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I believe the rules section may be a good spot for this as it often comes down to splitting hairs or refining what the book says...
What I am seeking here is advise from experienced tournament players on what they see different at a tournament.
What advise would you give? How do you see the rules being played at events different from casual gaming?
Here are a few questions to start it off.
Q: I am at a tournament and come to one of many 'with your opponents agreement' positions. But this opponent at a national tournament will NOT agree to let me use scenic bases on a command squad. They, in fact, are adamant about it. How does the Tournament officials resolve this problem?
Q: Are national tournaments held by 'sanctioned' GW judges? Or are they experienced players who enforce their opinion on rulings? I guess what worries me is the plethora of 'grey' area in 40k rules... which in a $20,000 tournemnt final game becomes quite serious.
What have your experiences been?... not at in-store friendly game days... but in prize money tournaments of 300 players such as GenCon Indy. I am very interested what the attitudes, strategies, and culture is of 'pro' 40k tourny players...
... but more so, acutely interested in their expectations of a fine tuned rule set. What they expect the result to be of a poorly worded rule or challenge.
... you and me... we just look each other in the eye and agree on something. I presume a serious player will know a judge ruling will go one way or the other... from experience and not necessarily couched in a friendly competition.
What have you seen? did a ruling surprise you. Is there a rule interprtation common in tournements which is very different from causal gaming practice?
While I've never played in a tournament where there was actual cash involved (nor do I think I would want to - people tend to change quite a bit in those situations), I consider myself a pretty serious tournament player. I've played 2-3 GT's for the past couple of years now, and do fairly well in most of them.. Then many more smaller RTT's. I've run into a few jackasses, but that seems to be the exception and not the norm.
Now I do try and avoid putting myself in a position where I need my opponent's consent such as your scenic base example. What I would do is to have another basic model to substitute in just in case you do run into TFG.
And also, I know of no "sanctioned" GW judges. In fact, I much prefer an experienced player over a GW staffer as a judge. The experienced players tend to know the rules much better... Heh, as an example, at Adepticon in '08, I heard Phil Kelly settle a rules argument about whether or not you could take an invulnerable save against a perils of the warp wound (this was in 4th edition). He said "sure, why wouldn't you?" when the BGB clearly stated you couldn't take a save of any kind. Give me an experienced player any day.
Most serious tournaments, though, will use the Adepticon INAT FAQ, or modify it for their own use to try and avoid the grey situations you mention.
And as for this:It's impossible to answer as "casual gaming practice" varies greatly based on the attitude of the local players in a given area... but tournaments tend to go by RAW more, and don't have house rules.Is there a rule interprtation common in tournements which is very different from causal gaming practice?
I would personally submit that there are quite a lot of 'house rules' in the INAT FAQ and the Warhammer World FAQ. Both documents have overruled pretty obvious RAW in the past for ease of play/balance/etc. Just as an example, the INAT FAQ overrules and throws out the 'recursive cover save' thing where two intermixed units give each other cover.
DakkaDakka - Warhammer 40K Forums - INAT FAQ v2.2 released for Adepticon!
Reading those two documents should give you a pretty good idea of how things go.
The other thing to remember is time is very tight in a tournament and whatever a judge says is final. Whether they're a red shirt who only actually knows how to play LOTR and just makes crap up, or a 5x GT champion. Actual arguments are fairly rare. I've honestly gotten boned a couple of times on really easy crap because there happened to be a staffer nearby who gave a totally wrong answer faster than I could get to the page in the rule book, but that's just the way it goes. That's the rule for this game, run with it. There is no sin greater than stalling.
So I guess what may be 'different' from 'normal' play is there's no 15 minute delays while everybody in the store goes digging through their rule books yelling at each other about why which way is the 'right' way to do it. There's just no time for that crap.
With regard to scenic bases, INAT says you're allowed to use tham anyway and just have to do your best to treat it as if it were the 'normal' basing. Warhammer World still has the 4E convention where bigger is ok but smaller is not, with the same caveat that you should treat the model as having 'standard' dimensions if it appears an advantage is being gained from the conversion.