Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Worthless Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum

It's no secret that many people in the 40k blogging community are kinda anti-forum. Myself included. Hell, Dethtron has made a career out of it.

I obviously can't speak for the likes of Stelek, Kirby or My Liege Elessar, but I find much of what gets posted to the various big boards out there to be thoroughly useless. Especially once you get into ANYTHING that has to do with tactics and list building. As vaunted as the 'community' and 'open discussion' aspects of forums are, they're often the biggest road blocks to good advice.

[Side note] Seriously, how much of a community can you form from a collection of random and anonymous strangers? In my opinion: not very much of one.

All of that 'community' and 'open discussion' leads to a very common end point of the army list/tactics thread - total uselessness. Too many people talking and too many people allowed to talk.

Essentially, you have a lot of 'experts' with no credentials being allowed to voice their opinions so long as they follow the letter of the rules. As with any event involving people who think they're experts - ego's tend to run into one another. Fights start to emerge, side fights emerge and then the actual idiots get involved. To top it all off, most of the people who want advice or opinions are really just looking for someone to validate their thinking.

It's even worse when someone posts a legitimate question and then no one can be bothered to answer. Or sure, its monumentally important to discuss how awesome Ogryns are but as soon as someone needs genuine help, not even the crickets bother to post.

To bring home my point, and to continue the high I got from my FNIF, I'm going to snowmobile a perfectly normal advice thread. For an added layer of journalistic integrity, I'm going to go back in time and make fun of myself.

Here's a question I asked on the Bolter and Chainsword during the end days of 4th edition 40k and my brief and catastrophic flirtation with the Dark Angels. Click here for the original.My comments are in classic Laubersheimer Industries Boo-berry Blue and my intelligent comments are in luxurious Dethtron Red. There will be far fewer red comments.

MainLauby - So, I'm building and painting my first Dark Angel Tactical Squad (10 man) and, being a noob, I need some advice. Which should have been - quit painting Dark Angels while you're ahead What weapons do I equip the models with?

I've alrady built and painted the sargeant with a chainsword and plasma pistol (now knowing full well I should have equiped a power fist - 20/20 hindsight, drats!). Score 3 for spelling errors and lose 1 for every point wasted on extraneous wargear. Total: -12.

My initial plan was to equip a plasma gun and a heavy bolter (because I had the model). Hoever, are there other, better or more tactically flexable combos? I was thinking maybe a Rocket Launcer and melta. Ah, some re-occurring themes with me before my discovery of YTTH - poor spelling and building things because they look cool rather than because they are good.

Keep in mind that my only heavy wapon choices are the bolter and rockets.

Thanks in advane. God damn, that's some poor spelling. A genuine question on my point, but hard to answer since its not in the context of an army list or anything useful like that. at all.

Isiah - The missile launcher and meltagun are good all-round choices. The meltagun is better than the plasmagun in my opinion as it allows you to assault after firing and doesn't overheat. The ML is a cheap versatile but no-frills weapon that can be used v armour and troops. With this combo you will have a solid take all comers squad. Granted, the lascannon and plasma cannon would be excellent choices but each are very focused on a certain type of target. So maybe bear those in mind for the next Tacs you build. Sadly, this is about as good as the advice gets. What really should have been said is play regular marines instead. Other than that, Isiah here, does a good job of trying to answer an poorly asked question.

Stella Cadente - for first squad........well it depends, what do you want it to do? Good point. And one I had not ever considered. And never did.

for standing back like cowards: pay attention to this choice of words 10 men Lascannon and plasma gun
for running in like heroes: Power fist and Meltagun
for a unit who are mixed about what they are and not good at any of it : power weapon, Heavy bolter and Meltagun

at least thats what I think I think that people who give advice shouldn't be so wishy-washy about it

Chaplain Lucifer - IMHO you should gauge your words more carefully. You are, apparently, easily offended Stand and shoot is a perfectly viable tactic and has nothing of coward of shameful. Why the fuck do you care? Is your membership for the All-Inclusive Super Best Friends Lifestyle Tolerance club up for renewal? Different folks, different strokes, and if for you having 10 guys running forward with a meltagun fits your style, for others, standing and shooting till there is no enemy alive is their style. And this is where the thread starts to become really useless. At this point I haven't learned anything and a stupid fight over semantics has sprung up.

MainLauby - all quibbling aside, I'll think I'll rock the melta and heavy bolter. Thanks for the advice. To this day, I have no idea how I came up with this combo. I'm pretty sure it revolved around how cool I thought the heavy bolter looked. Later on, I waffled back to a plasmagun. I then proceeded to waste a lot of time building and painting this squad only to find out that it sucked within playing two games.

At this point the thread devolves further into some people sniping at each other and then a bunch of stupid shit about how awesome shooting things is. Then there was a brief rules argument and then someone who has no pride in his models told me that yanking off the fully painted sergeant's arms was a good idea. One other person tries to give me actual advice, but fails because it didn't involve quitting the Dark Angels and, instead, convinced me to take a plasmagun with my heavy bolter.

I just don't have it in me to bother snowmobiling the whole thing. Its all pretty stupid and nothing interesting or useful gets talked about. Which is really what this whole blog post is about.

From this terrible advice to my own pathetic army list with an equally pathetic army, I ended up dropping 40k for a year or more.

Fucking forums.

[Edit:] gonna go back and add some pictures later tonight.


  1. Stella Cadente? Trying to be useful, instead of being a cunt?


    Somebody catch me some winged bacon.

    I don't like Forums as a rule. It's weird, since I developed a lot as a person through my Forum experiences over the last 7 years.

    Before that, they were something other people did (but not that many, back then) I had an old Portent account, but only because it made it easier to lurk - I don't think I ever posted.

    I wasn't TKE then, even. Fuck knows what I was called.

    Anyway, I like Heresy, because it's very well run and organised - and the people there generally more willing to listen.

    Everywhere else? I take them in small doses, or I get warnings. Still not been banned though. ;)

  2. Also, can we pretend I made a clever Roman joke, regarding Forums?

    I meant to, but can't recall what I was going to say.


  3. When I decided to come back to the hobby, I thought Dakka, and the BnC were god-sends. Now, well lets just say, I'm in concurance with you on the validity of forums.

    Still go on to look at conversions, and other eye-candy though. :D

  4. Just generally seconded.

    I really do have to laugh a little bit about the idea of an 'online community.' Honestly, there's a difference between a bunch of people getting together and talk versus knowing each other as flashing text boxes.

    An online community is to a real community what an online 'romantic relationship' is to dating the hot girl next door. There's some similarities, but being a community that hangs out, breaks bread (or shares beer/whatever your poison is) and the like on a fairly regular basis is just different.

    There's good stuff out there, but there IS the issue where folks asking for advice get a heap of it of varying qualities. You just have to sift through it. Maybe you'll find it, then. Maybe.

    I dunno.

    I just kind of gave up.

  5. dude, I think Stella has made at least 1 FNIF appearence. Douche bag of the year, other than Riki and Gwar! of course.

    also, you shouldn't feel too bad about giving up on 4th edition, it sucked almost as much cock as george michael in a rest stop bathroom

    conpron (no seriously, that was my word verification, no lies)- n. Lewd pictures taken (usually of cosplayers) at conventions. eg Dude I went to comicon and snapped some of the best lara croft conpron ever!

  6. I don't like Forums as a rule. It's weird, since I developed a lot as a person through my Forum experiences over the last 7 years.

    I don't think it's weird. Outgrowing your forumite stage is probably a sign that you've gone beyond the point where forum content is at all relevant to you - the one thing is evidence of the other, basically. At least, that's what I tell myself when I wonder why I haven't posted on in months.

  7. Trolls and the clueless who don't know any better are all i've ever seen in gaming forums. Well, non D&D forums anyways.

    Conversions and things of that nature are the only reason(other than FNIF) I hit any warhammer forums nowadays.

  8. Hey TKE, it's good to know I'm not the only one who think hitting Stealla with a sock full of quarters is a good idea... that douche made me nerd rage.

  9. Don't get me wrong, there is at least some value on a forum. Usually in a P&M thread. I mine that shit all the time for inspiration.

    But even in the hobby sections of a forum, you still don't get things like honest feedback. In fact, you have the opposite problem you have with army lists/tactics. Instead of everyone hating you and being a dick, everyone wants to suck your dick.

    With rare exception, you could post the crappiest model in existence and still get nothing but high praise. It's extremely hard to get actual constructive criticism.

  10. Mostly because a great many forumites do not, by and large, understand what constructive criticism means - they're locked into that love it/hate it false binary that comes from watching too many Internet Fights unfold and, occasionally, being involved in too many.

  11. True. When I post things like - "okay, which looks better?"

    I don't want 'Both look good, paint it either way' - I want FORCIBLY VOICED OPINIONS GODAMMIT!