Friday, March 23

The Fall of 'Ard Boyz and my thoughts.

Well, it has been a few days since the fall of 'Ard Boyz and now that I have had a few days to think about it I wanted to get my $.02 out there.  Let's talk about the tournament that was and perhaps look to the future, come along with me on this magic carpet ride.

In the beginning there were only Battle Point events that included paint scores and sportsmanship.  All was well in the kingdom, but there were many that complained "There should be an event that is ONLY about generalship."  Then we began seeing posters of Orks rushing headlong into frays of enemies and talk of free 2500 point armies, all you had to do was win!!! The Kingdom rejoiced at the prospect of being an 'Ard Boy.

Now the people rejoice in the loss of 'Ard Boyz because of the 'horrible WAAC players,' that attended or the lack of pretty armies.  They cried when it wasn't here and they cry when it is here... it's just as if the community wants what isn't there, no matter what.  That said, let's get into my personal feelings on 'Ard Boyz.

All in all I am torn on the subject:

As a player: 
I am saddened to see any event go, even if I didn't want to play in it.  One thing we have to remember is that every player has 'their hobby,' and we should respect that.  My buddy Jon Willingham said it well here (Comments link).  To paraphrase... 

"...There is a spectrum from Painters to Players. Some people ONLY paint models and never play, but we don’t harass them and call them “painter-fags” or something like that. At the opposite end are people who just want to play the game, they get the ridicule, kind of a double standard. Either way they are enjoying the game in there own ways, which is whats great about 40k, you can enjoy it in some many different ways. This gave them a tournament where they could do that, enjoy the game in there own way..."

I really think that Jon hit the nail on the head,"Different strokes for different folks." So you didn't like 'Ard Boyz?  That is ok, don't go.  Nobody held a laspistol to your head and forced you to play.  Over the last few years I haven't played in 'Ard Boyz because I wanted a tournament that at least encouraged painting and sportsmanship, but I didn't hate on my friends that did play (unless the missed a FOB terrain day because they were playing, lol).  'Ard Boyz also gave us permission to be competitive players more than ever, so thank you for that.

As the Feast of Blades TO:
As sad as I am to see 'Ard Boyz go I am hopeful that Feast of Blades can be a 'new and improved,' qualifier system of stores nation-wide.  'Ard Boyz was the trailblazer in this area and showed us that the system could work, but it also showed us what players really want in a system like this.  Hopefully Feast of Blades learned the lessons 'Ard Boyz taught us and will improve to make it something really exciting!  

That said, 'Ard Boyz was a direct competitor of format (Qualifiers and finals based on local store champions).  As any business usually is, I am happy to take the market share my competitor previously had.  Though I do encourage people to attend EVERY event they can, at my heart I of course want the event I put my blood and sweat into to be successful, and in that light I am kind of hopeful that Feast can step-up and be the event that I (and the community) want(s) it to be. 

As a business person:
In the past GW has been very reluctant to bring back things that they discontinue. They won't outright banish it from the realm, but it is highly unlikely that 'Ard Boyz will be replaced by something as grand in scope.  That is the true loss, we had a national event that we could all rally (positively or negatively) around and now that is gone, with nothing to replace it.   The business person in me hopes that they will allocate those resources to the Independent circuit and provide better support there, or that they will make Throne of Skulls to be a better event than it is now, but as been our previous experience it is unlikely. /sad panda.

Well, those are my thoughts.  In some ways I am sad to see it go, in others I am happy; but all in all what gets me the most is that it is just one more nail in the coffin of GW stepping away from organizing player events, but who knows, this could be good for the Independent Circuit.  Only time will tell. 




  1. I was talking to a friend about this the other day while going to see John Carter Warlord of Mars. He brought up an interesting point, the first two years of Ard Boyz was fun, the second got a bit more crazy with WAAC players but the following years the quality of the event of the players slid downhill. His thoughts was that at a normal tournament you will encounter that occasional bad player, but usually just that one "bad game". He felt that after the 2nd Ard boyz every game was "bad" simply due to the WAAC attitude, be it rules lawyering, cheating, bad attitudes, etc...

    We both have an opinion there is a difference between a good general and list vs a power list played by a WAAC player. A good general can take take a balanced list (or even an inferior list) and do well with it. WAAC lists tend to rely on gimmics, deathstars, or other builds...Ard Boyz at first seemed to be that good general feel to it and then slid into the WAAC feel towards the end.

    I saw several people either not play or not return to Ard Boyz events because of the said attitude above. Sadly, t hese was some of the good genereals, great hobbiests that makes the game.

    To me a good game is a solid opponent, a good balanced list, great looking terrain and two well painted armies (they don't have to be pro painted) but that is the dream game we all want to play every time I think.

  2. I have always thought that a good game doesnt mean you are 100% nice. It means you are fair and understanding and give your opponent your best, but maybe that is just the athlete in me

  3. Well, for one of those who don't paint (1: I'm really color blind; and 2: I really don't enjoy painting) I will miss Ard Boyz, it was one of the only tournies I went to. As I tell my friends, I play to play, not to paint. My army plays just as well as one who spent hours painting theirs.

    1. I can't accept the color blind excuse. I have taught a color blind person to paint (and he is a great painter and has won awards at events), I also follow at least two blogs that are color blind (one partial color blind).

      Don't enjoy painting, ok I can buy that but there is tons of friends or painting services that would do it for you....but I also enjoy the eye candy and visual of that, otherwise I could save my money and buy some green army men and use the same rules....

    2. I didn't ask for acceptence, or is it an excuse. If you can't play against me because my army isn't painted, it's your loss. I am constantly given accolades as one of the "best" opponents, because I play fairly, friendly, & give my opponent a challenging game.
      As for friends, they have their own lives/armies and why should I shell out even more money to pay someone to paint something that's already sucked my wallet dry just so someone else will be "pleased"?

    3. I would play against anyone painted or not. Sorry if you misunderstood that, I am the type of player that will play with anyone. What I am saying is painted armies are a joy to play against for me, they just bring the game to life. A good opponent also helps bring life to the game, wehn you have both wow, you have a game for the books as a good memory.

      The thought about others painting your stuff was just what othef pdopld do, personally I think it is silly to spend money to have someone else paint your army. It is still a means to the end thought...some people just don't want to paint, are lazy or lack the time due to work or family...

      The funny thing is that this popped up on one of the LGS boards today talking about possible painting for the next RTT.

    4. Spray with the appropriate can of Army painter primer, paint the guns black, drybrush the guns a metal colour, dip in army painter dip. PVA on base, dip in grey flock. How hard is that? It takes 10 mins per mini tops. Just a little effort does make the game better for everyone and shows respect for your opponent.


    5. Why should I have to go out of my way to "show respect", when he/she could respect me and not even mention my non painted army?

  4. I on the other hand won't play against people who won't paint their armies. No matter how nice, fair, friendly, etc., I will not play people who make no attempt to paint their figures, if I have a choice. If you just bought it or are in the painting process or trying out new units, I'll make an exception. It's nothing personal, it simply ruins the whole game for me. This is a visual game and playing grey plastic figures is unappealing. I think you owe it to your opponents to put out an army painted to your best ability.

    1. It doesn't bother me either way about 'Ard Boyz. I played a couple and missed many more. I don't really like playing against unpainted minis and I never go to a tourney without painting all of mine.

      As Duke said, the biggest loss is that GW has found another way to back out of the event scene. I liked the official GTs they ran, and I had fun at the 'Ard Boyz I played in.

  5. Okay, paint or no paint who gives a whatever. I'm really disappointed GW has quit supporting yet another tourney.For f sake they don't have a clue. GW has one of the best game systems ever. and they don't support it. 40k is easy to play easy to collect, but yet GW wants to not run another tourney. Ok cool why make billions when we can make millions. And thats GW .I been playing 40k forever and its always the same.