It's been a while and I will apologise for this is not meant to be a rant, although again it will end up being so. I know this for a fact.
In my last WAAC post I talked about my first experience of dealing with WAAC players en mass. It wasn't a pleasant experience for myself nor for those who were used to playing to the fluff or for fun.
More recently I have seen people who do WAAC for pick-up games. Normally they don't have a list prepared and then once they have seen the enemy army or list they prepare one to counter it. the writing of the list is normally accompanied by some of the following;
- It's written at the gaming venue.
- It takes about an hour.
- It can't be understood unless you know half a dozen dead languages and have three PhD's in cryptography and having grown up in Bletchley Park*1.
- It is written while they are constantly bitching about their opponent's list.
- They always asking for more points.
- They are always complaining if any restrictions are in place.
- They want to proxy miniatures because of a specific rule they have works amazingly effectively against your army.
- Their armies are often poorly painted.
- They are literally just thrown into or tipped out of a box.
- They look like they have been put together by someone sneezing over the miniature when they have a cold and shoving the rest of the parts at it, hoping that they'd stick.
- Finally they always say 'It's not the best list I can come up with.'
Normally people with lists like this aren't fun to play against. If something goes wrong they blame everything but themselves.
- 'It's not a good list.'
- 'I didn't have enough points.'
- 'I can't win the game unless I kill every model of yours.'
- 'I don't do objectives.' - I swear I was going to kill this guy...
- 'I haven't had time to make a good list.'
- 'Are we using the latest FAQ?' - I nearly DID kill this guy.
Even throughout all of these excuses and attempts to have a good game, I have often felt as if I'd just been in a WAAC tournament. It's not a feeling I like.
I actually have a few lists for each of my armies upon my person when I'm gaming. I can throw together a list in about 15 minutes, no matter the restrictions. As far as my armies for Warhammer go I have Ogres (apparently good in 8th, but one of the weakest in 7th), Bretonnia (see the comment about Ogres) and Lizardmen.
Now Lizardmen were got before the newer Army book came out. They were faring rather poorly on the power scale. Saurus were over-priced. Armies were small and under-powered, unless you went with one of the few internet lists available. Then along came the new army book. Nearly everything got a boost AND they got new shiny things. A horde of Stegadons crashed through the undergrowth, Skinks appeared in even greater numbers and the Slann were insane in the magic phase if upgraded properly. New plastics made them more affordable too.
I played them under the new army book for a bit. I was scared at how many more of the Lizardmen you could fit in an army. For myself I always like to take thematic armies. So I tried the Saurus Horde. Using only models with Saurus on them. I had 3 blocks of Saurus Warriors with spears, a big unit of Cold one cavalry, a Carnosaur Lord and two other Saurus heroes. I ended up just marching up the field and eating an Empire artillery army. I had managed to crush them in four turns. After this game I stopped playing Lizardmen for months. My opponent didn't even manage to destroy a single unit. This wasn't for lack of trying though.
I went back to my Ogres and a few months later picked up Bretonnians. I was going again for a thematic list. All cavalry. Sounded good. The main issue with the Bretonnian cavalry that they can't do anything if they don't break the enemy on the charge. So I bulked up my army with Peasants. Nothing too severe. Just made it more like an actual army. Knights were more or less ALWAYS in the majority. It was always the poor sods in the infantry who outnumbered them 270 to 1. I actually started having a chance at winning a game. The knights died in a multitude of horrible ways, but the Peasants normally survived. Ummm... sorry for rambling...
My main point is that just because it is a pick up game, doesn't mean that you should treat it as a tournament or bitch, whinge and whine if it doesn't happen according to plan.
It's a one off.
Apart from the 'I must win every game,' attitude playing a WAAC at a pick up game is not an occurrence that happens too often. People who do WAAC refuse to play it as a GAME. They, again, treat it as a job and it takes the fun out of it for people who don't do similar.
What I'd like to see is people playing smaller games, or playing under limits as to what they can use. For example in 40K only using 1 HQ and Troops choices without vehicles, special or heavy weapons, for Warhammer having one hero and only using Core choices.
Simple things to make gamers think on how to use their armies effectively without having to resort to an internet list from BOLS, Warseer or Bolter and Chainsword. I know there will always be some people who won't like it, but if some people can start playing outside of their comfort zone they will, hopefully, become a better person to game against for those who don't play as competitively as them.
*1- Bletchley Park was the place in England where the German Enigma machine code, Italian Air and Naval codes, and most of the Japanese Military codes were cracked during WWII. It is now the National Museum of Computing as well as being used half a dozen other roles.