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I'm stealing this from my blog, but I thought it'd be a good discussion here.
Painting scores in tournaments, like composition systems, are a matter of great contention. You may advocate strongly for them, you may hate them, but not many people stay neutral on the matter. The two sides, as I've heard, go a bit like this:
Pro-Painting Scores: Painting scores should be required at every tournament. This is a complete hobby, not a game. Therefore, participants at tournaments should be judged on every aspect of the hobby, and not just their play, and this includes how well they paint their armies. Well painted armies are beautiful, and when new people come in and see these nicely done armies on the table, they will want to play. People who don't paint aren't really participating in this hobby. We don't want to see an unpainted army win a tournament.
Anti-Painting Scores: Painting scores should not be required. This is a war game, and painting is something you can do with your miniatures, but not something that should be required. Tournaments should judge who the best general is, and nothing more. When new people come in, they will be intimidated by having to paint for a year or so and get an army fully painted to have a chance at really participating strongly in a tournament.
I've floated somewhere in the middle on this subject for years, and have been often surprised that I am nearly the only person who seems to be this way. I love to paint (not well, but I try), and there is nothing better to me than really nicely done armies battling it out. I've won tournaments in the past with unpainted models, but not in the last year or so, and I try not to play with unpainted stuff just to make myself try harder on painting. But I do appreciate that it can be intimidating to a new player, and I have a problem when I hear about tournaments where painting was weighed so heavily it overshadowed most of the actual game results.
I think that perhaps the pro-painting scores ideal may be best at private clubs (say, for instance, The Cage in High Point), and a more relaxed ideal might be best for stores like Sci Fi Genre who are looking to bring in new customers for the hobby who may just want to play.
Here's what I've done in the past, and will do in the future. At Grail Quest 2009, I had a side competition where one could enter a single model. Everyone voted on the best painted model, and the winner got a gift certificate. Painting did not enter into the overall winner's score. This year, in Grail Quest 2010, I'll do the same, but probably change it to be people voting on the overall armies for best painted.
I think this is a good compromise. Where do you stand?
I am pro painting, I don't like seeing unpainted miniatures on the table, painting is part of the hobby. This is a fantasy game, and who doesn't like to imagine their opponents tank blowing up from a well aimed power fist punch? painting your miniatures makes it easier to visualise these scenarios, and so making it a more pleasurable experince.
I will play someone who has unpainted models, but I just think its a bit of a waste - you might as well get your moneys worth on these models.
Models don't even have to be painted well, I certainly don't paint well, but with GW bringing out washes, foundation paints e.t.c., it is getting easier for the rubbish painter to get good results
I hope my thoughts make sense
For get your Mr T, John Mayer leaks pure awesomeness with every note he plays.
Though I'm no pro painter and I don't like all all the time required to build an army, I do like seeing well painted, beautiful models on the table. But requiring some sort of mandatory paint contest for tournaments claiming it will honour the full hobby, not just the game would be like incorperating mandatory gaming for Golden Deamon (sp?) and other official and non official painting contests.
Though I see points for both sides, I'd like to see some sort of option, for example:
If you agree to enter your army for painting scores and score above average, you get your army on display or something. I don't think there should ever be mandatory scores unless there's and alternative.
On the other hand, I strongly approve of the rules that say minumum X numbers of colours must be on the model, minimum one two layers of paint etc. to ensure the hobby's future in the eyes of new comers to the hobby.
5000p. High Elves
Yes, you can have painting scores, but please continue to keep it seperate from overall battle results.
If someone enters a tournament with no minimum painting specifications and outright tables everyone else, their victory should not disappear simply because painting scores were lumped in with victory scores. That is not to say that winning the game is better than painting or vice versa, but you have to acknowledge that they are distinct and seperate parts of the whole that is tabletop wargaming, and the results of one have no bearing on the results of another (despite how we feel that our awesomely painted unit always gets 6's when needed )
You can go the whole hog and have best painted, best converted, best model/unit/army, what have you at a tournament, as long as you remember that each award is a seperate mark of recognition and does not factor into any other result.
As an aside, sportsmanship scores are a terrible idea as well. Everyone should strive to be an enjoyable opponent. Adding in these scores allows to much potential for loss retribution or croneyism. As unecessary as it should be, judges or tournament operators or what have you should simply walk between the tables, making sure no one is being an ass.