Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday Sermon: WAAC vs FAAC

Who the feck brought the tank to the pillow fight?!?!?

Or just shut the f@$% up as I tend to utter when I see such titles! So after my first Sunday Sermon I had an email off of a concerned gamer saying that my first Sermon wasn't full of enough fire or brimstone. Apparently on the Sabbath we all have a deep rooted need to be terrified by tales of eternal damnation, fire, torment and hell, with no hope of restitution. Unless of course you repent your wicked ways! So am I going to do the fire and brimstone thing? Yes! Look I've well and truly had it with this bloody hobby's need to split everything into two camps. Pro or anti Games Workshop, Privateer Press vs Games Workshop, you know the binary arguments we tend to get when simpletons are given a computer and access to the Internet. Or my particular Bête Noire, the blisteringly annoying need of some people to split all wargamers into two distinct camps, WAAC or FAAC. There is not much in life that can be split into such stupidly simplistic binary arguments, even less so where human behaviour or attitude is concerned. It's not helpful or even insightful in any way shape or form, and it makes people sound dumb.

Seriously Bob why do you keep inviting that WAAC ass hat to your pillow fights?

For those of you who are gloriously oblivious to this lazy and totally false method of classification I shall explain the terminology for you, and sorry for introducing you to it. WAAC stands for Win At All Costs, meanwhile FAAC stands for Fluff At All Costs. Yeah it already sounds stupid right? I mean those two statements represent such extremes within the hobby that it's highly unlikely that any of us fit into such narrow categories. So people should stop trying to shoehorn us all into these two camps. Normally I'd let such silly and childish discussions pass me by and actually get on with enjoying the hobby I love so much. However, of late I've been accused of being both a WAAC gamer and a FAAC gamer, actually in the same discussion. The two idiots then proceeded to have an argument about which one I was. Apart from the fact that not both statements can be true, and that both sound like some made up shady intergovernmental agency. Also not to mention that they are totally lame descriptors of who I am as a gamer, it really annoys me that gamers feel the need to break everyone down into two bland groups.

But let's take a more detailed look at what both terms imply about you, if you are labelled as such:

What a typical WAAC gamer looks like apparently
WAAC: Win At All Costs actually started life as a way of discussing certain unpalatable military practices or actions. Later it was used to describe particularly brutal business practices, it also crept in to sociological and psychological discussions about how western societies, in particular the USA were heading. Parents teaching the importance of winning over all other things no matter what the cost, be it via playing hard, cheating or whatever. I'm not going to go over 20 years of academic research into the phenomenon in broader society, suffice to say it is universally regarded as the root of many of societies ills, and apparently we can thank the 80's, Regan and Maggie Thatcher for it (well according to some). In terms of wargaiming it's used invariably to describe people for whom the hobby is only about winning. People who will try to 'break' games, or outright cheat. Assholes who do nothing but whinge over the other side of the table while deploying the same tactics they're crying about and then some. Trying to distract you, maybe even making threats of violence and throwing their weight around in an attempt to intimidate you. Have I come across many people in my time who would go to any length to win a game? Yeah one or two, but in 27 years of gaming I'm going to say they're the rarity and certainly not the norm.

What a typical FAAC gamer looks like apparently
FAAC: Is a retort used by many people who have themselves been accused of being WAAC gamers. Yes, the community seems to have produced a contrary position with, which to tarnish the reputations of the remaining gamers not yet stigmatised with the WAAC tag. So we get Fluff At All Costs. You'll be pleased to know that this doesn't have it's roots in wider society or academic research. No this is purely a hobby related invention that us gamers have generated, so sadly it's bound to have even less relevance to reality. It's used to denigrate those people who seem to take pleasure from the background stories that are created to provide a backdrop for our gaming activities. At it's extreme it's used to insult people who think that the game on the table should be an exact representation of the stories they read. People who think the game should be some sort of story re-enactment as opposed to an actual game, sort of a co-operative narrative device. I'm going to say right now that I have never come across a single, pure 'fluff bunny' as many call them. I've found people who love the stories and theme their armies accordingly. People who paint the right logo's on their tanks from their favourite novel or historical figure etc. but they all know it's a game. Most will try and make elements of their 'fluffy' lists competitive, even if the over all theme isn't optimal. I'm going to say I don't think the pure FAAC gamer exists. If they do, I'm going to say they're even rarer than the WAAC gamer, and they're as rare as rocking horse s%*&!

It's an utterly pointless form of dichotomous classification, as well as being terribly inaccurate one to cast over the vast swathe of wargamers out there. Would any of you like the complex intentions, motivations and thoughts you have reduced and distilled down to such a stark form of categorisation? I doubt it, so why do others feel the need to do it to their fellow gamers? Apart from them being complete and utter w@%&£$? It didn't really bother me when these w@%&£$ were primarily confined to certain message boards dedicated to Games Workshop games, and to a lesser extent Privateer Press games. Nope, then I was able to write it of as a quaint byproduct of those game systems... but sadly the infection has started to spread. I think part of this is due to the large numbers of migration we're currently witnessing away from Games Workshop to other systems, and certain gaming 'hang ups' are coming with those refugees. I first saw it infect discussion on Malifaux, then it filtered into Kings of War, which if I'm honest didn't surprise me. I wasn't totally surprised to hear it filter into discussion on Spartan Games products too, I will however be concerned if I see it mentioned in the same breath as Infinity.

Ask yourself this question, when you set up to play a game do you want to win? Not whether winning is the only thing, or most important thing, just simply whether you want to win. I think if you're all honest, barring the odd occasion, we all want to win. For some that will be more important than others, but we are all innately programmed to have a competitive edge. We might choose to compete at different things, best painted army, best conversions, best list, best on table tactics... whatever! We all like to win. It is very rare though that this desire to win becomes all consuming and could be fairly described as an obsession that the monicker WAAC implies. We're talking about a serious psychological disorder here people, so next time you think to call someone WAAC think about it for a second. Is the person you're about to label actually just a competitive person? Maybe it's just that they're better at the game than you? Hell yes, it might not be fun to play against them, have you just considered the very real possibility that what you think is a WAAC gamer is simply as asshole?

Take that you WAAC mother f@$&er

Conversely just because I like reading Black Library novels and have a man crush on Drizzt doesn't mean I'm a FAAC gamer. The fact that I often paint my armies to represent certain fictional characters doesn't mean I'm a fluff bunny either, or some totally inept fool who knows nothing about winning games or playing hard ball. Just ask my regular opponents if I'm anything but competitive. No it means I'm a rounded person, with shock horror multiple facets to my personality. I'm way more complex than these two simplistic bloody positions thank you very much, and I'd guess the vast majority of you are all way more complex than that as well. So I'm going to introduce the concept of normal distribution, sometimes referred by geeky types like me as Gaussian distribution. It's a continuous probability distribution that actually produces what is known as a bell curve on a graph, a bit like, well no, exactly like this:

It might not please you to know this, but sadly the vast majority of us are normal

As you can see the majority of any population will fall within the two central columns, or blue sections, 68.2% to be precise. The red sections add a further 27.2% onto the total bringing the population up to 95.4%. The two extremes of any population are normally mathematically small in comparison, totaling 4.3% of total population. However, I'm going further, I'm suggesting that so called WAAC and FAAC gamers are so bloody rare that they fall outside of the standard deviation range and are outliers, sitting in the complete extremes on this graph. They're not even represented on the graph, they sit in the remaining 0.3% of the population, statistically insignificant! Just like any chuffing idiot that deems it necessary to use those bloody terms to describe all gamers, or even most gamers.

Anyone who therefore tries to break the entire hobbying population  into these two categories is guilty of the sorts of crass oversimplification that are normally reserved for religious observations and explaining things to toddlers. We're not any of us toddlers, and hopefully our intellectual capacity allows us all to think beyond such simplistic dichotomies. But, more importantly I just hope we're all far too smart to ever think we're able to give others accurate labels, no mater how detailed or how many stratification's any labeling system has. I was once told that we label things to try and make sense of the world. The exact same person then told me in the next breath that the world still made no sense no matter how many labels we gave things, and as such we should just stop labeling things. I think he had a point and as far as trying to understand something as diverse as human bahaviour or motivation, and indeed our hobby with such simplistic labels is a very difficult thing to do. Besides how would it enrich any of our experiences if we could? I don't think it would, so why bother? There are just people you like gaming against and people you don't, maybe even people you're indifferent too!

Let this article serve as a warning to all those out there who think that binary arguments and classifications have any relevance to real life, they don't. They only serve to show how utterly piss poor your understanding of a situation or topic actually is. So if you too are fed up and pissed off with people using such simplistic arguments within our hobby then follow my example and use maths to win the argument. Most people are scared to death of maths, and quite frankly don't understand it. I've found that the use of maths such as standard deviation, population maths etc is normally enough to get these people to shut the fuck up! Such stupidly crass classifications have to be challenged wherever and whenever we find them because it has a stupefying effect on the broader hobby and just clouds everything for the vast majority of the sensible gamers out there. That's you guys who read this blog, I believe all good gamers have a number of solemn duties:

  1. To promote a healthy hobbying attitude and not be exclusive or superior but welcoming
  2. To introduce new people to the hobby and experienced gamers to new product
  3. To tackle falsehoods within the hobby wherever we see them

It's not a big ask of most of us I think, I'm sure the majority of you on here will be doing them already without even realising it. Peace out!

Ps. Winners look like this, do you want to be like this?

PPs. I've had an email off of a friend informing me I've been more anti-WAAC than anti-FAAC, so here, do you want to be a fluff bunny?


  1. See, the 'split' in the hobby that I see is more between the painters and the gamers, as I see it. Now, I know that such a split is oversimplifying the picture to ridicilous levels. My gaming club at Uni is fairly well-known for being quite competitive, I remember some of the older hands playing Ghazgull vs Abaddon lists and Black Templars vs Elysian airborne infantry. But most of these armies were well painted and most of them were pretty close to the fluff. The Elysian Airborne especially - about half a dozen valkyries and vendettas all loaded up with veterans and outflanking and so on - glorious!
    Conversely, I've seen other players who have quite cheesy lists (one SwarmLord - Doom of Malan'tai - Trygon tyranid army) and he admits that he plays Tyranids just because 'I can empathize with them, they just want to eat stuff,' and another who has named all his 'Sons of Doom Chapter' (SODs) Space Marines and he loses most of his games. He explains this by saying that their gene-seed is cursed.
    Basically, some players may emphasize the 'Winning' or 'Painting' or 'Fluff' side of the hobby more than the rest, but not that much, in my sparse experience. And course there are those perfectly balanced gamers.

    Incidentally - best line is when you went defensive over your Infinity. Considering the tactical powerhouse that it is, it may lean towards winning over fluff? I wouldn't know, I've asked for my rulebook this Christmas. I know I collected them to paint so far.

  2. I wouldn't go so far as to never label again; that's overkill, I think, and it bypasses the legitimate ease-of-comparison uses of labels and classifications. What's important is to remember that the labels don't describe the whole; they can't. They're only temporary, and entirely subjective - they're not qualities of the thing, they're criteria by which you've selected particular qualities of the thing to describe and think about. The labels exist inside your head, and not in the thing being labelled. *sage nod*

    Semiotics on a Sunday afternoon, eh? I'll drink to your pillars of righteousness though; I can't be doing with this false-binary nonsense and I really can't be doing with the ceaseless squabbling that emerges from it.

  3. Frontline: I'm kind of sad we never got to finish our very first "argument" because I think we are actually very close on this issue. We can dicker over the particulars, but having read this I think our general views are very much in line.

    I've enjoyed reading your blog - sadly I have missed quite a few postings - but your reviews in particular are quite well done.


  4. @GoldenKaos, I just see the community as a continuos variable with people lined up along next too each other dependent on what they want from the hobby. Genuinely over the years I've found it's terribly difficult to pigeon hole people. I think the best we can do is understand what we want from the hobby and maybe our closest hobby friends I guess and maybe how intense we are in our desires etc. When it comes down to it, I guess the simple reality is their are those people I enjoying playing games with and those I don't. lol. But I'd find it hard to categorise them in terms of characteristics, because I love playing certain hard nosed competitors and hate playing others... go figure.

    @Von, I just think as you call them false binary's aren't helpful, and as you said the labels exist in your head. Don't let that fool you into thinking that's in any way real. lol. Perhaps categorising internally is different to verbally labeling somebody. Who knows, it's just started to wind me up a bit of late... in case you couldn't tell. ;)

  5. None of us like getting spanked, i should know at DW i've lost 15, had 2 wins and 2 draws. But it does'nt bother me if it did i'd rag up. Point being lots of gamers hate getting spanked. Mainly the ones that win more than others. Getting minis on a table and having a good time, is what makes me happy. GW v PP odd i've nothing against GW it put war gaming on the map. I dont play any GW games, sure they cost alot and are unbalanced. So i play other games, i dont dislike them because i dont play or like their game systems. It would be shame to see GW vanish. PP so different to GW or is it! I do have Homachine armys and find the game fun. But will PP become GW over time, who knows. The bigger you get the more you need to sell to grow. This can only end up one way. May be by buying other products from other companys, GW might change. Well may be. Play what you like and like what you play. Dont keep playing what you dislike, this is the golden age of gaming. So many great games, just open your eyes. Oh and fluff i like a little not to much. If you like lots of fluff read books instead .

  6. @Purgatus, I didn't view it as an argument more a slight misunderstanding then followed by a differing of opinion we discussed fairly rationally I thought. lol. As for the posts you've missed... I'd advise you to get reading as you have missed a few doozies!!! If I say so myself :P

    @Pancake, As you know I'm going to agree with the Golden Age of gaming tagline as I've used it so many times myself. I view the PP vs GW debates like the SNES vs Megadrive (Genesis for you Americans) or PS3 vs Xbox 360 debates. Utterly pointless to me because I've got both and I just enjoy playing great games no matter what!!! Peeps get too hung up on trying to prove to themselves more than anything that they've made the 'right' choice if they've dropped a load of dosh on something. Sad really, just enjoy what you're playing and don't give a fuck about what other people say! Just don't be closed minded about other great options out there no matter who you are.

  7. Firstly- I'm pretty sure Von will drink to saw the hat he wore in this week's V-Vlog, right?

    Secondly- Purgatus is a big ol' knucklehead who would debate a rock regarding it's position in a stream.

    Thirdly- I am SO wondering how many dates that cat chick pulled off of E-Harmony thanks to that video....eeesh.
    I'd prolly still hit it though....cuz I'm WAAC like that.

  8. Well I have to say, so far my two Sunday Sermons have actually gone down quite well. It's brought my average Sunday hits so far up from the 600 to 700 I normally get on a Sunday to nearer my 1000 to 1500 I get on a week day. Result!!! Plus people are commenting. I suppose this means that all those other Sundays being so low on the hits counter are my fault then for me being shit!!! o_0 Not so sure I like the implication of that. lol.

    @SinSynn, yes I get the feeling Vons the sort of person who celebrates unbirthdays as much as he does birthdays. Not too sure if the E-Harmony vid is real or fake tbh with you, but it is piss funny either way. lol.

  9. I'd write a big long comment explaining how I feel about all this, but PP did it for me so I'll just say:

    See Page Five.

  10. @Ant, yes page 5 is pretty legendary isn't it? I think all gamers should be made to read page 5!!!

  11. I think all wargames should be required to include page 5 in their pretty rulebooks.

  12. @GoldenKaos, Page 5 is a damn good start, but I wander if any of us could come up with our own versions of Page 5. I might give it a go at some point.

  13. YES. That should be an article sometime. When you've given it enough thought.

  14. The whole pile of WAAC v FAAC crap on yon messageboard has been pissing me off for some time now, so I'm in complete agreement. Life's all about the shades of grey, not black and white.

    Page 5 has it right (or, as close as I've seen it). And, personally, it's become my thing that when I know I'm going to lose a game, I take great satisfaction in taking as much of the enemy force as I can with me as I go down.

  15. This article is MAAC.

    Maths At All Costs. :p

    In truth, I enjoyed the read, and frankly have little to add.

  16. @GoldenKaos, I'm already making notes, I might ask you readers to help add to it though. Maybe make it a gamers manifesto!!! :)

    @Fiendil, I'm sure there are way more people out there who are like us. Fed up of these petty little debates in the hobby. You try and remain detached but they have a way of tarnishing us all. I've studiously avoid such debates in the past, but found myself at the center of one thinking WTF just happened!!! lol.

    @TKE, there is nothing wrong with MAAC, as long as it's not used for nefarious reasons, like mathhammer!!! :P Glad you liked it.

  17. The only Page 5-esque points I can think of is to change your build after it keeps winning. Save it for tournaments, and try and beat your regular opponents a different way. Just to keep the cheese down. Or something.

    In my limited experience, my enjoyment of the game, as far as sportsmanship, goes depends on whether I get on with my opponent or not. I've come across maybe one guy who takes it too hard when he loses and (worse) celebrates a bit too much when he wins, and there was one funny campaign of Mordheim when two of his characters lost a leg each in the same game, and he nearly threw them across the room, but... aye.

    I have to say though, I never remember such 'debates' in my club, the closest it got was when we were discussing how 40K should get on with it (as in, make progress, fluff-wise) and either kill off the Eldar and surrender Cadia to Chaos already, or kill off the Imperium and put Ghazgull on the Golden Throne instead of the Emprah, or kill off the Emperor so his latent psychicism is released into humanity and they ALL become psykers. The discussion was either that, slagging off Crapcast/Turdraven/newest GW prices or deciding which pub would start that night's social.

  18. I only just read this because I was at church :I

    This whole WAACFAAC thing I see as a two-stage process.

    1: Describing others motivations in extreme terms to undermine them. This is a common tactic in argument, politics, and everyday life. It's also a deception.

    2: Making the logical error of "if not A then B." In philosophical (rather than mathematical) terms, this is an elementary mistake. Just because something is not one thing does not make it another, particular thing. That's the same as assuming that there are only two things in the world.

    Therefore, people who do this are liars and idiots. But we all know that.

    I wish this was a good place to get into the whole interpretation/reality thing, but I could talk pretty much forever about that. Suffice to say that I agree with the person who told you that labeling things is necessary for us and inevitable, but ultimately does not reveal any truth about "reality" (whatever that is). Just a quick observation though, the bell curve is itself constrained by our preconceptions. If we are looking to see exactly how many people are on the fringes of a scale, we're going to find it's not many. Likewise, we are going to find most people are in the middle, clustered around the mid-point of whatever it is we are measuring. It's essentially just a more granular and maths-looking representation of our existing intuitions.

    If a bell-curve shows us something we don't expect it's because our expectations were dumb. As you've shown in your excellent article.

    PS I totally <3 Drizzt. I went back and re-read "the Crystal Shard" a couple of years ago. I think Salvatore must have got the record for most uses of the word "stoic" in one novel!

  19. @SinSynn and Frontline - do you want to know something shameful? I'm actually a total lightweight. I didn't drink much for about three
    years (final year of my undergrad degree, then a year on antidepressants, then my MA year when I had no money for booze) and now my tolerance is shot.

    Doesn't stop me trying, but I'm usually the first under the table these days.

    On the matter of Page 5 - I liked the one in the original Prime, and the current one's not bad. I dislike the in-joke it had become by Apotheosis, and it was just embarrassing by the time Legends and Metamorphosis rolled out. I'm glad they don't do it in every book any more - it's great as a core mission statement but it's needless macho posturing if it's just done for custom's sake.

  20. @James S, indeed the bell curve is just a mathematical tool used to visualise data really. There are many other forms or shapes of graph I could discuss. But when it comes to behaviour in humans the bell curve or a subtle variation on that theme is normally exactly what we get. I also agree with your analysis of the "two-stage" process. The individual who told me about labels was a pretty famous psychologist within academic circles. I always thought it was a shrewd observation. He also said the label would tell us more about the person labeling an item than the item itself. Stoic and Drizzt go together like a fine wine and cheese!!! lol.

    @Von, thankfully first time round with HoMachine I bailed around about 2007 because all the expansions and the remix started to get a bit much for me so I stepped away from MKI. I don't take page 5 as religiously serious as some people do, but it's a damn good starting point if you ask me.

  21. Individual people are fine- it's when you put them together, they become idiots.

  22. Nice one Loquacious. I've heard that there is an inverse relationship between the number of people in a group and the level of intelligence shown by that group's decision making...

    I wrote about this just last week, although perhaps not as well as you have fella. I propose a third way; fun at all costs. I suspect you're doing the same thing really, although the hitch I've encountered is the fluff and fun both start with the same letter.

    The problem with dichotomy is that it's far more engaging and fun(?!) to engage in debating them than it is to agree that they're a nonsense and move on.

    I suspect that 'WAAC' accusations will be around for as long as people lose the game and that 'Fluff Bunny' will be used as an excuse and a label for as long as there is a gap between the background and the rules.

    Last time I checked that will be forever.

  23. @Lo, indeed 'group think' or 'thunk' as it was affectionately known where I studied has been an observed phenomenon for decades. I helped conduct experiments where people were introduced to a simple task at first on their own and then as a pair, 4 people, 8 people and 16 people. Interestingly the average time it took to solve the simple puzzle went up every time extra people were added.

    There have been other experiments on group behaviour and psychology that show that groups take on personalities of their own. And that individuals within that group act in accordance to what the group expects. A fascinating field in many ways. I was also a subject as a first year undergrad in a similar experiment 3 actors tried convincing me I was wrong about 4 optical illusions.

    I stood my ground and said every time that I was right... I was. That study showed that some 5% of the population if they knew they were right were stubborn enough to dig their heels in. Obviously bigger studies and better studies have shown it actually fluctuates somewhere between 2% and 3%. Now isn't that a depressing stat. That's 97% to 98% who know they're right going along with the group!!!

    @GDNW, Thanks. Flattery gets you everywhere round here. :P

    I'm not too sure anything that is 'At All Costs' is healthy. Although I think the word 'Fun' sometimes put's more 'serious' gamers off. Fun is what kids have. Enjoyment on the other hand sounds more grown up!!! lol.

    I actually used the phrase 'I play for enjoyment of the game' with a highly competitive gamer who hates the idea that people play for 'fun'. Why? Because to him it's a competitive thing and the joy in his hobby comes from beating somebody fair and square in a hard fought game. But the word enjoyment? He totally brought that and told me that is exactly why he plays games.

    However that doesn't change the fact that what he enjoys about games might be very different to what you or I enjoy about games. I therefore think we're back to a false classification that sadly serves no useful purpose. All I can say to people is play like Frank Sinatra would play 'Do it your way!'

  24. "fun at all costs"?

    If someone hadn't used it as a blog name already: "hobby at all costs"...

  25. Flattery works everywhere. :)

    The highly competitive gamer you mention sounds like a victim of the distinction I think you and I are both trying to hobble.

    He plays to have fun, which he derives from competing with and ultimately beating an engaged and intelligent opponent who attempted to use all of their faculties to beat him, all the while adhering to a sense of sportsmanship and 'fair and square'. Seems reasonable enough.

    It's however a little unfair then for him to criticise or question others for playing for the same reason. i.e. to enjoy themselves. He's categorising them according to how they derive their enjoyment.

    Perhaps he could more appropriately say that he is surprised that people could, and do, derive enjoyment from a game cheated, played half heartedly or simply to pass the time.

    So we return to the beginning. The game is there for enjoyment, for fun if you will. I think the sooner we get down to the serious business of wringing as much fun/enjoyment as possible out of our games then we'll be in a good place.

    Finally, for fairness sake, having someone criticise you is rarely fun. Although some people are so inclined so we should stand ever ready to help each other out!

  26. @GDMNW, that's the thing though isn't it? I mean we all think we're the ones doing the hobby right because we enjoy the way we all do things. No matter what they way is. I fear many hobbyists are not so closet narcissists!!! lol. As I said in my post above, we should all just focus on our own hobby and maximising our own enjoyment in whatever way we can. We should all take heed of what good old Frank sang about and do it our way. I hate it when people or indeed companies tell me I'm doing my hobby wrong. lol. Seems we're prettu much on the same page though, so there's a start! :)

  27. Is the binary thing an American cultural thing? Us versus them? As (apparently) drilled into Americans with their sports and with the patriotism drilled in whilst in school?

    I'm a wrestling fan, and there's always a thing on wrestling websites where people will be fierce fans of WWE, and other people will be fierce fans of TNA, and they'll loudly rubbish the other. And it always seems to be American commentators doing it. It happened in the 90s with WWE v WCW too (with less internet). To me and the wife, it makes much more sense to watch and enjoy both, so we get twice as much material to watch, and when one's at a low ebb, the other one will hopefully be worth watching.

  28. Well I wan't aware of this particular set of terms until you brought it to my attention Frontline, thanks!

    By personal choice I tend to give everybody one chance and if the way they conduct themselves in the game means I don't enjoy it, I don't feel obliged to play that person again. I won't deny I have a bit of an attitude towards power gaming, but I'm sure that's only because I don't know how to do it and therefore can't join in. Categorising people in this way isn't exactly a waste of time - I still go in to GW a lot and it's never a pretty sight to see a power-gaming veteran destroy a complete beginner - but you are right, either extreme is a very rare case indeed.

    2 observations I'd like to make:

    1) In any game that our demographic would play, there are two key elements - the abstract game mechanics and the background. The background gives the story for the game which makes it interesting, and the game mechanics make it work as a game. You can't really have one without the other. If you try, you'll either have a novel, or chess. I'm saying this to agree with your 'maths' point that most games - and most gamers - sit somewhere in the middle between both camps.

    2) One of the people I know from GW, who I won't name, is quite a prolific gamer, very good at the game but is well aware of it. A lot of the guys, myself included, won't play him, because being taken to pieces by his very hard army is never fun. But he does go to all the tournaments for his gaming system and has done for about four or five years, and he tells me that in that time he's come across maybe three people he wouldn't want to play again.

    So yeah, good points once again Frontline, your blogs are always an interesting read!

  29. @fiendil, the binary argument thing is actually a technique employed by advertisers and politicians as well as lawyers. The idea being to reduce all arguments to a simple yes or no, either / or situation. You present one possibility as being reasonable and the other possibility as being totally unacceptable, normally outrageously so.

    Take today's politics. The recent strikes in the UK by public sector workers. The Tories presented the strikers as holding the nation to 'ransom' and 'threatening to bankrupt the nation' some were even 'putting lives at risk'. So when presented with this sort of info if you side with the strikers you're an unreasonable sort.

    Sadly, what normally happens is that the other side of the argument then is given birth. And that too is just as blisteringly stupid and limited, and the vast swathe of reasonable debate that could be had in the middle ground is ignored for bullshit posturing from the extreme ends of the scale. It's always been with us, it's just most people don't realise it's happening.

    @Matt486, thanks for the compliment. It's just an area of the hobby I could well do without truth be told. As I say, there are people I like playing against and then there are people I don't. All for varying reasons. I like point 1 nad can think of many people locally that would fit into point 2!!! lol.

  30. با سالها سابقه در طراحي ،اجرا و خدمات سيستمهاي درب اتوماتيک و راهبند
    فروش،نصب و راه اندازي و خدمات انواع درب اتوماتيک (درب اتوماتيک - راهبند اتوماتيک - جک پارکينگ- کرکره برقي اتوماتيک - درب زير سقفي سکشنال - کرکره شيشه اي (پلي کربنات) - تيغه کرکره رول گيتر - کرکره پنجره اي - درب شيشه اي اتوماتيک - درب ريلي پارکينگ - درب سريع السير صنعتي - تيغه کرکره برقي - درب پارکينگ اتوماتيک)
    خدمات 24 ساعته و شبانه روزي حتي در تعطيلات رسمي
    مشاوره رايگان در تمامي مراحل