Friday, August 26

paint Scores, is there a problem?

OK so I'm conflicted. My early thoughts on the subject of painting and scoring are being derailed by my new mindset and I just don't know what to do.

Today I'm going to talk a bit about painting, judging and commission painting. Lets get to it!

First off, why do you cats paint?

I know I paint because I just love doing it. I need things in my life to take up my time and I am addicted to the good vibes I have when I get done with a force or even a single fig. I also have the time in my every day life to dedicate to painting and a woman who understands my addiction.

I know all the reasons people paint, also I understand all the reasons people don't.

Life gets in the way, lets face it. Some just don't like to paint, some don't like what they do get done and get disappointed.

In the beginning I didn't understand these kind of things and really was a bit of a paint snob.

Enter true story to prove how bad I got and how it changed my mind.

I have had a little experience in being a TO and as a lover of the game it wasn't long before a local store ask me to run some end of the month games. No big deal right?

Everything was good for a few until I had a judging "mishap" that opened my eyes.

I came from a background of gamers that all painted their own figs and were judged on a check list at every local event. This to me was the norm and as such I took it with me when I moved away. Now to the event at hand. I was going around scoring the paint, when I ask a guy about his work he says "I don't know, ask Tom he painted it. I cant paint for crap!". This was a total curve ball for me and I remarked to him that I didn't know how to score some one who didn't paint their own stuff.

At the end of the day I gave the paint award to a sub-par army because of my own belief that people should do their own painting. This caused a big blow up on the net after and really made me rethink my ways.

Add to this the fact that I now paint for others and have some great friends who do commission work as well.

Now I'm in the group that likes to see painted armies on the table so much I don't care how you get it done. DIY, commish or even Ebay it all works to the same end.

But how do we score it?

Is there something wrong with buying an army that is painted to a standard that is above your own talents? is it like buying an award? Should there be two categories in painting, one for DIY and one for just BUY? I don't know, its a tall fence and a part of me is on each side.

The last thing I want to do is end up playing at my FLGS and have a duel for top paint score be mine and mine that my friend has. (wait that would be kinda cool!) But is it fair?

So I ask is there a problem with the way we do things in the paint scoring/judging department?

Does this pic of a funny dog take your mind off topic and make you forget to leave a reply?

That's all I got, just want to know what others think, if it matters to you or if your local store has ever had a problem/solution to this kind of thing.

Game on, Swags.


  1. Most places I've played score the painting, but you can only win best painted if you did your own painting. Everyone gets their paint score toward their tournament points total, you just aren't eligible to win painted unless you did it yourself. I've yet to hear any complaints over this system.

  2. I may be a paint snob, but if there is paint scoring, I'd prefer it to be based on the person's own work. We don't award points based on how someone else plays the game or how much of a good sport some other guy is, why award points for how well someone else painted their army?

    It is difficult to tell unless the person volunteers though.

    In smaller events, I like seeing things like painting/best army being picked by the participants. If a winning # don't care that it was painted by someone else and still vote for them, no foul.

  3. As a first principle, I want painting scored because the guy that wins tournament should have a better painted army than mine. Painting is important to me it and it is an area of the hobby I really enjoy. Buying an army, commission one or borrowing a painted one is perfectly fine, but you should only make a base level painting score. Some tournaments don't score painting (soft scores) and I tend to avoid those, the 'hardcore battle is all that matters' way of playing the game is not what I am interested in. I want play with cool looking toys on a cool looking board with cool people... and a beer would be nice.

  4. @ANON: This is how we are doing things at the Feast of Blades Open GT. If you didn't paint it you still get full points towards best overall, but you can't win best painted/ appearance.

    @ SonsofT: The Invitational at Feast is like this, but because because it is pure win/loss, so there are not any battle points to add to. We are actually going to have the players vote on best appearance (Painting is REQUIRED) the army with the most votes wins - pretty simple.

    What do you guys think of that system?


  5. Best Paint should be only for people who have painted a majority of the army themselves. If one or two units or models are painted by someone else, that ought to be fine, but would count negatively if there was a tie or doubt in the judges minds over placing. Winning an award based solely on painting, when the painting was not done by oneself, is wrong.

    Paint score should be included in overall regardless. Playing against a fully painted army is part of the draw of a tournament, and if it means that someone had their army painted by someone else, then that's significant enough.

    Best army should be a)player voted, and b)done regardless of who painted the army in question. Best army is simply "Is this the coolest army there?" and not necessarily "Is this awesome and did you do everything yourself?"

  6. After years of thinking about paint scores I don't think it matters all that much. It is very easy to get stuck in the details of how to score marginal differences.

    I figure the goal and point of the paint score is to encourage entrants to turn up to the event with an army painted as well as they can and affords (through time or cash). That enhances the spectacle and enjoyment of the whole event. Everyone wins.

    So if we reward the armies that add to layers enjoyment the most then I reckon it doesn't matter too much who painted it, as the primary goal is achieved. I paint my own stuff as I'd rather live with my own average painting skill, but that is a personal apporach to the hobby. ;)

  7. It is an interesting subject to debate... but at the end of the day without the hobby aspects of GW etc being judged or at least encouraged with points we re reducing the game to a fancy version of chess.

    As for painting your own or getting another to do it. I do both... but where is the creativity done? How do you say hey buddy your not winning points but you did design the figure... buy the parts, build the conversion... and decide the colors..... you just did not execute it as your skill level is not at that stage? How do we judge that?

  8. A lot of tournmanets in Australia have your paint score coutned but you can't win best painted if you didn't paint it your self. Also in some systems with a painting score/check list eg out of 30, one point will be for "did the player paint the army himself"

    The other thing they have is that some time during the day all the players will be asked to vote for the army that they think is the best looking, and that any player can win this regardless if they painted their army or not.

  9. If an army is fully painted, it gets full points at the tourney. But best painted should never, ever, not even once, go to the schmuck who gets some other person to paint his army. Because Best Painted should be really named Best Painted by The Person Actually Playing the Army that They Painted Themselves. That's got a nice catchy ring to it. BPBYPAPATPT, for short. So easy!

    I like to see Eastern European paint jobs on armies, I really do, but just because some schmuck is rich doesn't mean they take all the statues home.

    Yes, I am a paint snob. Yes, I have a Demon in my cabinet (I really do!). I paint all my armies, and am damn proud of it. I had one army that wasn't, and I had to eBay it. Just didn't belong on my rack. Even though it was a Chaos Dwarf army, and rare, and nicely painted by a GW staffer. It bugged me that I would have to strip it to re-paint it.

    And believe me, Eastern European armies win over American, French, or any other army. Period. And they are cheaper to get painted, too! Those kids work for NOTHING!

  10. lmao... "BPBYPAPATPT," can we also add "BYOB," to that?

  11. Glad you liked it. :) BPBYPAPATPT(BYOB) it is! The new tournament standard!

  12. It is official then, BPBYPAPATPT(BYOB) is now the official policy of Feast of Blades!


  13. In tournaments around here the requirements for painting has gone to hell. Most in the past was must be 3 colors and based. Now they are lucky to have primer on them!

    Then enters the hyper-competative players, they can build good lists and play well. Then they gripe they don't have time to paint. They would rather buy or pay someone to do their stuff. They do this so they can win "overall" at a tournament. Yet, one of the pillers of scoring that is painting. So, do they deserve to win best painted or overall if they paid for it?

    Personally I think they should be happy with "Best General" and move on. Not purchase points that other people earn. To me it is a kick to those that paint their own stuff. People are fixated on status of winning and getting "prizes" that this has become the norm.

    Of late events have moved away from painting scores and just gives out 1st-2nd-3rd now based on scores. Fewer and few are scoring Sportsmanship which IMO is going in the crapper also of late.

  14. WoW, thanks for the feedback.

    I have been gone to other parts of the web (I watched the Nova cam till my eyes were red. Guilty.)

    @styx I know what your talking about.
    I like the Over All, General, Paint & Sports.

    1,2,3rd at the end of the month game with 10 or 16 guys awards the same people, more than not.

    The OGPS (!New! OGPS = Over all, General, Paint, Sports) system covers more of the people involved. Thus keeping local players happy and returning to play again IMO.

  15. i don't see a difference between skill, time, or money.

    its all the same, and i agree that all aspects of the hobby are important. A tournament however is typically designed to discover who is the top player...not top painter...i don't even care is painting is factored into overall scores.

    The Opinion of a full time painter

  16. @40kWC: Skill and time (is something you develop and learn). You earn your painting score and any awards associated by your merit. Money, your just buying it. May as well play Wizkid stuff, open a few boxes and shake your army out IMO or buy Magic cards and try to go to their big money tournaments.

    I disagree about tournaments also, it is not just about the top player beating everyone. The top player should be not only a good player, but someone that carries the hobby forward in painting and community. I feel the competative players have turned the concept of a tournament into a pure play or walk away type event. It also has turned several players away from gaming events such as tournaments with that attitude.

    Like Swags said, you usually seem the same people in the 1-3 spots. Great, does little to encourage the community and discourages new players. I see new faces appear at some events, don't do well and never come back. Why? Because people are wrapped up in winning they fail to enjoy the community aspect of the event.

  17. I think part of it is that at least in the US the only 40K events are tournaments, so the emphasis is on winning and other aspects get tacked on.

    I think there's a place for tournaments where the focus is on an individual winning games, but there could also be room for events where games are played but the focus is more explicitly about everyone having a good time, win or lose.

    Some bigger events are doing a better job with that now, including more narrative based events, and I like NOVA's "loser's lottery" to spread the love around. Hopefully the trend will continue.

  18. Well I still dont know what I think to be honest. There will likley never be a solution to make everyone happy.

    One thing I do know is that there will be multi paint awards at Feast Of Blades. Not only will players choice votes go out, but there is the judges marks and a painting competition table. In addition to that I belive there will be some calsses as well.

    Duke please correct me if im wrong.

    As for the local events, I think that if people were to bring painted armys it would be great. No matter who painted it. I just like to see painted figs on the table.

    I am working on an army with a friend of mine right now. He has built all the models and painted all the foot dudes, I painted all the tanks. Now he is doing the detail on the tanks.

    How do we judge this one? It is his creation but he needed the extra help to bring it to life. And with 12 tanks the work Ive done shows, but I would say that I only did about 1/3rd of the work.

  19. @styx: What you talk about is one of the main reasons I have split Feast of Blades into 2 tournaments.

    1.The Invitational is all about winning, for those 64 players the highest level of competition is playing against others at that level and winning, though most also like to paint it isn't the main goal of the tournament.

    2. Then there is the Open GT: This has painting and sportsmanship added into your overall score and it can 100% change who is the overall winner. This tournament isn't just about who is the best, it is about who is the best hobbyist in terms of play level, painting ability and being an all around good guy.

    Hopefully this system provides a place for everyone, because I understand the win,win,win attitude and I also understand the competitive casual attitude.

    @ Sonsoftaurus: Feast will also have lottery tickets given to players who lose games, it is an easy way to help soften the "i just got tabled," blow.

    @ Swags:No correction there, your spot on.


    1. Well just seeing the first image of that sexy women I know that all men would like to be totally painted of course having fun with her.