Sunday, 12 September 2010

WYSIWYG..... How does it affect you?

 First of all a SUPRISE TEST. Tell me what you think these are in modern 40k and if they are legal at a tournament...

Suspect One. Could be a Space Marine Sgt?
Suspect Two. A mysterious robed figure? Could it be a Jawa?

 Answers at the very end.

I had the chance Friday evening to play against a Tau general that I had not faced before. We agreed beforehand we would play at 1.5k and as he was new to 5th edition I decided that I would take my foot slogger guard and give him a few pointers. The game went full 5 turns and I managed to win with said foot slogger guard relatively easily. But what really struck me was the fact he was playing with a fully undercoated black army and as I rarely face Tau, I struggled for probably the first time to actually see his units, make out what they were and work out what was what at a glance from 2ft. (We played on a citadel gaming board of all things too, and it was done in Verdant Green)

At first, my thoughts turned inwardly.... Am I really getting on here? Fark... Does the old man need glasses? Is the Zimmer Frame that far behind? Where are my sardines on toast Mildred? I started to consider that perhaps I was not as aware as I had always thought. But after some thinking and then watching 3 other games, all fantasy (Island of Blood starter set skaven are invading as grey plastic carpets across the world, to face off against High Elf griffons with no heads in same grey plastic.) I thought again...

I watched as most generals had to ask at least once or twice what a unit was. These were not those facing the twilight as they begin to think about middle age, but young guys in their teens. Fair enough, if your unfamiliar with an army your facing and a lot of new fantasy players are unaware of all the armies out there, grey plastic can look all the same at 2ft, coupled with the fact its new and unless your a University student like Kirby living a life of sleeping in to 11am most weekdays, its hard to imagine anyone painting a full skaven army up in the last week or so. (that's right Kirby, I am calling you out sir, yet again... lol.)

But it raises a question. How does your opponents army and its painting or WYSIWYG affect you. I have always been what I consider to be understanding... I allow proxy units, I don't care if its GW or not, I don't care if somebody is using dark angels as SW for a game or two. But, these are all against people I know and play regularly. At a tournament I feel different. I want to be able to be very clear if those DE warriors are really executioners or blackguard. I want to know what that broadside is armed with, I want to be able to tell that Firedragon is the exarch as he has the firepike. etc. Why?

 Your brain can only take in so much data in a short time, no matter how young, how old, how much porn you watch from Spankwire etc, after 2 or 3 games of facing different opponents one after the other, its easy to confuse things or get units mixed about. So I did a blind trial. I got my mate who plays SW to play me using an unpainted portion of my Codex army. Then I played it as BA, then i played it again as Codex. 3 games of 1k points over a Saturday afternoon and night. I won the third game easily, the second I lost, the first I won marginally. However I did not discuss what I was testing. By the third game, he was making mistakes over Charged Engines on Razorbacks, looking at a Codex Apothecary like it was dangerous etc. He is quite younger than me 24, but he knows how to play and is quite competent. But without prompting he said, next time keep to using your painted figures man, this is getting me confused!

I make my tactical choices based off what I see in front of me. At a tournament when time is of the essence even more so. But even in friendly games I do so more than I should perhaps? Is this a common thing? A lot of people play marines....... if you play vs 3 different marine players one after the other, has it cost you something at a tournament? Has facing 2 x Warriors of Chaos one after the other done the same thing to you?

Am I alone in thinking that some form of paint.... even different colored dots on unit bases or different colored bases should be a must even at friendly level? What is beyond even silly at some levels for you? I used to think I was a lot more tolerant than most and I used to head kick a few really strict WYSIWYG players. But the more I play and if I am playing to WAAC, then am I being too picky when I think, ok all your flamers are meltas apart from the ones in the green squads which are really missile launchers and this is all getting too hard for me to remember turn to turn?

I would love to hear some opinions on it from others... and if anyone else has made stupid blunders over WYSIWYG and thinking something else was what it really looked like at a gaming level, friendly or competitive.

As for answers to the above.

Rogue Trader Lt Space Marine. Perfectly legal even today 34 years after casting. However at a glance... did you think it was a bolt pistol or a bolter? Its actually a bolter. Take another look.

The second figure is a familiar site to some DA players as our little keeper in the dark. He is not however in this rare sculpt carrying a lion helm. However if special characters were allowed he is more than capable of standing in for the standard keeper. He is not a Jawa.
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