Thoughts on the Internet Community
I've been trolling quite a few forums besides my beloved Lo lately and I continually remind myself why even this site pisses me off from time to time. Most people who actively post online, about anything but were talking about 40k, are idiots.
First off, I'm not immune to this. If you read my posts, I'm very opinionated and stubborn. I forget rules and things from time to time that make me appear foolish, everyone does. Just so this doesn't look like me watching from atop the world's highest horse. ;]
A lot of players who post in topics, any topic, are not very good. 40k is a very tactical game and being a productive forum member takes a certain skill set. You need to be able to visualize a game, including terrain, and have a rough movie in your head of how something would play out. An experienced player can read two lists, in a battle report for example, and have a reasonable idea of what will happen. An experienced player can read a proposed army and imagine how it will do against many archetypes of other armies.
This is not a lack of intelligence in new players, it's merely a skill you gain from playing a lot of games, rolling a lot of dice and moving a lot of toy soldiers. But if you are new, understand you may not have this skill, so your opinion in the online forum is somewhat invalidated. It's the life cycle of all competitive fields, the newguard learn from the oldguard. Some people want nothing to do with that and express unfounded opinions or worse, fake facts, without accepting the words of better players.
I've also noticed an odd trend where people react to criticism poorly. Specific example, I was reading an article on BoLS about Foot Eldar being not only viable, but a top world army. The article was decently written but it was obvious there were many holes in the authors assumptions. He backed his article, before anyone commented, by claiming to be a multi-time GT winner, who plays the very army he's touting against other multi-GT winners, every week and going undefeated. He also brought up evidence of similar lists winning GTs around the world.
Now, if you think logically, this is a foolish way to defend a list, tactic, anything in Warhammer. Being a GT winner is almost nothing now, every large tournament is called a GT, it's the same label at RTT but it confers a much more.....enlightened title because it once meant something. GT no longer means anything, there are very few big time tournaments where skill is top dog, it's simply not worth bragging over.
Also, and this has been brought up in a few threads by me and others, there is a lot more in the works than player skill and list strength in winning games. Many tournament s have custom missions, many of which are very unbalanced. There are comp scores, which are often added to battle points, that reward you for bringing a certain list, which is very unbalanced to certain armies. Than there's terrain (or lack thereof), opponent skill and list and of course, luck. That is a huge spectrum of things to consider and they all occur in each and every tournament that has ever been played, ever.
The online community is inundated with people who do these exact same things. "Come play me, than we'll see who's right." "This army won such and such event." "You just can't think outside the box." If someone challenges your assumptions, tactics, list, anything at all, that's a positive for everyone. It encourages you to think critically, I've had many lists I thought were sure fire winners demolished by someone noticing a hole I didn't. The person making the criticism is sharpening their experience as a player and who knows who will read the discussion? Most of my rep on this site is from people who didn't participate in a thread but found the conversation enlightening, thus adding to the community.
My point is, don't be quick to assume you're a skilled player because you win a few games and read a few threads, take the time to learn from everyone else. Don't defend your arguments with veiled threats than can't be realized, bullshit tournament results or claims of being undefeated. Read an argument, digest it, think about it.
That's my rant for the week and I swear to Mork I will put a battle report up here before the week is over, or may I be smote by oncoming traffic. Take it easy.