unending rants against anyone who dares to claim 40K to be a hobby and proclamations of list or unit superiority, their authority to issue these edicts derived from being more of a jerk than anyone else.

Not all of them, mind you.  There are many sites I visit, full of lists, where I have sent what I was playing for inspection.  These all have one thing in common:  none consider themselves anything beyond trying to share some knowledge and “do what you have more fun with” is implied in their response.

If you’re here then you know who the best (or worst) examples of the two “camps” are.  Since I won’t throw a link out just for traffic to a blog I consider a release, my career involving crafting a message designed to reach the widest spectrum of a targeted market and deliver the most favorable impressions.  And I have no time to pander in what I consider “hobby time”, so you got here either by accident or a link to a site I read because I enjoy it, a link placed while I was between reads.

So take the first post in the spirit of which it was written, accept that winning a 6 man tournament at your normal gaming spot might be the pinnacle of your 40K “career”, and ask yourself if what you wanted was another “career” in anything.

Lighten up,  Francis.  You might get a laugh along the way.


A Painful Fall

March 6, 2011

Oh how you have fallen.  All the other blogs must be down because no one just stops in…


You’re so far down in the muck and mire you’re willing to click on any link with relevance to 40K.  You just need a new list or latest build, just a tip, and your losing streak will be over.  Well you’re in the wrong place.

This is the follow up to “…And A Noob Runs Through It” which chronicled my first year of 40K humility, and did it poorly.  Hampered by horrendous luck, questionable strategy, multiple surgeries (unrelated and not caused by 40K.  Or were they?), culminating in a single car accident on January 18, 2011 involving me, some rather questionable attention, and a fire hydrant, the results of which were a stunning 2 and half rolls of said single (a total loss by roll 1) car on the way to my weekly game.

You hear that??  I totaled my car trying to get to a weekly beat down I suffer through voluntarily.  That would be enough to shut down most people, right?  I mean, what other “hobby” takes a pound of flesh like that, especially after a year that took 13 months?  Hell, I stopped playing Battletech after 8 years because of some bitchy attitudes I perceived in the local cognoscenti, a rollover and concussion should have been enough to make me take up paint by numbers or at least confine myself to Xbox.  A sane person sees the bottom line of money spent (more than I’d like to admit) + time involved (building and painting) = more than the 4 to 5 hours “playing”.  Add a totaled car, the genuine lack of painting talent and lack of patience required to build anything more complex than balsa-wood planes seems to be more than enough to send anyone back to HobbyTown asking “do you have something that won’t try to kill me”?

Did I mention that in addition to the money, time, wrecked car and impaired cognitive function (blame lies somewhere) that my weekly game at my “FLGS” (friendly local gaming store, for those who have full lives)  actually moved twice after the “FLGS” became the “NLiBPOFGS” (the No Longer in Business, P.O.’d Former Gaming Store), and the change of venue only served to insure I would get throttled by a more eclectic group of opponents?  I have lost games where, mostly by dumb luck and exploding vehicles, I somehow managed a position after the assault phase of turn 3 so strong as to be considered unbeatable, each time committing errors allowing me to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  I have been shellacked by players of all ages and all abilities so often that my acceptance by the core group of Tuesday regulars is unfathomable, even someone handing out soft drinks and GW gift certificates and should long ago been shunned as a pariah would have no arguments with banishment sporting my record.  Hell, writing about it makes me wonder why my wife hasn’t yet forced me into an in-patient mental health program using Einstein’s definition of insanity (“doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome”) as basis for proof.  Yet what was my first instinct following the accident and resulting emergency medical treatment?

I called someone.  From the group.  And apologized for my absence.


That’s the kind of year it was.

The project to rebuild the armor lost in the wreck is almost complete, a project made easier to justify by a local store’s 25% discount on GW merchandise in addition to the complete survival of my troops and transports who’s loss I have said would been too big an obstacle to overcome and return.

Who am I kidding?

Yeah, you’re here because you can’t help yourself, so desperate to find that magic bullet of 40K trickery that you clicked one link too many and find yourself quickly denying any apparent similarities you see, the obvious truth is too much to bear.  Let me help.

It’s not a mirror you’re looking at.  That would be the easy way out.  It’s much worse than that.

This is your first glimpse at the horrifying reality of the depths to which you have sunk in pursuit of a 40K quick fix.

You’re not unlucky, you’re just one of us.

Cursed with tactical ineptitude…..